A False Kind of Magic

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cecegrace's avatar

Literature Text

The tavern was quiet, with only a single man in sight. Khorrek slid into the bar seat next to the resident old drunkard.
Aarie's in fine form tonight; he's already on the verge of passing out, and the moon hasn't even risen yet.
Khorrek scratched his head. Then he noticed where he was sitting.
And that's my lucky bar stool too! I've never been accosted while sitting on that stool!
What am I going to do about this?

He sighed.
The sound was followed by footsteps as a man ran from the back room of the tavern.
"Welcome to the Gryphon's Nest what can I get y-Oh, it's you."
"Hello, Lennard!" Khorrek waved.
The tavern owner was not impressed. "What is it this time? More stolen goods?"
"Nothing quite so drastic."
Lennard tapped his foot. The sound summoned his dog.
"I'm just bored." The sentrin shrugged.
"Anything to drink?"
"How about beer?" Khorrek sniffed.
Even over all the alcohol in this place, Aarie reeks!
"I have to connect a new barrel to the tap; I ran dry last night. I'll be back in a minute." Lennard turned on his heel and
The dog whuffled at Khorrek's boots.
"Nice to see you again too. You're much better to hang around than a wyvern."

When Lennard rolled the new barrel out of the back storeroom, he saw Khorrek sniffing one of the mugs in front of Aarie, the persistent drunkard. Also, Moppie was dancing around the sentrin's stool.
"Made a new friend? I though you didn't like animals."
Khorrek laughed. "I'm only prejudiced against fire-breathers." He hefted the tankard that had been sitting in front of the drunk. "But why is this guy drinking mead? I thought..."
Lennard shrugged. "Today he had the money to get drunk quicker. That's what matters."
Khorrek peered into the mug, and looked over at Aarie, scrutinizing him.
"Two things are certain in life; one of them is death, the other is a sentrin being curious," Lennard muttered under his breath.
Khorrek knocked the dregs from the mug into his hand, spat into it, and pulled out a small flint and striker.
"What are you doing?"
"You'll see." Khorrek smiled as he carefully struck the flint above his cupped palm.
Khorrek poked the drunk next to him. "Hey, what do you think of this?" He held up a handful of fire.
Aarie's head bobbed up, and he and his stool fell over with a loud clatter.
He shoved himself up off the floor and ran out of the tavern, wide-eyed. There was a large squelchy splashing noise from outside.
Khorrek waggled his hand as the last few drops of mead were burned up. Lennard, wide-eyed, slid a mug of beer across the bar as Khorrek got up and poked his head out the door. The old drunk had fallen into the ditch next door, which was full of filth.
He closed the door and turned around. Lennard had gotten out from behind the bar and was down on his knees, scrubbing at the scuff marks from the stool.
"-How'd I do that?"
Lennard paused his scrubbing at the fresh marks on the floor and looked Khorrek in the eye. "Yeah."
"I have some friends in the show business. One of them juggles fire."
Lennard stood up. "Wow."
"It took her a while to find the right oils for the task, but before that she did some experimenting with alcohol. It's pretty flammable, you know." Khorrek sat down.
"Any chance I could meet this person? I mean, If I haven't already?"
Khorrek sighed. "It would help if I knew where she was." He hefted his full mug. "That's actually why I'm here."
Here is my entry for queenofeagles 777 Contest!
I'm going for #5:"'What kind of magic is that?' 'Alcohol.'"
This piece was mildly informed by this short story of hers. And this chapter of A State of Equilibrium, her novel in-the-works. Go check it out! The story begins here.
Want to actually hold some fire yourself? Here's how to do it with a really low chance of getting burned.
Want an up-close view of the pencil art that heads this submission? Here it is!
© 2017 - 2024 cecegrace
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kplop020's avatar
Wonderful work it's got a nice humor to it :D