Mirrored from Sythyry.
[Beware: This post has some rude words in it. Some of these words are: "foodments", "firefly", and "sensitive". Some others are not.]
Lady Datarina Quostillion, Baroness of Maffenthroutch in Daukrhame, often known as the Beauty-She-Wolf despite being Rassimel with squirrel styling and not the least bit wolfy in appearance, had come to Kismirth for reasons that we will not, as a matter of policy, make the slightest guess about. She gambled; she cavorted; she sipped vodka (imported). And she dined at the Fucked-*p Firefly, for reasons best known to herself.
Digression: The Fucked-*p Firefly
I suppose it is worth explaining the Fucked-*p Firefly for a bit. We’ve got a plentitude of food businesses around Kismirth, starting with Arfaen’s ready meals, continuing with the Grand Pickles (made by Narwin Borswimmy himself! as enjoyed by the Queen of Regnoth, no less! Wherever that may be.), and ending, perhaps, with the restaurants of a dozen hotels. Most of these places have an irregular supply of irregular foodments. Perhaps Arfaen wishes to have three chops on a plate, and made a thousand chops — so there is one chop left over. Actually, out of a thousand, there would probably be 27 chops that were not suitable for plates for one reason or another, like being too small, or singed in a corner, or what have you, which still leaves one perfect one left over and the 27 quite delicious ones. Narwin Borswimmy might be packing perfect pickled peppers in two-quart jars, and discover that a few peppers per pickling bin were, alas, imperfect. (And not suitable for the refined sensibilities of the Queen of Regnoth! Wherever that may be) And, worse, that there was a spare quart-and-a-half! And on and on.
Now, most of these foods are actually somewhere between ‘good’ and ‘excellent’. In Vheshrame, say, they would mostly go into garbage middens or compost heaps, but through no fault of their own. We actually could do that — and our farmers, who are complaining that the soil is bland and flavorless, and could do with an infusion of fancy compost.
But, instead, we have employed a number of taptet — we have a somewhat alarming number of taptet around — to bring all these leftovers to a restaurant sort of place. And we have employed Hops to coordinate the matter, and a few of the more inspiration-based cooks around to turn the occasionally-incomplete and generally-surprising foodments into actual delicious and astounding dishes. (And by ‘and’ I mean ‘and/or’.) So Hops runs the Fucked-*p Firefly. This is appropriate, because Hops, herself, is a Herethroy with firefly styling, and is a both-female and hence congenitally wrong.
So, the Fucked-*p Firefly is a buffet of sorts, at which one can dine from a huge and constantly-changing buffet of the finest foods on Kismirth, in more or less flawed form, for a remarkably cheap price.
I wouldn’t say it’s one of our nicest restaurants. The atmosphere is raucous and chaotic, the food is quite variable, and the service is uncertain at best. (Immigrants to Kismirth often wind up working there for a while, until they are skilled enough and known enough for Hops to give them a good recommendation to somewhere classier.)
On the whole, it’s a place where only Kismirth natives go. And it’s more of a cafeteria sort of place, or a dining hall or mess hall, than a Destination. You don’t take someone there for a treat generally, unless you are very poor or are a great fan of chaos and surprises. But you can get a substantial and scrumptious meal there for cheap, even if you are very poor, so long as you don’t mind sitting at a long table next to nearly any sort of anyone.
I wind up there two or three times a week.
Back to the Baroness
Beauty-She-Wolf: “These grilled pig slices! They are simply deific!”
Toadster: “Yup. They are good. Dunno where they come from though.” I don’t know Toadster very well. She is an Orren from Craitheia; she works “individually” with “clients” as a “tour guide” and “personal assistant”. She has the dubious distinction to be the first person fired from the official city brothels, after the fourth time that one of her clients had to get sent to the Healer’s Guild and given a full refund due to Toadster getting upset in mid-employment and attacking the client with claws, teeth, fire spells, and chairs. I’m sure that a whore’s clients can be annoying and even dreadful. Being a whore requires a certain amount of resistance to annoyances and dreadfulnesses, though — worse than being a waitress or fur stylist even — and someone as sensitive as Toadster probably shouldn’t be one. I am not sure that being a freelance “tour guide” and “personal assistant” is a better choice — I don’t even think it is’s a different choice — but there’s no management who can fire her. And so far none of her clients have ended up in the Healer’s Guild as far as I know.
Beauty-She-Wolf: “Still! Such people we have been around on this trip! Can you believe it? The nerve of that Cani, flirting with me so openly! And he came from Tauvane!”
Toadster: “What’s wrong with Tauvane?”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “Can he really imagine that I came here to fornicate with members of other species who come from, not just a different city-state, but a whole different branch?”
Toadster: “Can’t see how he could get that sort of idea, ma’am.” She put on the most professionally bland and blank face that she could manage. But she did vocalize her vowels and swallow her sibilants in a very broad Craitheian accent, and smooth her trousers as if they needed it after the Rassimel’s demands. Draw your own conclusion.
Beauty-She-Wolf: “And that fruit-manager last night! Making demands! ‘Drop your trousers, ma’am, and I’ll see what I can do on you.’ What nerve!”
Toadster: “Ma’am, if you won’t do that sort of forfeit, you should stick to the money-only tables at the casino.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “I can’t abide losing money at gambling! I didn’t come here to open my purse and dump it all out!”
Toadster: “Fair enough, but if you lose at those tables, you open your pants instead, and your twat too.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “I didn’t come here to lose at gambling!”
Toadster: “Ma’am, nobody comes here intending to lose at gambling. Sometimes the balls roll against you, though.” (In fact, people often come here to lose at gambling, but that’s another essay.)
Beauty-She-Wolf: “And in the promenade! Herethroy and Rassimel, holding hands! In public!”
Toadster: “That’s Kismirth for you, ma’am.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “The last time I was here there was even a Sleeth making out with a Herethroy on a bench! Right in front of the casino! I suppose it’s all for the best that traffs have a place to go away from decent people, but! That! In public! By the casino! Bothering innocent tourists!”
Toadster: “They’re married, those two. Leastaways there’s a Sleeth and Herethroy married who work in the casino days, it might be them.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “Married! Who would marry a Sleeth! They’re nearly monsters — nonprimes!”
Toadster: “Ma’am, look about you.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “Look! Taptet! Mherobump! Mherobump! Taptet! Half the people in here aren’t prime!”
Toadster: “I wouldn’t go shouting about it in that tone of voice, ma’am. They can hear you.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “As if I should fret about the feelings of taptets and mherobumps! They’re not prime — I don’t even think they have feelings!”
Toadster: “I hear they do, ma’am.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “Even if they do I don’t see why it matters.”
Toadster: “They’re citizens of Kismirth, ma’am.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “That’s ridiculous — nonprimes can’t really be citizens. Even if they somehow get inside the city walls!”
Toadster: “Well, they’re not citizens of the city-state, just of the city, ma’am.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “And I don’t see why they’re allowed in here! I shouldn’t have to eat sitting next to one!”
Mherobump sitting next to her: “Sorry! Did I juggle your soup plate with my elbow?”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “See! They can’t even talk properly. Probably they come from Craitheia or something too where they don’t speak right!”
Toadster: “Well, I can’t do anything about how anyone talks, it seems. But you don’t have to sit next to him. I can fix that.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “Do so! At once!”
Toadster: “Oh, waiter? Herself there doesn’t want to sit next to the mherobump. Dump her vittles in a bag and hand it to her and send her out, before she starts a fight from being so rude and offensive.”
Beauty-She-Wolf: “What? What? My own personal tour guide, betraying me?”
Toadster: “Keeping you safe, ma’am. Part of the contract.”
Beauty-She-Wolf glared at Toadster. Toadster glared back. I thought Toadster was about to get take some dramatic action and fired again, if not actually send someone to the Healer’s Guild. But Toadster lowered her eyes.
Toadster: “All right, all right. O waiter, please wrap my lunch too.”
Beauty-She-Wolf:[After paying, as they walked out of the restaurant] “But I can’t endure monsters! Or traffs!”
Toadster: “Why do you keep coming back to Kismirth, ma’am? This is your fifth visit you said, in under two years. And if there’s a returniste who comes back as often as you, I’ve never heard of them.”
Beauty-She-Wolf:[very quietly] “… it makes me feel like myself. even if I don’t really like it.”