“Sorry Ah’m late,” Mountaineer Ringo Flinthammer said, a little flushed as he stumbled down the steps into the Stoutlager Inn. “Bloody elf was dancin’ on th’ mailbox again and had to write her up.”
He took in what felt like a sea of waiting faces and shoved his hand into a pocket, retrieving a dog-eared set of cards.
“‘When Ah were assigned to Loch Modan,’” he read off the first, “‘They told me there was a growin’ fox problem here. Ah didn’t realize they meant the ladies of the Women’s Riflery Club. Pause fer laughter.’”
Ringo looked up, stricken.
“Er, Ah don’t reckon Ah was supposed to read that last part. Mebbe Ah should just get to what ye’re all here for, which is to look at some of me favorite guns Ah’ve held onto over th’ years.”
A hand shot up.
“Er, aye?” Ringo said, his hand inside his satchel full of guns.
“So these are guns you’re not using any more?” the buxom strawberry blonde asked.
“Nay, not any more,” Ringo said. “Ah thought that was what ye all were interested in, when ye invited me to yer monthly luncheon.”
He thumped the bag up onto the table and extracted the first gun.
“This one has sentimental value – it were a gift. Ah donnae reckon Ah used it more than once or twice.”
Another hand shot up.
“But you kept it anyway?” This was a different dwarf woman: a redhead wearing a battered leather helmet.
“Er, aye. It were a gift.” Ringo quickly put the shotgun away and plucked out another gun, with a carved wooden barrel. “This one’s a real beauty, taken off the corpse of a demon in the ruins of Eldre’Thalas. Funny story ’bout this one: No sooner had Ah gotten this one than Ah replaced it with one Ah took off a Gurubashi warrior in … er, aye?”
“So,” a third dwarf asked, this one a brunette who looked like she’d stepped in something. “This is yet another gun you don’t use – never even used all that much – that you just keep around for no reason?”
Ringo, his hand half-out of his satchel with the admittedly hideous Gurubashi shotgun, stammered in confusion.
“Well, Ah used some of them … got this one fer fightin’ the Horde. This one came out o’ Karazhan, the tower of the Last Guardian, Medivh, hisself. Took this one off an Amani warrior. This one off one o’ Illidan Stormrage’s guardians. This ugly one came out o’ Naxxramas. Ooh, this beauty’s from Ulduar its own self! This one was part of the hoard of Lady Onyxia of the Black Dragonflight. And then this is me current one, taken from a Scourge commander in Icecrown Citadel …”
“There AIN’T nae Women’s Riflery Club, is there? This is all another one of yer bloody tricks, woman, ain’t it?”
“Of course, ye daft idjit!” Beli Flinthammer roared, leaping to her feet in the back of the room. “Nae woman would clutter her house with a bunch of old peashooters that’ll never get used again!”
“Them guns mean somethin’ to me! If ye can have all yer books about bloody Alistair and his dwarven floozy – as if any self-respectin’ dwarf would want anything to do with that ninny – Ah can have a few old guns!”
“‘A FEW?’ ‘A few’ is three or four, ye old bastard! Ye have more guns than ye do pairs of underwear – and ye keep them in better shape, besides!”
“Hello?” A uniformed gnome asked from the entry stairwell of the inn. “Knight-Captain Flinthammer? You’ve been summoned to Tinker Town. Operation: Gnomeregan has begun, sir!”
“Praise Aggramar,” Ringo said, hurrying up the steps and herding the gnome along with him. “An angry wife’s scarier than any bloody trogg!”
((Inspired by the Sept. 6-12 Shared Topic of the Week at Blog Azeroth: “What mementos have you kept and why?“))
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