The Barbed Wyvern 2016

Note: This story still requires a lot of editing and revising.

Faintly, I hear the large clock in the center of the square chime seven o’ clock. Outside, the sun is barely peeking over the rooftops of the city. I groan inwardly as I make my way over to the bar. Pushing the wooden swinging door open I trudge over to the back room, and hang my apron on one of the pegs. Stepping out of the back room, I gaze out across the nearly empty tavern. Reluctantly, I tear my gaze away and grab one of the large mugs from the cupboard; reaching under the counter to fill it up with beer. I pull the mug away, foam spilling over the edges.

“Heading in yet Ivori?” someone from behind me says. I’m too tired to even jump. Turning around, I see Jarrod, the owner of the Barbed Wyvern tavern.

“Yes,” I sigh. “I’m going to try and get some shut eye.” I doubt that will happen though.

“That un’s larger than usual. “Jarrod notes, rubbing his carelessly trimmed beard.

“He complained an awful lot about the size of the one I brought up yesterday.” I push away the memories of last night, trying  to ignore the aching bruises hiding under my sleeves.

“I won’t hold ya any longer then. You look like you could use that shut eye.” Jarrod says, shooing me out from behind the counter. Slowly, I make my way across the room.

“Why don’t you come keep me company maidy?” one of the drunkards left over from last night calls. Ignoring him, I keep walking. He reaches out and grabs my writs. Clenching my teeth against the pain, I whirl on him.

“Let go of me.”  I growl. I am in no mood to play games.

“Don’t bite my head off.” the man chuckles, releasing my wrist. I move on, pretending nothing happened. I’m good at that.

Carefully, I climb the stairs to the apartment above the tavern, pausing on the landing at the top. My hand hovers above the doorknob. I turn around and hurry down the stairs. I peek out across the room, stalling.

“Need anything?” Jarrod calls from across the room. I shake my head.

“Just making sure I didn’t forget anything.” he nods and chuckles softly to himself. It’s a stupid excuse considering I live just upstairs. I turn back to the dark hallway and climb the stairs. Again, I pause at the door.

Finally, I push open the heavy wooden door as silently as possible. Holding my breath I peek around the apartment. Chasin sleeps soundly on the sofa and I exhale in relief. He‘s not up yet. I tiptoe to the table next to his door, and carefully set the mug of beer down. As I tiptoe back towards the sofa, I snag one of the jackets from off the hooks. I creep up beside the sofa, and look at Chasin’s sleeping face. Finally, I settle down on the floor next to my eight year old brother; curling up and using the weathered jacket asa blanket. Shivering, I close my eyes and wait for sleep to come. I tug my sleeve back, looking at the fresh bruises. As usual, I try not to think about how I got them. Thinking about it will only bring worse memories to the surface. It will bring them out of the locked chest hidden in he depths of my mind; the chest I vowed never to open again. Eventually I fall asleep.

I jolt awake as his foot slams into stomach.

“Where is it?” he growls, kicking me again.

“I left it on the table, like usual.” I gasp, curling up in a ball. My father lumbers over, takes a big swig, and disappears into his “study”. Uncurling, I glance over at Chasin. The rise and fall of his chest is still slow and steady. Gingerly, I stand up using the arm of the couch to support me. Creeping over to the window, I peek out into the square at the large four-sided clock. The clock reads 7:47 and the square is empty except for a few stragglers heading home either from the night shifts, or a night of drinking.

As I watch, the clock changes to 7:48.

“Ivori?” says a sleepy voice behind me. I turn around and see Chasin’s sleepy eyes peering at me over the arm of the couch. “Was Papa in here?” He asks sitting up and rubbing his eyes.

“Yes, but not anymore. He went back into his room.” I walk behind the couch and climb over, settling down beside Chasin.

“Can I go back to sleep?” he asks, pulling his blanket tighter around his shoulders.

“I’m pretty sure you know the answer to that.” I say standing up and ruffling his blond hair. “Come on.” I hang my jacket/blanket on the hooks by the door, tossing Chasin his jacket. “Get up. We’ve got to go.”



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