~ The Rain ~ pg 4

The Fates were with them only to the edge of the town before droplets started to fall and wetted everyone. Civyl was sorry to see Fiora woken but at least she was able to provide a measure of relief, asking the wind to redirect most of the rain away from them and their fire brands as they looked for an inn that was still open.  Thankfully, Demil had been to Hailie before and knew his way around. He led them swiftly and surely through the dampening streets to a small hostel that looked welcoming on the outside. 

When Demil banged on the door for the third time, however, a hulking woman – bigger than Chink – opened it with a shout and scowled at them all. “White Flames of Tarous, who be at my door makin’ such a din as to raise the dead?!” Civyl was already backing up, ready to mount his horse again as the woman raised her lantern into the darkness. Her eyes grew huge in recognition and she growled even more severely, “Demil! You stinking villain!” the proprietor grabbed him by the scruff with one hulking hand and pulled him inside. 

Civyl swore and, against his better judgment, ran in after them. Demil looked as if he were being crushed by the big woman who had her arms wrapped around him in a death grip, his face locked against her bosom. Civyl unsheathed his sword and held it aloft. “Unhand him miss and we’ll be on our way,” he tried. “No need for any violence tonight.”

“Violence?” she gave him a calculated stare, not giving Demil an inch. “You‘re da one with da sword mister.” 

At least her tone had lightened. “Just let my friend go, and there will be no reason for me to use it.”

“And let dem Lynnson sisters have all da fun? Why should I, eh?” she shot back.

The questions gave Civyl pause. “Lynnson sisters?” he asked aloud. 

The woman finally released a red-faced Demil who took in a few big gulps of air as she peppered him with questions. “What kind of friend is dis? Who comes to your rescue with sword drawn but doesn’ know who da Lynnson sisters are, eh?”

“One who has my undying gratitude,” Demil stammered out, still a little breathless. He tried to walk away from her but she caught the scruff of his shirt again.

“An’ where do you think you’re going, eh?”

“We just need some rooms, Margaret,” Borris said, coming in behind him, and dropping a bag at the door. “You can put yer sword away,” he whispered as he passed. “She’s mostly harmless.” As he spoke, the woman returned Demil to her embrace muffling his protests. “…mostly,” Borris emphasized quietly as he strode towards her. “Come, come, dearie, we need some rooms.”

“You don’ have enough money,” she said matter-of-factly.

“What‘re yer rates?” Borris asked, looking puzzled.

But Margaret only stomped her foot. “You don’ have enough money,” she insisted. “Your money’s no good here!”

The End

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