A Princess of Fae
by Bob Craton
A young girl who curses like a sailor, a drunken hero, an incompetent wizard, a thief on the lam, a cowardly ogre, and a boyish goblin unite to banish the narrator and author of the tale so they can do what they damn well please. Or at least what pleases the girl. She’s a bossy little bitch with a secret. Here's a sample:
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Appalled by the idiocy, she looked up in disgust at the strip of metal which gave the Iron Bar Tavern its name. It was attached above the door. Demonfolk could not step over cold iron but they had no trouble walking under it. She considered leaving but she’d gone to a lot of trouble to find this forsaken place, and her last informant had sworn that the man she sought spent much time here. Sighing, she pushed the door open and was assaulted by stench.
The boisterous crowd failed to notice her at first, but when she headed for the bar, a burly drunk with a particularly ugly face saw her.
“Hey, look! A girlie!” he shouted and suddenly every eye turned to her.
Her long loose robe and hood hid her figure and most of her face, but her petite size implied she was an underage girl rather than an adult woman. Not that it mattered to brutes such as the denizens of this tavern. The drunk stuck out a leg to block her passage.
She stopped and stared at him. Only the high level of alcohol in his blood kept it from freezing solid in the glare of her icy blue eyes. The crowd hushed as they watched. Without a word, she reached and picked up the heavy pewter mug the man was using. She extended her arm and held the mug beside the man’s ear then stood on one foot and pirouetted. At the end of its rotation, the mug hit the drunk square in the face. His nose disappeared, partly splattered sideways and partly pushed back into the space where a normal man’s brain would be. His eyes rolled back in his head and he fell to the floor. Three little yellow birds appeared and flew circles around his head, their twittering clearly audible.
When she walked to the bar, a strand of hair escaped from her hood. Shiny, golden, and with the artistically perfect amount of curl, it hung down to her waist.
“I’m looking for the famous warrior-hero Aretino Searle,” she told the bartender.
He pointed to an empty table and explained, “Not at the table, dearie. Under it.”
“Oh shit,” she muttered when she saw her man in a drunken stupor. “This can’t possibly be right.”
- Bob Craton, October 2012
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