A murmur traveled the hall as two, cloaked rangers entered White Horse Inn.
Marcello’s eyes flashed, but Tatya’s gaze urged caution.
She approached an aproned man. “Goodman, we need—”
“He don’t serve your kind,” said a gruff voice.
“We’re here to rest. The horde advances.”
“Whose fault is that?” The man wore Lord Albaxen’s livery and a longsword. “We don’t offer refuge to rangers guiding enemies to our door.”
Tatya addressed the proprietor, “What say you?”
He wrung his apron. “I…I…Albaxen’s soldiers, they—”
Albaxen’s man growled. “Shut your trap!”
The innkeeper bobbed. “Yes, Sir Raghnall.”
“Sir? A cur from Northport’s docks!”
Despite good intent, Tatya was a lousy diplomat; Marcello drew his sword. Raghnall matched. Villagers screamed, and the innkeeper ran. Tatya swung her cloak, blinding their opponent.
By the time Raghnall could see, she’d notched an arrow. “Halt! If you hope to survive, stand with us.”
Lord Albaxen’s man froze. “Stand with you? You’ve fled in defeat! Cowards!”
Marcello could suffer no more. His friends had died slowing the horde. He struck, slaying the man.
“Marcello…” Tatya lowered her bow.
“I’m sorry. I…our friends.”
“Yes. Find the proprietor to clean this mess. I’ll bring our packs.”
Sunday Photo Fiction: 200-word stories
photo credit: A Mixed Bag