Hi there! Please enjoy my most recent short story. For this piece I wanted to pick upon some historical fantasy themes and ideas without fully committing to the fantasy genre – let me know what you think in the comments below!
Silver Coined Coincidences
A man sat, nursing his drink in a dark corner. The prices were low and so was the quality, a watery beer that he didn’t quite trust, but he drank it anyway. It reflected the hovel he was sat in, dirty and dark, with straw on the floor to soak up various fluids. It would do, for now. Other patrons seemed to have no such qualms about the establishment, downing drink after watery drink and adding to the stickiness of, well, everything. But like the drinks and the room, the people were of low quality too, he decided. Lowlifes and ruffians of varying sorts. He had been them once – hadn’t we all been them once? Some of us still were, he thought to himself. Pickpockets, crooks, murderers – here they all washed up, eventually. Just like him, he thought, but he pushed it away with a large swallow.
He was alone, seated out of the way, observing. It didn’t matter to him the opinions these others formed of him – but he would rather go unnoticed, all the same. A lone candle illuminated his corner, flickering tongues of flame lighting up the swirls of the tattoos that snaked up his arms. He would rather that they not be noticed, either. He pulled his cloak across himself more firmly.
A while later, long after darkness had fully fallen on the streets outside, he left the bar and a single silver coin on the table, eagerly snatched up by the barkeeper and stashed in a sweaty pocket of his apron. It would fall out that same pocket later in the evening, only to be swiped off the floor by a young boy missing two front teeth, only to be stolen from him later by a pickpocket who had seen him take it. By the time the man had returned to his boat, the coin was halfway across the city, where it was pressed into the grubby hands of a certain girl behind a certain inn where she rents a room long term. She examined the coin in surprise, narrowed her eyes, stabbed the man who gave it to her and made her way to her room alone. The mam’s eyes were found still open with surprise the next morning, in a slack-jawed face already grey and empty.
By this time, the man had entered the city again, oblivious of the death he had caused through the chains of coincidences that govern a city such as this one. He did not know about the girl with the knife who had found his coin and learned something from it. She knew about him though – that a man with serpentine tattoos had entered her city and paid with silver – soon he would be paying with something else entirely. Already she was tracing back the path of the coin that would lead her to a dirty harbourside bar and a scared man in a torn apron vainly attempting to refuse her entry.
Whether by coincidence or by design, the paths of these two must cross, and soon, and you must hope that you are not near them when they do.
I left the ending of this piece quite vague and open, allowing the reader to fill in the gaps themselves about what might happen in the encounter between these two people, as well as who the people are. I enjoyed writing it, and would definitely consider expanding on it further in the future – what do yuo think? Would you like to know more? Let me know your feedback in the comments!
As always, for more of my work you can follow me here on WordPress, where I update with original content three times a week, or on my Instagram where I put up both old and new posts from my blog for you to enjoy. If you liked this piece, give it a like and feel free to share.
~ Lucy x