Groupthink Repost: Excerpt from EoN

Sylas looked up at the sign hanging above the doors, The Raging Bull, “Interesting name for a tavern,” he chuckled to himself. Dekar ignored him and stepped through the swinging doors, Sylas caught them before they swung into him and promptly followed his brother into the building. They were immediately struck with a blast of heat and noise and the smell of roasted potatoes. Sylas had forgotten about his hunger, and the scent reminded him of the burning in his stomach.

The tavern was filled with people, all talking and laughing in good humour. A few people were laid out, stone-cold drunk in a corner near the fireplace. The brothers walked over to the bar to take a seat when they heard someone call their names in a cockney accent, “Sylas! Dekar! Is that really you?” They looked and saw a middle-aged man walking up to them. He had a full head of long, untamed, rose-coloured hair that curled around his cheeks. He had the belly of a drunkard and dark, stained teeth. The brothers exchanged glances of embarrassment.

“It is you! Dekar! How are you old friend!?” the fat man spread his arms out for a hug, but was met with a boot to the chest–Dekar’s.

“Who are you?” his voice had a hint of irritation.

The man coughed and regained his stance, albeit wobbly, “You don’t recognize me? I guess I can’t blame ya’. It’s me, Lit’l Goby.” The name seemed to strike a nerve with Dekar. Sylas looked to his brother.

“Do we know him?” Sylas didn’t recall the name.

“Goby? What happened to you? You’re. . . old. . . and fat.” Dekar eyed the fat man suspiciously.

“Of course I’m old, it’s been nearly thirty years since ye last saw me. I thought you two were dead.” he slurred his words and had to lean on a nearby chair to keep his balance.

“You know him? I don’t get it, Dekar who is he?”

“It’s lit’l Goby. Mrs. Russels boy.”

“You mean that little red-headed boy we found drunk in our house that one ti–oh. I guess that makes sense.” Sylas looked at that drunk man who stood in front of them. “We really were gone a long time, huh?”

“Looks that way.” Dekar grabbed Goby by the collar and set him down on a bar stool. “Sit down you drunk bastard.” Sylas called one of the barmaids over and asked for three glasses of water.

“Are you sure you don’t want to try some of our famous Red Ale? Your friend here really enjoyed it.” The barmaid smiled a flirty smile at Sylas and stepped in close to him.

“Yes, I’m sure. The water please.” Sylas gently pushed the barmaid off of him. She was an attractive young girl, with supple breasts and long, golden locks. She couldn’t have been more than fifteen years of age, and before, Sylas would have graciously accepted her advances, but the shock of seeing someone from their past in such a pathetic state held his mind elsewhere. The girl left with a sneer to fetch the water. Sylas turned back to his brother, “What are we going to do about this?”

“First, we’re going to sober him up. Then, we find out what happened while we were gone.”


In response to: Daily Prompt


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