Coffee Break Read – Drum

From Haruspex:A Walking Shadow a Fortune’s Fools book by E.M. Swift-Hook.

Pan’s domain was always a mix of the domestic and the workaday. She scooped a mug of tea for each of them from the pot and then stirred the embers of the fire to life and put a small log on to burn, before joining him and allowing a space for Ritter on the small rug before the hearth.
“A fine brew this, Pan,” Archanbor told her.”You know if you had not up and bloody married I’d be making you a proposal myself.”
“You’d be in the queue then Drum,” she said, her tone good natured. “But you know, you could always settle down here – find someone nice who’s local. You know you have a lot of friends here, people who’d be glad to see you stay. And Gernie would appreciate the help you could give – he could probably even get you on the official payroll. It would be steady for you – and Ritter, of course.”
She meant well. She always did. Heart of gold – like Gernie. He shook his head.
“Bit late for that now.”
Pan shot him a strange look, like he’d said something rude.
“It’s never too late, Drum. You just stop running, sit down, put your feet up and root in. It’s what I did. And how many other places have you got good friends? People who will look out for you?”
“I have Ritter,” Archanbor told her, smiling slightly at the little dog.
“Of course you do – and you’ll always have him. But maybe he’d like it if you settled down? No more running all over the galaxy.”
Archanbor thought about it and looked enquiringly at the little dog. Honestly, sometimes it was as if Ritter could read his thoughts.
“What you think Ritts? Should we take Auntie Pan’s advice? She’s bloody right you know.”
The small dog yawned and stretched then stood up and put his head on one side.
“What does Ritter think then?” Pan was asking, looking towards the fire.
“I’d say that looks more like he thinks we ought to be getting going,” Archanbor said, feeling just a touch regretful. It would be good to be able to sit here, drink the tea and then maybe spend the day working on mending or building something. He’d enjoyed that in the past. “Maybe when we get back. Maybe then. What you think to that Ritts?”
The wagging tail said it all.
“It might be a bit late then,” Pan said quietly. Archanbor laughed.
“Make your bloody mind up, lass. First, you’re telling me it’s never too late and then you’re saying it will be.”

E.M. Swift-Hook

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