The Wulver of Shetland Inn
“Twas him I tell ye!”
Conall slammed his mug of ale down on the rough-hewn wood counter top, shiny and smoothed only by age and steady use. He glowered at the raucous laughter of the other men at the tavern and did his best to keep his cool. His friends, if one could call them such, were making it difficult.
“Keep the heid, Conall,” Aidan said from behind the counter while scouring out the inside of a used mug with a dirty dish cloth that he slapped back over his shoulder before leaning toward Conall. “Most folks ’round these parts ha’ never seen the wulver, so most folks is sure to think yer aff yer haid.”
“Am not daft,” Conall grumbled then took a swig. Swiping his face with his sleeve to clear the excess ale from his beard and mustache, he said, “The wulver was at ol’ Maggie’s puttin’ fish on her windae sill. Covered in hair and growling like Finicky Tom’s hounds.”
“Yer oot yer face, Conall,” a tipsy fella down the way yelled, speech slurred almost beyond recognition.
He raised his glass, and the shine of the lamp reflected off the bottom of his mug into Conall’s face. Conall squinted from the light and the annoyance over their disbelief.
“I ain’t oot me face, Gilroy, and ye ken it! If any be so, ’tis ye and yer fat mouth.”
Conall had told the whole story of the wulver at Maggie’s window with the occasional hoot or hollar from a few listeners, but when he’d said that the wulver had actually spoken to him, that’s when the others decided he was telling tall tales.
The lore of the wulver, a gentle werewolf-type creature, roaming around the Shetlands had been around for longer than the most aged Scott could recall, but few ever admitted to seeing the beast who was said to share his fish with those in need.
No matter what Conall said from this point on, no one would ever take a shine to his fables-come-to-life. His stories would be the ramblings of a drunk fool too dighted to be believed.
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