|Qebhet (coolwaters) wrote in nevermore_logs,|
@ 2021-07-31 17:14:00
|Entry tags:||much the miller's son, qebhet|
|Qebhet was a homebody by nature. If she didn’t have someone pushing her to get out and socialise, she was more likely than not to default to the comfortable familiarity of her couch and cats and a good book. A travelogue of places she’d never been, or a cosy romance with the reassurance of a guaranteed happy ending. You could pass a perfectly pleasant evening with one of those. Perhaps some stuffed dates and a glass of wine to go with them. And there was always the chance of the odd spectral visitor – ghosts could hardly pick up a phone to call ahead.|
It wasn’t that she didn’t like spending time with people. Qebhet loved people. But in large groups, crammed together in enclosed spaces, dozens of voices all overlapping one another amid the scraping of chairs and the clinking of glasses and the blaring of music so she had to strain to make out what was being said, the crowds and the noise and the seemingly easy confidence of everybody around her all pressed down on her like a weight, and she retreated into herself like a desert viper shrinking into the sand.
But some months ago, Much the Miller’s Son had invited her to stop by for a drink at the Diogenes Club, and she felt just a little bit guilty that she hadn’t taken him up on it, just like she felt a little bit guilty every time Genesis invited her out to drinks or some other discomfortingly crowded-noisy-suffocating-sounding social event.
But work today had been bad. Too-small bodies and too-fearful ghosts and awful relatives who stormed straight past the reception desk, through the staff-only corridor into the prep room and picked fights with (in succession) the morticians, the funeral director and finally each other, that sort of bad. Qebhet had arrived home restless and jittery and the feeling simply hadn’t abated, and at last, as the long summer twilight faded, she had slipped her shoes back on and decided that a long walk was what she needed to settle her mind.
It did, a little. She walked without any especial direction. Qebhet had not lived in Manhattan continuously, as her father had, but she’d spent enough of the past century here that it was rarely more than a few blocks’ walk before unfamiliar streets took on a glimmer of familiarity again. It was easy to just follow her feet and let her mind drift.
She hadn’t realised how long, or how far, she’d been walking until her attention snagged on the facade of the Diogenes Club, half a block away. The sight of it brought Much’s invitation back to her with the same small prickle of guilt.
Well… it was late. And it was a work night for most people. It couldn’t be too crowded, could it?
And Much was a friendly face. It might be nice to see one of those after the day she’d had.
Qebhet stepped into the bar, where the murmur of city traffic were quickly swallowed up by the sounds of conversation and laughter. Work night or no, apparently Diogenes was still bustling, though most of the noise seemed to be coming from a party of at least half a dozen dvergar crammed into a booth together exchanging ribald jokes in Old Norse. The first raucous howl from the group made her cringe instinctually, folding in on herself a little, and her cheeks heated when she realised the sound had been one of mirth, not aggression. She moved quickly on past the group.
Sliding onto a stool, she smiled tentatively at the familiar face across the bar. “Hello, Much.”