Chapter One: Mizzy’s Tavern
Being sixteen has its perks, but it also has its setbacks. Now that I’m sixteen I’m able to live on my own, start a business and even join the Naval Nurses Union of the Calpergan Saints (as if I would ever do that), but it also means that I’m one year closer to dying, learning all the dynamics of being a woman and eventually getting married. Being married seems quite a bore. To me it’s just ok, let’s get together, have a few kids, watch them grow up and go through the cycle. There’s nothing to it that screams fun or interesting. I don’t know if I feel the way I do because I don’t understand much of anything of the sort, or if it’s just based off of observation. Also, I don’t even know where children come from, and I’m sixteen! There are people younger than me that know! There are so many things that I want to know, so many questions that have yet to be answered. That’s why I’ve decided to ask Mizzy. Yes, Mizzy; she knows everything.
Mizilda Mabanach, known Mizzy around Cheul, was a near middle-aged woman who was curvy, voluptuous and quite short. She had black curly hair, and had a mole above her upper lip. Her clothes were a bit revealing and showed much of her personality: provocative, sassy and fun.
She owned a tavern by the edge of the sea. Mizzy’s Tavern and Entertainment was what one would call the local watering hole of Cheul. It was where all the pirates, cutthroats and vagrants would drink ale, sing vulgar songs about women and play Ditzy Pig, a popular mariner’s card game, and darts. It was a place that my mother called, “a crude and dirty place owned by a crude and dirty woman.” I think the tavern is actually a nice establishment, and yes even though Mizzy is perverted and loose at times, I really do have a lot of respect for her. I admire her free and open personality.
As I walked down the cobbled street towards the tavern, I looked out towards the sea and observed all the floating lights of the boats in the nighttime. The lights danced romantically upon the water as if it were a stage fit for lovers. The combination seemed to beckon to me, “Maris, come join us. Come dance with us.” My body longs to be amidst the waves and the moonlight, but my heart knows that I could never be a part of that world. I sighed and continued down the street to the tavern.
Tonight the tavern was teeming with people. Since Aris was the busiest seaport day of the week, many fisherman and pirates were chortling and drinking ale. Mizzy was behind the bar entertaining one man with stories of her youth yet seducing him with her tone and eyes.
“I ‘member one time when I was a young lass, I useta watch my mum pick fruit from the tree behind our house, and one day there was a heavy wind a’blowin, and ‘er skirt lifted up ta show her bloomers. So as she was a’tryin ta fix it, and then she fell from the tree straight unta ‘er arse. Funniest thin’ I’ve ever saw.” As her and the man, who was drunk out of his mind and had his eyes fixed on her breasts, were laughing profusely I found a place at the bar and sat quietly. Even with me sitting there she still didn’t notice me. Maybe she was too busy flirting to care. I took an empty ale mug beside me and banged it hard onto the wood of the bar. Mizzy stopped and sashayed towards me.
“Say lassie, wha’ bringsya here? You’re a’ffly young ta be here, and it’s a’ffly late, don’t you think?” She asked me, her thick, foreign accent breezing through every word. I looked around the tavern to see all the ex-criminals Cheul had to offer, but I didn’t feel swayed nor intimidated. Yes it was rather late for me to be out, but I’m sixteen, and I live right down the street from here. It really shouldn’t be a problem.
“Mizzy, you of all people should know that nothing really fazes me, and you also know that I live right down the street from here.” She looked at me dead in the eye.
“What wind blowsya here? You’re young, young ‘nough ta be sleepin!” The man she was conversing with before began to laugh. I rolled my eyes.
“I’m sixteen now, Mizzy. I just turned it two moons ago.” Her eyes brightened.
“Ahh, ma lassie is a’growin up! Howzit feel ta be a woman?”
“I mean I like it, but there’s so many questions that I have that are still unanswered.” Mizzy leaned closer to me.
“Ahh, I sees. Le’me giv’out some ‘ore ale, and then I’ll talk ta you.” She then went off to serve more ale as I sat there amidst criminals. Since I was rather bored I figured I would go learn how to play Ditzy Pig while I’m here.