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#806067 - Wed 29/04/15 12:39 BST TWO: A Second Chance?
Gypsy Offline

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He is sitting at a table, an almost untouched ale to one side, the rest of the table covered in papers or various kinds. There is also a quill and ink plus an unlit but previously used candle in a carved wooden holder.

He does not look happy.

Currently he is squinting at a particular document which he has to use both hands to hold open as otherwise it would just roll to the side and close. He looks up as a man walks in. It is early yet and most folks are still working. His staff are probably keeping out of his way in the back as there is no-one behind the bar.

He nods to the patron, offering some advice.

"Try the bell on the counter."

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#806991 - Fri 01/05/15 17:40 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Gypsy]
AquaDyne Offline
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A look of unhappiness seemed to provide at least a thread of commonality between the seated man and the latest entrant, acknowledged with a curt nod of the head. The entrant's ambling pace slowed somewhat, as if considering initiating a conversation, but the suggestion to ring the bell obviateed the need to make any sort of introduction.

Instead, a second nod was given along with a murmured "hmm" which could possibly be interpreted as thanks, while brown eyes scanned the bar for the aforementioned bell. Once located, the latest patron to this establishment altered his path to find the stool immediately in front of it, taking a few unhurried moments to settle into the seat.

Only after he was comfortable did he lean forward, left arm propped casually against the counter while his right hand reached up to give a single smart pull of the clapper. Then, he waited.

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#807088 - Fri 01/05/15 22:46 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
J-J Vomact Offline

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The sounding of the bell was rewarded by the appearance of a bearded man coming into the common room from the kitchen. He was using a stout cane in support of his right leg and took up station behind the bar.

Nodding to the newcomer, "What can I get you?"



Edited by J-J Vomact (Sat 02/05/15 02:24 BST)

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#807134 - Sat 02/05/15 02:14 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: J-J Vomact]
Exeter Offline


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Loc: Charlotte, NC - USA


A shorter man followed the bearded one out of the kitchen, speaking as he came.

"And then she said to me, she said... hold on..."

He paused and saw the other man.

"Oh hey, a customer."

He moved up alongside the stranger, grinning a welcome.

"Hiya, my name's Zach. You've probably heard of me."

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#807175 - Sat 02/05/15 04:48 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
AquaDyne Offline
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The query from the barkeep is answered by a single coin drawn from the newcomer's pocket. A coin worth about one day's wages. "Whatever this'll get me," comes the reply as the silver is placed onto the bar and slid in the direction of the man.

Zach's grin elicits a raised brow, but there's no returning smile, simply a tired, neutral expression. "Quince," comes the return introduction. "And while it may be true that I've probably heard of you, improbably, I haven't." Then a hint of a polite smile. "If I had, what should I have heard?"

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#807245 - Sat 02/05/15 16:54 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


Zach didn't seem discouraged by the dispirited seeming response from the stranger. He was used to the occasional difficult audience. He took a seat at the bar a couple of places down from Quince.

"Oh, back when I was a touring, Quince, I was known all around the countryside for my entertaining. Singin', sleight of hand, joke tellin', you name it."

He grinned at his friend, Lem, and gave him a wink before turning back to Quince.

"Been takin' a rest hangin' around here for a while now."


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#807256 - Sat 02/05/15 18:16 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
J-J Vomact Offline

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Lem

"Depends on your tastes," the barman replied. "One of those'll get you one cup of real expensive wine, several cups of mead, of a whole bunch of tankards of ale." He shrugged. "Me, I prefer the ale. But to each his own."

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#807299 - Sat 02/05/15 20:19 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: J-J Vomact]
AquaDyne Offline
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Quince

"Ah, that would explain it," Quince replied to Zach. "I have been more of a city man, myself. I'm sure you were quite the draw." With a hand lifted to gesture toward the room in general, he added, "And that is what I heard about this place. A place to rest, or at least to stop running in circles until one figures out which direction one plans to go."

Lem's response was met with an understanding nod. "Ale it is, then. Higher quality for the first, then go cheap to make it last." A brief pause, and an added, "And some meat stew and bread would not go amiss."

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#807373 - Sun 03/05/15 00:35 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
J-J Vomact Offline

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Lem

"Oh, we're not that fancy," the barman explained. "Only got but the one ale. But the brewer knows his craft, and no mistake."

He drew off a full tankard with a reasonable head and not too much foam and passed it to Quince.

Then he looked around. "Where is that girl?" he asked of no one in particular. Then turning to Zach, "Mind things out here for me? I'll have the kitchen put together some food for the gentleman."

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#807407 - Sun 03/05/15 01:50 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: J-J Vomact]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


He smiled and nodded as the newcomer seemed to agree with Zach's eminent stature in the entertainment world and was pleased that his friend, Lem, didn't make any rude remarks about his talents - or lack thereof - as he was wont to do occasionally.

"You do that Lem. Get him some of that crusty brown bread that she baked today. I know it smelled good."

"Funny thing happened here the other night," Zach said, turning back to their customer.

"A little pig walked into the bar here, ordered a drink from Lem and asked direction to the lavatories. Lem told him where the gents was and the pig hurried off to relieve himself. A second little pig then came in, ordered a drink and asked for the lavatories. Again Lem told the pig where to go and the pig hurried away. A third little pig then appeared and ordered a drink. ‘I suppose you’ll want to know where the toilets are,’ said Lem. ‘No,’ replied the pig. ‘I’m the one that goes wee-wee-wee all the way home.’"


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#808095 - Tue 05/05/15 13:36 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
Gypsy Offline

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If the newcomer has sharp ears, he might just hear a soft sigh from the man at the table. He doesn't want to count the number of times he has heard that one.

He puts one piece of paper down and picks up another, the expression still not changing.

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#808256 - Tue 05/05/15 23:25 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Gypsy]
AquaDyne Offline
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Quince

A nod is given to Lem as the tankard is slid into Quince's hand, and he takes a long draught of the liquid while listening to Zach spin his tale. Only when the punch line is reached does Quince slowly turn in his seat to look directly at Zach, staring at him as if wondering just what he is.

"I presume," Quince says dryly, "that your fame as an entertainer was primarily among children." With a barely perceptible shake of his head, and the hint of a roll of his eyes, he turns back to face his ale. Only then, from the side, can a hint of amusement be detected in his smile, but whether the amusement is at the joke, or the jokester, is unclear.

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#808339 - Wed 06/05/15 02:00 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


"Glad you liked it," Zach said, smiling and nodding and, apparently, ignoring the other man's left-handed - if handed at all - compliment.

"I like to start 'em off a little on the light side, not knowing for sure the preference of the audience."

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#808444 - Wed 06/05/15 13:09 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
Gypsy Offline

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He pushes the papers away, apparently he has had enough of them for now. He rises to his feet and moves over to the bar.

"Ale Lem."

Once his order has been given, no money proferred, he turns sideways looking Quince up and down.

"Haven't seen you in here before.."

It sounds like a leading question.

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#808510 - Wed 06/05/15 17:00 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Gypsy]
AquaDyne Offline
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Quince

"Mmm, hmm," Quince comments to Zach, acknowledging the statement without particularly stating any opinion of it. At least he hasn't fled the place screaming.

And speaking of acknowledging statements, the latest man to approach the bar is given a nod, and the comment, leading or no, is answered in kind. "Most likely reason for that is that I haven't been in here before."

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#808636 - Thu 07/05/15 00:53 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
J-J Vomact Offline

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Lem

"Food'll be right out," he told Quince as he made his way back to the bar. "Lamb stew tonight, and it's not bad. Not bad at all." He grinned. "Had some myself before."

He filled a fresh tankard and passed it across to the man who'd been at the table.

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#808674 - Thu 07/05/15 02:50 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: J-J Vomact]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


"Yeah, our cook, she makes good stew," Zach said, nodding happily.

"Last week, we had a blind man come in here with his seeing eye dog on a chain. He walked to the middle of the room, took the dog by it's chain and started swinging it around and around his head."

"Lem here hollered out, 'Hey, what you doin' to that dog.'"

"The blind guy just said, 'Oh, nothing, just looking around.'"

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#808766 - Thu 07/05/15 12:42 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
Gypsy Offline

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Trying his best to ignore Zach's attempts at humour, he takes the ale and drinks deeply for a moment, pausing tankard in hand whilst he follows up.

"Any reason why?"

He doesn't make it clear whether he is asking why Quince is here now or why he hasn't been before, maybe both?

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#809036 - Fri 08/05/15 06:14 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Gypsy]
AquaDyne Offline
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Quince

"Well," Quince replies, turning sideways and resting an elbow on the bar whilst holding his tankard with the other hand. "The most obvious reason would be that I've only recently heard of this place."

A swig of ale, and he continues. "Another possible reason is that I've been avoiding bad jokes, although that would imply I had heard of the famous jokester before arriving."

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#809060 - Fri 08/05/15 12:36 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
Gypsy Offline

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Quince seems to have seen better times looking at his clothing and maybe there is a story there.. maybe not. He will obviously tell it in his own time.

His latter remark does bring a momentary smile, the man talks well and is obviously smart.

"Maybe I should advertise.."

The comment is dry.. and he nods taking his tankard back to the paperwork.

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#809312 - Sat 09/05/15 01:16 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Gypsy]
J-J Vomact Offline

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Lem

"Haven't been open all that long," the barman added.

(Taking a liberty here...)

A small girl bearing a large tray came out of the kitchen. On the tray were a bowl of stew, still steaming, and a good-sized hunk of bread. The barman nodded and gave the girl a smile, then placed bowl and bread in fronr of the newcomer (Quince).

"Need a refill?" he asked, nodding at the tankard.

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#809535 - Sat 09/05/15 23:48 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: J-J Vomact]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


"Good you showed up here if you've been trying to avoid bad jokes," the irrepressible man said with a happy grin.

"I don't know no bad 'uns."

Zach looked toward Lem.

"Can ya give me an ale, Lem?"

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#809850 - Mon 11/05/15 00:20 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
AquaDyne Offline
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Quince

Quince checks his tankard and finds it less than half full. Or more than half empty, depending on your perspective. Either way, the answer to Lem's query is an affirmative, "Sure," followed by a swig from the dwindling supply of ale in the existing tankard.

Zach merely gets a roll of the eyes, but Quince is at least beginning to let his steely facade crack slightly, smirking slightly at Zach. "It may be you're becoming less annoying, or perhaps the ale is affecting my ability to perceive how horrid your humor is," he chuckles.

"So," he adds to no one in particular. "Where around here can someone earn an honest day's wages?"

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#810174 - Mon 11/05/15 23:14 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
J-J Vomact Offline

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Lem

The barman drew off a tankard of ale for Zach and refilled Quince's.

"If it was harvest season you could pretty much have your pick of the farms around here," he told the latter. "Haven't heard of anyone looking for a hand now, though."

He looked over at Zach.

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#810178 - Mon 11/05/15 23:28 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: J-J Vomact]
Exeter Offline


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Loc: Charlotte, NC - USA
Zach


Zach drank from his tankard, gave an ahhh of approval and wiped the foam from his lips with the back of his hand.

"Nothing specific..." he turned to Quince.

"What you good at?"

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#811522 - Sat 16/05/15 20:29 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
AquaDyne Offline
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Quince

"Jack of all trades, master of none," Quince replies with a shrug and a sigh as he contemplates the new tankard of ale before him. "And what I'm good at may not be the same as what I enjoy. I suppose..."

He pauses, to take a sip of the ale.

"I suppose, I'd like any job where when the day is done, the work is done." He wipes some stray foam from his mouth with his sleeve. "And the more I can earn within those constraints, the better. Translates to more ale, you know."

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#811566 - Sun 17/05/15 12:20 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
Gypsy Offline

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The man with the papers raises his head once but then goes back to work.

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#811589 - Sun 17/05/15 16:14 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Gypsy]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


Zach frowned for a moment, then shrugged and grinned at the newcomer.

"The local blacksmith was in here yesterday, complainin' that his helper ran off to the big city to seek his fame and fortune."

"That spot might give you a few coins." He help up a hand.

"Temporary like."

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#813328 - Tue 26/05/15 04:42 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
AquaDyne Offline
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Quince

A shake of the head follows the news about the folly of youth. "Fame and fortune are overrated," Quince observes.

"Worth talking to the smith, I suppose. Tomorrow, of course."

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#813355 - Tue 26/05/15 12:15 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
Gypsy Offline

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He gets up from the table, stuffing the papers in a leather satchel that had been on the seat beside him.

"Got some errands to run. Back later."

These remarks seem to be addressed to Lem, the barman. He nods to everyone and heads for the door.

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#813428 - Tue 26/05/15 22:38 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Gypsy]
J-J Vomact Offline

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Lem

The barman raised an eyebrow slightly and gave an almost imperceptible nod of his head. Then he drew off a tankard of ale for himself, his first for the night, or at least the first since Quince came in.

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#813492 - Wed 27/05/15 02:16 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: J-J Vomact]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


"Reminds me... reminds me..."

"Oh yeah," he said with his usual grin.

"An old blacksmith realized he was soon going to quit working so hard. He picked out a strong young man to become his apprentice.

The old fellow was crabby and exacting. 'Don't ask me a lot of questions,' He told the boy. 'Just do whatever I tell you to do.'

One day, the old blacksmith took an iron out of the forge and laid it on the anvil.

'Get the hammer over there,' he said. 'When I nod my head, hit it real good and hard.'

Now the town is looking for a new Blacksmith...."

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#813556 - Wed 27/05/15 03:57 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
AquaDyne Offline
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Loc: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Quince

A pause, a shake of the head, and a genuinely amused smile from Quince toward Zach.

"You're not making a suggestion, are you?"

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#813681 - Thu 28/05/15 00:56 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


He snorted a short laugh and took another pull of ale.

"Not necessarily... but if the opportunity occurs..."

Zach laughed and shrugged.

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#814753 - Wed 03/06/15 05:30 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
AquaDyne Offline
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Quince

"I'll be sure to tell him that when I meet him," Quince smirks. "I hope he likes your jokes."

A short pause.

"Who am I kidding? You might want to just get a head start now for when he comes looking for you."

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#814919 - Thu 04/06/15 01:43 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


Zach laughed and slapped his thigh.

"Everyone likes my jokes. Not everyone admits it, mind you, but everyone loves 'em."

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#816510 - Mon 15/06/15 02:53 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
AquaDyne Offline
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Loc: Las Vegas, NV, USA
Quince

"I think you may not understand the meaning of the word 'everyone'," Quince replies. "Or, possibly 'likes' or 'loves' or both." He shakes his head and goes back to his ale.

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#816598 - Mon 15/06/15 23:40 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


"Oh, I decided a long time ago that I would never be terrorized by vocabulary," Zach said with a happy grin.

"Words mean what I want 'em to mean."

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#817123 - Sun 21/06/15 10:59 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
Gypsy Offline

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The man who had only left some minutes before returns and walks directly to the bar. He turns and looks at Quince.

"Why do you drink?"

His eyes are direct, difficult to dodge that gaze, but there is no accusation in his tone. He might be taking his order for an ale.

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#818338 - Wed 01/07/15 22:51 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Gypsy]
AquaDyne Offline
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Quince

The question is direct, and the answer just as much so. "Because I enjoy it," Quince replies directly. "Compared to how much it may cost to participate in other enjoyable pastimes, it's a relative bargain."

There's a brief pause, and a shrug, as Quince turns toward the bar again. "There was a time I avoided drinking, thinking a sharp mind would be more useful. Those pursuits brought problems with them. Drinking? It's simple."

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#818359 - Thu 02/07/15 00:24 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


"Reminds me of a joke," he said, grinning and then downed the rest of his ale.

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#818365 - Thu 02/07/15 01:08 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
J-J Vomact Offline

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Lem

The barman caught the "entertainer's" eye and gave a barely perceptible shake of his head.

"Another?" he asked Zach.

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#818374 - Thu 02/07/15 02:34 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: J-J Vomact]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


Zach cocked his head to one side and one eyebrow quirked upward for a moment, but then he shrugged and slid his empty tankard toward Lem.

"Can't see why not."

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#818406 - Thu 02/07/15 12:57 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
Gypsy Offline

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He stares at Quince for a moment and then nods.

"Just trying to work out if you are dependant on it, reliable, willing to take risks.. all useful if I should hear about any work."

He waits as if expecting more.

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#818413 - Thu 02/07/15 13:46 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Gypsy]
J-J Vomact Offline

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Lem

By way of an explanation his eyes flicked toward the man in the hood. Then he set about drawing another ale for Zach.

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#818457 - Thu 02/07/15 18:46 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: J-J Vomact]
AquaDyne Offline
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Quince

"There was a time," Quince replies, "When all I did was take risks. I was responsible, reliable, hard working. I had everything I needed, and no time or space to enjoy what I was earning. I never said no to any task."

A sip of his ale.

"Which may have been one of my biggest assets, but became one of my biggest liabilities. So I finally said no to it all," he shrugs. "Life is much more simple when you can wake up, put in a hard day's work, and then when the day is done, leave that behind you and enjoy the fruits of your labors." He swirls his mug. "Or hops or barley, as it were. Cheaper than wine. Is it wrong to want a simple life even if one is capable of so much more?"

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#818494 - Fri 03/07/15 02:08 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: AquaDyne]
Exeter Offline


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Zach


Taking the ale from Lem, Zach took a slow pull of the brew and listened - quietly for the moment and for once - to the newcomer philosophize.

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#818536 - Fri 03/07/15 10:57 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Exeter]
Gypsy Offline

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"Not wrong, no."

It doesn't seem to sit well with him though, maybe he finds it difficult to understand.

"I'll keep my ears open, until then enjoy your ale."

He heads into the back, disappearing from sight.

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#818733 - Sun 05/07/15 19:57 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: Gypsy]
J-J Vomact Offline

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Lem

"I may regret this," he said as he topped up his own tankard. Something in his tone suggested there was no may about it.

He turned to Zach.

"You were saying something about a joke?"

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#818913 - Tue 07/07/15 00:03 BST Re: TWO: A Second Chance? [Re: J-J Vomact]
Exeter Offline


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Registered: Wed 10/08/05
Posts: 35443
Loc: Charlotte, NC - USA
Zach


Zach's expression suddenly sported a happy grin and he chortled.

"There was a pirate walked into a bar and ordered a drink. The bartender looked down and said, 'That looks like a ship's steering wheel in your pants.'
The pirate replied "Aye, it is and it's drivin' me nuts.'"

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