Bittersweet Makes a Terrible Drink

It’s been so long since I’ve seen or heard from anyone at home. I was glad to see Thyre, she looked healthy, and it gave me a little hope that our village was doing just fine. I was glad to hear how she was preparing for spring product and what she was hoping for in the coming season. But her response made a piece of my heart twist horribly.

I miss the family tavern. I miss experimenting with ingredients, the excitement of new things to enhance Mom’s product. I miss seeing familiar faces of the village, the wandering souls passing through and stopping for a night, even the grumpy ones that sometimes were a nice distraction. I miss the stories, the drama, the connections people can share over a moment of peace and nourishment.

Worst of all, part of me actually misses Mom and Dad. I blame that drink test. I blame my opponent for being Thyre. Of all the people to show up, why her in the first place? Then again, why would anyone like her or I be in Runeheim?

The test was a bit entertaining at least. The first drink was sickly sweet like mallow root, that coated the tongue in almost a thick syrupy feeling that was hard to swallow. It was like medicine, not the best tasting kind, but I can see how it’d help someone. The second, it about burned my tongue from the spice of it, though it had a certain warmth and satisfying kick once the flavor settled. Then the third, perhaps the best and the worst. It tasted like home. A gentle warm, vanilla, and honey-like flavor. Like the feeling of being out all day in the cold winter, before returning home to a warm bath, and a freshly made bed to sleep like a bear.

That taste reminded me of the hard nights where sleep was nowhere in reach, and Mom was willing to stay awake with me until I could find peace. It reminded me of Dad, when he told me I’d be a good hunter when I caught my first rabbit, after a morning of frustration that brought me to tears over my first trapping lesson. He must have redone my trap while I wasn’t looking. Either way, having a dad like him, I had to take whatever praise he was willing to tear out of his stone heart when I could.

Part of me regrets letting Clemens join along. I appreciated his presence of course, I barely know anyone in Runeheim at this point beyond a name or startings of friendship. But I wish he didn’t finish the third drink, if it meant I got to hang onto that feeling for a little longer. But he had fun too, at least, I think he did. He’s always nose deep in some mage related business or whatever that I’m not really sure what he’d find fun in.

I think I need to start making drinks regularly again. Mom would be proud if she knew her little girl was making it big in Runeheim. At least, I hope she’d be proud.

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