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Griffon on the Rocks - Chapter 1

By LobosNumber5 on 2nd December 2020 02:35:25 AM

  1. > An intense staring contest
  2. > An eye feud, perhaps
  3. > A pupil pummeling
  4. > A sclera scuffle
  5. > An... Okay, you get the idea
  6. > Two creatures were locked in a rigid, unblinking war of the eyes
  7. > One, a lanky human male with his elbows propped against a slightly-too-low countertop, fingers interlaced upon which rested his scraggly chin
  8. > A toothy grin spread wide across his face and it was all he could do to keep from sniggering like a fool
  9. > The other creature was a mythical legend; its front, of beak and talon; its rear, of lion's tail and paw
  10. > Two feathery wings sprouted from either side and were poised as if to kick up a great wind in the tiny bar the human male maintained on his own
  11. > At seven o'clock in the evening, it was a strange sight that a bar smack-dab in the middle of one of the more populated portions of Ponyville was as empty as it was, but the rampaging griffon inside might have had something to do with that
  12. > Curious onlookers could be seen passing by, eyes widening in fear at the tense atmosphere that threatened to leak out of the place any second
  13. > The griffon looked as if it were ready to rip the man to shreds, her eyes narrowed into serpentine slits and her feathers fluffed up in an adorably "oh shit but also damn that's really cute" kind of way
  14. > Her eyes were filled with hate and her talons clicked aggressively against the wood floor beneath her, the only real sound to be heard from the room at the moment
  15. > Neither side looked to be ready to back down
  16. > After a few more minutes of stalemate, the man clicked his tongue
  17. > "Do you want me to guess why you-"
  18. > The griffon held her clawed hand in front of the man and cocked her head to the side, her honey eyes taking a great interest in anything but the speaker
  19. > "Can it, loser. Not. Another. Word."
  20. > A few more moments of what appeared to be another draw passed, but it was broken suddenly with horrific cries of mirth as the man fell to the ground in comical fashion, clutching his stomach and guffawing at the griffon's expense
  21. > "R-really? Another one? I mean, come on Gilda, you've got to be good at SOMETHING right? Want me to give you a couple of suggestions? You could-" he gasped through another fit of laughter, "-be a little league mascot! Do they even have that here? What's the pony equivalent of football gotta be? Hoofball? You could be a hoofball team mascot! Better yet, you could be a shitty Halloween decoration! 'Mommy, can I take a picture with the bird-kitty???' How many has it been now? Eleven? Eleven different jobs and not a single one you could keep for more than a week?"
  22. > With every pointed remark, Gilda's anger grew rapidly and her beak filed back and forth against itself in frustration, her tail lashing violently behind her against the floor with soft thumps
  23. > In an instant, she cleared the (rather short) distance between her and the man and reached over the counter to hold him up by his collar, her face dangerously close to his
  24. > "DIDN'T I TELL YOU TO CAN IT? IF ANOTHER SMART REMARK COMES OUT OF THAT STUPID FACE OF YOURS, I'M GONNA PUT MY FIST THROUGH IT!"
  25. > Even in the face of obvious peril, the man couldn't help but seize up in laughter, his legs kicking uncontrollably beneath him as he continued his humour-filled antics
  26. > "Yeah, you look like you'd enjoy fisting with that little hairdo you've got and all. Maybe you should try getting a job as an escort, huh? Do they have those here? You could be the 'Feathered Fister'. Shit, I'd better get that trademarked."
  27. > In a wild fury, Gilda cocked one of her fists back, which actually shut the man up, only for her arm to hang limply at her side moments later
  28. > "Oh, what's the point. Even if I do clean your clock, it's not going to make me feel any better. Well, maybe it will - actually, I know it will - but it won't get me a job."
  29. > Gilda set the human back down onto the ground and backed away from the counter, her uncharacteristically dejected expression giving the man a brief pause in his smiles and japery
  30. > "...This really has you torn up, huh?" After straightening his clothing and dusting himself off, the man had leaned up against the countertop again and shot Gilda a look of concern
  31. > The griffon snapped back at him. "Of course it does! Do you know how bad this looks on me? Me, a huge, awesome, totally cool griffon having a harder time finding steady work than an ALIEN from another world? Seriously, how does that even happen?"
  32. > "Well, for starters, you could use a little attitude adjustment. The whole 'middle-school skateboarding bully' schtick is kind of tired, and you're living in a world full of stupid little tropes like that."
  33. > The confusion in her face was apparent but after a little bit of thinking, her face screwed up in a scowl and she slammed a clawed fist against the counter
  34. > "Are you saying I'm NOT the coolest griffon you've ever met? Because I definitely am. You should count your blessings that I'm even TALKING to a dweeb like you."
  35. > "That's exactly what I'm talking about, birdshit. You've got to cut that movie dialogue out of your vocabulary and pick those feathers out of your ass." A mug in his hand, the barkeeper set about polishing his wares to keep his hands busy, lest they scratch his chin raw from utter disbelief
  36. > "'Movie dialogue'?" He'd once again confused the poor girl with human jargon, a thing he did often
  37. > "Don't worry about it. The important thing is that you need to stop acting like a child and start acting like an adult, because that's what the working world is - a bunch of adults with the brains to know that you don't talk to coworkers or bosses the way you talk to me and just about everyone else and expect to keep a job."
  38. > Gilda puffed up a little more indignantly and pounded the countertop again, threatening to knock over some shot glasses near the edge of the counter
  39. > "WELL-" She began, but it was clear that Gilda knew better than to argue with the stone-solid facts being laid out in front of her. It was true: she was sort of a bitch when it came to working with others. Her employment opportunities had once been a vast ocean stretching to the horizon, her being relatively strong and having wings and all
  40. > Word had gotten out that she was quite the psychopath, however, and numerous little incidents here and there led to her being known throughout town as a 'terrible hire' and 'quite possibly the worst creature [I] have ever met', much to her disdain
  41. > She was, of course, the coolest griffon she knew, and found it quite hard to believe that anyone would refuse to put up with her 'awesomeness.'"
  42. > Facts didn't lie though, and after the seventh or eighth job she'd lost it was clear that she lacked something that normal creatures had
  43. > It ate away at her confidence little by little, until even the tiniest of things could throw her into a feathery rage
  44. > Once, it was a pony who had eaten his lunch on break a little too loudly for her liking
  45. > Another time, a customer complained to her that her food was taking a little too long
  46. > In short, Gilda had been in and out of jobs for so long she was starting to believe it was going to be impossible for her to make a living for herself
  47. > The sparing few money she had to her name, pocket change she'd stolen from her parents before leaving her hometown, had almost run out
  48. > She would be homeless if she didn't find another job within the week
  49. > It was starting to look kind of hopeless, really
  50.  
  51.  
  52. > You are anon, the barkeep
  53. > It was one of your lesser fantasies, to own a bar and serve drinks in a cool sort of way
  54. > Slinging a 'whiskey on the rocks' down the counter to a cool stranger who told you tales of intrigue and drama and personal tragedy
  55. > All the while, you would clean the same mug for upwards of forty minutes, offering level advice and telling the man 'You've had a little too much' before setting him on the right path again
  56. > Unfortunately, alcohol was in rather short supply in Ponyville, if it were in supply at all
  57. > When you'd arrived months ago (through a portal or someshit, who fucking cares), it was one of the first things you asked about
  58. > 'Spicy liquid that burns your throat and makes an ass out of you' didn't seem to be something ponies were too interested in, though
  59. > So here you sat, the effective owner of a non-alcoholic bar that served shittier versions of drinks you knew all to well back home
  60. > Seriously, what in the fuck is a 'Blue Stagecoach'?
  61. > A 'Cosmoponyton'?
  62. > What about a 'Grin and Tonic'?
  63. > Strangely enough, the 'Moscow Mule' was actually a thing here and relatively similar to its parallel counterpart, minus the vodka and all
  64. > You were actually the co-owner of this little establishment, but the stallion who hired you, Stiff Drink, was on a semi-permanent vacation after a nasty slip on a banana peel or something last month
  65. > You swear, shit like that only happens here
  66. > Needless to say, you were put in charge of the bar, 'The Last Bit', for the time being
  67. > It really wasn't a bad gig, considering room and board was included (you had a little cellar room with a decent sized bed and some utilities, including plumbing)
  68. > Most of the regulars that came in you knew by name and (virgin) drink, and you spent most of your time practicing your whistle or polishing horse slobber off your glassware
  69. > Gilda, however, was a special case
  70. > One of the first things you said when you arrived in Ponyville was
  71. > "Is that a fucking griffon?"
  72. > And a fucking griffon it was, for she was quick to tell you so with a lot of posturing and smirking and undeserved swagger
  73. > She tried to bully you or something and called you a bunch of goofy middle-school names like 'dork' and 'loser' but it kind of went over your head considering who, or what, it was coming from
  74. > When you laughed in your face it sort of put her on a doomsday timer and from then on she made it her personal responsibility, rain or shine, to try to bully you in some way, shape or form
  75. > It was kind of cute honestly, and you pointed that out often, much to her stuttering dismay
  76. > She was pretty easy to deal with - just ignore her and say something to catch her off guard
  77. > One time you even wrote a poem for her, and you went into excruciating detail about how the sunlight reflected the golden beauty of her eyes for about two seconds before she shot off like a rocket in the opposite direction, a stuttering, blushing mess
  78. > If you didn't know yourself any better, you'd say you had a little crush on her
  79. > Or maybe she did you
  80. > Too bad you don't fuck animals
  81. > Another little quirk of hers was that she always seemed to come bothering you, usually while you were at work, when she got fired from a job
  82. > Since you'd been in Ponyville, it was almost a weekly occurrence that she was extra-annoying to you, complaining about some incident at work that you always half-listened to
  83. > You'd nod and say 'uh-huh' and she would prattle on about it, which was absolutely always something she brought upon herself some way or another, until she got angry realizing you weren't actually listening
  84. > Then she'd spit out some generated insult and slam the door on her way out
  85. > You've had to fix that door a few times because of how aggressive she was with it, but it didn't really bother you since it wasn't really a hard fix, what with virtually every and any kind of talent and resource around somewhere in town
  86. > Speaking of Gilda, it was now her eleventh time storming into the bar, screaming at you, you getting the best of her and her throwing a fit likewise
  87. > This time, though, she wasn't as much of a good sport as she usually was
  88. > The look on her face told you that she was just about on the verge of desperation, and you weren't enough of an asshole to miss that
  89. > A long, steady silence had settled since your little speech about her changing her tune, and Gilda was awkwardly clawing at the ground, playing tic-tac-toe with herself from the looks of it
  90. > That's not coming out of the wood, is it?
  91. > You clear your throat
  92. > "Ahem. Gilda, you got something you want to share with the class?"
  93. > Startled out of her depressed stupor, she began sputtering some comically childish insult out before she caught herself and promptly adjusted her attitude
  94. > "...No. You'd just make fun of me again, like you always do."
  95. > You're tempted to point out that most of what she does when she talks to you IS make fun of you, but you hold your tongue
  96. > "Nah, I've got it all out of my system now. Tell me seriously - do you actually WANT a job?"
  97. > She looks up at you, claw caught in the middle of drawing up another tic-tac-toe pattern on the adjacent floorboard
  98. > "Well duh! What do you think I've been TRYING to do?"
  99. > "Clearly not keep one, that's for sure. That's not what I'm asking. I'm asking you if you want to work here."
  100. > Another insult was loaded in her throat, but was swallowed back by the seriousness in your voice, which seemed to give her a moment of thought
  101. > "You want ME to work for YOU?" Her expression was a mixture of insult, disgust, disbelief, and just a tiny smidgen of hope
  102. > "Yeah. No jokes, this is forreal. I'll talk to the bossman at his vacation home across town or whatever and see if I can get you on doing... something."
  103. > You look around, scratching your head as you try to think of something for her to do
  104. > "What do you think you'd be good at? Washing dishes? Mixing drinks?" A sly look falls across your face. "...Entertaining lonely stallions?"
  105. > She had been seriously considering the options you laid out for her, but the last one clearly caught her off guard and her feathers ruffled along her neck, a cherry blush cresting her cream-white cheeks
  106. > "W-what? Do you HONESTLY think that's something I'd do?? You're out of your mind, man. I don't need a job THAT badly, and I-I never would-"
  107. > You hold a hand out in front of you, pinching the bridge of your nose with the opposite hand
  108. > "Gilda, it was a joke - admittedly in poor taste, but a joke nonetheless. I'm serious though, what could you see yourself doing here?"
  109. > She huffed, her previously outstretched wings finally taking a place at her sides
  110. > Her lion tail thumped the ground nervously, betraying the 'That's assuming I'd ever work for you in the first place, doofus' that came out of her mouth in response
  111. > "Okay, so anything to do with talking to customers is off the table." You check off a box on an imaginary clipboard and Gilda glares daggers at you
  112. > "What, are you saying I couldn't do your job better than you?"
  113. > You offer her a raised brow and cross your arms
  114. > "That's not what I was saying at all but, now that you've brought it up, I know for a fact you couldn't do my job better than I can."
  115. > You're surprised when, out of nowhere, Gilda's clawed hand extends out in front of you, saliva glistening from between her digits (ew)
  116. > When did she do that?
  117. > Gross
  118. > "Shake on it then. Let me take over tomorrow, and I guarantee you I'll give these losers the best customer service they've never had!"
  119. > You eye her moistened hand with mild disgust and push it away
  120. > "I'm not shaking on shit, but I'm going to be the first one to laugh in your face when you royally screw this up tomorrow."
  121. > Dissatisfied, Gilda wipes her hand against her furred barrel and fixes you with a cheeky smirk
  122. > "You're ON, dweeb."
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