The Pain-Eater: Part I

An Espresso Tale

By

Accipiter G. Goshawk

Hello! Here is an older text I have re-edited and will probably add a sequel to in the next few weeks.

Have a nice week-end!

A.G.G

It had been a long and tiring journey, and as always, he hadn’t had the luxury of travelling on anything more than his own two feet. His boots were worn, and his stick was beginning to splinter, so he was relieved to see the bell-tower of Newsdok rise above the treetops. A place to rest, finally.

A place to find work.

He made his way to the only tavern in the sleepy town, The Red Swan, were the kind innkeeper, recognizing a tired traveler -and an Eater- set him up in the finest room of the house, free of charge.

He couldn’t complain: he had slept in far worse in his time. Of course he had also slept in far better. One time, in Al Thuruk he had been the honored guest of his serene grace the Sultan of Uk, and had slept on beds of silk and phoenix feathers, waited on by countless servants. Last night he had slept under a pine, to keep out of the rain.

Such was the nature of his work.

After having freshened up, he wrapped the emerald green sash with the mark of his profession around his waist, and made his way downstairs. He asked the innkeeper for a private room, adjacent to the bar, so as to afford his patients a modicum of privacy. The innkeeper readily accepted: there was no better way to draw a crowd to the Red Swan than when an Eater was in town.

As the day waned and evening swept her long drapes about the world, the first faithful patrons began to make their way to the bar to quench their thirst, but also to take advantage of the rare services the traveler had come to provide.

He was sipping from a small cup of mulled wine when his first customer shyly knocked at the door.

“Come my child, sit down and relax.”

The young girl with blonde hair and blue eyes sat on the chair in front of him. She had an odd scrunched up look on her face; a little fearful (a sign that it was her first time), sad (he could still see the trails the tears had left on her cheeks), and oddly enough, guilty.

“Relax now child, and let me partake of your pain,” he said gently, and placed his hand on the side of her face, his index lightly touching her temple.

“I love you Geraldine, and I always will!” he roared happily.

She smiled her soft secret smile, as she watched the man of her life smile back, taking her heart and making it his. There was nothing to keep them apart, not now, not ever. They danced in the fields, they played in the woods, they made love behind Old Lady Winter’s farm, and life was wonderful.

They married shortly after, and although they had little money, they worked hard and saved up enough to buy their own farm, which they wasted little time in populating with beautiful, healthy children. It was all she had hoped for, all she had ever imagined, all she had ever planned.

And when the children grew, and they grew old, they would spend days walking together, gathering mushrooms, and caring for the grandchildren. They became old together, and time went by ending in a most beautiful sunset.

He blinked a little as his mind settled. He got up, a little unsteadily, as a tear threatened to escape the prison of his eyes.

“That was quite beautiful Geraldine. How are you feeling?”

She looked at him blankly and smiled wide.

“Never better sir! Isn’t it a wonderful evening?”

She got up, twirled for him and gave him a bow. Then, she made for the door, dancing on light feet. He let her go without a word.

He returned to his seat, and drank another sip, trying to drown the intense longing he now felt in his chest for someone who had recently died, and left him. Pain from lost love was always hard to Eat.-

One thought on “The Pain-Eater: Part I

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