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Sweeping Up (Archive)

Tags: Bryony,  toby

Short Summary: Bryony keeps the Pony tidy; and that includes shooing off young ruffians like Toby!
Date (real-life): 2004-07-30
Scene Location: The Prancing Pony
Date (in-game): Oct 22, 1432
Real time: Fri Jul 30 18:52:00 2004
Bree time: Early Afternoon <1:35 PM> on Sterday of Autumn - October 22,1432
Moon Phase: Waxing Crescent Moon

The early afternoon autumn air is cool but pleasant around you. The sky above is a glorious pale blue

At the Sign of the Prancing Pony

The Great East Road bends around the southeastern corner of Bree-hill. The Road leads away to the west and southeast, and where it sweeps past the foot of the hill there sits a large three storey inn. The inn has a front on the Road, with two wings that run back, away from the Road to the east, on land partly cut out from the hill's lower slopes. As a result, the rear second-floor windows of the inn are level with the ground. A wide arch leads to a courtyard between the two wings. Above the arch is a lamp and beneath it swings a large signboard: a fat white pony rearing up on its hind legs.

--Dramatis Personae--


The afternoon sun hits this edge of Bree Hill full on, illuminating the Pony and turning the autumn foliage to a shifting veil of light. Golden brown dust puffs under the feet of men and ponies, and sifts onto the hair of one lad who sits at his ease against the wall and eats an apple. His bare toes wiggle idly in the dirt, the fingers of one hand toy with a twig, and his eyes (brown and sharp) keep an incessant watch on all passersby. High on one cheek, a bruise flaunts itself in black and blue and yellow glory; a jagged scab telling of a half-healed scrape arrows down his temple.

A notably large cloud of upheaved dust gathers from just within the arch of the inn, accompanied by the swift whisking noise of a straw-broom upon the russet-hue road which leads there. Appearing to hover slightly above this cloud is the upper half of a young woman, a kercheif bound loosely about her head and dark eyes fixed quite intently upon the movement of her instrument along the ground. The twigs and leaves which autumn had blown into the courtyard leap almost willingly from her path, which slowly takes her forward towards the outer walls of the front wings.


"Hey! Watch where you're sweeping that stuff!" Toby complains, leaping to his feet to avoid becoming one with a pile of dirt and branches. He sneezes again, wiping his nose with the back of his hand. There is a muffled giggle from somewhere in the passing throng and the boy glares over his shoulder indiscriminately.

The whisking noise comes an abrupt halt as the complaint reaches the young woman's ears, her gaze snapping up from its fixation upon the swirling dust and leaves to settle upon a new target -- the lad. One hand releases from the broom handle, giving a quick motion down towards the road beneath their feet. "It doesn't seem as though your choice of a seat in road-dust is very different from court-yard dust. My apologies if one irritates you, and not the other."

"The one t'weren't in my nose," Toby grumbles. But he cranes around to peer at his pants' seat, and gives it a half-hearted brush that does nothing more than stir the dust around. He takes a bite from his apple, and crunches it morosely; eyes studying the young woman with the broom. "Sweep it somewhere else, couldn't you?" he asks finally, still grouchily. "I was sitting here afore you started mussing stuff around with that broom of your'n."

One of the girl's dark brows arches. "I started cleaning the court-yard, and I am going to finish it." She states, as if any other course of action would be utterly preposterous. The free hand then comes to rest upon her hip, head tilting as she eyes the injuries on the lad's face. "You look as though you could use a bit of cleaning up yourself. Sitting in the dust is probably not the most efficient way to do that."

"Wasn't trying t'get clean," Toby mumbles, unaccustomedly abashed. "Was watching folk." He scrubs futilely at the random dirt patches that adorn his face, then stops self-consciously. "'Sides," he asserts, lifting his chin defiantly, "I washed just th'other day. I ain't got dirty again yet."

"Well, maybe you can watch folk from somewhere that you won't get dirt all over your trousers, or in the clean inner-yard when it's finished." The young woman replies, hand coming to rest again upon the broom, as if threatening to stir the miniature storm of twigs and leaves into the air again. "Not to mention your unfortunate food..."

Bewilderment mingles with defensiveness in the boy's bruised face. "Where else'm I supposed to sit?" he asks. "If'n I want to watch them folks going by on the road. Bit of dirt never harmed a body. Keeps yer clothes warmer, anyhow." This last assertion is made with complete sincerity as the lad takes a deliberately large bite of his (mostly) clean apple.

Her hand again moves upward, extending a single pale finger out towards the other side of the road with a small frown. "Well, if you're going to absolutely insist on being filthy and watching people drag up even more dust along this road, you -could- do it from over there." She almost winces as she sees the boy take a bite of the slightly-dusted apple, but comments not upon that.

Toby shrugs, a faint smile hovering about his mouth at her even fainter wince. "Nothing to lean against," he explains. Slowly, he lifts the apple to his mouth again and takes a bite. "And," he points out lazily, leaning a shoulder up against the wall, "You're getting dusty too. Stands to reason, swishing it all about and getting it all over in the air like that... some's going to get on a body..." He watches to see how she will react to this accusation.

The boy's reproach about the dust that is already beginning to settle upon the hem of her skirt seems to strike a nerve of some sort with the girl, and she flourishes her broom forward, sweeping up the the dirt and leaves at her feet again almost defiantly. "I, however, fully intend to wash up and enjoy an otherwise dustless afternoon when I am finished here. Do whatever you like -- just don't go dragging your dirt-patched self into this Inn or I'll take a wet cloth to your face myself."

The lad shrugs again and tosses his apple core carelessly aside. "Horses need fed," he explains laconically, ambling past her towards the stables. "I'll go inside when I likes," he throws over his shoulder.

Date added: 2013-01-29 01:10:53    Hits: 77
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