Welcome back for the third post in the Poison Inn Adventure! I hope you had an amazing Fourth of July, if you’re in the US, or, if you’re not, I hope you’re weekend was still amazing and wonderful.
Let’s see what happens next in the Inn.
Poison Inn 2 Option Ab: Master’s Assistant
The room crackles with tension as Marl eyes you, waiting for your response. You can just imagine his reaction if you say Apothecary’s assistant. Even to you that sounds suspicious with the poisoning.
“I’m a Master’s assistant. I was headed to the Capital for supplies when the storm hit.” You hold Marl’s gaze as your say this. It’s all technically true but his eyes narrow, perhaps sensing you’re holding information back.
“Spices mostly,” you respond. “Sage, Thyme, the Cinnamon ships should have arrived a few days ago. My Master wan—“
Marl waves for you to stop. You snap your lips shut, relieved because those were the only three well-known spices on your list and you’re a horrible liar. Much more talking and he’d have known for sure you weren’t telling everything.
After a moment longer of eyeing you, Marl moves to question the old couple at the end of the bar.
“Who are you?” he asks them.
“Th—we’re the Nichols,” the man swallows and grasps his wife’s hand so tightly his knuckles look white. “We were headed to visit Maria, our daughter. It’s her birthday, you see, and we were going to surprise her with…” his voice reminds you of the rasp from a harpsichord as he rambles on about surprising his daughter.
You clasp your hands together against the rough bar to stop them from shaking, only catching half of the man’s words as he continues to ramble.
Marl simply watches him, his silence pulling more words than questions would have. You don’t blame the man. You know exactly how that furious stare feels.
The old woman pulls her hand free from her husband to push her glasses back up her nose. Her hand shakes and she pauses for a second before pressing on the bridge.
You stare hard at her fingers. She’s almost totally silver haired. Her face bares the signs of liver spots, but her hands, they’re long fingered and elegant. Smooth skinned like they’ve never seen the sun.
She’s silver haired but tucked behind her right ear is a lock of black. It’s hard to catch because the white hair overlaps it in several spots and that side of her head hides in her husband’s shadow cast by the lamp behind the bar, but you’re fairly sure the hair isn’t even the same texture.
While you’ve been staring, Marl’s asked a few more questions that you didn’t catch the answers to. He seems satisfied with the old man’s response though and moves down the bar to the chess players.
You don’t even listen to their reasons for being in the Inn this evening. Instead, you continue to watch the old woman. She waits for a bit, fidgeting with her glasses and pulling at her jacket like she’s cold. Then she slides off her stool and steps away from the bar like she’s stretching her old legs.
Something tells you she’s about to bolt. You really want to blurt out a question about her hair. Is she wearing a wig? But if you ask and you’re wrong, Marl’s going to suspect you even more.
Ab2: Keep quiet?