I ignored him.
“Hey. Feed me.”
I rolled over.
Despite his noise, I fell back asleep for what felt like the tiniest fraction of a moment before I couldn’t breathe. Something on top of me was soft, but heavy, and strange sounds came from within. I grabbed it and threw it, only to hear the outcry of my pet Flind, Cleo. I propped myself up and stared at him as he rested against the wall, back end in the air over his head.
For a time, both of us were silent.
“Are you going to feed me now, or can I eat you?”
With a grunt, I rose from the bed and walked past him, through the doorway. The side of my ass itched. I was still tired. My eyes refused to open fully. My nose was malfunctioning. As I glanced at the clock and stopped to decypher the time, I scratched myself.
It was all of four in the morning. Why couldn’t that damn Flind sleep in, just once? I used both hands to scratch my head vigorously to get my blood moving, and as Cleo dove at my legs, I took a step forward to avoid his annoying little teeth. Even my filthy, nasty pajama pants couldn’t fend off my hungry pet for long. My feet aimed toward the kitchen, and I nosed through the icebox for anything that might satisfy the small beast that regularly made new scars on my feet and ankles with both teeth and small, sharp claws.
Finally, I found a leftover chunk of fish that didn’t smell too bad and dropped it into Cleo’s dish.
“Hey, this smells bad!” His complaints came too early in the day for me to care.
“Eat around the bad parts. I haven’t gotten paid in a week.” I sighed boredly and looked around for anything I could eat. The rest of the food was bad except the mostly-empty gallon jug of milk and some ketchup. I looked from one to the other, and broke my fast by finishing off the milk, right from the jug.
“Hey, I wanted that!”
“Tough. You have fish.” I tossed the jug into the sink to take care of later, and carried on with my own business. First, I needed a shower, and then some coffee– if I had any. A smoke might work, instead. Either way, I needed something relaxing before the customers began to arrive.
I opted for a shower and finished quickly before I walked, nude, from the bathroom to my own room. Inside a closet, my work clothes hung all nice and clean. If only they were more masculine. I dressed quickly in about half of the uniform– simply the vest, the baggy pants, sandals, and a tie for my long hair. With a glance at the mirror, I once more regretted my choice of profession, based solely on what the guild required seers to wear.
Silk, purples, golds, and embroidery ruled my work clothing, and it had to be spotless. I inspected myself in the mirror, and stepped outside to smoke.
Fruit-scented vapors clung to my nose. It wasn’t as good as tobacco, but it was something. I smoked until the sun rose over the shitty little town I called home, and walked inside as I spotted someone starting to head toward my cottage. The work day was about to begin.
Once inside, I stashed my pipe and flipped the sign to open. A quick wipe of the table, and then I placed a bowl of wine in front of my seat, tried a sip, and regretted that I couldn’t drink it. At least the fumes were nice and strong. If I was lucky, I would breathe all the alcohol I needed to take the pain out of dealing with the fools that approached.
I flinched and looked at my Flind.
“You forgot your makeup!”
With a sigh, I thanked the small creature and hurried away to place a fingerprint of dark purple over the corners of my eyes, and line my lashes with ink. Next, I lined my lips the same way and wiped the excess. A quick covering of pale dust gave my face the proper pearly appearance, and I was ready in time for the first knock. I took my seat.
“Enter,” I called as I looked down into the bowl of wine and cleared all thoughts from my being.
From that moment when my mind was clear, the work day went quickly. I tired before noon, but kept working. I needed the money. Each customer paid as needed, and I was thankful. By the end of the day, I had enough to make the months of rent I owed. I made a mental note to do so, and stayed open a half hour extra to get a few extra customers. I needed to be able to feed my stupid half-cat pest, after all.
As I closed shop, I spotted him stalking towards me, and grabbed him just as he lunged. I deposited him outside the door and walked inside to find an envelope, change into real clothes, and find some relief from the tedious life of a seer in a town where I had regulars.
Just as I was halfway changed into real clothes, a knock sounded at my door. I walked there, scrubbing my face to get a last bit of ink from my lips. I got to the door and opened it.
Just my luck.
The unmistakable short, crooked stature, accented by disgustingly large, hanging breasts that looked like leather balls and breath like rotten eggs could only be my landlord. “I was about to go look for you. I have the rent I owe.” I turned from her and grabbed the money in question. “Cash, just how you like.” I forced a smile at the disgusting old bag and held the money out to her.
Her disgusting fingers snatched the money from me without a word, and she began to count. Satisfied, she walked away.
I was thankful. She didn’t say a single word. “Cleo,” I called quietly. “You want to go shopping with me?”
Before I finished the sentence, the little asshole was on my shoulder, shouting for me to get going.