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The City

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Silence, Oct 5, 2019.

  1. Silence

    Silence Anonymous Me Staff Member Benefactor Warden

    Stetzon stared at the street corner for a long moment. He couldn't tell if the light from the setting sun was catching an angle on the snow and therefore making the bald spots on the sidewalk look wet, or if it was black ice. The North district was almost always more unpleasant. The storms hit there first, the street plows might get to it the same day, or it could be a day, or two. If they took more than a day it was tough. No city bus could reach the stop and everyone had to walk to work and back. It was bad enough living in the North district, but then he had to have half breed neighbors. They were loud, complained plenty and always thought they should get hand outs.

    "Nothing's free in this life. Lazy, no good halfbreeds." Grumbling under his breath he pulled his hands out of his jacket pockets and stepped onto the sidewalk. The first step was easy, the second proved to be a bit slippery and he began sliding. Stetzon dropped to a squat to slide the rest of the way down the hill. At least if he fell over it wouldn't be so hard. Part way down the hill his foot caught on a little rock and he fell back on his butt. Near the bottom of the hill there was a pile of slush and he tipped himself to the side and managed to save his pants, but soaked one shoulder. Getting up he dusted his pants off from the flecks of snow and did his best to look acceptable for his night shift at the pub.

    Looking behind himself, Stetzon spotted the halfbreed neighbor. The neighbor didn't even take precautions to keep from slipping. "Probably gonna make another disability claim. Hate those half dwarf idiots. Probably didn't even fall 2 feet. Got legs like mini tree stumps."

    The rest of the walk to the pub had Stetzon sliding one way and then the next. When he walked through the back door he could already smell the cleaning solutions. Cleaner must have recently been through. It took them all day after he hosted societal reprobates all night long. Only the lowest of the low came to this pub, but he could handle them. Stetzon was a sort that not many encountered, but when they did it was unforgettable. He was a typical Amythion in almost every way. Primarily, he had a slow burning temper, heavy thick bones, a thick muscular frame to accompany the bones, 7 feet tall and gold eyed with browned skin.

    No sooner had he put on the apron that barely looked like a fanny pack on him than the cleaning lady flicked the open sign on and the first waive of patrons came through. They waited outside the doors after they were done in the factory and spent too much, fought a little and then drank more before stumbling home. However, tonight there was a stranger and that could be a good, or bad thing. Perhaps they were here to try and find someone. If that was the case they had a surprise waiting for them.
     
  2. Lyna walked down the hill and nearly slipped, but quickly recovered, she looked about to see if anyone had noticed how easily she has avoided falling and was relieved that the group ahead were far more interested in going the pub. Her hazel green eyes cast up to the sign as she signed quietly. She could use something to warm her form the inside out, she also had the deadline for her anatomy class to draw someone from life. She was fascinated with degenerates and what drove them to be the way they were. Stepping into the pub, she spotted an empty table near the wall halfway into the room. She wore a pair of flared leg blue jeans with studs down the hems of the outside of each leg and on the butt pockets forming a star, a pair of black boots that were stylish but held resemblance to combat boots, and a 3/4 sleeve teal tshirt with a pusheen on the front that was wearing glasses and had pencil and paper. She drew her shoulder length hair back into a navy blue ribbon, leaving her bangs out of the ribbon's grasp a moment before she pulled her Kiki's Delivery Service satchel to her lap, withdrawing a flat tin and a sketchbook.

    Her hazel green eyes scanned the room, as she fished out a mp3 player with teal corded earbuds. After selecting a song, she absently set it on the table and resumed scanning for a prospective target to sketch. She found an odd couple sitting up by the bar openly flirting, opening the tin without looking she withdrew a black woodless graphite pencil. Her gaze looked at them, then returned to her page, her hand and arm expressively flowing over the page as she captured gestures of their poses before settling on the one they now held. An intimate kiss exchanged with eyes closed, she fervently sketched the two, hoping to capture them before the kiss broke.
     
  3. Silence

    Silence Anonymous Me Staff Member Benefactor Warden

    The young woman looked like someone from the wealthier downtown. Whatever she was doing was a bit disconcerting to the general populace of this area. They didn't like being watched and Stetzon was waiting for someone to do something about it. Technically she wasn't doing anything wrong, but just sitting there and staring at folks while busily working away on a piece of paper was problematic. Was she working for someone?

    Stetzon glanced up as he finished drying another glass and grabbed one from the cooling station to pour a strong gin into. Bob was here and he always ordered a strong gin. Part of doing the job here was knowing the people and having their drinks ready. It earned him a few extra tips too. If they were all going to waste away here, he wasn't going to be able to stop them, but he could make more of himself. One day he'd be out of the North district. No sooner had he finished filling the glass of gin than a man near the stranger's table stood up and walked over to have a few words with her.

    "Hey!" The man slammed a heavy fist on her table. "You got plenty of other places you could go. Why don't you go someplace else?" She looked suspicious and he didn't much care for her presence.

    Since there was no immediate fight, Stetzon grabbed a rag and went on wiping his counter. "Just make sure if there's a fight she starts it." He didn't need anymore fancy pant visitors coming and with questions. They would want to know why a privileged woman got hurt and why she was here. Ultimately they'd look at him, he was the bar keeper. If she was the one to start the fight at least he wouldn't have to try and cover for the poor people here. They were angry, angry with the wealthy, wanted more than what they had and couldn't get what they needed. Many thought if the rich shared they would be better off, but it didn't work that way in the real world.
     
  4. She looked up from the sketch and gently set the sketch on the table with the pencil. She blinked up at him, not sure what his issue was with her as she was only doing a drawing from real life. She looked at him with curiosity, but other than that she was unreadable.

    "I like it here, the people are real, not fake like the other bars and clubs from uptown. I don't feel comfortable there like I do here. I grew up among the middle to poor class and feel like they are my people. I would really like to stay sir. I do not want any trouble. I am in college for art you see, and unlike my peers who are satisfied with fake beauty, I see the true beauty behind what the rich ignore. This, this is true to life, not some fancy designer bullshit. That is hideous in my eyes. Please, I ask just let me finish my drawing and if you are still uncomfortable I can leave. I have a deadline for my art drawing by tomorrow at noon. I would appreciate the chance to finish, I am almost done." She said, her voice soft and timid, but her eyes never left the man's for a second as she spoke, even as she gestured to the almost complete drawing of the couple.

    "In fact, I can bring the drawing back after it is graded to the people if they would like it. I won't charge anything, I just appreciate the moment to capture the beauty in their actions. Such beauty in the mundane and expression of affections." She added softly, offering a reassuring smile.

    The strokes of the art piece were expressive, quick, but she captured the couple damn near flawlessly. She had the features in and was working on final shading and details of the piece. If someone looked at her sketchbook, which all 100 pages of the 9x12 sketchbook were nearly filled, they would see exquisite sketches from life of people in various acts that the everyday person would find no point in drawing, but she truly felt these every day tasks were beautiful. Each page was filled with the same expressive detail in her current piece.
     
  5. Silence

    Silence Anonymous Me Staff Member Benefactor Warden

    "Sounds like a high falooting idear to me." Grumbling the man stared at her for a long moment. "You best be getting yourself back to your 'boring, fake beauty.' We don't have time for your kind around here. Just makes trouble for the rest of us. We don't care for your sketching and we don't need your charity coming back here and sharing it with us."

    A few of the others in the pub turned to look at the stranger when they heard the man raise his voice. The couple that had been sharing a tender moment glowered at her and then turned away and kept their backs to her. Stetzon took a dirty glass from one of them and set it to wash before filling another one for the man. She should have known better than to come here. People didn't like seeing the wealthy in their little pub.

    With a sigh Stetzon set the glass down and he stepped out from behind the counter. It was about time to step in and do something. Stepping in behind the man at the strangers table he set a large hand on the man's shoulder. "Leave it to me." Once the man stepped out of the way Stetzon glanced at her artwork. "Looks nice enough, but nobody sits in the pub for free. You'll order something, or be on your way." He didn't have to host her if she wouldn't have anything and he was here to protect his patrons as much as he could. She was trouble and they all knew it.
     
  6. "Again I said I mean no one any trouble, I..."She trailed off as she saw what seemed to be the barkeep approach.

    She looked directly at the man who had approached as he gave her the ultimatum. She smiled softly, "Of course, I understand. I didn't want to interrupt you. I was patiently waiting. How much is a warm meal and a glass of cooled down Rum?" She asked politely.

    She opened her satchel and began digging through her satchel. After a moment of rustling through the satchel she sighed, beginning to take out a set of neatly rolled up stained and torn up jeans, tshirt and a pair of old shoes that had holes in them. They were her size. She also set a few more sketchbooks on the table and two more pens and pencils, before the litany stopped as she exclaimed, "Ahah! There you are!"

    She pulled out a small kitty cat head wallet that was falling apart. She opened the wallet, a few singles, a College ID and her ID for her residency were all the wallet held, nothing else.

    "I'm afraid, I don't have much so I may have to skip the meal." She said solemnly, her face shrinking in embarrassment. "I will buy something of course. I will put my sketchbook away though since it makes everyone uncomfortable and will choose a different subject matter. As she said this, she tore out the incomplete sketch and tore it in half long ways, then again short way. "Could I ask to throw this away then?"
     
  7. Silence

    Silence Anonymous Me Staff Member Benefactor Warden

    What did this girl think? He wasn't a waiter. People were supposed to come to the bar for what they wanted. Coming to each table was not part of his job. Naturally she had to follow up with the question of what a rum cost and a warm meal. The warm meal was not much around here, but he did have the menu prices memorized. "Rum will be 4 Denari and food is 6 Denari." It wasn't all that much in total, but neither could the people around here afford much.

    Stetzon did his best to be patient while the lady dug through her worn purse. It felt like she was making a show of it by flashing her college card. That told him enough to know that she at least had a way to get through college. He didn't care much if she carried enough Denari to pay for the meal and the drink, or one. Whichever way it went mattered very little. She needed to be done and just get out. Nobody here, including himself wanted an outsider coming in and staring at them. At last she determined she only had enough for a drink. That was her problem and he wasn't going to interfere. "Yep, I'll get a rum for you."

    Just as he was about to turn away and get the drink for her she asked if she could throw the sketch away. Nodding toward the garbage can he gave her a brief instruction, "Right over there and don't miss." Once he arrived back at his counter he grabbed a glass and poured the rum without ceremony. He was good at his work, but he didn't put any flare in it. Flare was for the fancy folk and he wasn't going to accommodate them with trying to be fancy. Without the appropriate tools in his bar he couldn't do fancy well and he'd only be ridiculed for attempting. Snatching the glass he marched it back to her table and set it down. "I'll take the 4 Denari and then you'll be free to drink it." She would probably drink it as slowly as possible if he'd read her right.

    Once he took her money he glanced at her and then decided to ask a brief question. "Why did you come here anyway?" Like any good barkeep he'd been watching her as a new comer and listening, but he wanted hear from her directly.
     
  8. She fished out the 4 Denari, leaving her a single Denari, to which she kept out for his tip. She put her stuff back in her bag as he went for her drink, her cheeks were a little pink from embarrassment for having to dig through her unorganized clutter of a purse and making the man wait. She realized the hatred from many had increased since her college ID had fallen out. She was doing student loans to attend, she had no money except for what her art selling got her lately, which hadn't been many. She realized she had unintentionally over stayed her welcome here. Knowing this was the case she mentally noted to drink up and she would throw out the picture on the way out the door after she finished her drink.

    She looked taken aback by the question of why she did come. She had explained it to the man, but maybe they were testing for loopholes in her story. "I grew up in the middle to low class, being in a place like this is far more comfortable to me than any of the fake condescending assholes in the uptown clubs and pubs. This simplistic life is beautiful and comfortable to me, especially since anything nice I actually own has taken months to years to get. I am not rich, yes I attend college on loans. I don't have any family. I have been on my own for many years, surviving on my art selling and side jobs I am willing to do. I would rather be here than there. I wasn't meaning to offend or make anyone think I was offering charity. It is a habit of mine. If someone gets upset for me drawing them, I return the picture to them immediately unless I need it for one of my art deadlines. That was one I was actually doing for my deadline due by tomorrow for my anatomy class. I will go elsewhere to capture it, maybe to uptown, they are shallow enough to be giddy about being drawn, so much so they make shit subjects since they constantly ask how it is coming and move too damn much." She stopped talking, realizing the man didn't ask for her whole life story.

    She smiled sheepishly, "Sorry, I get chatty when I am nervous that someone is trying to fight me. I hate violence. I'll leave once my drink is gone."
     
  9. Silence

    Silence Anonymous Me Staff Member Benefactor Warden

    Stetzon listened to the girl explain herself. She gave him the same answer as she'd given some of the others. The loans were at least something. Quite a few people here didn't have what was required for loans. At least she'd had enough to get the loans started. It seemed that she really needed her little art piece and he sighed. "Oh hell. If you needed it for art you could draw me, but I don't think I'd be a good subject. Just gonna be back behind that counter cleaning and filling drinks all night." He felt badly that she was going to be in a tight spot for an art project and if she drew him then he would figure that she wasn't looking to spy on him.

    However, if she didn't want to draw him he'd know she was here to check on someone else. Nobody could count on him giving them permission to draw him. "Where did you live before going to college?" There were plenty of areas that she could name and he'd know if she was actually dirt poor like the rest of the people here, or if she was slightly better, but still pretty bad.

    Nodding at her answer he finished his short walk back to the counter. He would be here all night long and he hoped that because it was a week night the folks would clear out before it was terribly late. If he could actually get out within five minutes of closing the doors then he would be happy. Perhaps he would wake up and get to the drop point without feeling like someone had hit him in the head. These late nights and afternoon courier jobs were getting to him, but he was starting to get a little bit in savings and perhaps he could get something decent looking to wear. If he could look like a fancier sort of man he might get a better paying job.
     
  10. She grabbed her things, her drink and the torn up art sketch, tossing the sketch out on the way up to the bar. She sat down at the bar this time and opened up her sketchbook to a blank page before sliding onto the empty stool.

    "To answer your question, I grew up in The Downs of Westeria City. I lived there up until the last six years when my dad got a decent break on a decent job with a local business man as a body guard. Two years ago, my father took out the loans to put me through school. I am in my last semester of college. Just last year, my father got gunned down. I have been on my own since. The place I live is still rented to me by my father's old boss as a favor to my father. He struck some sort of deal with my father, and I can't get out of him what deal let's me stay there when I haven't been able to afford rent for the last 3 months. I do odd jobs and sell my art. Sadly, the odd jobs have slowed down the last few months. So, I have been working on trying to make a bigger art name for myself. The more notorious you are, the better you get for your work. I just don't want to worry if I will eat or have a roof. I don't want to be rich."

    With that admittance, she downed the other half of her rum in a single long pull before setting it down. Her eyes held a haunted look. "So, you said I could draw you so I can meet my deadline. Are you sure?" She asked softly. "If you have changed your mind, I won't linger and make anyone else uneasy."
     

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