The firelight in the hearth of the tavern flickered in all but the furthest corners of the room. Two men, young and impatient, sulked in the shadows sitting at their square table. Each of them had at lease one beer more in their bellies than good judgment would allow, but they were far from finishing their night.
Eiver waved over the serving girl. “One more tankard for me…and my brother.” His speech slurred each word.
The serving girl looked at both of them, her brow furrowed with doubt. “Pay first. Drinks next.”
Eiver reached into his pocket but his money, or rather what had been his money, was gone down his gullet with the last ale.
Escher shrugged. His money vanished also. “That’s the last of it.”
As if it fell from heaven––or bounced up from hell, a single gold coin dropped on the tabletop and spun until it landed face side up.
“I’ll cover their tab for the night,” spoke a cool voice.
Through their ale-washed haze, Eiver and Escher gazed upon a man in a long green coat with sky colored eyes joining their table.
The serving girl returned with three tankards of ale. Foam bubbled up and washed over the sides. She placed an ale in front of each man, took the gold coin and started to walk away but her wrist was held in a viselike grip by the man in green. “That should pay for our room and board for several nights.”
She nodded. He let her go.
“Thank you kind sir,” Eiver said.
“Our luck had run out,” said Escher.
“No my friends,” said the man in the green coat. His blue eyes seemed to flicker, mimicking the firelight. “I would say your luck has just changed.” He leaned in toward the brothers. “What would the both of you do with an unlimited supply of gold for seven years?”