Drifting – 11

She says nothing and sips at her wine.

There is the rustling of small, quiet movements from a dozen people trying to mask the sounds of reaching for their weapons.

“I don’t want trouble,” she says to no one in a loud clear voice. “Just a drink. I’ll finish it and leave town.”

The patrons near Sword Witch back off as the patrons further away close in. A circle is forming. Slowly. Carefully. Everyone is moving as if a tiger is sleeping in the middle of the room.

Everyone is around her now. Everyone is armed. If I’m pushed any further back I’ll fall right out into the street. There is an energy in here. An escalating tension.

“Doesn’t matter what you want,” someone says out of the rabble surrounding her. “There’s a reward posted for your capture!” This leads to a lot of nodding and chuckling from the crowd.

Sword Witch empties her bowl and sets it on the table. She turns in the general direction of whoever just spoke. “Yeah? Plan to split it fifty ways, do you?”

Everyone was looking so puffed up and brave until she said that. Now they’re thinking about the reward they don’t want to split with everyone else in here.

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