by M. E. Garber
read by Marguerite Kenner
First published in MZB’s Sword & Sorceress 29.
The door to the Dragon’s Beard Tavern slammed open and wintry winds gusted within, twisting Amma’s skirts about her legs like the arms of a drunken hero. Amma stumbled, sloshing ale from the tankards on her tray onto her skirts. She glared towards the door, where three men dressed in crimson-edged blacks let the door bang shut behind them.
Damn these fighters. Couldn’t they just once enter like human beings? They swaggered to the far table, ignoring everyone in the crowded tavern. “Stew!” one yelled over his shoulder.
“Wench! Hurry with that ale. We’re thirsty men!” a helmed man at the table before her demanded. Those around him roared their agreement.
M. E. Garber grew up reading about hobbits, space-travel, and dragons, so it’s no wonder that she now enjoys writing speculative fiction, and dreams of traveling the world(s). She used to live near the home of Duck Tape, then near the home of Nylabone. Now she lives near the home of Gatorade. You can find her blog at: http://megarber.wordpress.com.
Marguerite Kenner is a native Californian who has forsaken sunny paradise to be with her true love and live in Merrye Olde England. She frequently wears so many hats that she needs two heads. When she’s not grappling with legal conundrums as a trainee solicitor or editing Cast of Wonders, she can be found narrating audio fiction, studying popular culture (i.e. going to movies and playing video games) with her partner Alasdair Stuart, or curling up with a really good book. You can follow her at her personal blog, Project Valkyrie, or on Twitter via @LegalValkyrie.