Challenge #02095-E271: A Morning of Intense RegretsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #fiction2 years ago

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"Must have been a great night; I'm imaging thudding noises."
"It was a stupendous night, and it's not your imagination." -- Anon Guest

Marvin winced at the light making its way through his eyelids. It was too sharp for him to open his eyes, just yet. The booming thud shook him and stabbed his brain, and the whimper in his throat sounded like a roar and felt like knives on fire were coming out of him.

"Have we learned something?" Wraithvine murmured.

Marvin summoned his voice, a mere phantom of its former self. "Nev'r drink a tankard 'f somethin' served in tiny glasses?"

"That's a good enough start," allowed Lady Anthe. She poked a straw into his parched lips. "Sip slowly. Hold some in your mouth for a count of fifteen before you start swallowing."

Lady Anthe knew a great deal about curses and cures. She never seemed hung over, or at least, not as badly hung over as Marvin was wont to get. It might have something more to do with the fact that she rarely, if ever, drank anything other than the local small beer. Or it could have something to do with the fact that, as a Rogue, the Lady Anthe knew of everything that could possibly poison a creature.

The potion that came into his mouth seared his senses with mint and lime, and there was a heavy taste of honey and salt together. It should have been disgusting, but his first instinct was to drink it all down as fast as he could. Marvin remembered just in time that Lady Anthe knew how her potions worked the best, and kept his instincts in check.

As his tongue returned to proper life, Marvin became aware of the distinctive aftertaste of hangovers that always made him want to throw up everything he'd ever eaten in his entire lifetime.

"No," said Lady Anthe. "Swallow."

Her potion burned on the way down, but it burned in a good way. Marvin burped and half expected his stomach to turn inside-out in a way no Human's stomach should turn, but it quelled. It sat in him like a ball of lead, but it quelled.

Sip by slow sip, the pain eased. His guts no longer wished to wreak vengeance on the entire world. Just him. Considering the shape Marvin was in, this was a significant improvement. When the light no longer hurt, he risked opening his eyes. There was still a heavy thudding sending rhythmic trembles through the floor and his ribcage.

"Wh'dizz't?" he managed, wrestling his pain-wracked body up into a sitting position. "...'s makin' that noise?"

Lady Anthe handed him another container of the potion. "You may drink freely until it stops tasting good."

Wraithvine, watching the streets through the shutters, said, "It's the Thunder Festival. They're trying to summon the season's first big storm. Get it over with, if you will."

Marvin was also learning not to drink heavily when the locals were setting up for festival time. "They're doing what?"

"They get some really nasty storms in these parts," said Wraithvine, still watching the outside. "Superstition holds that the biggest storm is the last one. So they make a lot of noise to encourage the sky gods to bring it on and get it over with."

"What kind'a drums," Marvin whimpered, "could shake an entire inn?"

"Drums?" Lady Anthe laughed as only a Kobold could. "They're using cannons."

"And using them to shoot the avalanches out of the unstable passes," Wraithvine supplied. "Win-win for them. A lot of losses on your tally, humanman."

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Ig0rZh]

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