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View Diary: Write On! Raisin steaks. (Harry Potter spoiler alert.) (81 comments)

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    The bar-room at the Startled Duck smelled of beer, stale cheese, and worse things.  Jasper made his way gingerly across the sawdust-covered floor, thinking he would clean his boots later.  He looked around the walls fearing to see someone hanging by their thumbs for not paying their bill.  The Startled Duck had a reputation.

    The innkeeper looked up from the dirty tankard he was polishing with a dirty rag. “Help ya?”

    Does he recognize me from last time?  

    “I'm looking for a woman.”  

    “Wish ya all kinds of luck with that,” said the innkeeper, and went back to his polishing.

    “A specific woman. She was supposed to meet me here. She's about six feet tall, and she has spiked blue hair and a strong southern Togwogmagog accent.” And she's a troll, but he will know that if he has seen Dulcinea.

    “Haven't seen her,” said the innkeeper. “Sorry.”  But his eyes shifted to the left toward a door behind the bar and Jasper knew the innkeeper was lying.  

    Jasper closed his eyes and uttered a little prayer to the goddess of fools such as he, mustered his courage for the sake of Hitch who was in love and could not bear to lose this woman, and leaped over the bar.

    He didn't take time to see if the door was locked.  He crashed into it with his shoulder.  Time was of the essence.  Seconds could count if the pirates knew he was coming and slit her throat.

    There was a scramble in the room as he entered behind the unhinged door.  Three hooded characters plunged out the window opposite the door.  

    In the corner tied to a chair was the elegant Dulcinea.  Jasper cut her free and then took the gag from her mouth.  "Hurry!" he said.  "Hitch is holding off the dragon while we run for the river."

    Both of them plunged out of the window since the innkeeper was coming through the door with a marlinspike in his hand instead of a dishcloth.

    As they ran, Dulcinea sobbed.  "I am so embarrassed.  I had no clue they were rotters.  I thought I could buy the map and leave safely despite what Hitch said."

    "No problem.  No need to be embarrassed.  Such things have happened to me, too."

    "But you were never captured by dwarves!" she said.  "I can't face Hitch and tell him how small they were."

    "Best hope that you can tell Hitch anything at all," Jasper said.  "He is going to have to be really clever to escape Malford and meet us as he promised."

    Jasper looked back before he dove into the river and all he could see was trees writhing in smoke behind the inn.

    "You go ahead," he said to Dulcinea.  "I am going back."

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    by cfk on Thu Jul 31, 2014 at 05:57:02 PM PDT

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