gummiwolf: (Mona Lisa)
Title: Ottie, Agnes, and the Adventure of the Pony Keg
Author: Kira and Kat
MADRONA
World: Capital
Main Characters: Ottie Williams & Agnes Crenshaw
Borrow: Ask us
Word Count: 1761
Summary: Just what the title says folks, an old woman cons a young man into misadventure and carrying her pony keg.
A/N: Originally posted at [livejournal.com profile] madrona_project/[community profile] madrona_project

Ottie Williams stepped out of the dark, crowded confines of the Whistling Dog and into the blinding sunlight. A big bear of a man, he was kind and gentle to those he knew and he had a soft spot for kids, dogs, and little old ladies. A wee bit daft, he was the muscle at the brewery where he worked, manhandling the kegs of beer and the heavy sacks of hops and malted barley. His boss often sent him out to collect the money owed form the taverns and inns that dotted the waterfront. Most people took one look at him and thought the better of starting trouble. Especially since word had gotten out that he took on a gang of robbers by himself and came through unscathed, though the robbers were lucky to escape major injury. Like most tales, this one had grown in the telling, since it had only been a bunch of snotty teens who had thrown rotten eggs at him for the fun of it. Justice was swift, since Ottie grabbed the ringleader by the scruff of the neck, looked him square in the eye, and told him what they were doing was not nice. The teens, scared witless, quickly apologized, but by then the story had taken root and had changed, until it was a group of robbers, with one version of the story saying they accosted an old lady, with another claiming, they tried to rob the queen herself!

Ottie blinked a few times as his eyes adjusted to the light. Once he got his bearings, he took off for the wharf. He wanted to see the queen’s water parade. Each year the floats got more and more outlandish and rumor had it that Lord Mwans had his own personal yacht decorated to look like a cove full of mermaids, or so Ottie’s friend Tom had told him. His other friend Bob said the “mermaids” were naked, because everyone knows they run around in their skin there. Ottie wanted to see these naked women for himself, even though it was not like he had never seen one before. One of the brewery’s biggest customers was the local cathouse. So he hurried on his way, carefully picking his path through the crowds, despite the fact than most people tended to give him a wide berth. He was so intent on getting to where he was going as quickly as possible to meet up with his friends that he nearly collided with short, stout, middle aged woman, who had over done the pirate garb. Ottie, surprisingly agile for such a large man, stopped short. Hand to his chest to stop his wildly beating heart, as he was sure he had nearly crushed her, not noticing the small pony keg she was dragging behind her. Ottie peered down at her. “Are you okay, Ma’am?”

“Oh my! You’re just what I need!” the older woman proclaimed, swaying slightly.

“Excuse me?” Ottie was not sure what the woman was going on about and was itching to continue on his way to the wharf as he was already running a bit late, but politeness kept him rooted to the spot.

“You! Can you help me?” She tugged on hem of his shirt and blew the feather from her hat out of her face.

“Well, I...” Ottie looked down at her tiny, tilting body. He never could refuse to help someone in need. “What can I do?”

“That’s a boy!” She patted his thigh several times, enough to make it incredibly awkward, made more so by missing her target every few swats. “I need a strap..., strip, sturdy young man like yourself to carry this wee thing to my inn,” she said, patting the pony keg. Her eyes were unfocused and refused to stay open for the entire statement.

Ottie looked around. It truly would be difficult to for the old woman to drag it just about anywhere with the crowd and her obvious inebriation, and it was doubtful anyone else would help her. He mentally sighed. “Where?”

She pointed towards the inn that was several blocks out of the way of his destination and it would definitely make him very late to meet Tom, but if they hurried, he could still catch the water parade. He picked up the keg and marched on, determined to make good time with the old woman scampering behind him.

The older woman huffed and puffed as she followed along. “Hey, boy!” she wheezed. “Where’s the fire?” She cackled to herself as muttered “In my bloomers!” just under her breath.

Ottie groaned. He obediently slowed his pace, though he was sorely tempted to pick her up like a sack of barley with his free hand, while he balanced the pony keg on his shoulder, and carry her to her inn. But he knew deep down that was not polite, so he simply gritted his teeth while the old lady dawdled along behind him. When she finally caught up to him, she latched onto his arm.

Blowing the feather from her hat out of her face again, the old woman smiled coquettishly up at him, although it was more of leer than anything else. “What’s your name, Sweetcheeks?” she said, tripping over her words a bit.

Ottie looked down at her and gave her a tight little smile. “Ottie Williams and yours?”

“Agnes Crenshaw.” She beamed up at him and giggled like a little girl.

“Pleased to meet you, Miss Crenshaw.” Ottie smiled, always the gentleman.

Agnes tittered. “No need to be so… erum… so um formal, Sweetcheeks. Call me Agnes.” She waggled her eyebrows at him.

Ottie grimaced as he tried keeping the smile plastered on his face. There was no way the old woman was flirting with him, and yet… His mind refused to go there, although, his cheeks did their best to heat up in case it did.

“Hey, Aggie!” someone in the crowd called out, “Who’s you boyfriend?”

Ottie did not know what was worse, Agnes’ cackling or the booming laughter that followed that statement. He was momentarily relieved when she let go of him, only to turn beat red when Agnes fondled his ass. “Agnes?!” he squeaked.

“Yesh…?” She blew the feather out of her face again.

Ottie happened to catch the pursing of her lips and he nearly turned and high-tailed it out of there as he was sure the old lady was going to kiss him. He let out a small sigh of relief when she stared owlishly up at him. “Ummm…?”

“Yes…?” Agnes tilted a bit, nearly losing her balance as she stared.

“Never mind. We’re almost there.”

“So we are… Oooh!” She took a deep breath. “Do I smell…” she trailed off as tried to find the words in her head to express the savory aroma that permeated her nostrils.

“Uh…?” Ottie blinked. How in world was he going to answer that politely as well as truthfully? Fortunately, he was saved form answering when she blurted out:

“Turkey legs! Le’s get some!” Agnes grabbed his arm and dragged him in the opposite direction of the inn. She had about as much initial success as she had dragging the pony keg, but Ottie relented and let her lead him towards a food stand that was packed full of people.

Agnes fought her way through the crowd, shoving and elbowing all in her path, and occasionally throwing an obnoxious “'scuse me!” over her shoulder until she made it to the front. Ottie was impressed and mildly terrified. He did not know she had it in her.

The poor man running the food stand stared at the little tornado of a woman that appeared before him. Ottie felt a bit sorry for him, after his own technically brief time with her. Agnes ordered three turkey legs in her nearly incomprehensible pirate talk. It took the man running the stall a moment to comply with her order. Ottie figured the man was in the same amount of disbelief that he was in over Agnes’ large order, or maybe he had encountered her before. Ottie began to wonder if this was just what this woman did, running around, disrupting the lives of young men, and leaving them shaken and confused.

Agnes made a sort of battle cry when she received her turkey legs. The crowd parted for her this time as she left. When she got back to Ottie, she blew the feather out of her face again and told him, “Lead on, Sweetcheeks.” She trotted out in front of him, headed once again toward the inn, and taking bites of the turkey legs in each hand.

Ottie eventually passed her once again in his eagerness to get this chore done with. Occasionally, he had to stop to let her catch up when her incessant chattering grew too quiet behind him. By the time her inn was in sight, he had learned the names of her eighteen grandchildren, several tales of why her brother-in-law was a bum, three lectures on the importance of not caring about what people think about how you dress, and four lectures on the importance of taking care of your back, supplemented with complaints about her various aches and pains.

At the road in front of her inn, Agnes stopped Ottie with a swat to the flank and a “Whoa, big boy.”

He looked down at her, surprised they were stopping.

“I can take from here, Sweetcheeks.” She made grabby hands at her keg the best she could, while still holding the remains of her turkey legs.

Ottie obediently set it on the ground, glad his adventure seemed to be coming to an end.

Agnes gave a wobbly curtsy. “Thank you, gallant Sir Ottie.”

Not sure what exactly one did in these situations, Ottie awkwardly waved and said, “Uh, sure. You're welcome.”

She took a hold of her pony keg and started once more to drag it behind her as she had when he first came across her, before shrieking, “Wait!” and running back to him. “I forgo' to give this to ya,” she told him, while handing him the remaining uneaten turkey leg.

Ottie called out his thanks as he watched her skitter away with her keg far too spryly. He looked down at his turkey leg and gave it a big bite, suddenly realizing he was hungry, and quickly made his way towards the wharf. Tom was never going to believe this.

Comments I received at [livejournal.com profile] madrona_project (WARNING MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS):
"*LAUGHS* These two were such fun, eh? :D"

"Heh, I can see Noblesse having a ship decked out as such. This was fun. I like Ottie already, and kind of want to steal that feather off Agnes's hat. Maybe someone will dare a certain character of mine to try something that stupid."
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