One Night in Beylor – A short scene of Darius Tupper
Heavy footsteps scraped across the paving stones down the city alleyway and were quickly drowned out by the deluge of rain that had persisted throughout the night. I pressed my back against the concave side of a trash bin in the shadows, hoping that Lord Braxton’s men would pass me by and leave me in peace.
The footsteps slowed and I could hear labored breathing less than a dozen paces from where I was hiding. Using the darkness to my advantage, I risked a quick glance around the edge of the bin. Three large men in boiled leather with cudgels. Fuck.
“Come on out, Tupper! There’s no use hiding! We saw you come down here and there’s no way out.”
Ever so quietly I lashed my shield to my arm and made sure my flail was ready if it were needed.
“We’re giving you until the count of five, Tupper. If you don’t come out, then we’re going to get violent. One!”
I tried my best to fix my hair with my free hand. The rain does terrible things to it.
Why were these men even interested in finding me? It’s not like I was trying to steal Lord Braxton’s wife away from him. She was nothing to me. The way these noblemen treat me, you’d think I had stolen from them or something.
All I had done was plow his wife and daughter at the same time. Ha! Lady Braxton really was a screamer, though. And her daughter did the most peculiar thing with her tongue, it was as if—
What was I thinking about? No matter, it was time to toss the dice. I stepped from behind the bin and in to the moonlit alleyway.
“My good sirs, why do you hunt me so? Did you seek Chauntea’s blessings tonight?”
The burly man in front with the oft-broken nose spat. “Can it, Tupper. You know what you did. Lord Braxton wants you in his chambers right now.”
I affected my most winning smile, “I’m afraid I have no idea what you’re talking about, and I don’t have Lord Braxton on my schedule for tonight.”
“Your schedule,” the pimple-faced oaf beside him scoffed, “You’re a fucking wanderer! Everyone knows you don’t have no bloody schedule! Hell, you live in a bloody inn.”
“Wrong and wrong again,” I began, “I do keep a schedule, and I choose to stay at an inn because I appreciate being waited on.”
The maladjusted bull of a man in the back coughed and waved his hand in an almost child-like attempt to appear articulate, “Oh, aye, Mr. Big Priest here has a schedule, boys. Tell us priest, what’s on your bloody schedule that’s so Gods-damned important that you ain’t comin’ with us to see Lord Braxton?”
“You have no idea how bloody my schedule is about to become.”
“Was that a threat, Tupper?” The three laughed together, “Lord Braxton is gonna skin you alive for what you did to his wife and the Lady Marguerite. He didn’t say we couldn’t rough you up first, thou-urk!”
Pimples stumbled backwards two steps before toppling and splashed in a murky puddle with my thrown knife protruding from his still gaping mouth. Fucking chatty simpleton.
Bull and flat-nose rushed forward, roaring fury with their cudgels raised to strike. I ducked low and allowed bull’s momentum to roll him across my back. The suddenness of it caught him off guard and sent him sprawling behind me as I raised my shield to deflect flat-nose’s cudgel strike.
The cudgel impacted directly on my shield sending numbing shockwaves down my arm. I quickly struck out with the hilt of my flail as I drew it in the ensuing scuffle and nailed him straight in the nose, shattering it once again and knocking him out cold.
I wheeled on bull, just scrambling to his feet. The seething fire within me demanded violence. I bared my teeth in a rictus snarl as I shook the shield off of my half-numb arm, now gripping my flail in both hands.
“W-w-wait, Tupper! I know you’re mad, but we’re just doing our jobs is all! We don’t want to die for Lord Braxton, we’re real sorry, honest,” pleaded bull.
“Apology accepted,” bull visibly relaxed, “But you blasphemed!”
Bull’s eyes widened in horror as I stepped forward and brought my flail down on his skull with every ounce of strength and fury I could muster. Bone fragments, grey matter, blood, and tissue exploded in an egregious display of violent beauty.
“Yesssss…” a quiet rasp echoed through my subconscious as I splashed some rainwater on my flail to remove chunks of grey matter, and returned it to my belt loop.
I took a moment to finish off flat-nose and retrieve my knife before a merry tune I had heard at a tavern the other night popped into my head.
Fuck, that’s catchy.
My footsteps barely made a sound amongst the damp gloom of the night as I began the slow trek back out to the main street, whistling that catchy tune I had heard at the tavern.