A night like any other

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
It was a night like any other at the Rusty Hook Tavern in Secrob...

Submitted: November 30, 2016

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Submitted: November 30, 2016



A night like any other



It was a night like any other at the Rusty Hook Tavern in Secrob. A local band was playing some cheerful tunes that everyone was too drunk to properly appreciate. A couple of gullible out of town guests were gambling away their life savings in a game of Hazard. And almost every night, an enigmatic figure would make some kind of dramatic entrance into the tavern, looking to hire some cheap mercenaries for an adventure. 

This night, the mysterious adventurer was James Collier and boy did he fit the profile. Each and every scar on his face seemed to tell a different story. He had a glass eye that glimmered in the room as he looked around for fresh blood. He slowly walked towards the middle of the tavern, cleared his voice with a loud cough and proceeded to give a small monologue: “I am about to embark on a transcendental journey that will forever change the life of everyone involved. And I want you to join me as we tear apart the fabric of our very own reality and blur the line between myth and reality.” You couldn’t get more dramatic than that, really. Unfortunately, his audience was seemingly unfazed. They had heard some kind of variation of the same speech before. “There’s a lot of gold involved” he added.  And with that, he regained some of their attention.

“If we do this, we want the money upfront.” One of the voices from the back said.

“I’m afraid I cannot do that. But I can assure you that the reward outweighs the risks by 100. Listen to me! You are in good hands. Do you wanna know how I lost my eye?”

The man in the back raised his eyebrows expressing a faint interest.

“Let’s just say protection should be a priority when dealing with dragons. You see, I am what people around these parts used to call a dragon hunter. You know, the ones that slay powerful winged beasts and then sell their bones to blacksmiths that are looking to make Dragonbone armor.”

“Bullshit. Dragons have been extinct for so long that some even doubt they ever existed.” A gent said from the back of the tavern.

“Well what if I told you they aren’t? What if I told you we can find a sea dragon tonight?”

“I’d say I’m tempted to take off that glass eye and look inside to see if there’s a brain in that head of yours.”

“OK. You’re doubtful. I get that. I get that. But when you think about it… do you really have anything better to do here? Worst case scenario, I’m wrong and you lose a night of drinking and… whatever those two are doing. “

“Worst case scenario, you’re wrong and you lose your other eye.”

“Right. Right. That sounds like a fair outcome. But best case scenario… Oh boy, let me tell you, you are going to become the richest man in all…”

The spirits in the tavern were getting more and more frantic as the people were shouting in excitement, smashing their mugs against the table. Through all the fuss, there was one peculiar, calm person, in the far end corner of the establishment, a young lady. She was eavesdropping on what James was bragging about, cunningly covering her actions.

“James Collier, I know that name, though I can’t place it in anywhere. Who are you?” she mumbled to herself.

“Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard it all before. I’m in. Do you have a ship?” shouted the men.

“Of course I have. I am the captain of the Moldrem Terror and its crew is under my command!”

“Ha! Let’s go, boys! We’ve got work to do.”

As she heard that name, her eyes sparkled under the black, silky hood that was covering her head. A sneaky smile could be seen on her face, under the hazy light of the tavern.

“Now I know you captain. James Collier, enforcer in the former royal navy of the Kingdom of Tregonia. You served the last king of the Glardodith Dynasty, King Lerakon the Cursed. You coward; as the last battles were taking place, when there was no longer any hope for the dynasty to survive, you flipped sides, deserted.” she whispered to herself.

“To the dock yard my new sailors!” shouted the captain as he kicked the tavern’s door open. Thunders started roaring as James set foot outside the establishment. He looked up to the sky, black clouds were gathering upon the town of Secrob. One of the newly recruited crew members approached the captain with a slight shiver in his voice, as the sky opened and rain started pouring down.

“Sir, are you sure it’s the right weather to set sail?” he asked as he shivered from the loud thunders.

“Nonsense, kid! This, what you see, it’s nothing!” he pointed towards the sky. “Let me tell you about that one time when the sea was trying to go against me!”

The man kept walking down the road, soaking wet, as he listened to Collier’s tale.

“Now, let me enlighten you on how it went down. Well, it was the most violent storm in the history of storms! In fact, it wasn’t even a storm; I remember it clearly now, it was a hurricane.” He shouted as he rubbed his chin.

“A hurri-what?” the man looked baffled at him.

“Oh my, the worst thing in the world! No one survives such a horror!” he sighed, looking over to the sea.

 While they continued down to the pier, with the man asking all kind of questions, looking amazed at his stories, the rain suddenly stopped. As that happened, him and the new recruits stopped and gazed upon the sky.

“What the fuck is this nonsense?! One of them shouted as he looked up in frustration.

“That, my fair companion, means only one thing!” Collier shouted back as they approached a fairly big ship.

“And what is that, captain?” another man asked curiously.

“A sea beast has awoken! A Dragon!” Collier grinned as he bit his lip.

“A dragon!” they shouted as they followed him towards the ship.

“Captain? What the fuck is this about?!” a voice was heard as a bearded man came down from the ship and headed in Collier’s direction.

“Yes, captain…me.” He hurried towards the man and wrapped the right arm around his shoulders.

“What the fuck are you up to?!” the stranger said as Collier rushed him away from the recruits.

“Well, there was a little bit of a problem at the tavern. You see, it might have slipped my mouth that I was, well, you know… a Captain of a specific ship. Let’s say, yours?” he gulped as he whispered into the captain’s ear.

“You did what?! I’m gonna fucking make you walk the plank, you maggot!” he reached for his sword, as he shouted at him.

“Calm down, let’s not get hasty here! Take this as an opportunity!” Collier moved his hand on the cap’s sword, pushing it back into its scabbard.

“Opportunity?! Speak your mind, but if I don’t like what comes out, I’ll carve your tongue out of your slobby mouth!” he grinned as he looked at him with interest.

“You got your gold for the voyage and I will make sure to double that if you help me out her, play along. We will split 50-50! What say you, cap?” he looked into the captain’s eyes with anticipation.

“60-40 and you get to keep your manly parts attached to your body! Now, what say you, “cap”? the captain stared back and grinned.

“Ah, sounds fair enough” Collier gulped as he turned around, facing his new recruits. “What are you looking at, sad flock?! Come on, the dragon won’t catch itself! Up the ship you, my ship!” he shouted at his men as he pointed to the deck. Him and the captain followed them on board and started giving orders. “Raise the sails! Cut that thingy down!” he shouted at the crew.

“What in the name of the high seas are you doing?!” the captain grabbed him by his arm.

“You know, acting like … you.” He gulped.

“Step…aside...or…I…will…kill…you!” he eyed Collier.

“Ahm, mates, this is my right hand! Mr. Folly Flinn of the ah…Sea Clan?” he looked towards the captain.

“Raise the anchor! Loosen the sails and hoist the colors high mates! Let’s catch us a dragon!” he shouted at his crew, making them cheer in joy.

The sea was unusually calm for that time of the year. And yet, after ten hours and no sea dragon in sight, the tranquility of it all only managed to elevate the tension in the air.  The crew was getting impatient. Their captain was constantly keeping eye contact with Collier, while menacingly playing with a spoon in his hand. One of the crew members tried to get the attention of the captain:

“Sir, you’re going to want to see this…”

“Not now, Bart. I think I’ve had it with the waiting around.”

Just when he had enough and decided to offer his crew some entertainment at the expense of poor Collier, the ship started to tremble.  Next thing you know, the sky became bright as day when a huge, majestic creature emerged from the sea. Its scales were made of glowing crystals and its eyes looked like rubies. This was it. This was the sea dragon. 

“Holy shit! “the captain exclaimed. 

“Sir, I really think this is something you should know.”

“What’s the matter with you? We’re in the middle of, you know, killing a fucking dragon. Can’t this wait? So, what’s the plan, Collier?” 

“That’s the thing, Sir! We found a body downstairs. We think it’s the real dragon hunter.”

“What? You weren’t supposed to go in there!” Collier said visibly panicked.

“What the fuck do you mean by the real drag— “were the captain’s last words as he was pierced by hundreds of pointy crystals from the dragon’s tail.

“Retreat! Retreat!” one of the crew members shouted in panic.

Collier tried to grab one of the crystals from the tail but was quickly thrown into the water. The ship was completely destroyed within seconds. The dragon then spread its wings and flew in anger towards the land. Collier managed to grab a plank from the ship and swam in the other direction. On the plank, he found one of his notes. It read: “The eye was one of the reminders for what you get when you gamble without money. There’s more to come if you don’t pay your debts!” Two hours later, he managed to reach the shore. 

  It was a night like any other at the Drunk Lemur Tavern. A local minstrel was singing about the destruction of Secrob. No one was paying attention as they were too busy drinking away their own problems. In the back of the room, a man was giving a vigorous monologue to an unimpressed crowd. “Listen to me…” he said. As he was beginning to lose his voice he brought his sleeve to his mouth to cough, revealing a hook in place of his hand. “… Do you wanna know how I lost my arm?” Collier grinned as he prepared his speech.

© Copyright 2019 Eluvian. All rights reserved.

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