Latest Post: Drink For The Dead
Lukasz tapped his cup on the bar. ‘Again.’
Petra shuffled over with a bottle. He tried to ignore her disapproval and instead drummed his fingers. Tossing some coins on the bar, he reached for his drink.
‘You will get yourself in trouble, old friend.’ The barkeep sounded genuine, but Lukasz had trouble telling truth from lies recently.
‘You know, you are not very good at this business. The idea is to relieve your customers of their coppers.’
‘Why do you come here? Why do you drift around? Urdal is no place for you. It will spit out your remains and no one will be left to care.’
‘Perhaps I want to be chewed up.’ Lukasz looked up at her, but that was a mistake; he couldn’t stomach her sympathy. He swallowed back the liquor, trying to stay in the burn.
The drunk held the cup up, inspecting the dregs ‘You know, for a place like this, the grouts are fierce enough. Again.’
As Lukasz put the cup down, Petra placed her hand on his. ‘What ever happened to you?’
‘Are you going to serve me, innkeeper?’
‘You need no more. Be careful. Those men are more interested in your drinking than they should be.’
He followed her glance over to a table in the corner. A man with greasy straggles of hair was whispering to his shaven-headed companion. They made no effort to avert their gazes as they met his eyes. Lukasz grinned at them both.
‘I think you are right. I have had enough.’ He got to his feet and had to reach for the bar. ‘Woah. Can’t fall over yet.’
‘Let me help-’
‘Leave me be, Petra.’ Harsh, more so than he wished. ‘You have a bar to run.’ He didn’t look round, didn’t wish to see her concern. Instead, he glanced at the two cutthroats who had taken such interest in his drinking. They were standing now. ‘I’ll be fine, I have what I came for.’
Lukasz stumbled through the door into the warm night.
Anthologia is available here.
Books set in the world of Eald Cearo
© 2012 Lee Donoghue