Rings and Fings: Episode 12

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Holding the bottle of Laphroig, Rachael returned to the kitchen wearing boots, jeans and a thick blue sweatshirt. Her nosebleed had stopped but a fresh bruise was forming around her nose.

The traveler stood up quickly; the cat remained sitting on the end of the table. She picked up a clean glass from the cabinet and poured herself a glass of whisky and replenished the traveler’s glass. He surely must have wanted to get the taste of that green stuff out of his mouth.

“Many thanks,” he said bowing.

They stood there looking at each other for some moments. Him with that smile. He obviously wasn’t going to drink or sit until she had done so first. So mannered, yet so pushy, she thought. Rachael decided not to ask him why he hadn't returned to the barn. He would just say “just assuring your well-being my Lady,” or something like that. She did not want to admit to herself that she was a tiny part glad that he was still here.

Rachael sat down in the large chair at the end of the table and swigged some whisky. He sat on the long bench, close enough that they could touch glasses and say “cheers,” if they wanted to and did the same.

“So, who were you talking to while I was upstairs?”

The traveler took another slug of his fiery drink, and looking slightly taken aback he gestured open palm to the black cat. “Well, Legion of course.” he said smiling.

“Okay, we have half a bottle of whisky left, easily enough for a few minutes,” she knocked back some of the golden liquid, “Does he talk back?”

“Well of course,” he glanced at Rachael, who was studying him intensely, “Well, not in the sense that you think. How is your nose?”

“Fine,” She answered quickly, “Does he understand English, or do you speak cat to him?”

The traveler laughed, but stopped when he saw Rachael was in a serious interrogation mood.

“Well I can speak cat, but also Legion speaks English,” he glanced at the cat, “And rather well in fact, do you have my cloth?”

“Hmmm, hmmm, and so he told you Spam was attacking me? It’s upstairs in the basket.” He nodded deciding not to ask about the basket.

He wants his bloody cloth back?

“Excuse me Rachael, but are you cold?” Without waiting for her to reply he stood and turned to the large black range, “May I?”

“May I what?” Rachael thought, “Oh well, what’s the worst that could happen?” Rachael nodded.

He stepped over to the range and opened the grate. He reached into his waistcoat pocket and then she saw a glowing red orange ball float into the range. He snapped back up to his full height kicking the grate door closed with a heavy black boot. Golden sparks flew from the vents, swirled around for a few seconds and faded out. Immediately the room became warm and a fire blossomed inside the range.

“So he just pulled a ball of fire from his pocket,” Rachael thought, “must be a street performer trick.”

She drank some whiskey, and then noticed the dancing pigs statue on the table near the bottle except now it was just a dancing pig playing a flute statue; the smaller front pig was gone. It instantly made her sad. It was one of her mum’s favourites. “Must have been when I smacked that idiot around the head. I will look for its partner in the morning,” she thought.

The traveler sat back down smiling he poured more whisky into both of their glasses.

The cat purred.

Honey warmth filled the kitchen.

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