Finer PointsMature

Kez Merefinge, fine weapons merchant and sole proprietor of Rusty's Finer Points, is presented with an opportunity to acquire wealth and power beyond his meager station.
What this opportunity is, however, and whether or not he takes it, is entirely up to you.

Balmy morning sun gradually transitioned into a sweltering noon hour, the furious orb above promising no respite from the thick midsummer heat. A flock of gulls swooped and swirled overhead, squawking and screeching at the mere hint of a possibility of fresh fish beneath the docks below. The minutiae of hundreds of shipyard workers, dockhands, half-drunk sailors, and the ever present gaggle of unpleasant-looking (yet inexpensive) whores minding their morning duties dulled the mind of our onlooker, his eyelids drooping ever-so-slightly as the thought of a particularly pleasant mid-day nap overtook his senses.

Kez Merefinge of Rusty's Finer Points let his pointed chin rest heavily on upturned palm, the elbow of one lean arm crooked comfortably on the oaken windowsill, taking in the final moments of yet another morning spent doing absolutely nothing. A wad of chewing tobacco packed tightly under his lower lip, juices flowing slowly as Kez's gaze meandered across his vantage point. Over a dozen ships of a multitude of girths and shapes sat berthed across the docks, moored beside a number of jutting piers of varying sizes. One particularly large vessel caught his attention, a massive three-masted goliath drenched in a bustle of activity from the pier all the way up into its rigging.

Sometimes, Kez pondered, shipping off into the sunset seemed like an excellent getaway from the drudgery of sales. Other times, he quickly remonstrated himself, it seemed like a great way to get yourself gutted or drowned, too. Seamen were fickle sorts, and he'd always had uncanny luck at cards and dice. Better not to tempt fate.

At that moment, a heavy knock sounded at the shop's front door, followed quickly by a heaving open of the heavy maple slab, clattering loudly against the far wall as a lightly armored man entered. Two sabers hung imprecisely over the entrance threatened to fall directly on his head during the commotion. Kez winced, remembering his vow to himself days earlier to tighten their setting. The sabers settled after a moment and he sighed briefly, resuming chewing in what could only be construed as a slightly bovine manner.

The man glanced quickly about the shop, his mouth a stern, compressed line adorning the sharply defined contours of his face. One look was enough for Kez to smell trouble; his client was well-muscled, in a lean sort of way, and the anger etched into his weathered visage was all-too-prominent. A brief turn of the head and he hocked the cud into the spittoon positioned stealthily beside his perch. He faced his customer, one languid hand tipping the brim of his cap towards the invading presence.

"How may I be of assistance to you, fine sir?"

The man glared at him for a moment, then reached a gloved hand to his side momentarily, grimacing slightly as he lifted his hand away with a slight sucking sound from what Kez only now noticed was some sort of open wound. The man lifted his hand into the stream of sunlight coming into through the window, allowing Kez to clearly see the sheen of blood coating the weathered black leather of his gloves.

The man scowled at him. "This," he said with emphasis, "is your fault."

The End

11 comments about this story Feed