Chris Sawyer

Creative Writing A ¾

Grave Digger Tavern

The tattered tavern sign squealed in the night breeze; echoing through creaking branches of the dead trees. Grave Digger Tavern was burnt into the screeching sign. Pale lights filtered through the opaque windows. Chatter from many travelers softly breached the walls to the outside world. Sadly the only people around were all dead. The tavern was built in the middle of several cemeteries along crossroads leading to the larger city, not far up the road to the east. There were many unmarked graves scattered amongst the trees.

A single lantern bobbed up and down in the darkness. A tall dark figure weaved through the gravestones, sweeping through gracefully. Approaching the tavern the figure was bathed into the fiery light. Cautiously opening the door, the figure stepped inside. Men were drinking heavily, and talking loudly with slurred speech. The figure slowly removed her hood. Her eyes were blood red. They were the color of bloodshed. She walked across the floor. Her long midnight black hair trailed behind her, flowing freely. She walked past a little elfish girl sitting alone at a table. The girl was drinking some water, clinching her bag tightly. Her eyes darting around at every movement, she seemed unsure of herself and of every drunk in the tavern.

The strange red eyed woman sat down at the corner table. She was also alone. Not for long though. Once she removed her cloak, every male in the tavern who wasn't drunk, was giving her drinks and staring. She found their attempts quite amusing. Had she not been there on business she might have teased them a little. She tapped her high heel boot impatiently in wait. Where is he? She thought to herself as a rather tall, muscular man staggered slightly towards her. His wolf gray hair stood out from all the others, making him seem much older than the rest of the drunks in this tavern. His moss green eyes were slightly glazed over. He took a seat directly across from her. Sitting there silently he looked over to the bartender and at everyone else standing around the bar. They were all dead silent. They watched him to see if he could succeed where they had failed. Looking at her again he slowly said, "Everyone 'round here botherin' you?" He raised his arm in gesture towards the bar full of guys. She looked at them all with her blood red eyes.

"Not particularly. It's the guy who's coming that they're bothering." Her gaze drifted back to the man sitting in front of her.

"Who?" He asked intently.

"My lover." She snickered as she said it.

Laughs rang out from every guy at the bar. Pointing and laughing, every last one of them, the man's eyes cleared from their former glaze. Rage welled up inside of him, like the howling tempest winds. He rose up, and before the blink of an eye, he was standing, holding two guys by their scrawny throats. Their laughs were trapped in their throats. He held them high until their bodies fell lifeless in his massive hands. The little girl's silver blue eyes danced with terror as she watched the giant man strangle two men easily. She clinched her bag tighter in fright of what was to come next.

Dropping the two lifeless corpses to the ground, he let out a low chuckle. "Call the grave digger; we're stirred up some business for 'im." He continued to chuckle as he backhanded another man across the room into the wall. His spine shattered on contact. Everyone at the bar started running for the door. Some of the men cowered under tables, hiding futilely. He flipped one of the tables into the air effortlessly, exposing the cowards underneath. The table soared through the air gracefully. Its path lead straight to the little girl who sat there paralyzed in fright and bewilderment.

Splitting in half, the table fell to the floor before the little girl. Petrified, the girl never flinched. Looking at the split table the tall man walked over to where it lay on the floor. The cowards were asphyxiated with fear. On the floor between the two pieces of table a small dagger was lodged into the floor. He grabbed it with his enormous hand and said growling "Whose blade is this?" He glared at everyone in the room, including the little girl, sitting silently in terror.

"Is this knife yours?" he continued to look at her waiting for a response. She only shook her head no.

"The knife you hold belongs to me." A tall cloaked figure emerged from the shadowy entrance. The door had been torn off its hinges during the rush to escape certain doom.

"Who are you?" the tall man glared at the cloaked stranger. The red eyed woman stood up and walked forward.

"Take off your cloak and reveal yourself, stranger" she smirked faintly as she stood near the tall man. Slowly the stranger pulled down his hood. His raven black hair stirred as it was brushed by the hood. Icy blue eyes pierced what seemed to be the very soul of anyone who looked into them. Slowly she walked to the stranger, wrapping her arms around his neck and looking back at the tall man. "It's not polite to ask someone's name without first giving them yours" she looked into the stranger's icy blue eyes and waited for a response from the tall man. Silence shrouded the room, and then the remainder of the men in the tavern ran for their pathetic lives.

The tall man finally spoke. "Faliant's my name. I never heard of any proper way to ask a stranger's name before, but I'd better get an answer." The last of his words ended in a growl. Coldly, the stranger spoke.

"My name is Umbra" he looked at the little girl, and then back to Faliant.

"Well, since no one's going to ask me for my name, I'm just going to tell you. My name's Tullor." Tullor put one hand on her hip, and the other rested on Umbra's shoulder.

"Umbra, you say your name is?" the little girl asked. Umbra looked over at her calmly, but Tullor and Faliant looked at her shocked that she said a word.

"Yes, I did say my name is Umbra. Why do you ask little girl?"

"Well, I, uh, have heard that name before" she paused looking down. Tullor took her hand off Umbra's shoulder and stood on her own. "Do you have the tattoo, which everyone talks about?" The little girl looked into his icy blue eyes.

"Yes, I do" he said pulling up his sleeve; his arm bore a tattoo of an ankh. Inscribed in the head were the words, Memento Mori. The little girl's eyes grew wide rising from her seat she began to walk towards Umbra. Her small figure was out of place in this group.

"I knew you would be here. I have heard stories about you and what you've done." The little girl looked up at Umbra smiling. Faliant looked over at Umbra with great surprise. Tullor smiled at Faliant's surprise.

"What's wrong Faliant? Cat got your tongue?" Tullor laughed.

"I thought you would have been stockier" He looked at Umbra.

"My name's Luna." The little girl said, looking up at Umbra as if he was a giant.

"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you Luna. So what have you heard of me?" Umbra said walking towards an undestroyed table, taking a seat. "Care to join me?" he laughed quietly.

"Sure!" Luna said walking enthusiastically towards the table. "I have heard many things about you. The many demons you've slain. The countless traitors you've massacred. Should I continue?" she smiled meekly at him.

"No, no, that's quite enough. I'm sure our fellow tavern guests wouldn't want to hear of such things." He glanced over at Tullor and Faliant. They both walked over at the same time, Faliant sat across from Umbra and Tullor pulled a chair close to Umbra and wrapped her arms around him.

"Oh, but you know how much I love hearing the tales of bloodlust you leave behind." She then licked his neck slowly. Luna watched Tullor and began to blush.

"Tullor, you can stop that." Umbra said looking at her out of the corner of his eye.

Tullor started to pout and in protest said "But I like licking your neck." She licked it softly again.

"What information do you have for me this time, Tullor?"

"Oh," she paused taking her arms off of Umbra, "Back to business. Do you think it wise to allow these two to hear?" she looked over at Luna and Faliant.

"Would you care to join us in our escapades?" Both Faliant and Luna nodded and waited for the news. Umbra looked back at Tullor smiling softly. "I think it will be perfectly fine if we have two more join us."