Because of COVID-19, #MenageMonday has been on hiatus for a while. Still, a prompt was posted (without a word count constraint! WOO!) in a Facebook group I’m in, so here we are!
Prompt: “I’m just gonna warn you.”
Here’s to continuing #TeamRPG!
A few people near the door glance over at us, their eyes lingering when they notice Valmong’s horns. He either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care, leading the way through the tables and toward a secluded section in the back.
As soon as we sit, a woman with a tray walks up to the table, a fake smile plastered on her face. She focuses her attention on me.
“What can I get you?”
“Um…” I look to Valmong, unsure. I didn’t even realize we’d be eating.
“Two soups of the day and a glass of ale and…” He looked to me, a question in his voice.
The woman nods and walks away.
“I, um, I don’t have any way to pay.”
“I’m aware.” He leans back against the wall, eyes scanning the crowd behind me. It feels weird, having the entire tavern at my back. “You can pay me back.”
He says it like it doesn’t matter, but the state of his clothes and his need for work when we arrived in town says otherwise.
Our food comes moments later as the woman wordlessly places two bowls, two cups, and a small loaf of bread in front of us. Whatever the soup of the day is, it smells like chicken. I’m glad for the familiar scent, and that it’s not some weird animal that doesn’t exist back home. I wait to follow Valmong’s lead. Compared to his hands, the soup bowl is small, and he picks it up with one hand to drink it. Picking the bowl up with both my hands, I follow suit. It’s better than I expect, and I find myself drinking it greedily.
I take a pause, placing the hearty soup back down.
“Didn’t realize how hungry I was.” I take a sip of water. “Thank you for this. And for not just ditching me. I really appreciate it.”
“Did you really think I would just leave you in the forest?”
“I don’t know.” I shrug. “I don’t make a habit of relying on other people, to be honest.” Looking around the room, I take in all the faces, and the sheer number of people glancing nervously at us — mostly at Valmong.
“I suppose I understand.” I follow his eyes to a young man who keeps looking over his shoulder. I’m pretty sure he thinks we can’t tell he’s snooping, but he’s not exactly being sly about it. He’s with a couple of girls, and I wonder what they’re giggling about.
“I’m just gonna warn you, Valmong, I don’t take kindly to assholes. So if anyone comes up to us trying to cause trouble, I can’t be held responsible for how I’ll react.” Maybe it’s because it’s the only way I can pay him back right now, but I can’t help but feel a little protective of Valmong. So I shoot the kid a glare and yell over, “Can we help you? How ‘bout you mind your damn business?”
Embarrassment flashes across the kid’s eyes and his face goes red before he turns back toward the suddenly quiet girls.
Writing has been harder than usual as of late, but I feel like I might be getting back into the groove. Here’s hoping I can take this inkling of momentum and get this story done!
As always, think happy thoughts 🙂