So I sat myself at the bar, got a shot of Jameson and settled down listening in on the conversations and looking for new people. Random banter; town hall was getting a new roof, comparing trucks, loads of dead chicken in the area the last few days. An older gentleman sitting next to me, with the most awesome curled mustache I’d ever seen, lamented how the damn foxes or wolves or weasels or whatever pesky creatures they were that kept eating his chicken, were getting into locked hen houses.
“Once they get a taste for it, they’ll figure out a way!” he exclaimed, then sunk in his seat defeated. A good man, he obviously loved his chicken. Though to be fair, chicken IS delicious to most creatures on this Earth. I patted him on the back sympathetically.
“Can you get meaner chicken? Something with bigger teeth that’ll fight back? Like, maybe swans?” I offered. Bucktooth swans.
He grinned mischievously.
“Aye, that is not a bad idea at all, young man!” He clinked my shot glass with his and took a sip. We continued with working out our plan for mean, self-defending chicken. The music streamed in the background an endless flow of Iron And Wine and as I relaxed in the hypnotic hum of the bar I stopped missing Charlie’s company and didn’t even notice he seemed to have completely disappeared until a good hour in. I scanned the crowd for traces of him. No luck. More people. No Charlie. My eyes brushed over something huge and white on the other side of the bar, then back to look at just what the hell I just saw.
Big guy. Not just tall, REALLY tall. I was no bread stick either at 6 feet, but this one was at least 6 foot 11 and wider than an elephant’s rear. Lean muscle all around, all covered in fine, white body-hair. Only his head hair and facial scruff had slightly more tinge, but even those were all white. The head was shaved on both sides with long, white-ish gold mane flowing from the middle. His jaw could crush walnuts just by being in the same room with them. He was downing a pint of beer in one go, the dark stout a monochrome contrasts to his pale lips, and when he struck the empty pint down on the bar and dried his lips across the back of his hand, I swear I could see sharp canine teeth.