Krel’s pot smashed against the wooden counter, splashing beer. His teeth clenched.
“You don’t wanna to be messing with me!”
The crowd laughed at his drunken proclamation, and the would-be assailant moved closer.
“And why’s that, old man?”
“Lemme tell you about my sister…last week, she was having sex when this guy broke into her room. Smashed his club against her paramour’s skull. His end came before his end came, if you get my meaning? Well, my sister, she grabs the murdering bastard round the throat and says to him ‘I hope you’ve got a hard-on because I’m not finished yet!’ The guy starts smiling and fumbles for his belt. He was still smiling when she plunged her knife into his back and made a nice hole in his heart. Real heartbreaker, my sister.”
“That’s fucking hilarious, old man, but why should it make me afraid of you?”
With a speed that belied his drunkenness, Krel grabbed his tormentor’s neck. “Because – having to live in the shadow of that much badassery means that I’m always a hair’s breadth away from ripping someone’s head off!”
Krel head-butted the man, then shoved him away. The crack as the back of his skull hit the counter silenced the whole tavern. Krel staggered for the door, stumbling, and banging his hip against chairs.
No-one was laughing.
Krel’s unsteady gait got him out of the front door while the stunned tavern customers watched in silence. Once outside, the fresh air caused two thoughts to occur almost simultaneously in his mind.
I need a pee…maybe more…
What did I just do?
He made his way to the jakes, musing on his relationship with Katrin…Big sisters are always trouble, always thinking they have to protect you. Fucking embarrassing, that’s what it is…I can protect myself…
Krel didn’t need sober vision to find the jakes, the smell led him straight there. Tugging at the wonky door, he struggled to close it behind himself. Starlight peeked through the holes in the wooden walls, but so drunk was he, that he didn’t notice that it momentarily disappeared, nor did he hear the furtive noises of the men outside. He did notice the explosion, but it’s doubtful he saw the men running away or the shower of excrement, piss and weathered wood that plastered his body.