A good writer finds inspiration anywhere. This is an experiment with the fantasy alter ego I was perscribed by this meme. I am a Beastmaster with an ebony dagger and a dashing rogue. I’m down with the dagger and the mastery of beasts but a rogue seems like more trouble than he’s worth.
Each table at The Silver Dragon Cafe filled up approximately four minutes after twelve o’clock. The line stretched out the door with several untrustworthy characters leaning too far over shoulders and meandering passed their designated place in line. No one tried to cut in front of her though. She would have been close to six feet, if she had stood up straight. Her matted brown hair stuck around huge black headphones. The dulet screams of Rage Against The Machine could be heard within four feet of the big black circles. A raven sat on her shoulder, staining her coat with black feathers and unfortunate splots of white. The Dire Wolf at her side, it’s proud grey white cheek rested against her thigh. It watched the other patrons with bored ice blue eyes.
The Barista took her in with a blink of black lined eyes and said, “You can’t bring the bird in here.”
“I did, like fifteen minutes ago,” she said, and reached into her purse. “Can I get a dirty chai latte please?”
“We allow for service dogs,”
“Dire wolf,” she said and glared down at the growling animal. “I told her. Calm down, dum dum.”
“but you can’t bring the raven in here. It’s unsanitary.”
“Look,” she said, pulling a shining black dagger out of her pocket. The Barista put her hands in the air as the woman tossed a plastic ID card on the counter. “I’m a licensed Beastmaster, alright? Bird isn’t gonna do anything unless I tell them to do something.”
“You named your raven Bird?” The Barista said, her pierced eyebrows raised, as she examined the id card with a photo of the women in front of her, only slightly better dressed.
The Beastmaster closed her eyes and opened them again. “They’re not my bird, I’m just looking after them. Every Bird calls themselves Bird. They are not smart.”
The Barista shrugged. “Okay, but you need to sit outside. Dirty Chai, you said?”
“Yes, please,” The Beastmaster said wearily. “A large, please.”
They exchanged currency and The Beastmaster returned her ID and dagger into her pocket. She rested her hand on the Dire Wolf’s head when a familiar voice called her name. “The Beastmaster Canter, as I live and breathe!”
The Beastmaster groaned and pulled her dagger again, brandishing it at the rogue. “Where the hell is my rent check, Achilles?”
Achilles Schwartz scowled momentarily before reverting back to his tooth filled grin. “I told you, The Beastmaster, it’s A Chill es… because I’m cool, you know?”
The Beastmaster rolled her eyes. “It’s Achilles because I know you’re a goddamn heel!” She sniggered briefly at her own joke, never taking her eyes off the rogue or loosening her grip on the dagger. “Where’s my rent check?”
He shrugged his spike covered shoulders. “It’s in the mail.”
“Liar.” She growled with The Dire Wolf.
“Dirty Chai,” The Barista called. She caught sight of Achilles and leaned up against the counter. “Can I help you sir?” She asked in a dark, smooth voice, utterly changed from the monotone she used with the Beast Master.
“Oh, I had a hot chocolate expresso,” he said, waggling snow white eyebrows. “She’s paying.”
The Barista glanced at The Beastmaster, the tips of her pointed ears turning red. “Are you… together?”
“No.” The Beastmaster growled. “And I’m not paying for him.”
“On the house then.” The Barista said with a wink. As she turned around Achilles pulled a dollar from her tip jar.
“Put it back.” The Beastmaster snapped, brandishing the dagger.
Achilles rolled his powder blue eyes and stuffed the bill back into the jar. The Beastmaster growled. “Oh come on,” he said, “it’s not like she’d care.”
“She makes less than minimum wage. She’ll care once your stupid rogue glamour wears off.”
“By which point, I’ll be long gone.” Achilles grinned. The Barista returned with his drink and a wide winning smile. He followed The Beastmaster as she turned away. “So…” he said, dragging out the O as he always did when he wanted something. “How’s things?”
“About six hundred dollars short?” She said and told her raven to fly off and poop of Achilles’s motorcycle, She stepped out the door. He followed her out into the cold where the Dire Wolf immediately began to poop on the sidewalk. Achilles wrinkled his nose.
“You’re just gonna let him poop on the street?”
“He’s gotta poop somewhere,” The Beastmaster said with a shrug.
“Kind of unsanitary,” Achilles said.
“Hey,” she said, as a pigeon dropped a plastic bag into her hand, “Do I tell you how to rip people off, rogue?”
She bent over and scooped the cooling poop into the bag and handed it back to the bird. “Thanks, Bird,” she said as it flew away, sinking under the weight of the Dire Wolf Doodie. “Look, Chilly, or whatever you call yourself.”
“A Chill Es,” He said, very slowly.
“Whatever,” The Beastmaster shoved her hands in her pockets. “The Council assigned us as partners over a year ago. Now, I’ve helped you with that squirrel infestation at your mom’s house, I got the ants to leave your lunches alone, I loaned you money-”
“Yeah, speaking of loans-”
“And you haven’t done anything except leave stolen goods in my house. I hate to say it but I’m gonna apply for a new partner.”
“What?! No,” Achilles blew a loud raspberry. “Boo! No! You love having a rogue as a partner! I make your life exciting.”
“No, dude, you make my life hard.” The Beastmaster sighed, pulling her head phones back over her ears. “Causing trouble isn’t the same as being interesting. Honestly, it’s kind of predictable.”
She couldn’t hear his outraged reply as she turned up Rage Against The Machine. She left his screeching in the snow as the raven returned to alight on her shoulder.
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