A Short Story

The following is a short story I wrote for a Novel Writing class in December of 2009.

I've edited it a little, but overall it is basically unchanged from when I first completed the assignment.

The story is basically an event that took place in the younger years of Rim, the main character of Warrior's Fury.

To Acquire Lodging

A harsh wind lifted the powdery snow from the ground and blew it across the wide slopes of the Tydoren Mountains. Clouds were rolling in from the south, bringing a promise of more snow.
     Rimmegoan Dayor pulled his weather-cloak tighter around his barrel chest – tucking his hands under his arms to try and get some feeling back into them – and paused his weary trudging to look up at the path ahead. Through the puffing clouds of his breath, he could see the fire-lit windows of a small village only about a mile off, and from what he could see, it looked like the large building on the edge of the village was an inn.
     “Hah!” he panted to himself. “Civilization.”
     Picking up his pace, he arrived at the steps leading up to the inn around the same time tiny snowflakes began to float down from the gray sky.
     Opening the double-doors, Rim gave a satisfied chuckle at the warm air that blasted into his face. Without pausing in his long powerful strides, he slammed the doors shut behind him and walked straight up to the counter.
     An eight-foot tall Gandoran man with shoulder-length, silver hair stood behind the counter. Rim shrugged off his large kedom-skin bag and the haversack that was slung across his back, letting them drop to the floorboards at his feet with a dull ‘thud.’
     “Got any empty rooms?” He asked with a grin, thumping his heavy hands onto the counter. “By the Power, I'd even settle for a place on the floor by that hearth if you'll give me a decent meal.”
     “Do you have anything in the way of recompense?” The Gandoran's conceited tone and arrogant gaze instantly wiped the grin off of Rim's face.
     Gandoran were notorious for their arrogance and Racial discrimination. It wasn't so bad in the kingdom of Vintule, but this deep into the Melyund Gandoran country 'common travelers' were rare enough that the attitude was still expressed openly at times.
     Just my luck, Rim thought to himself as he patted at the small carrying pouch on his belt. When he found nothing there, he snatched up his haversack and slammed it on the counter in front of him. A whole month without a decently comfortable place to sleep and I get stuck with a Racist, conceited innkeeper. He yanked the thick, cloth sack open and rummaged around inside for anything that would be worth a night's lodging and a meal. But as he did so he remembered using the last of his hard currency in the previous inn he had visited.
     Fine time to remember that significant little detail, Rim, he berated himself.
     “Look,” he said to the innkeeper, placing his hands back on the counter. “I just spent the inset of winter getting through the Tydorens, all I want is a warm bed and some decent sustenance – even if it's just fresh bread. I'll stick around for a few days an. . . .”
     Rim trailed off as the Gandoran shook his head and leaned forward.
     “More time, means more food.” He stated coldly. “You don't have the currency or something to trade, Nanhew, you leave.”
     Rim's irritation instantly turned to anger and he made no attempt to hide it in his narrow-eyed gaze.
     Sure I got somethin' to trade, he thought as he stared into the lithe man's cold, sand-brown eyes. I'm pretty sure the pure klombortin dagger in my belt would get me lodging for the rest of the winter in this part of the continent. But at the moment I'm more inclined to stick the blade against your throat than use it as a bartering tool.
     Instead of getting himself into trouble that he didn't feel like dealing with at the moment, Rim turned his venomous gaze on the few others in the room. There were about twenty of them, they were all Gandoran, and they were all watching the exchange between him and the innkeeper.
     Most of them wore arrogant expressions that definitely put them on the innkeeper's side. The rest looked disappointed in the innkeeper's attitude, but disinclined to argue with him since this was his inn.
     Anger beginning to simmer into something that would cause him to strike the arrogant Gandoran in the jaw with his heavy, callused hand, Rim hauled his bags back over his shoulder and spun around.
     “All right, you t'hee'oukran hhalto, I'll get you your currency.” He spat as he stomped over to the double-doors and swung them wide open.
     “Keep a room clean for me!” He barked over his shoulder, jumping down onto the snow-covered path and leaving the doors wide open to let the frigid, twilight air rush into the building.
     He trudged down the path between the various structures that sat along the village’s main road, contemplating how he was going to pay the arrogant hhalto of an innkeeper.
     Looking ahead, he spotted an old Gandoran man and a boy struggling to load a large sack onto a ronig-drawn cart. There was a pile of similar bags on the ground in the doorway of the mill that the cart was in front of.
     Grunting, Rim trotted past the two Gandoran, swiftly heaved one of the eighty-pound sacks onto his shoulder, and walked over to toss it into the cart.
     He turned to the old man and found him arching an eyebrow. The expression looked to Rim like it was more one of curiosity as to Rim's sanity than anything else.
     “You pay me enough to get a room for the night and meal from your t'hee'oukran innkeeper, I'll load the whole thing.” Rim said, crossing his arms and sticking his chin out toward the inn as he spoke.
     The old Gandoran's incredibly expressive eyebrows knitted together for a moment before he shook his head and tapped his brow with three slim fingers.
     Rim sighed, realizing the old man did not speak the Common tongue of the Talthallan Races. Knowing of nothing else to do, he proceeded to gesture as he spoke slowly.
     “You,” he pointed at the old man. “Pay me,” he rubbed his right fingers together before tapping them against his left palm, then against his chest. “Enough for food,” he mimicked spooning soup out of a bowl with his hands. “And a bed for one night,” holding up one finger, Rim indicated the gradually darkening sky before placing his hands against his cheek and cocking his head to the side. “I'll load your cart.” He mimicked the motion of carrying the sack on his shoulder, before finally letting his hands fall back to his sides.
     The old man understood what he meant and was nodding absently to himself as he glanced down toward the inn. He then said something in Gandorani to the boy who had watched silently at his elbow through the whole exchange. The boy nodded and scrambled up into the cart.
     Rim arched an eyebrow as the old Gandoran gave him a curt nod and indicated for him to follow. He showed Rim how much of the pile of sacks was to go in the cart – which turned out to be a considerable amount – then sat down on a stool just outside the wide door.
     Well, you got what you asked for. Rim thought, shrugging off his bags.
     The sacks were heavy and he was soon sweating underneath his weather-cloak despite the cold. The Gandoran boy pulled the sacks to the front of the cart once Rim flung them in, while the old man sat and watched with arms crossed and an upraising gaze always on Rim.
     After about half an hour, Rim heaved the last sack up onto the pile in the back of the cart. He stood puffing clouds of white air into the lightly falling snow, his left arm resting on the end of the cart.
     Turning as the old Gandoran stepped up beside him, Rim watched the old man's expression as he looked over the pile of sacks. Giving a satisfied nod, he took Rim's right hand in his own and produced a small bag in the other. Tipping it over, the Gandoran poured a few nowlrik disks into Rim's callused palm.
     When there was enough in Rim's hand to pay for what he had asked, the old man paused a moment.
     Figures, Rim thought, before the Gandoran shook a few more of the disks out onto Rim’s open hand. Rim had to bring up his other hand to catch the extra night's-worth of disks.
     The old Gandoran then drew the pouch of currency closed and placed it in the carrying pouch on his waist. With one last, curt nod down at Rim, he lifted his chin and walked around to the front of the cart. Following suit with his elder, the Gandoran boy gave a similar nod and scrambled up onto the back of the cart.
     Rim helped him up and got a smile for his efforts as the boy turned around and sat on the pile of sacks. The boy waved as the ronigs at the front of the cart began to pull, and Rim returned the wave with a grin.
     Juggling his newly acquired nowlrik disks to get them in the pouch on his belt, Rim retrieved his bags and headed back up the path toward the inn. A sneer broke across his face as he dropped the required amount on the counter before the innkeeper and headed for the stairs. . .

Hope you found this entertaining. Let me know what you think. :)

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