At first they thought he was going to disappoint them, but as the sky darkened and the locals finished their daily work, they began to trickle in. As the mood of the room improved, his did as well. Lena helped this along by reacting badly to any reference to the stranger who’d been poking her nose into the village’s business a couple of weeks past.
“No, she’s gone, and good riddance,” she said. “She left me high and dry here, far from where I came from. I don’t know what her problem was, but I’m glad to be rid of her.”
“Seems like you’ve taken up with another one though,” the barkeep said with a dark look at the front door.
“Sorcha? She’s fine, nothing like Myra at all. Myra, you want to stay away from. She’d snap your head off as soon as say hi.”
“I believe that. I did say my hellos once, and she did practically bite my head off. The money she paid for those rooms was good, but not worth the headaches, if you ask me.”
“Was she really that bad?” Brandon asked. “She’s related to Sorcha, right? Sorcha seems really nice.”
“Not really related, it’s just that they’re both Ilthem Saeri, like we’re all human,” Lena said. “Not all humans are the same, and not all Ilthem Saeri are the same. You see?”
Brendan nodded. “I think so. They look like us, though.”
The barkeep piped in. “They look like us, and I suppose some of ‘em are okay, like you’re sayin’. But that doesn’t mean they’re the same as us. They don’t live long, and they’re too smart for their own good, and always poking their noses in where they don’t belong. Still, you seem like good folk, and if you’re willing to vouch for this Sorcha you’re with, she’ll have no trouble from me as long as she keeps that nose of hers clean.”
“We appreciate that.” Lena smiled at him. “She’s actually here in town to clean up whatever mess it was that Myra made out here.”
“Well I don’t know that this Myra made the mess, it was here before she was,” the barkeep mused, wiping idly at the bar. “She sure didn’t help matters any though. She mostly seemed concerned with snapping orders at anyone who crossed her path, demanding answers to her questions and generally getting in everyone’s way.”
“Like you haven’t had enough troubles lately,” Brendan muttered darkly. The barkeep gave him an approving nod.
“That’s damn right, it is. First the plague comes and takes down most of the village, then there’s monsters in the night, then this Myra folk keeping honest people from getting things back to normal. It’s just been one thing after another round here.”