Title: Good Eats
Description: Tiger Tiger
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 05:24 AM (GMT)
Snuff was missing.
Corvie had sent the bird off "hunting" an hour ago, and the bird had yet to return. Normally Snuff came back every while with a new little treasure. An earring, a bracelet, some talisman. Usually worthless, but pretty enough to charge more and make a profit. Once in a while the bird returned with something truly valuable. Corvie still had a brooch encrusted with a ruby and surrounded by small diamonds hidden in his room.
But Snuff had been gone too long. Corvie started looking for him. Usually Snuff found him, so he wasn't even sure where to start. Since Snuff was a bird, he figured it was best to get a bird's eye view of things. He climbed to the roofs, and carefully set out.
The refugee quarter was so crowded and so ramshackle, it was almost as easy walking on the roofs as it was walking on the ground. People used their roofs as extended living areas, and there were a number of flat roofs that doubled as open kitchens or porches or gardens.
Corvie stopped at a familiar sound. It was a frenzied sort of shrieking, a squawk that did not belong to a chicken or a pigeon. That, he was certain, was a magpie.
He scrambled toward the sound. He climbed over a lopsided dormer and suddenly saw Snuff flapping wildly. The bird was caught in some kind of trap, its leg snagged on a tight piece of string.
Corvie sighed in relief, then put his hands on his hips. "I woulda thought I'd teach ya better than t'get yerself trapped."
The bird calmed down at the familiar voice and cooed in sadness.
"Yeah, y'should be 'shamed a yerself," Corvie said. He knelt beside the bird and started working at the trap.
Tiger - December 4, 2011 05:28 AM (GMT)
She grabbed him by the back of the collar and hauled him back, releasing him casually to fall or stumble where he would.
She was a sight on the best of days, with the tattooed black on the lower lids of her eyes and the mercenary clothing. Coupling that with the splash of blood on the front of her shirt from the barfight she'd ended with a knife in the man's jugular, Tiger could have made a smaller, less rough and tumble kid piss his pants and cry himself to sleep.
"What do you think you're doing?" she snapped, her accent heavy and her lips pulled back in a snarl. "My trap, my bird. Find your dinner somewhere else, boy, or I'll add you to the spit."
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 05:36 AM (GMT)
Corvie scrabbled at the roof, but it wasn't steep, and he had no trouble getting his footing again. Unfortunately he almost lost it again when he caught sight of his attacker. He took a step back and his mouth dropped open. For a few moments he was speechless, until the woman (he thought it was a woman) made a mention of Snuff as dinner.
He stepped forward. "He ain't dinner! He's my bird! You let 'im go!"
Tiger - December 4, 2011 05:38 AM (GMT)
Clearly, the "my bird" part of her little speech hadn't settled into his brain. Frowning, she corrected in her thick accent, "No, my trap, my bird."
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 05:41 AM (GMT)
He groaned in frustration. She must have been fresh off the boat.
"No, I mean he's my pet. Y'can't eat 'im!" He jutted his chin at her and went to free Snuff again.
Tiger - December 4, 2011 05:42 AM (GMT)
She planted her palm on his face and shoved him back. "I eat what I catch. I catch it, it is mine to eat," she said, matter-of-factly.
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 05:52 AM (GMT)
Corvie stumbled over a cracked roof tile and landed with a surprised cry on his butt. He shook his head sharply and stared at the woman. He opened his mouth, closed it, then grumbled and tottered to his feet once more.
"Listen, y'can't eat someone's pet," he said, pointing at Snuff to emphasize. The bird squawked in agreement. "I dunno what sorta backwards country y'came from, but I ain't gonna letcha eat Snuff!"
Tiger - December 4, 2011 05:54 AM (GMT)
This was amusing. She cocked her hip slowly to one side and crossed her arms, staring at him enigmatically. "How do you think to stop me?" Surely not by force.
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 05:55 AM (GMT)
He stood, indignant but speechless, for a few moments. He hemmed and hawed and crossed his arms and planted his fists on his hips and then said, reluctantly, "I'll pay fer yer dinner t'night. Howsat?"
Tiger - December 4, 2011 05:56 AM (GMT)
She grinned. "I have money." Money wasn't the issue, here. She wasn't poor. She liked to catch and cook her own things.
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:00 AM (GMT)
His mouth twisted in a confused, disgusted grimace. "Then why d'ya need t'catch yer food? Jus' go buy somethin'! Dun go eatin' my friend!"
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:02 AM (GMT)
"I like it," she said, plainly. "You hold the shoulders here." She held up her hand, and then positioned the other hand over it. "And the head. And then." She wrenched her top hand, simulating snapping a bird's neck. "Nothing better than fresh caught, eh?"
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:05 AM (GMT)
Corvie frowned at her demonstration, until she mimed breaking the bird's neck. He stiffened at that, clenched his fists, then launched himself at her with a furious roar.
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:07 AM (GMT)
If she side-stepped, he might go flying off the roof entirely. She considered that option briefly before just deciding to stand there and catch him in all his fury.
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:10 AM (GMT)
He tried pushing her away and belatedly realized they were near the edge of the roof. Not wanting to murder her (even if she was a crazy foreigner), the just shoved her sideways, as hard as he could, away from Snuff.
"DON'T TOUCH MY BIRD!"
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:11 AM (GMT)
She didn't move much, beyond what the slight slip to the roof tiles made her move, and shoved him back by the head again. "I thought we made it clear -- it is my bird?"
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:14 AM (GMT)
He moved far more from her shove to his face than she had by his almost-tackle. He still made sure to stand between her and Snuff, and he raised his fists, ready to fight.
"He ain't yer bird, y'crazy! Y'wouldn't go 'round eatin' someone's baby if it got trapped in one'a yer snares, would ya?"
Actually, she looked like she might.
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:15 AM (GMT)
"Baby? No. No muscle -- no meat. All fat," she said, dismissively.
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:17 AM (GMT)
Corvie blinked at her. "Where in hell're you from anyway?" He shook his head. "Never mind! I dun care! Y'ain't eatin' Snuff." He snorted at her, then turned to help his bird again. He reached for a knife he had at his belt, one more for the sake of utility than defense. It would be easy to cut the snare.
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:18 AM (GMT)
She crossed her arms and watched him. After all, the string couldn't be cut, so she wasn't worried about that.
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:21 AM (GMT)
He sawed at the string, but it wasn't cutting. It didn't even fray. He scowled at it, and Snuff huffed impatiently. It looked like plain old twine.
He tried pulling it with his hands, tried biting it with his teeth. Nothing was working. It even tasted like plain old twine.
It must have been magic.
He turned and glared at the woman. "Let 'im go." He stood up and pointed the knife at her. "Let him go."
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:23 AM (GMT)
She stepped towards him, fearless. "You think you can scare me with your knife?"
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:25 AM (GMT)
"No, but it's worth a damn shot." He lowered his arm, but didn't put away the knife. "Whado I gotta do t'getcha to let 'im go? Y'ain't eatin' 'im, so jus' get that outta yer mind."
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:25 AM (GMT)
"Maybe I'll eat you, instead," she suggested, blinking lazily.
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:29 AM (GMT)
He swallowed down a shudder and put on his best sneer. "I wouldn't advise that, Missy. I got little meat on me either. But still more 'an Snuff. Now, c'mon. Y'want money? Y'say y'got some, but we can always use more."
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:30 AM (GMT)
She shrugged, in the same lazy, cat-like way. "Maybe you give me something else."
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:34 AM (GMT)
He grunted and thought quickly. "Y'want some charms? Potions? Med'cine?"
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:35 AM (GMT)
She stared at him a moment, then laughed, loudly, with little regard for the fact that they were currently on someone's roofs. "No, I don't think so."
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:38 AM (GMT)
He huffed. "Jewelry, then? Y'don't look like the sorta girl who'd like it, but y'could sell it." He pointed at Snuff. "He's good at findin' stuff like that."
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:38 AM (GMT)
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:40 AM (GMT)
He shouted in frustration. "Then whaddaya want?! 'Sides the magpie."
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:42 AM (GMT)
She shrugged. Mostly, she just found this amusing. "Now is opportunity to... how do you say? Be creative."
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:43 AM (GMT)
Corvie planted his hands on his hips. "It's hard t'be creative with a crazy bird-eatin' psycho who can barely speak right!"
Not that he was one to talk.
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:44 AM (GMT)
She bent down a little, putting her hands on her knees. "Don't have much choice, do you?" she asked, eyes widening a bit in mock apprehension.
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:50 AM (GMT)
He leaned away from her when she leaned down, his mouth twisted in a grimace. "Y'won't take money, y'won't take jewelry, or anythin' else I've got t'give. I don't 'ave anythin' else. 'Less y'really do wanna eat me." He stood straighter and puffed out his chest. "An' if so, then go 'head. Jus' let Snuff go first."
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:52 AM (GMT)
She reached out to touch his hair, rubbing it between her fingers. "You're tall, but just a little boy, eh?" Cocking her head, she wondered, "How many years are you?"
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:56 AM (GMT)
He fought hard not to squirm away from her touch. He had to wet his lips and clear his throat before he could speak. "Fourteen."
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:57 AM (GMT)
"Aw," she murmured, smiling. "Just a baby."
Corvie Daw - December 4, 2011 06:57 AM (GMT)
He smiled, shakily. "An' prolly jus' as nasty tastin'."
Tiger - December 4, 2011 06:58 AM (GMT)
She ran a finger along his jawline, feeling for a hint of facial hair. "No shaving," she said, thoughtfully. "Not a man yet."