Speedbarge

Leafsong had been to some unusual places in the three years she had been travelling at the side of Ashamal Shalah’aman; but the Speedbarge definitely ranked in the top three. They had arrived on the peculiar vessel earlier that evening, but only now had they managed to navigate their way to what passed for an “inn”. The haphazard collection of beds, garishly decorated with embroidered pineapples, was crammed at one end of an extensive tavern area, separated only by a flimsy curtain. Leafsong had paid the innkeeper, a scantily dressed woman by the name of Daisy, and taken charge in finding an unoccupied bed. Her mate had been struck dumb by the changes in the landscape, after ten thousand years of continuity. Even two hours after their arrival in the swamped Needles, he had remained grim-lipped and taciturn, a scowl deepening the lines on his forehead.

There came a guffaw from the other side of the curtain; the high pitched chortle of a gnome. It was accompanied by the clinking of glasses and a loud belch. Leafsong grimaced and rolled over beneath the pineapple-patterned blanket, bumping up against the metallic wall of her husband’s chest. She bared her teeth at him invisibly in the darkness.

“Why don’t you take your mail off?” she complained, untangling a curl from one of the metal links. He let out a dry, humourless laugh.

“In this brand of establishment? Are you mad?”

She shifted as far away as possible from him, her fingers curling over the edge of the bed. In the next bed over, the goblin occupant caught her eye and giggled, drunkenly crooning a bony green finger.

“Size ain’t everything, elf girl. Want to test the recoil factor of these bedsprings with me?”

Leafsong retreated back to her husband’s chest so rapidly that her head made a metallic clunk as it collided with the titanium mesh. Unhappily, she wrapped her arms around her belly and brooded.

“I miss the babies,” she whispered eventually, her cheek pressed into the grubby cotton pillow. Ashamal Shalah’aman exhaled, rubbing a finger over his greying beard. It went without question that he wished his children were with him, he loved them with a fervour previously saved for his Goddess. However, he didn’t understand this constant longing that his young wife had for their offspring; the hollowness that she complained of when the babies were further than a stone’s throw away. Ashamal knew that their children would be only a hindrance on such a long journey. With a grunt, he raised himself onto his elbows. His dislodged mate plunged into the pillow as he unbuckled the chestguard and carefully lifted it over his head. Settling back down, he wrapped his arm around her narrow shoulders and rested his chin on her scruffy head, keeping a watchful eye through the gauzy curtain.

Leafsong mumbled something into his neck, though he could not discern the words. She had lost some weight, he mused, fingering the prominent knobs of her spine. He had been so (understandably) preoccupied with the second Shattering and the reappearance of his father; that he had not been keeping the usual close eye on the mother of his children. He held her close and resolved to add extra oats to her porridge the next morning.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Aphel said,

    Hahaha. Pervert Goblin made me laugh.


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