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   Chapter 9 No.9

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5161

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:03


"Will that be all?" he asked insincerely, more interested in her money than her satisfaction.

"Oh, yes. Thank you, " she said.

"Five coppers for the food, two for the ale, " he said, holding out his hand.

Seven copper coins. That was a bit more than she'd expected. If she recalled correctly, there had been twenty or so coppers in the soldier's bag. Her first thought as Myranda reached for the bag was whether she would have enough for a room that night. That worry was pushed aside by the chilling realization that the bag of coins was not hanging from her belt, where she had left it. She patted desperately about, hoping to hear the jingle of coins somewhere, but the only sound she heard was the impatient drumming of the fingers of the man waiting to be paid. Anxiety burned at the back of her mind as she rustled first one side then the other of her tattered cloak, shaking any pockets she had on her person. She knew she'd had it when she had come in. There had been the distinct clink of coins when she sat down. Her mind raced. Where could they be? As her panic grew, the bartender's patience wore thin.

"Today, Missy. The other customers want service, " he said sternly.

"I--I just--" she stuttered, pulling her pack to her lap to search it.

When she pulled the bag in front of her, the sudden shift knocked the heavy bundled sword free. It clanged to the ground. Quickly she bent to retrieve it. She plucked it awkwardly from the floor and sat up, finding she had been joined. It was the tall, cloaked figure she had

ulling the drapes aside to shed light on the door, she tried her key.

Though the key clearly matched the lock, it refused to turn. She turned the worn piece of metal every which way, but in the frustratingly dark hall she could not see what the problem was. She glanced at a candle holder on the wall and grumbled. Its candle had burned beyond the point of usefulness long ago without being replaced. Eventually she managed to force the key into the appropriate position, turning it and gaining entrance to the room.

She closed the door behind her, mercifully finding it easier to lock than to unlock. It was a modest room, shrouded in near-complete darkness, but it may as well have been a palace. Sleeping in a half-collapsed tent next to a smoldering fire in the middle of a tundra had a way of improving one's appreciation of the lesser luxuries, such as walls that were thicker than her clothes. Without even lighting a lamp, she dropped her pack on one of the two chairs set at a small table on one side of the room.

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