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I have recently been looking through old files of mine and discovered some short stories I had written, and have decided to post them here on Ember.

This was the second short story I wrote for a old friend's larp game, it was supposed to be  a memory for one of her players, but I like it as a standalone too. Enjoy.

- Emily

Tavern Tales

The amber liquid burnt as it slid down my throat, warming me to the core. I chugged the drink in one, needing the dull buzz that the whiskey permitted. It was my fifth… or eighth, I had forgotten the number by this point. Well, my drink number... There was one number I could never forget; their faces, their names. That number.

“Another?” The bartender gazed across at me from the end of the bar, shining the same glass he had been most of the night. He was standing as far away from me as plausible. His posture was tort, defensive. I could see the tension ripple in his muscles through the thin cloth of his shirt. He was built like a soldier, all brawn and testerone. But I saw something in the look he gave me, something unsaid. Fear. He must have heard the stories, could probably smell the inconsistency in my DNA. Splicers were hated. The ‘normies’ were terrified of us; of our power, and ultimately, the destruction we were so capable of unleashing. 

“Is there any point in askin’,” I slurred back, trying my best to throw as much venom in my words as I could; whilst fighting off the dizzying sensation that was creeping at the back of my mind. The man didn’t move for a second, hesitating as he had all night. I had the unbridled urge to leap forward and shout ‘boo’, just to see this mountain of a man shit his pants. But then again, such momentum would probably have me vomiting all over myself.

“Last one,” he declared, crossing the distance to fill my glass with a cheap, vinegarette of a whiskey. It was as potent as I could afford after being kicked from the military. I shrugged his words off, snatching the glass tumbler from his grip with ease. He stumbled back, knocked off balance by my unnaturally fast reflexes. A grin spread across my face then, creasing the corners of my eyes with joy at the man’s discomfort. He scuttled away as I took the glass to my pastel lips, grimy fingerprints evident to my superior senses. This place is a pigsty, I grumbled inwardly whilst pouring the cheap liquor down my gullet. 

I detected motion out the corner of my eye. Two large shadows towering over a smaller one. I blinked once, then twice. Trying to clear the black spots from my vision, only to realise that there was indeed something happening off to my left. Two drunkard men were surrounding a feeble woman, their potbellies evident under straining outer garments. The woman cried softly, a pathetic noise to my inhuman ears, pinned between the monstrosities in the darkness of the corner booth. 

I was off my stool in an instant. My body working on auto-pilot. Before my numbed mind had a chance to catch up, I had crossed the tavern’s expanse, foot extended to the rear of the right-most pig. It connected with a loud crack, breaking a bone or two.The man was thrown into the nearest wall with a deafening thud, his large figure collapsing in on itself. I turned then, catching the other by the throat, claws extended. He rasped beneath my iron-grip, batting at my hold with feeble, intoxicated blows.

His efforts did little to deter me, as I lifted him up off of the ground. The man was almost double my size, but felt as light as a feather in my inhuman grip. His hazel eyes bulged at me, from both a lack of oxygen and the terror I saw etched on his greasy features. He tried to talk, beg me to let him go most likely, but I tightened my grip further, causing a wispy wail to leave him. The man had a balding head of black hair, streaked with greying strands. He was on the heavier side, his cheeks bloated and red. His nose was too small for his face, getting lost under his pudgy flesh. How easy it would be to end your pathetic existence, my inner darkness cooed.

“You will die tonight,” I growled between gritted teeth, slightly spitting the words at the man. He was about to do something terrible to a girl who couldn’t defend herself. I felt it in my bones. Could read it in their looming postures. It was disgusting, vile even. To think they could take what they wanted no matter what. It brought forth a darkness that I had been accustomed to since that fateful night that led to my excommunication from the military. “Never again will anyone take what they can’t have.” My voice became a heated rumble inside my chest, a low growl leaving my pursed lips as my lycant side took over. With a swift twist of the wrist, the man’s neck was broken, and he was no more. I let go then, his lifeless body landing with a heavy thump onto the sticky wooden floorboards. 

Another body to add to my number. 

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