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The wooden tavern door creaked, and a hooded figure rushed in. Another wanderer seeking shelter from the rain.
The flames of the oil lamps closest to the door flickered, and some of the folks briefly looked up from their jugs.
With him he brought the cold damp air of a rainy night, which swiftly mixed with the heavy scent of smoked meat and home-brewed liquor.
The first thing the man in the corner noticed about the newcomer was the way he moved. His gait was straight, graceful even, just a tad too sophisticated to be one of the landsfolk from around this region.
Just a tad too elegant not to stand out.
Another thing the man in the corner observed, and he was a keen observer, was the attire not usually seen around here.
While both the mantle and the boots were well-worn and dirty from the foul weather, they've been crafted from quality materials no commoner could easily afford.
So before the traveller had even reached the counter, the man in the corner had already deduced that this fellow would not survive the night.
The man in the corner calmly took a sip from his jug. Why should he care?
He sat there quietly with his face in the shadows, having learned a long time ago to blend in and not arouse suspicion from people he wouldn't want to cross paths with in dark alleyways.
Not that anyone who ever crossed paths with him in a dark alleyway could tell about it, though.
The traveller sat down at the counter and ordered a jug of beer. From where the man in the corner was seated he could only see the travellers' back, but there was something about this so obviously misplaced fellow, it made the man keep training his gaze on him.
While the tavern owner prepared the brew, the newcomer pulled down the hood and revealed thick locks of light brown hair. Even in the dim light of a rundown tavern like this there was a shine to them.
The tips were wet and droplets fell on shoulders and back. His nape was shaven clean, which meant he was either not travelling for long yet, or he had enough Laeri to regularly visit barbers on the way.
The man in the corner donned a bitter smirk.
Three men on the right had already began to exchange glances while keeping an eye on the traveller.
Well Mr. Fancy, not a good night to leave your sheltered home and stroll through the big bad world. Not few ambitious explorers found themselves at the end of a sharp blade after giving away their well-off origin.
Can't say I'm not curious to see how this will play out.

That moment the traveller turned and faced in the direction of the man in the corner, revealing a youth of merely seven- or eighteen. The man was dumbfounded for a second, until he remembered his face was hidden in the shadows.
There was no way for the youth to realize he had been watched, and the fact that his hazel eyes were searching in the darkness proved he was just acting out of a sensation.
But for one moment, the young man had looked straight at his observer without seeing him. And that, his observer thought, was quite remarkable.
A boy... what does a boy of a supposedly wealthy family do all the way out here? The past few years this region has been trying to recover from its war-ridden past. Most folks here barely make a living.
There are too many scoundrels wandering around to make travelling safe. I should know,
the man in the corner thought, I'm one of them.
As soon as the tavern owner had served the beer, the youth drank hastily in large swallows. He hadn't noticed the three men eyeing him yet, he also hadn't noticed that the air had changed.
Something ominous had crept in when the boy had revealed himself, and it started to manifest slowly.
The man in the shadows could see it, he saw it in the cautious movements of the other guests, in the eyes of the men approaching the boy. He could hear it in the sound of their footfalls, smell it in their scent.
Time seemed to pass slower. It was the kind of atmosphere in which lives were taken.
That was usually the point where the man had left the tavern. There were situations you had to face, and there were situations you had to avoid. Experienced as he was, the man could tell them apart.
But for some reason, this time, he didn't act on it. He remained in the shadows.
I'm just an observer.
Oblivious as he was, the youth addressed the tavern owner.
"Excuse me Sir, would you point me to the closest inn? I couldn't make it out in the darkness when I came here."
The man behind the counter scratched his belly with a bovine look on his face.
"Well", he stretched the word before continuing in a raspy voice,
"The local Inn is just a little further down the road, but if ye wanna hear my advice, lad, ye needn't go all the way. At a stormy night like this they must be burstin' at the seams already."
"I guess I'll try my luck anyways. Thanks." The youth emptied his jug, paid, gave a nod to the tavern owner and was on his way. He put his hood up again before leaving, and stepped out into the pouring night.
Right after the door snapped shut, the three rugged men emptied their jugs, threw some coins on the table and left the same way.
The man in the corner snorted.
Not my business. Boy's gonna end in the sewers. Happens to all the careless folks out there. I won't play fate, this is what you get when you prance around in an area like this.
He took a sip.
"Spiteful, aren't we?," another voice in his head said. He listened, but there was nothing more. Just the echo reverberating in his mind. But it was enough to make him move.
He rose from his seat in the shadows, left more Laeri on the counter than his drinks had cost, and left the tavern with a gliding gait.
When the other guests looked up, they only saw his fluttering cloak before the door shut once more.
A collection of what I wrote some weeks ago as status posts :meow:
I know I'm probably going on everybodies nerves already, but I'd like to once again mention:
English is my second language and I'm very grateful for all kinds of advice and corrections :heart:

I really hope I can expand this story further :)
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:iconuskius:
Uskius Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
The writing was nice! You mentioned English is your second language, but aside from the "tavern/inn" thing, I didn't notice. Keep writing, dude! :3
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:iconblizzardsiya16:
BlizzardSiya16 Featured By Owner Edited Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I really like this! I enjoyed looking through the eyes of the man in the corner, and I liked how you put in snippets of information about him as you wrote the scene. There's only two things I noticed; when "pay" is put into past tense, it becomes "paid" rather than "payed".

The other thing is that I noticed you referred to the tavern keeper as the "innkeeper", which I didn't question up until the youth mentioned he was looking for the closest inn. At that point I became slightly confused, as if he really was an innkeeper I would think he would mention it. At least maybe a, "Well, we're full up, but..." and give directions to the other inn?
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:iconaenea-jones:
Aenea-Jones Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Well, in my native language there is a difference between someone who runs a tavern and someone who runs an inn, but I couldn't find the right translation, and I didn't like using "host", and "landlord" sounded like he is someone important who ownes land... ^^;
But I guess you're right, I might have to change the context here...
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:iconblizzardsiya16:
BlizzardSiya16 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Yeah, I'm not quite sure of a translation either. The closest thing I could find was literally either "tavern keeper" or a publican.
If you wanted to, you could even change the actual mentions of "inn" to something more vague, like "some place to stay". That would at least keep people from making the sort of connection I did and questioning things. Of course, there will always be time for this sort of thing if you decide to finish and revise the story, too (which I look forward to if you do--I love reading others' work, and you have some very interesting ideas).

And, to be fair, it's impressive that you're writing this in a second language at all. I couldn't write something half as descriptive in French, for example.
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:iconaenea-jones:
Aenea-Jones Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :)
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:iconmrstrangeinc:
MrStrangeInc Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
If it's a tavern, he'd probably be called the barkeeper.
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:iconaenea-jones:
Aenea-Jones Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Is barkeeper not too much of a modern word? It's a medieval setting... ^^;
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:iconmrstrangeinc:
MrStrangeInc Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017
Not in the least! It's been around...

Okay, never mind, I just checked and "Barkeeper" was made in 1712. Hmm... I can't think of a word that would fit.
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:iconaenea-jones:
Aenea-Jones Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I guess there are workaround expressions like "the owner of the tavern" or "the man behind the counter"...
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:iconaleaicesoul:
AleaIceSoul Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Student Digital Artist
NEED. MORE.
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:iconcreativelyaddled:
CreativelyAddled Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Now this was an interesting story. I liked the POV of this story. The man in the corner was an interesting narrator. He comes off as initially cynical but you could tell that despite his protest at being "just an observer" you can tell he cares. Even if he doesn't want to. Another thing I really liked about this story was how you described the tavern, particularly when the mood shifts as the young guest attracts attention. It would be really interesting to see where the story goes from here.

And also, you have no reason to worry. The writing was mostly error free. The only mistake I could see was a spelling one when you wrote "The youth emptied his jug, payed, gave a nod to the innkeeper..." It's actually "paid" but it's a very small mistake, easily fixed.
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:iconaenea-jones:
Aenea-Jones Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Well thank you very much! :)
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:iconaenea-jones:
Aenea-Jones Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you :)
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:iconmrstrangeinc:
MrStrangeInc Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017
It was exceedingly well-written; nobody would ever be able to tell you aren't a native English speaker.
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:iconaenea-jones:
Aenea-Jones Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :aww:
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:iconcheegle:
Cheegle Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017
Pretty cool.
It reminds me of when Frodo encounters Strider at the Prancing Pony in The Lord of the Rings.
I liked the way you've written it, I enjoyed reading it and I would read more of it. :)
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:iconaenea-jones:
Aenea-Jones Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
They're nothing like Frodo and Strider though :XD:
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