Note from Author: This was my NaNoWriMo novel 2013. Keep in mind it is mostly unedited, so later on, the story may change slightly as I edit it.
One of the unspoken rules of the Pig Snout Bar was that sorcerers were not allowed inside it. That didn’t stop Jasper Redes from entering anyway. He wasn’t there for the ale. It dulled both magic and the brain (and Jasper used both of those frequently). No, he came for a different reason.
“What can I get for you over there?” The bars maid spoke with a heavy accent that was difficult to place.
Jasper glanced up quickly, startled by the sudden question. He hid behind the hood of his cloak, well aware that his face would be easy to recognize among these folk.
“Just a glass of water will do.”
“Are ya sure? We have some heavy ale over here; it’s been mighty popular amongst your kind recently.” Your kind. The bars maid thought he was a pirate!
“Oh, no, that won’t be necessary.”
“Well, if yar sure…”
The bars maid turned away, a doubtful frown on her face. Too late, Jasper recognized the danger. She may be just a commoner, but she wasn’t dumb. Pirates always shot for the heavier drinks. Not once at the bar did they ask for water. She was obviously suspicious of him, and his cloak didn’t help the cause.
The bars maid plopped the glass of clear liquid onto the counter in front of Jasper. The drink splashed about, spilling over the edges, but he nodded his appreciation anyway. Catching himself, he muttered under his breath, as he assumed a pirate would, “Took ya’ long enough.”
The bars maid narrowed her eyes; she had heard his remark. “I work for twelve hours a day, ya know,” she proclaimed hotly. “It’s only right for ma legs and arms to get a wee bit tired at times. I serve all day and never do I get even a ‘thank you’.”
“You call that an excuse?”
“I delivered it in a fine amount of time, if I do say so ma-self!”
“Yeah? I bet even I could get it done before you could on those lazy feet of yours!” Jasper had begun to get in the swing of the pirate mood.
“Well, you try it then! Go on, I dare ya!”
His thin smile wavered, and then morphed into a disappointed frown. Honestly, getting the commoner in a rage hadn’t been his intent. It was only a bit of solid acting.
Jasper opened his mouth to apologize, and then snapped it shut. Instead he let out a soft snort and grabbed the glass in front of him before the bars maid’s chubby fingers could take it back. Although the rim was dirty, and a clear paste of fresh saliva layered the entirety of it, he swigged it down in one gulp.
The bars maid, disgusted, snatched the glass and put it back under the fountain. This time murky brown ale spilled out of the spicket, and the glass was plopped in front of the pirate across the counter from Jasper. She went back to her business before Jasper could grab her arm. He had come to the bar to meet someone, not to drink or start a fight. And the person he was meeting had claimed that a bars maid would know where to find him.
When the bars maid came back around, he flicked out his fingers, and caught her wrist. Glaring, she turned to him. “So it’s you again. Care for another glass of water?” She said it loudly, for the whole bar to hear. The pirates across the counter snickered before returning to their chatter. Jasper wasn’t bothered by her remark, or the laughing. He kept his hold on her arm. Scowling, the bars maid yanked her arm back. “Let go of me!”
“Not before I ask you a question.”
Suspicious, the bar maid tried again to break free. When she couldn’t, she submitted. “Only one, and a short one at that,”
Jasper kept his voice hushed. It would mean trouble for the pirates to hear. Nervously, the bars maid flicked her eyes from side to side. Her jaw opened doubtfully, searching for words.
“Yar the sorcerer that ‘e warned me about, ain’t ya?” Her voice suddenly lowered in volume, now as soft as the wings of a butterfly flapping gently into a mild summer breeze.
“I am,” Jasper confirmed, matching the volume of her voice.
She hesitated for a moment, as if debating what to say. “He told me to bring you outside.” She said, hushed. “Follow me,”
Without a word in objection, Jasper followed.