Night at the Pub

"Come on." He pulled a coat off the coat stand. He looked it over before handing it to Kat.

"Thanks." Kat said slipping into the coat, she pulled the hood over her head.

Toby knocked the hood off her head immediately.

"Hey." Kat protested.

"Hoods are only worn by people who don't want to be seen which inevitably leads people to unabashed staring. We don't want that." Toby said stepping out of the house. The heels of his shoes made a clapping noise against the cobblestone of the alley. Toby led the way through the tunnels. Kat followed behind him trying to keep track but she got lost quickly. She resolved to simply not lose track of Toby.

At last the tunnels twisted for the last time and after the bend they could see the welcoming burnt orange light of the village square.

Toby titled his top had down making it hard to see his eyes.

"This is how you disappear." He said, brushing Kat's hair over her left shoulder. He put his arm over her shoulder. "You blend in."

He lead Kat out into the village square. The grounds were lit by several torches on tall posts circling the outskirts of the square.  The lights were out in many of the shops and homes. However, the shops with their lights still visible in their windows drew the little crowds that could be found wandering around.

Most of the open business were places of leisure, restaurants, parlors for smoking and cards, and of course the pub. As they passed each open venue light and loud chattering spilled out of the opened door and onto the streets mingled with laughter. This atmosphere was in stark contrast to the one which had greeted Kat upon her arrival.

No one spared Kat and Toby a second glance if they even bothered to look at them once or acknowledge their existence as they traveled towards the pub.

The pub was by far the most rowdy stop in that cluttered section of the village. It was a two story building constructed from faded and chipped bricks. It had several balconies and windows  each offering a glimpse into the crowded pub. There were tables outside the pub for patrons use but even so most of the occupants were standing, many had spilled out onto the street and clustered by the door talking loudly. 

            Toby and Kat squeezed through the crowd and through the double doors, walking straight into a dense seemingly immoveable mass barely distinguishable through the hazy smoke that filled the room. The air stanch of alcohol and bad hygiene.

Toby pushed his way through the sea of bodies. Kat followed closely behind before the crowd could shallow him from sight.

A husky man stood behind the bar, whipping sweat from his pudgy face as he joked with a customer. When he saw Toby his face lit up.

"Hey Toby! You here for some action tonight?" He asked, without Toby requesting anything he pulled out a bottled of wine and handed it over to Toby.

Kat lingered distantly behind Toby pretending not to be with him.

"Not tonight." Toby said, "I'll be needing two glasses."

"Oh." The bartender chuckled, sliding two glasses to Toby. "Hint taken."

Toby laughed, accepting the glasses.

"I'll never understand your thought process." He turned away from the bar and motioned from Kat to follow him as he headed towards the stairs.

"You work here?" Kat asked.

"Sort of...some nights I fight."

Kat nodded, remembering the first time she'd met him he had had a bandage. For some reason she couldn't imagine Toby fighting anyone.

 They reached the second floor landing. Toby led Kat down a thin corridor that let out onto a another set of stairs.

“Where are we going?” Kat asked, as they started up those stairs.

“The roof.” Toby said. “There are hardly any people up there so we don’t have to worry about anyone noticing you.” He said. As they reached the door at the top of the stairs, the reason for the vacancy became obvious. The door was locked with a clear do not enter sign nailed to it. No one was allowed on to the roof. Toby felt around the top of the door and brought down a key he unlocked the door and opened it with a flourish.

"Ladies first." He said. Kat stepped out onto the roof.

“Come on, this way.” He led her across the roof He lead her across flattest part of the roof to the edge from which they had a magnificent vantage point of Devil’s Helmet. With their backs to the village square they could see the pulsing light of the screaming volcano in the distance. Thrown into sharp relief by the light of the volcano were the looming towers of a castle situated some few miles from the eruption. 

The End

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