A fire roared in the tavern’s fireplace. Lanterns were strewn about the rafters, illuminating the shadows the morning sun had not yet burned away from the dim room. A clatter of dishes resonated from the kitchen. To match the cacophony, a hoarse cough rattled about the main room.
“Widow Magaidh, yer lookin’ right grey. Ye should get that hack looked af’or!” The bar maid called from the kitchen.
An old woman sat near the only window in the tavern, looking out at the road and the rising sun. She waived the woman off. “Waste yer time on some’n other ‘an me Hepsibah, my doctor’s comin’ to look af’or me soon!” Widow Magaidh chortled back.
” ‘e better come with a golden cure, f’r how long yi’ve gone on with that rattle!” the bar maid cackled back.
“Knowin’ ‘im, ‘e just might make that happen,” she whispered conspiratorially to the man at her table. His bright tartan proclaimed him to belong to the MhicFhionghain clan. She herself was wrapped in a modest brown homespun and an old blue shawl.
He chewed on the inside of his cheek as he regarded her under thick brows, his storm grey eyes flashing. His bright red hair had been purposely knotted and decorated with glass and bone beads. It was tied back away from his face, creating a massive cascade of copper down his back. A short beard hugged his chin, though a mustache was lacking at his upper lip
“Ah dinnea ken, Aunty. Dinnea a draught from a tincture.” He muddled his biscuit, leaving crumbs in a small pyramid on the plate.
Widow Magaidh waved away his nervousness as she would a fly in summer. “Yer heid’s full o’ mince, Fearchar. ‘e asked for some’n to do ‘eavy work for ‘im. See’s no reason you’d ‘ave trouble with that,” she reassured.