Excerpts from Tales from Alta Novis

Pulling the two coins from his pocket, he laid them on the table. “I’ll take whatever that’ll bring me.” He held up the mug. “Along with this.”

            She crossed her arms over her ample bosom. “Didn’t the guards tell you your first day’s on us?”

            “Yes, but—”

            “You don’t ‘but’ me,” the woman snapped, then added a smile. “By the way, my name’s Berta. Not Bertha. There’s no H.”

            “No H. Got it. And your job here is?”

            “I run this place.”

“You do?” Henry chuckled. “I thought this place was run by D’Jacques.”

            “He runs the compound, but this lodge is my domain.” She grinned again. “He’ll even tell you that himself. I’ll be right back.” She vanished through the doorway.