Lumberfield Lager

Lloyd was a dwarf. Like most dwarves, aside from gold and jewels and mining, Lloyd loved a good lager after work. Nothing smoothed the dust coated throat like a rich, golden lager.

Usually dwarves all ascended from the mines and drank in groups, but Lloyd was a bit of a loner. He didn’t have many friends and his mine didn’t produce much beyond the odd bit of pyrite which he sold to the odd dumb human as real gold.

So Lloyd found himself alone at the Ugly Elvish Maiden, drinking his after work lager and fidgeting on his stool.

That was when she breezed in. She was tall, but not graceful and billowy like an elf. Neither was she bearded, like a dwarf, but there was a hint of something more than slightly hairy about her. Lloyd couldn’t put his finger on it exactly.

She sat down a few stools over from him and ordered a wine. She caught Lloyd’s eye, and he gave her a slight smile and stroked his beard, a signal of greeting from a dwarf which was mostly reflex and mostly missed by non-dwarves. This particular woman didn’t miss the gesture as she repeated the motion, albeit beardless.

“You’d do bett’r with a lager.” Lloyd’s own voice startled him. He didn’t know why he spoke up just then. Usually Lloyd tried to avoid conversation or communication. He usually just drank a pint or two then went home to polish gems or work on commissioned jewelry until bedtime.

“Nothing like a heady wine for me.” The woman rejoinded.

Lloyd shrugged. “Wine makes me dizzy.” It came out gruffer than he intended, but she laughed, “A light-pated dwarf, now there’s something.” She patted the stool next to her.

A surprised Lloyd didn’t respond right away, but he grabbed his mug and hopped down off his stool and shuffled over to her.

“Thank ye kindly,” he said. “Mostly I have to drink alone after work. Just me and ma lager.”

She didn’t ask what he did for work. Everyone knows what dwarves do for work.

“So what’s a nice gel like you doin’ in an Ugly Elf Maiden like this?” It was an old, tired line, but Lloyd didn’t have much practice. She gave him a pass for his awkward opening.

“Just passing through. You know, I’ve never had a lager. Maybe you could recommend one? I’d love to try something new.”

Lloyd gestured to his half full/half empty mug. “Not too much to recommend here,” he said. “They’ve only got a Noggenfogger which is a mite too weak for ma tastes, as it isn’t a proper lager.”

“So what do you recommend?”

“Well, I’ve got my own lager I brew at home. It’s proper heavy and rich.”

“I’d love a taste.”

Lloyd was too surprised for words, but he was an opportunistic dwarf. He found himself hopping off his stool for a second time and walking the woman out of the Ugly Elvish Maiden. Here he found himself at a loss.

“I usually walk home, but its a fair way.”

“No problem, we can take my bike,” she said, motioning to a beautiful, large motorcycle parked outside the bar.

Lloyd looked at it with mistrust, but she just laughed.

“It’ll do us both just fine.”

So that was how Lloyd rode a chopper into the forest with a mysterious and lager curious woman. After a short way, he pointed out a side trail, which she took, and which led them both to a little clearing.

The scent of pine and poplar was in the air as Lloyd had been logging nearby. Aromatic sawdust littered the ground in mounds around stumps where Lloyd had felled trees and sawn them up for firewood and for making things. Nearby stood a little shack, what amounted to his home.

Lloyd led the woman inside, and there he introduced her to her first lager, and unlike what the pub served, it was a proper lager. They both consumed a rather prodigious amount and got more than roaring drunk. Well, he was quiet mostly while she roared.

That night was a full moon, and Lucille the Werewolf enjoyed herself a fine dinner of fresh dwarf and properly brewed beer. She toasted to the roasted Lloyd.

“Went down smooth!” she said, and drained her glass.*

*This short story was inspired by @NikaHarper and her tweet: “MMOs: where a dwarf drinking Noggenfogger befriends a werewolf, they go for a ride on a rocket and get drunk in the forest.”