Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Short Story: Ba'har and Owlbear

When Ba'har Ba'har and Jon-Jack "Owlbear" Whillis entered the shop, it was like the beginning of a joke: Ba'har was tall even for a Dragonborn, having to duck through the door, and Owlbear was a typical halfling, which brought him up to the waist of most people. Few people would guess that Owlbear was the more dangerous of the two. Once they looked in his face, and noticed his knives, they might change their minds.

The two briefly spoke before idly examining the wares. Soon, Owlbear approached the shopkeeper. "Do you have any banners?" he asked casually. "No," said the owner, disinterestedly, "what you see is what we have." "Then I'll just take these potions," he said, placing several vials on the counter. The shopkeeper told him the price, and Owlbear put some coins on the table. The owner looked at the coins, then at Owlbear. "You're a little short." he said, referring to the money, but Owlbear's face quickly contorted in anger.

"A little short?" He shouted, jumping up on the counter. "I'm a halfling, you want to make something of it, you son of a bitch?" He drew his knife and held it up against the man's throat. From the far side of the store, Ba'har ran to Owlbear, calling for him to stop. Owlbear stared into the shopkeeper's eyes, "Say something like that again, and you'll never say another word," he growled. Ba'har grabbed Owlbear from behind, pulling him toward the doorway. "I'm sorry, he doesn't mean it," Ba'har apologized, "he's very sensitive about being insulted."

Owlbear certainly seemed to mean it as he convulsed like an animal, trying to break free of the hold, barking loudly. All the while, his eyes never left those of the owner of the shop, who hadn't moved a muscle since Owlbear drew his knife.

Once Ba'har had pulled Owlbear into the crowded street, he instantly calmed down, sheathing his knife. Ba'har looked down at the halfing, "What in the world did he say to you?" he asked, frustrated. "Don't worry about it," said Owlbear, smiling, "What shop are we going to next?" he asked, rolling a coin over his finger and pocketing the vials.