The Notorious Cooper Kennit
A PiratePunk Story by parishsp
"Where are we going, Uncle?" Rascal was a bit frightened as they pushed their way through the well-trodden street. People were shouting, sloping, and sliding on the packed, muddy roads. The smell of sewage hovered in the heavy air. All of it was new to Rascal. He had never been to Penghwin before, let alone a...
"We're here, lad. Get to steppin'," Uncle said with a shove as he pushed Rascal through the door.
...a tavern? Rascal's eyes widened as he surveyed the scene around him. The smell of sweat and beer assaulted his nostrils; he balked. Uncle gave him another shove with his front arm; good thing, too because two midgets rolled, fighting, right into the place where he had just been standing. The bare, greasy skin of one contender slid right over Rascal's sandaled foot. The boy jumped back with a girly screech.
The whole scene would have been comical if not for the fact that the two were beating the living daylights out of each other, no end in sight.
Rascal felt his stomach turn.
Suddenly, the bare-chested dwarf and his elf-like companion toppled onto a nearby table where other tavern patrons were in the middle of non-gentlemen activities. Barechest mounted his foe, pulled out a knife, and stabbed him in the neck—right on the bid pile. That pissed one of the larger patrons off so much that he reached up, grabbing the victor around his collar, and landed a solid left hook square on the midget's jaw.
The dwarf spun, wobbled, and fell onto the table, covering the rest of the game with his sweaty, dirt-streaked body.
One of the card players slammed his hands down, "Well, shit!"
Rascal turned back towards the door, no way was he staying here.
Uncle grabbed his collar with one of his arms, laughing. "Where you going, boy? Not scared of a little rumble, are you?" He turned Rascal back inside, the boy trying to find words to answer, but managing only to stumble over his syllables as they made their way deeper into the dark hall.
"You brought me a stuttering one, Remaru? What good'll that do me?"
"You know me better than that, old man. Now, where's the ale?"
Rascal looked from one man to another before he was shoved in the direction of a wooden table. Uncle kicked the chair furthest from the door out, pointing. "Sit."
Rascal sat quickly. Everywhere he looked, he saw rough looking men sucking down foul-smelling ale and grabbing ladies who didn't look much like... ladies. He might have only turned eight the previous moon, but he knew these men weren't gentlemen, and therefore most likely up to no good. His mother—may she rest in peace—would have never approved of Uncle bringing him here.
The thought made him narrow his eyes at his father's brother, anger building up inside of him.
Uncle felt the boy's stare burning into his cheek, caught the look and challenged it with his own. Rascal balked, but only for a moment. He went at it a second time, giving it all he had.
The old man let out a loud laugh, making Rascal jump, breaking the stare. "He's got spirit, Remaru! I see it now." He said, hitting his old friend across the arm with his hand not occupied with drink. Ale sloshed out of his dirty mug. He moved in closer to the boy, looking him over. He spoke quietly, "Who knows, maybe we've got the next Ranger on our hands."
YOU ARE READING
Tevun-Krus #49 - Best of 2K17Science Fiction
Well, we here at Tevun-Krus have been doin' this sort of thing since 2014. What is "this sort of thing"? Best-Of issues, of course! And 2K17 is no different-- That's a lie! Best of 2K17 is different, in that this time we wanted* to bring you 38 bran...