Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Scots Best of Breed Tavern

Pic from ~ scottishplaidkilts.com

Tuesday howls and yowls, shapeshifter lovers.

My goodness, I feel like I've run a marathon or two, just trying to get my flash scene written, and finally finished. So, the flash is rougher and more unedited than usual. But that's the best I could do, given today's huge ole roadblocks.

But, hey, Halloween feels like it's just around the corner, and we have a 'before' All Hallow's Eve blog hop coming up the 19-21.

With all the lusty kilt fun we've had recently, I thought the pic above would add to the mood. And, while my flash scene hero isn't one of those fine handsome gentlemen, he is attired in a kilt.  


Scots Best of Breed Tavern

Zeiran "Duff" McDuff of Vretland growled low in his throat, his Scottish brogue coloring the rough sound. For moments, he stared into the high blaze of his carefully nurtured peat fire.

Gods, the overripe earthy smells tended to his soul, and also filled his new tavern. Located outside of Talbot's Peak, Montana in the deep forest, his establishment was a mile and a stone's throw from Dante's Biker Bar.

Duff bellowed his lungs, inhaling the reminders of his Scottish homeland -- his preferred home since the 17th century. But the itch to relocate hadn't been eased by scratching when in his dog form, so he'd followed where it led.

Though, Dante was a bonnie lad for a werewolf, placing his prized tavern inside that underground marvel of a structure didn't suit Duff. Too much like trying to breathe inside a tomb for his liking.

A practical matter, indeed, he'd constructed a tunnel to the fine living quarters he'd purchased inside the Pleasure Club. Duff hadn't lived to his ripe old age by being daft in the head, as he was proud of reminding others.

During this turn from one age to the next, nothing on the grand dam that was Earth would remain untouched by the Cosmic Changes -- as the time was called by the few of his ilk who remained on world.

"Off to a rip roaring start," he muttered in a low bark. Duff had little use for the high tech of this time, except when it came to tracking superstorm weather, and the ominous land change events.

After tossing down a bit o' scotch, Duff propped one of his admittedly 'too-brawny legs for the lasses' on the great hearth. He'd spent the better part of a month building it himself out of huge slabs of stone.

Laboring was good for the soul, as the old ones preached. Duff couldn't disagree. 
Using his own two over-sized hands, he'd done most of the work on the tavern fit for a king. Though, the gods knew, he'd built the Scots Best of Breed with the hope that some in Talbot's Peak would consider it a second home.

Duff well knew drumming up business could be a challenge, given all the quality pubs, bars, and taverns in this shapeshifter haven. Duff had wanted his own place, having always appreciated the atmosphere of a pub, and talking companionably with the locals.

Leaning forward comfortably, Duff listened to the crackling flames with pleasure and satisfaction. He arranged his favorite wool kilt so the fire already warming his laddie and his cockles, allowed for more direct heat. On a chilly Autumn evening a man had to keep himself comfortable.

Reaching for the heavy iron poker, Duff had just taken hold when he heard a tiny shriek. He cocked an ear toward the front door, listening.

Truth to the gods, it might have been the wind singing through the shutters. His nose offered no new scents. Now his spine was a different animal.

Tingles of the electric sort used it as a race course. That meant... a low crying moan reached his ears.

Duff wheeled around fast charging for the tavern's entrance. Only in his stocking feet, he came close to slipping and crashing to the floor.

Seizing hold of the large brass handle, he jerked the door open. Duff stepped onto the threshold, and pierced the darkness with his gaze.

She had to be here. He knew the distress call of a Lyroris fae. Though, the gods knew, he hadn't heard such since his youth wandering through the tall heather and bounding over the highlands.

'Where are ye?' he mentally whispered.

The offal smell of demon predators hung heavy despite the night wind. There had to be a pack of at least ten of the nasty relentless creatures. Duff was well aware the little fae could only shield herself with invisibility for so long.

A faint sound that could have been the wind pricked his inner Scottish dog ears. In moments, he'd leaped toward the nearest pine tree, found her huddled beneath a pile of pine cones, and scooped her up into his arms.

Duff raced with her to the tavern. He could have chased the demon pack, made them turn tail. But his priority was tending to the fae.

He slammed the door shut with a back kick of his foot, and made short work of the distance to the hearth. Huge dark eyes, dull with pain and shock, regarded him as he knelt before the fire.

"You're safe, wee one." Feeling her limp exhaustion, Duff kept her cradled in his arms. "I'll give you me strength, if you'll accept it."

It was as the fae gave a fragile nod that Duff caught more of her scent. "You're not just a fae, are ye?"

"Shapeshifter," she mouthed.

"That's why you fled here, to Talbot's Peak. You're a fox shifter."

Her eyes answered him, and Duff plumbed their depths. Her life force was close to vanishing. But that wouldn't happen. Not on his watch.

"Lass, why don't I just hold onto you for awhile, and get some life in ya. Then, I'll be fixin' you some broth."

She dimly shimmered, his wee fae fox, then closed her eyes. But he felt it, her strong will to live.

Duff swiveled his great bulk around, and seating himself on the hearth, he cradled her on his lap. The blaze behind him would feed her too. Already he felt the fire spirits interact with her depleted energies, increasing her strength.

Wishing you shapeshifting love on the wild side…


Savanna Kougar ~ Run on the Wild Side of Romance ~



Serena Shay said...

Oh dang, Savanna! I sure hope this flash gets added to your list of Talbot's Peak novella/novel possibilities. It appeals on so many levels!

Faboo flash!

Pat C. said...

I like this laddie. What kind of Scots dog is he? Terrier? Collie? Deerhound?

And a fox fae. That's new, at least to me. This could get interesting.

Savanna Kougar said...

Serena, thanks. I have a 'long' list, as I know you do.

Savanna Kougar said...

Pat, Duff McDuff is a rough tough Scottish Terrier, who know his way around a broadsword and other weapons in his human form.