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  • Ted

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    June 4, 2021 at 7:06 am
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    [Third pass. I got rid of the human sub-story to focus on the Thor/dragon/fae argument and the traveller from the non-entropic universe. Also combined the two fae into one, since they each only had a couple lines. That shortens it to about 550 words. Recommendations welcome.]

    Tonight, Marcy is serving a table with a Fae, a shapeshifted dragon, and Thor. She spins her hand in a circle to signal they want another round. I turn and start pouring some shots and pints, then stacking them on a tray for her. That’s a crew that’s going to get rowdy later, but they always pay for the damage. Usually, it’s the dragon who ends up paying. I suppose it’s the one with the hoard.

    I turn back as the door swings open. Out of the dark steps a vaguely humanoid character with bluish glow. “What would you like, friend? I got time by the glass or in a bottle.”

    The stranger stands, looking at me, apparently confused.

    “Look, it’s not that hard. This is the Time Inn. I got people trying to buy time or just borrow it. A desperate few even show up looking to sell it.”

    “You are please understanding,” he says, “From a non-entropic universe I am. This is my first experience with ‘time’. I will have two bottles.”

    “First time, so to speak.”

    “I am replying, ‘yes’. Sorry, did I already say that? This linearity is very difficult to keep track of.”

    “Tell you what. I’ll give you a glass of forwards and one of back. Drink this one here, then the second one should return you. More or less.”

    “Thank you.” He drains the first glass and pops like a blue bubble.

    “Now look here!” shouts Thor. I look over at the group. They’re getting loud. Immortals get kind of weird, if you pour enough years into them. “Of course, I know more about time than you lot. I’ve got a whole day named after me.”

    “On one planet, and a backwater at that,” replies the tall dark Fae. “No day named for a buffoon like you in Faery, that’s for sure.”

    Thor’s eyes narrow and he glances down at his hammer. “Not just me. My mother and father, as well. So have some respect.”

    “It’s unfortunate the humans don’t appreciate your brother the same way. There really ought to be a Loki’s-day,” says the dragon quietly. That’s going to do it.

    Thor’s chair slides backwards as he stands up. “You dare mention that scoundrel?”

    “I am Draco. I am written in the stars. I do not dare anything.” Fire crackles, forming wings behind his shoulders.

    Lightning sparks as Thor squints. I slide out from behind the bar, carrying my persuader. It’s a little something Hephaestus made for me, out of a branch from the first tree. It’s indestructible and handy for straightening out just about anyone.

    Marcy steps between them and pushes Thor back into his chair. “That’s enough. Be nice or be gone, I don’t care. I don’t need this crap from any of you.” They’re all quiet, stunned. She starts collecting the empty glasses and putting them on her tray. “Draco, you got gold for all this? Or are you having another round?”

    Before anyone speaks, the air flashes blue and something drops onto the table. The blue humanoid rolls off the edge of the table, sending the Fae scrambling.

    “Well, that was certainly something,” he says, while standing up. “I shall bring some friends to experience this in the future, or the past.” He’s catching on to this time thing pretty quickly.