PodCastle 285: Dragonslayer

by Nathaniel Lee

Read by Elie Hirschman

Originally published in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show

Handel, the barman, tucked a pair of half-pennies into the pouch at his waist and turned to regard the boy as he approached.  The young man had the look of a servant of some kind, though he wore no livery or sigil.  Clean and healthy, at least, if a bit old for squiring or apprenticeship.

“Yuh?” Handel said by way of greeting.

The boy blinked pale green eyes at him, the color of mown grass.  “My master, Sir Timor, requires lodging for the night.  He begs a small room and four stalls in the barn.”  With a clink, the boy set down a golden sovereign on the bar.  Handel tried not to choke; the coin was enough to rent every room in the ramshackle two-story building.

“He has a fair… a fair few horses, eh?”  Handel’s voice was unsteady, but his hands made the coin disappear with barely a whisper of motion.

The boy shrugged.  “Don’t get too excited.  You’ll probably need the extra coin for the repairs.”  He headed for the door again.  “I’ll get him settled, and then I’ll come back for his meal.  Get some vegetables in it; I’m sick to death of meat.”

“Wait!” Handel had accommodated a fair few Knights and would-be Lords in his day, and this was not going according to the pattern.  “He’s staying in the barn?”

“It’s an oath.  Very important.” 

Rated PG. Kind of a Temple of Doom PG.