Enter Tarbold Tallbottom

A "Short" Stroll with Tallbottom

Tallbottom lay in bed, sweat beading on his body; his Halfling size a contrast to the human woman next to him. “That was unbelievable,” she exhaled.

“Don’t try to pull the wool over my eyes. You may be a professional, but so am I you sweet succubus. I wasn’t always though. There was a time not overly long ago that I made a mistake or two”

“Really? What happened?” she asked.

“I got myself into trouble once,’’ Tallbottom said with a smirk. “All worked out, but things were a bit harried for moment.”

“Harried? That’s a funny word,” the young woman said giggling. “What happened?”

“I was, let’s just say, trying to be a little less then genuine with the sale of a ‘relic’ I happened upon. However, the buyer was a bit more astute than I had anticipated.”

“Did he get angry? Did he hurt you, my lovely little man?”

“I think he would have if things had gone differently. The cleric, head of some cult or something, was looking for an artifact I had convinced one of his lackeys was the item I just so happened to have in my possession. He, the cleric that is, was rather nonplussed when he realized it was not the item he sought.”

“Oh, my! What happened then? What did they do?” the moll asked with seemingly genuine interest in her eyes.

“Well, one of the aforementioned lackeys pointed out a stranger walking past and told him to leave as it was none of his business. Since it was five on one at that point, I thought it would be advantageous to try and make it, if not even, at least more targets for them. So, I plead to the stranger to help little ol’ me.” Tallbottom said this last with a sarcastic pout and whimper.

“It worked,” he continued. “The blade came over and attempted to encourage them that whatever I did or did not do, should not warrant such a lopsided pounding. I, by the Gods, wouldn’t have done the same in his place. But, alas, there are better men in the world than I.”

With her head on his, albeit, small chest, she asked, “And did the two of you take down the mean and nasty clerics then, precious?”

“I wish it was that simple. Now, understand my love, this was some annums ago and I hadn’t fully developed my skills as of yet. The two of us tried to talk our way out in any way we could. From giving threats of violence, to being calm and rational, to re-conning them into believing I had the real artifact stashed not far away.” Tallbottom grinned and shook his head in self-disgust. “I even tried to distract them from the issue at hand by doing a couple of backflips. Not surprisingly, that didn’t work either. All that really did was freak out one of the peons and make the others think me mad.”

Giggling at Tallbottom’s story, the doxy prodded further. “Then what?”

“The ringleader of the cult said that he was going to curse me.”

“Cursed?! Oh no, what kind of curse? Are you alright?”

“Yes, yes, I’m fine,” he chuckled.

“Were you cursed to be such a fantastic lover?” she snarled as she bit his nipple.

“Hey. Watch it now. No, he cursed an ‘H’ to be burned into my forehead. ‘H’ for Halfling. Not very original. I would have gone with something a bit more…” he thought trailing off. “Anyway, the ‘H’ would burn me every time I attempted to deceive anyone.”

“Well, then you must have found the cure to it. A wizard to dispel the cruel cleric’s curse? I see no ‘H’ and you said you were just a little man and would not hurt me when we came into this room,” she teased, giving him smoky eyes and toying with the bite marks on her neck.

“I didn’t need to. Either he was off his game that day or the Gods saved me. It would have been a tragedy if it had worked. I would have been utterly destroyed in my chosen career otherwise. The more I have thought about it as the cycles have passed, it may very well have been a blessing from on high. It did burn into my forehead but within a few hours, the mark had faded and I was free to lie and cheat and steal again. Mayhap, the Gods have big plans for this wee thief.”

“And what of this other man? The one that came to your aide?”

“Ah, Lord Stranger. No, that isn’t his name. Unless I have mental faculties I am unaware of. I never truly learned his name. We traveled together to, what was the name of that town… No matter. Once there we supped together, made small talk but nothing of consequence came of it. I feel he was running from something though. His arms were bloodied but not from any wounds of his own I could see. I didn’t care to pry, as I didn’t expect any honest answers. I did ask around for him over the next day or so but it had seemed as though no one had seen or heard of him.

“In any case, I have a gold coin here that says you are still mine for the remainder of the eve and I am not yet done playing.”

“I am not afraid to say I am very pleased to hear that. No, enough talking and let us get back to what you came here for.”

“Yes, m’lady,” he said with an eager grin as he pulled the covers over his head moved to her middle, making her giggle with pleasure.

“Riverdale! That’s the name of the town.”

“Shut up, little man,” she grinned. “The time for talk has ended,” she said, pushing his head back down. “Ah, now that’s a good boy.”



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