The All Nighter that Never Happened

I set everything up in the cabin and started writing about some forgotten items in The Will ‘O the Wisp. I was going to have my main character, Patty, show up but she has school tomorrow.

I’d just gotten started when there was a knock at the door. Three loud, well spaced knocks.

I ran out to the lobby and met Roald, the dwarf. I always got a kick out of him. He has one of those engaging personalities, and an accent that’s just charming. He says things like vell instead of well, and yust instead of just. He’s kind of an outsider to his group, being from a different tribe. He takes it all in stride and is a worthy dwarf if ever there was one.

“What are you doing here this late at night?” I asked.

“Miss Lisa, she sends us a letter. You want to see Cobby tomorrow. He’s busy making some stuff, but I come tonight, by golly.” He patted his chest and stood up straight.

“Please come in, and take off your coat. You can put your snowshoes and weapons in the corner.”

He fluffed the snow and ice off his blond beard and said, “Is there some place I can tie up my cows? I been traveling a couple days now. They need to take their packs off and get some rest.”

“Not out there. There’s dire wolves and cave lions left over from an earlier story. They can go in the basement corral. Lead them down the slope and I’ll have Lisa open the door.”

I pushed the pager and called Lisa, “We’ve got company. Can you open the garage door downstairs? We need to put Roald’s cows in the corral.”

“Roald’s here? That’s wonderful. I’ll meet you down there,” she said.

We met downstairs and Lisa spread some straw in the stalls, while I threw some hay out for the tiny cows.” Good thing the basement daylights out the far side so we could shovel it later.

Once we were situated, Roald carried a wooden box upstairs. “Athene and I got you something. Miss Lisa said you wanted a fancy drinking horn, and we gots plenty of those. There’s this guy who does great silver work, and we got lots of horns lying around from all that wild beef. So we had him make you a set.”

Lisa said, “That’s so sweet of you. Then we want to hear all about your wedding.”

“Yeah, by golly, me and Athene took the oath.” He sat the box on my desk and opened the hinged lid. The drinking horns were spectacular with a one inch high belled silver rim to drink across. They were a matched set with one horn being more brown and one being more grey in color. He sat one on the table and it moved.

It had a silver chest and tail that looked like a little dragon. Two dragon talons kept it upright while it stretched like a cat, then scurried across my desk. The other one crawled out under it’s own power and joined its friend, twitching the little arrowhead shaped tail tip back and forth.

“Um, Roald, why are they moving around?”

“That guy’s been making them for everybody. That oracle girl ordered a set too, but we have a big mistake. She make something magic with lots of sparks and stuff, afore we figured out she got the wrong ones. But here’s yours, good as new.” He placed his hands on his hip and raised his head with pride.

“But they’re running around my desk.”

Lisa said, “Well I think they’re adorable.” She picked one up and hugged it to her chest. It leaned into her and snuggled.

“Thanks, I think. So Cobby will be here tomorrow?”

“Yeah, he left the day after me. Miss Lisa said you have tomorrow to edit our story, so he’s a coming.”

The horn on the desk lowered it’s opening and swelled up. It gave off a note like a French horn in a culvert.

I took a rapid step back. “What the hell was that?”

“Just you wait, by golly.”

The horn in Lisa’s arms gave off a note that made the other one pale in comparison. It was more like a tuba in a domed stadium. At least they harmonized, it could have been worse.

“So how do you shut them up?” I asked. “I need to get some work done around here.”

“They don’t shut up sometimes. The only thing we can figure is it means beer time. Beer always calms them down.”

“I have one bottle of porter in the fridge. Is that enough?”

“Oh no you don’t,” Roald said. “I brought a little keg of good dwarven beer. It’s our first batch too.” He hustled back downstairs.

Once the horns were filled, they strutted around like little roosters. Roald grabbed the brown one and said, “Skoal.”

I grabbed the grey one and clunked it against his horn. It was the best beer I’d ever had. It was thick and dark, and clung to my mustache. It tasted like hot summer days, and toasted grain.

“Miss Lisa, do you have a mug or something?”

“No thanks, Roald. I don’t have to eat or drink. I’m a robot,” she said. “I can, if it makes you more comfortable.”

“Oh yeah, I remember now.” He flopped down on my couch and sat his horn on the coffee table.

I walked behind my desk and powered off my Mac, then flopped into my recliner. I looked at the grey horn on the desk and whistled, “Hey you. Over here.” The horn jumped off the desk and scurried across the floor. It stood up straight so I could grab it.

I drained my horn and sat it on the table so it could walk around with its friend. I muttered to myself, “I was perfectly happy with science fiction. I just wanted to challenge myself. Write a fantasy, how bad can it get? Then it sticks in your head and interrupts the next book.”

Roald grabbed the little keg and filled his horn once more. Mine belched loudly, and ran over for a refill too. I planned for an all nighter, and I was in for one. Just not the kind I had planned.


Filed under Muse, Writing

3 responses to “The All Nighter that Never Happened

  1. Cute story. Sounds like things could get noisy. Fantasy worlds seem easier writing to me than writing about real life, because it is ALL made up…get into a jam, just call on a little magic…but my friend, Charles Yallowitz, at Legends of Windemere has a world that has its own rules and they have to be written too. He also writes in present tense, which is quite difficult.


    • The cabin is where I get my writing done. There are some unique characters that stop by, along with a few that popped up for the blog. This is what happens when you need to edit the old story, but want to work on the new story.

      Glad you liked it.


  2. Pingback: This is the End…of the Month | Chris Musgrave - Writer in Training

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