‘Do tell me, Davey, how exactly is this,’ I gestured to the chaos behind me as I finished my question, ‘The best thing that could happen? I mean, we were given four goals when we set out on our mission, right? Find the girl, save the girl, kill the monster, stay out of trouble. Look at what happened instead!’
Davey at least had the decency to look sheepish. ‘We did find the girl…’
I cut him off immediately. ‘No, Davey, we didn’t. It doesn’t count as us finding her if she runs up to us and says “Hello boys, I understand you’ve been looking for me.” Does it?’
‘Well, if we weren’t looking for her, how would she have found us, eh? You didn’t think of that now.’ He whirled around, celebrating his imaginary victory.
‘Okay Davey, I let you have that one. But what happened next?’
He paused mid-whirl, remembering the sequence of events following that brief statement. ‘Oh, oh yeah…’
‘Hello boys, I understand you’ve been looking for me?’ Clarissa had said to us, leaving us with mouths agape as she cleaned the blood from her knives. ‘Good thing I was here, these two were likely going to eat you.’ She gestured to the monsters on the floor. ‘Ergh, I always hate monster brain. It eats away at the blades you know. Anyway, where were you supposed to take me?’
Davey gibbered next to me. I’m not surprised, a monster had been about to eat his face. I was a little on edge but I managed to choke out that we were supposed to take her to Sand Point.
‘Oooooh, no can do fellas. You see, I didn’t get kidnapped, or taken hostage, or eviscerated by wolves. I left of my own accord. I’m going to Sallahan. You want to come with me or head back to Sand Point?’ She slid the knives into the jewelled scabbards and flicked her blonde hair back out of her eyes. ‘I mean, I’m gonna need some big, strong men to protect me on the long road to Sallahan.’ She batted her long eyelashes at us and even though she’d just shown that she’d be better at protecting us than us her, she got under our skin.
‘Well, Clarissa, I mean, Miss Hanasully, until such a time as you are returned to Sand Point and the care of your…’ I noticed that she’d begun to unbutton her leather jacket. I decided to soldier on with the spiel. ‘To the care of your father at… at.. Miss Hanasully, could you please put your clothes back on? It’s really hard to concentrate on this speech with you disrobing.’
‘I’m just going for a swim. You should come too!’ She was gone. Straight into the lake, without a trace. Davey and I stood agog, with Davey reaching down to his shoes to go and join her.
‘Don’t go into the water.’ I raised my hands to my mouth, projecting across the water. ‘Miss… Clarissa! The Calliput is still…’ A roar and a snap cut off my words. Davey and I stared out over the surface.
‘She could still be alive.’
Ten more minutes went by.
‘If she’s in the Calliput, she might still be…’
‘She could be fighting it.’
‘I’m sure she’s fine. She might…’ Davey trailed off into silence.
We waited. The sun went down, the stars came out and we still hadn’t moved.
‘No, Davey. She’s not coming back.’
‘Oh.’ He bent down to tie his shoes. ‘What do we now?’
‘So yes Davey, we came back to Sand Point. You managed to upset both the Thieves Guild and the City Watch, who got into a war over who gets to kill you. Then Captain Hanasully threw the fireball at you, which set fire to the magazine which led to…’ I turned to the burning town, full of screaming people and boats fleeing the harbour. ‘This.’
‘Well, yeah. But at least everyone who could give us a bad reference is dead. And… Well, we’ve got two horses we didn’t have before.’ I looked at him with a rising anger. ‘So, yeah, I guess really, all things considered, this is the best thing that could have happened!’
‘Davey. Start running. Cos I’m going to fucking kill you.’
Sarcastic, me? Never. Wouldn’t dream of it. What’s the best or ‘best’ thing that could have happened for you?
The Idiot in Tin Foil