Write One Page Per Day – 341/365 – December 7, 2018

A Bard’s Tale (Excerpt) 12/7/18

The smell of the stables wafted past him as he glanced in to see a draft horse larger than Willow eating lazily from an oat bucket. Just out front of the stable was a wagon that looked as though it had been through a rough few years. There were burns and scars cut into the wood. What little remained of the paint that had once covered the outside was flaking off each time a decent breeze caught the edge of another piece.

“It’s been through a lot,” a voice said from behind him. Neil turned to see a halfling leaning against a post. His sand-colored hair hung messily over his purple-colored eyes while his smile was easy and relaxed. “What’s your name?”

“Neil L’Grange, sir,” Neil said lowering his eyes to his feet.

“Neil, I’m Cade, Cade Tosscoble. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” the halfling said extending his hand to shake it.

Neil took his hand and noticed how small the creature truly was when he walked over to him. While he wasn’t tall by any means, the halfling stood barely up to the middle of his thigh. Neil’s eyes darted away quickly when Cade winked at him.

“It’s alright, I imagine you don’t see many of us halflings around here. The southeast corner of the kingdom is about as far as you can get from my village,” Cade mused.

“S-sorry,” Neil stuttered, “I need to speak with Credence.”

Neil looked up, and Cade was gone. The hay on the ground where he had been standing didn’t even appear to be disturbed. Neil shook his head, rubbed his eyes, and finished walking around the building, taking a wide enough berth that he didn’t get close to the wagon.

Neil pushed the door open and stepped inside as the wind picked up, nearly taking the heavy door from his hand. It opened into a simple dining area with a hearth burning merrily on the far left side of the building and a bar to the right. A rough-hewn banister lined the back wall leading up to the rooms on the second floor.

“Careful there,” Credence called from behind the bar, “what brings you around the front?”

The small woman stood on a raised floor behind the bar, giving the illusion that she was larger than she was to her customers. Her dark hair and playful eyes were occasionally mistaken for a gentle touch. She had been quick to demonstrate her skills of disabling a man after the inn had opened. Stories still circulated around the village of things that she could have done in her past.

“Sorry, Credence,” Neil said pushing the door shut. “Jack told me that you have guests. I didn’t know if I could be of service.”

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