The less Traveled Road

By @Trumbull-kati

The less Traveled Road

By @Trumbull-kati

The Less Traveled Road Tavern is a place of escape where most rugged people tend to find themselves at some point or another. Whether it's to drink away their sorrows or have a pleasurable night, everyone goes there for a reason, even Adelin Raele Summerhill. But, Addie is there for entirely different reasons than the normal person. But, what exactly is that? This story was written for The End of Summer Writing Contest.

Chapter 1

   Friday nights at the The Less Traveled Road Tavern, were what someone might expect it to be. It was boisterous, and loud, filled with screaming people trying to have conversations over the sound of the less than savory music. Addie had always found that noise a comfort in her less than normal and hectic life. Whether or not she was on the road or at home, she could always count on a loud tavern to welcome her with welcome arms.

She was about to take a sip of a glass of warm Meade in front of her when a man, who seemed too drunk to talk to anyone, approached her, “I wouldn’t drink that ale if I were you Lassy.” He smiled a toothless grin. His stench wafted towards her and made the girl wiggle her nose.

She set the drink down and let out an exhale of breath that could have been heard all over the kingdom. “Pray, tell me why not before I cut your throat for interrupting my wonderful quiet…Sir?”

The man looked all around them with a raised eyebrow. “If your lookin’ for somewhere peaceful Lassy then I do suggest you take to another place.”

Addie looked at the man, her face showed only what she wanted him to see, a passive and expressionless woman who would not be fooled by the ramblings of a drunk. She kept her eyes level to his- an undaunted horizon- few could meet that gaze. “Spit out whatever it is you have to say before I lose my patience with you, Sir…” She waited. “Are you going speak or aren’t you?”

“No needs for ya’ to be so cruel ma’am. I only thought you’d want to know before you take a sip of that Meade that it’s been poisoned.”

Now Addie was interested. She had been waiting for so long for something interesting to happen, besides the usual boozer emptying his stomach in a kaleidoscope of colors she never knew existed. Her thoughts ebbed and swirled all around her.

She picked up a knife on the table and put the end into the aged wood, twirling it with her pointer finger. “And do tell me how you came to know this, Sir. Perhaps you have been watching me for a while, No?” She slurred her words slowly.

The man laughed, short and to the point. He began to stare at the floor, while combing his hand through his hair. “You caught that, huh? It seems not much escapes ya’ notice, now does it.”

She laughed, but there was no smile on her face. “Do you think much does?”

“I’m surprised ya’ didn’t know it was poisoned ma’am.”

She turned her stool to face him, to really analyze him. It was something that she found almost like a game. She would guess people’s life stories. At first, when she was younger and didn’t have many joys to entertain herself with, she was horrid at it and offended people on many occasions. But, after years of practice and a need to survive, it became instinct. It was something she had a strange pride over, though she wasn’t sure why. 

She smirked at the man in front of her. He was a clueless bystander, a drunkard who had probably once had a family, but lost them at some point or another due to his own arrogance. You could always find someone like that in a tavern, they seemed to go hand in hand. 

“Sir, you are naive to think that I was not aware that I was being poisoned. Perhaps I actually had a death wish and was going to spend my last hours in the kind company of this tankard of Ale to drink away my sorrows.”

“Ya’ Jokin’? Aren’t ya’?” His face grew grim, and his brows furrowed.

“Am I?” The two people were strangely quiet while Addie continued to move the knife on the table with her finger.

He laughed slowly. “Well…” He laughed again, “I guess if ya’ have a death wish, I can’t stop ya’.”

She was silent. She watched the man retreat from her hastily an when he looked back at her, he shaking his head. Addie picked up her cup and as soon as she took a sip. She realized it was poisoned. 

She put the cup back down and took the knife out from the bar. She attached it to her belt where other weapons of various sizes claimed their space.

Adelin Raele Summerhill’s plan had worked and she couldn’t help it when a satisfied smile escaped her lips.

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