I’m nobody. I run a small restaurant in the Easterners’ section. Okay, maybe nothing as grand as a restaurant, but I’ve got plans, you know? Anyway, a strange thing happened to me yesterday. See—
Yeah, fine, your wine’s a little sweet for my taste, but go on, pour me another.
Okay, here it is. A man and woman walked in and ordered klava. They chose a table in the back. I plunked down two glasses, filled them with piping-hot klava (my special blend), and left them to enjoy the privacy they so obviously sought.
I was working on the dinner menu when a strange contraption rolled in through the front door. It looked like a large metal can on wheels. Its dome-like top spun around. A round light blinked at me, and this…thing… produced a series of whistles, clicks, beeps, and what resembled a series of musical notes played by a beginning instrumentalist. Then the noisy container rolled into the darkness, heading for the couple enjoying their privacy and klava.
Okay, so I save money on candles in the afternoon. You want to hear this or not?
Anyway, I was intrigued, so I followed after this…thing. But I froze when it projected an image of a man about the height of my forearm. Although I could see through him, and so I knew he wasn’t real, he still looked so lifelike, standing there on the table before the two glasses of klava. Clutching a notebook and a pen in his hands, this tiny apparition said,
“Steven Brust, years ago you served me purely as entertainment.
Now I beg you to aid me in my struggles against Writer’s Block.
This is my most desperate hour.
Help me, Steven Brust: you’re my only hope!”
Then the image of the man dissolved, the metal contraption turned around, and I stepped aside as it rolled past me, still emitting those curious whistles, beeps, clicks, and notes from a poorly tuned instrument. From outside, I heard someone say, “There you are! I’ve been looking all over for you. You delivered a message? What message were you carrying around in your blasted innards this time?” When I turned back to my guests, I saw the man’s nose wrinkle as he set down his glass. I hurried back to the bar, brought the couple two new glasses, and poured them some more klava.
No, I didn’t. I could tell the man was dangerous. I didn’t think it prudent to delve too deeply into his affairs.
So you tell me, what manner of sorcery moved that device? And what should I make of the man’s plea? No, I haven’t had too much of your overly sweet wine! Really? You honestly think I'd make up such a story?
I’ll agree with you there, friend. It all seems a bit much to me, too.
|R2-D2: Star Pilot extraordinaire|
To book passage to Adrilankha, contact Star Tours. (It’s not an official destination, but check with R2-D2. Maybe he can arrange something).
For a review of this restaurant (or, as Vlad so generously describes it, a “klava hole”), read Chapter 5 of Teckla by Steven Brust.
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