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Rated: E · Fiction · Fantasy · #2320505
A brief introductory scene for a character in a WIP short story.
Wonky Steve

Rumour has it that Wonky Steve, through no cunning of his own, had discovered the place where X marks the Spot. X, being a comically shaped tree somewhere in the Sandy Wastes, and the Spot being the legendary Crown Jewels.

Wonky was a professional drunk. He clocked in at the Sunshine Inn — the premier dive bar on the bay at King’s Port — as soon as the doors were unlocked in the morning, and it had become part of the nightly routine to throw him out: wipe down tables, tidy up chairs, kick out Wonky, bolt the doors.

He spent most of his time stringing together words like “Spragh Chayng” or “Mruh” or “Hhaghzat?” Occasionally, though, after a slow day of relieving bystanders of their unwanted change, he would sober up enough to use actual words. It didn’t take long for a newcomer at the Sunshine Inn to ply him with ale again, just to get him to be quiet.

The Sunshine Inn had been unusually busy one afternoon when Wonky walked in and plonked himself down at the bar. “What’s all this about then?” he said to Grundle, the barkeep.

“Slow day, Wonk?” said Grundle, serving three customers at once whilst simultaneously changing a barrel.


“Pirates,” said Grundle. “Turned up this morning. Something about a successful quest. Lots of gold.”

Wonky Steve looked at the room full of cutthroat villains and saw a room full of opportunity. With the right amount of persistence, he found that — most of the time — there’d be someone drunk enough to take pity on poor old Steve and buy him a drink or ten to cheer him up.

He approached a group of pirates who were midway through a shanty. “My good fellows,” he began. “Couldn’t bother you for a moment of your time— ”

“Back off ye dirty scab,” said one of the pirates, which started the whole group chanting: “Scab! Scab! Scab! Scab!…”

Wonky retreated to the bar for safety.

“Say, Grundle,” he said. “Have I ever told you that I know the secret whereabouts of the Crown Jewels?”

“Not now, Wonk."

“I’ll trade ya the location for, oh, let’s say four pints of your finest ale?”

“There’s nothing fine about my ale,” said Grundle, mid-pour.

In fact, it was quite a stretch to call the sludge-like liquid oozing from the tap 'ale' in the first place. Leave a barrel of Grundle Brew in the sun for too long, and it’ll form a substance strong enough to cut diamonds.

Before he could respond, Wonky was yanked backwards, disappearing into the sea of pirates. “Oii-aarrgh,” he said.


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