Grimby yawned as his partner rambled off his notes from the previous day’s shift. The dwarf hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep as of late, the many stakeouts of suspected smugglers were beginning to take their toll.
“Hey, Fineflin. Do me a favor and shut up?”
The elf stiffened and straightened his shirt. “Oh, I do apologize. Was I boring you?”
Grimby grunted. “Look, I don’t need to hear the entire rundown of yesterday. I was there. Just give me the highlights. Besides, I’ve had three hours of sleep and haven’t had any coffee yet. My brain can’t process anything at this point.”
“Well it’s not my fault Director Masterful wanted to see us this early. I didn’t even have time to air yesterday’s outfit before washing it 1, and my hair is hardly even presentable.”
Grimby rolled his eyes. “You look like you just got out of a spa, Fineflin, give it a rest.”
“Well, some people like to present their best selves.”
“Right now, I’d settle for presenting a mostly-functional brain.” the Dwarf pointed across the street, “Let’s go get some coffee before we get to the Director’s office. OK?”
Fineflin sighed, “If we must.”
The two agents crossed the street, managing to hold up traffic in both directions. Fineflin through the action was unbecoming but Grimby disagreed. To the dwarf, a non-caffeinated brain was an emergency. The partners strolled up to a small coffee cart which had been parked on the sidewalk, but the proprietor didn’t seem to happy to see his most recent customers.
“I’ve got a license to sell here. Just to let you know.”
“Right now I wouldn’t care if you were banned from running a coffee bar in the city. Just gimme a large coffee.”
“Ummm, OK,” muttered the barista was he turned to fill a cup with wake-up-juice.
There was something about the way the man took Grimby’s order threw up a red flag for the dwarf.
“Wait a minute, what are you brewing today?”
“Uhh, it’s wizard brew.”
A bead of sweat formed on Grimby’s forehead and dribbled down his cheek. Fineflin gasped with shock.
“You’re supposed to warn people before serving them that! 2” the elf cried.
“I thought he knew, it’s on the sign!“
“Well I didn’t, and you’ve got me suddenly wondering about your business license.”
The barista’s eyes widened, and darted between the two agents. Before he could say anything, however 3, Grimby gave the man chance to save himself.
“Yes?” the Barista responded.”
“Do you have any tea?
The barista smiled, “Why, yes I do.”
“Great, pick your best blend and make me a large.”
Fineflin sighed, “Crisis averted. Can we go now?”
- I feel the need to point out that elves in The Realm are fastidious about fashion. Fineflin, for example, insisted that by airing his outfits a full twelve hours before putting them in the washer made them smell better. This confused Grimby because he’d been spraying essence of skunk on Fineflin’s washline for the last several years. ↩
- During the war it was the general opinion of anyone serving in The Realm’s armed forces that the wizard’s attempt at coffee was, by far the worst drink which had ever been given the name “coffee.” Following the war, in an effort to compete with newly opened trade lines with the Gnomes in the Fifty Peaks Mountains, some enterprising wizards decided to use magic to create a strain of beans which was more delicious than any bean that had ever been discovered. It worked, Wizard beans are now regarded as the finest in all of The Realm. The only drawback is it’s tendency to turn a coffee-drinkers’ head into a latex balloon for an hour or so. It wasn’t a dangerous situation, as any popped heads were guickly regrown, but it was annoying. Due to this rather significant drawback, most people shunned wizard brew at all costs. Except, that is, for non-conformists – who began to seek out wizard brew en masse. ↩
- Or run away. ↩