View Single Post
Old 03-21-2004, 09:39 PM   #21
Tears of the Phoenix
Imladris's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Putting dimes in the jukebox baby.
Posts: 1,494
Imladris has just left Hobbiton.

Aeron scanned the inn’s common room before again fixing his stare upon the lad’s hat. Serving ladies, farmers, a bard, a drunken man, and many more. He fidgeted in his chair and again looked about him, hoping that none of his pursuers had found their way there.

A woman with brown hair glided towards him, and scrutinized him before saying, “Good morning young sir.”

He shifted in his chair, his eyes flicking from her face to his hands and back again, before he put them under the table and said, with a cocky grin and a wink, “A good day to you mi’lady.” He paused. He was not much good around women. Charming one girl with a golden coin was about the limit for him. Gwyllion, he thought briefly, was much better at it. He smiled at her. Go away please…I can’t steal the hat with you hovering about me. What if he should leave? His heart fluttered. But there were always more hats…maybe even better ones. But what good would a better one do if he couldn’t have that one? That one would be perfect. It wasn’t too ornate, it wasn’t too meager…it hid the face perfectly. “And what would my lady’s name be?” he asked.


“A pretty name. Mine is Faran,” he said, grinning.

“You’re clothes are very fine,” she said.

He glanced quickly at her, staring into her eyes. She arched an eyebrow at him, and a smile played about her lips. He opened his mouth to say something, but decided just to grin at her. A grin was very safe. It couldn’t betray you, like words could and often did. In fact, they seemed to take a morbid delight in doing so. “Thank you,” he said after a pause. It couldn’t get safer than that.

“May I get you something to drink or to eat?” she asked.

“No thank you,” he said, tilting his head at her.

With a smile, she skipped off, her braid swinging across her back. He sighed and decided he couldn’t wait for the lazy person to actually leave the Inn. His pursuers were much too close and clever.

Rising, he took a few confidant steps toward the table, and then sent himself sprawling towards the boy, knocking them both to the floor; the hat consequently, and conveniently, knocked off his head. “Oh, I-I-I am-m-m s-s-so s-s-sorry,” he said. “M-M-Me a-a-and m-m-y c-c-clumsiness.” He wriggled forward and grabbed the hat, bunching it up into a ball in his fist.

“Get off me,” the boy protested.

Aeron clambered to his feet and, head bowed, he folded his arms behind his back, like a boy about to receive a scolding.

“Where’s my hat?” the boy cried, groping under the tables. His eyes narrowed and, standing, he pointed his finger at Aeron, and shouted, “You!”

“M-m-m-mee?” he said, gesturing towards himself. “I-I-I w-w-w-wouldn’t t-t-tak-ke a-a-anybody’s hat! Are y-you c-calling me a thief?” he shouted.

“Well where else could it be?”

“I n-never n-noticed a h-hat.”

“Never noticed a hat? Are you going blind? Where is it?”

Aeron, seeing the boy’s hand clench into a white-knuckled fist, decided that the time of lies had come to an end. He darted through the ring of people that had formed and bolted for the door, jumping over stray chairs, and dodging under tables. Suddenly, a hand gripped his collar and jerked him against the inn’s wall. A knot burrowed in the small of his back.

A man, green eyes still dull with a lingering hang-over, stared at him, his mighty arms pinning him against the wall. Without a word, he plucked the hat from his hand and gave it back to the boy. “W-w-wait! T-t-that’s my h-hat!” he cried, wriggling under the man’s grasp.

“You can drop the false stutter,” the man said.

“O-o-only if y-y-you l-l-let m-me go.”
Imladris is offline