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View Diary: Write On! Revision, *again*? (91 comments)

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    "They know us too well at the Startled Duck," Hitch said.  "Mouthy person will shut down if he spot us."

    "How do we get near him, then?" Jasper asked.  His face was filled with new lines and his mouth had learned to turn down.  

    "You dress up as lady and I stay out back," Hitch said.

    "Me?  A woman?  You think any disguise could possibly..."

    "You make change we can believe in or else," Hitch said.

    "I'd rather be a cantaloupe, then a pig in a poke going into a bar where who knows who will try to ogle me," Jasper said.

    "You get big mouth to ogle you and to tell you what he knows.  Get going.  Here be dress me paid rag lady for in last village.  Braid you hair.  Wash up."

    "How did you know we would need a dress?" Jasper asked.

    "Me see you not need shave for many days and me think of this plan.  Be right."

    Jasper hoped that the cloak would hide the fact that he had no charms.  He hoped he could sidle up to the man like Lady Meldred used to do in the Good Dragon Bar in Togwogmagog.  It was a good thing he had not cut his hair recently.  The two braids stuck out at the sides, but Hitch handed him two ribbons without smirking so there was that.

    Still his hands were a bit big for the lacy gloves and looked like stuffed plums and gods help him if his sleeves slid back because whatever hair he lacked on his chin he had on his arms.

    Hitch was not being patient.  He never was the goat who had to be sacrificed, was he?

    Jasper entered the bar and spotted the swaggering tale teller.  Nobody much was listening to him.

    "A jewel, I say, as big as a turkey platter, right near here," the man was saying.

    The bar tender nodded as he polished the top of the bar.  Jasper scooted up next to the man, but kept his back turned toward him and just peeked back at him over his shoulder.  His ribbon on the twig of a braid nearly poked the man's eye out.

    Oops.

    "Buy you one, baby?"

    Jasper gasped a little.  "No thank ye, sir.  I am just waiting for my dear mother.  I heard you say something about a jewel?"  

    "You are the jewel, my dear."

    Uh, oh.  Hitch, this is not working!

    "I don't believe you know where the jewel is," Jasper said in a simpering whisper.  

    "How bout we go upstairs and talk it over?"

    Hitch!  We need a diversion here!

    "I bet you think the jewel is easy to take away from a dragon," Jasper said.  The man pinched his bottom.  Jasper jumped.  He wanted to accidentally bring his boot down on the man's instep.  He danced away instead.  

    "I know that a party of elves could not find it with all their crystal balls," Jasper said.  "So how could you know where the jewel is?"

    "Black Devil Mountain, where the weak-kneed Wizards live, is where it is.  You dumb broads know nutting about true seekers.  I can see it glowing there in the lowest dungeon.  I could lead a party there and bring it back if the money was right."

    There was a crashing sound back of the kitchen and screams of "Help! Help!"

    The man who was brave enough to lead a party to face off against a dragon ran out the front door away from the noise.  Jasper sighed.  Things were itching everywhere.

    He ran for the stable and doffed his clothes as fast as he could and dragged his fingers through his freed hair.

    The first thing he saw as he left the stable was not Hitch, but the jewel braggart.  

    "You seen a pretty lil gal come runnin' in here?" the man asked.  His eyes squinted as he looked at Jasper.  

    "No, sir, I did not," Jasper said.  

    "Funny looking lil cantaloupe she was.  I think she liked me."

    "Well, try the Big Beard Inn just down the road.  Pretty little cantaloupes hang out there a lot, I heard."

    "Thanks, stranger."

    Jasper found Hitch laughing his back side off.  "Me wish me could paint ye," Hitch said.  "Bad tempered lil cantaloupe you be."

    If Jasper had had a frying pan and a ladder he would have happily brained Hitch that moment.  Instead he told him about the mountain dungeon.  That sobered the troll.

    "Bad business be there," Hitch said.  

    "That's how it always is with us," Jasper said.  "No change in our life style, as yet.  Only more pain and agony coming."

    They left the village under the eye of the dragon whose far vision was aimed constantly in their direction.  Yes, he feared these tireless villains who pursued him.  But fear only made him more clever at setting traps.

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    by cfk on Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 05:55:23 PM PST

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