where will they live?
inspired by this post
a while ago i wrote this as a thank you to someone who was very kind, and helped me out when i was in a tough spot. they were nice enough to give me permission to share it with all of you, so -
a fish may love a bird, but where will they live?
when runhilda was just a hatchling, a little boy with big eyes fed her bread and called her pretty even before she was. he always had bruises on his face and arms, and his clothes hung off him, but he always had soft words for her, always gave her his bread crusts even though he needed them more than she did.
when runhilda is older, and goes by runa, she throws off her coat of feathers and steps from the river onto the land. she towers over the teenage boy, stretching past six feet with flowing white-blonde hair and her arms and thighs like tree trunks. “you need this more than i do,” she tells him generously.
he looks on in confusion as she takes her coat of feathers and wraps it around his shoulders. he transforms into graceful, powerful swan. he transforms into a something that can fly away from his miserable life.
“give it back to me one day,” she says, “when you don’t need it anymore.”
she pats him on the head, and he gently nips her hand before he opens his wings and takes to the sky.
runa watches him go wistfully. she’ll miss her wings, but she’s never had legs before and she’s eager to take them for a spin.
she tracks down the boy’s mother who’d been so cruel to him, and no one is ever ready for a giant naked woman to burst into their pub and start yelling at them, but runa still thinks she screamed too much. she’d threatened the woman with everything from a sound beating to dire legal action, and she and her husband leave town with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
this has worked out for runa nicely. she thinks running a pub could be fun. she goes upstairs, and none of the tiny woman’s ridiculous clothes will fit her, obviously, so she goes through the husband’s closet. she thinks she looks rather dashing in trousers and suspenders and a crisp white button up. she puts a newsboy cap over her curly mass of hair for good measure, and winks at herself in the mirror. this being human thing is off to an excellent start.
then she goes downstairs and realizes she’s scared off the staff and patrons. the patrons she’s not too worried about this. this is dublin, and no one even died. as long as the alcohol keeps flowing, they’ll be back.
as for the staff ….
she goes to the river and recruits as many curious sisters as she can. she walks back to her pub with her arms laden with feather coats and a dozen gorgeous naked women all as tall as she is trailing behind her.
the seamstress adores them, since most of her sisters prefer the pretty, full bodied dresses that many of the human women wear, and they all have to be custom made to fit their large shoulders and thick waists. runa sticks to her trousers and shirts, and acquires a collection of newsboy hats.
her pub quickly gains a reputation, as it should. it’s staffed by beautiful women who have no problem with ending a bar fight personally, and physically throwing the offenders on to the street. there’s a strict look, but don’t touch policy that all of the patrons take advantage of, running their eyes over the beautiful barmaids. of course, quite a few human men and women catch her sisters’ eyes, and more than one dazed and pleased human has left their pub half dressed in the mornings.
no one catches runa’s attentions, until a slim woman with dark skin and dark eyes takes a corner table in the pub. she’s in an opulent grey dress, and her hair is carefully pinned into an elegant style, with a glittering necklace around her throat. no woman as wealthy as this one should be in runa’s establishment, or if she is she shouldn’t look miserable about it.
“here,” her sister pushes two mugs full to the brim into her hands. runa glares at her, but she’s already turned away. she resents the implication that she’s that transparent.
she still walks over to the woman and sits across from her, pressing the drink into her hands. she looks startled, but not upset, so runa leans her elbow halfway across the table and asks, “What’s a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this?”
she smiles back, but it doesn’t reach her eyes. runa’s filled
with a determination to have her smile like she means it.