After several failures and much swearing, Calponia managed to roll the unconscious Mack onto her back. She immediately regretted this as the man had the weight and smell of a moose, one that drowned in a distillery vat. Still, he had saved her butt in several ways. The least she could do was help him to his room.
Calponia turtled her way up the stairs in slow painful steps, moose Mack snoring loudly on her back. She nearly collapsed when she reached the landing, realizing she had no idea where to take him now.
The hall stretched impossibly far, filled with identical closed door, a scene straight out of the Shining. Thankfully no blood came pouring down the walls but the prospect of peeking in every room to find Mack's was a disheartening one.
"Well, which one would you sleep in," she grumbled. In answer, a door swung open down a short off shoot hallway. That was the benefit of a sentient inn for you. She slowly carried him the remainder of the way, her legs wobbling from the effort. It was too dark to see much other than the unmade bed she flopped his carcass into. Calponia did take the time to hold her breath and remove his shoes. She pulled a thin comforter over him, whispering her thanks in his ear before she trudged, exhausted, to her own room.
Bright daylight and sunflowers greeted her, slightly disconcerting since it was late at night. She warily eyed the ceiling. Well, if Mack did it, she shouldn't feel silly for doing the same.
"Hellooo? Sorry to bother you, but I would like to go to bed." To her delight the sunlight faded to blue moonlight. Calponia stripped to her camisole and panties, crawling under the plush cream comforter in the room's full sized bed. She was almost asleep when she roused herself enough to whisper a "thank you" towards the ceiling.
A raucous chiming woke her. She flailed and tumbled from the bed, landing in a tangle of blankets on the hardwood floor. Her room was sunny again and the chimes echoed through the whole tavern.
"That's one hell of a wake up call," Calponia muttered, struggling to free herself from the twisted bed sheets. She washed up, cringing as she shoved yesterday's clothes on. She would have to do something about that soon.
Mack's door remained closed as she made her way downstairs. The ever present Munch roused as she entered the room, peering up at her with bloodshot eyes.
"Evening already?" The Munch burbled, releasing a bubbly gaseous emission that made her eyes water when she got too close.
"No, I stayed the night," she said. She hesitated, wondering what Mack did for the squat little man. There was never a time she'd been here that the Munch wasn't. "Uh, can I get you anything?"
He nodded. "Fetch me gruel, lass," he said.
Calponia stared at him. After a long stretch of silence he peered up at her through his beady little eyes, a slight scowl appearing through his grizzled whiskers. "Are ye daft, lass, the gruel, the gruel in the kitchen," he said, jerking his head toward the back, behind the bar.
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***Winner of the Wattys 2016 for Hidden Gems*** The Edgewise exists everywhere and nowhere. A sanctuary to all realms, should you find the door. Managed by one Macklemore Edgewise, proprietor, guardian of the between places, and barman of mystery...