The rain tumbled down from the dark grey clouds, lightning flashing and thunder rolling. It poured from the eaves of the buildings in Queenstown, and poured from the thatched rooves as it did the beards and cowls of the people forced to walk the streets.
On days like today, when the sun barely lightened the day at all, the city felt as grey as the skies above, from the waves down in Portside, up to the carved stone of Temples, and up again to the smoke pouring from the great houses in the Estates, perched up on the cliffs.
For two days, the rain had fallen in great sheets, the low clouds mimicking the waves of the seas below. The city was sodden, and Bedry was sodden, his every movement enough to wring a little water out of his ragged grey clothes, slowly trickling down his legs and pooling beneath where he stood, and only to be replaced by more water from far above. His hood was crudely sewn together from a torn sail, soaked in tar, and it was barely any shield to the torrent of water.
Slowly making his way along his normal route through the markets, Bedry had given his all to coax the few coins now in his hand from those of any passers-by, as few and far between as they had been in this storm. He could already taste the mug of watered sweet ale and spiced bread the few slivers of metal would bring him.
Water gushed down the handful of steps to the front door, and pooled heavy in the old, long-blocked drain at their base, sloshing into the bar as he opened the door and stepped through, mixing with the dirt, reeds and straw covering the floor.
The room was hazy, thick with wood smoke from the cooking fire and pipe smoke from the patrons. Regular visitors rarely used the real name for the tavern, calling it the “Smoking House”. Tonight, the air inside was particularly thick; the pouring rain outside had washed loose old birdnests and the mummified bodies of vermin to plug the various small holes in the roof that gave the place its name.
Bedry shifted uneasily. The House was busier than he liked, and he could spot more than a few people who would pick a fight with a beggar to satisfy their own urges. He hugged the edges of the room, where water fell down the inside walls almost as much as it no doubt did outside. In a corner far from the hearth stood Albi and Stethen, beggars like Bedry, as wet and grey as himself. The landlord, Bannis, saw him come in, and sent a girl over with a mug and a small, damp loaf.
Bannis was an abrupt man, with a hard brow and a scalp barely hidden by thinning hair. Bedry had known him a long time, since before his luck had fallen, and the landlord had always done his best to give him a small meal and a roof in a storm.
Bedry handed all his coin over to the serving girl, thanked her, and slumped down to the floor near Albi and Stethen, and thanked whichever Ascended was listening for the respite from the rain.
Today’s Writing 101 assignment came from here. Any views on how I did, please leave them in the comments!