FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 2 Part 4a

FreeHolds Adventure, Cycle 2 Part 4a

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Part 4) Mokha


Mokha looked upwards at the falling snow, amazed by the big flakes as they seemed to swirl down from a great vortex above him. They brushed gently against his brow and his cheeks, they felt blissful, full of love. Unlike a lot of people he knew, Mokha did not dislike the winter, in fact it was often his most productive season. He certainly was enjoying the snow in the present moment, vaguely familiar to the first snowfall of the season, memories from childhood of wonder at the change in the landscape. Or, city-scape as the case may be. He was curious as to how long he had been laying here and was even somewhat confused over where he was.

Mokha raised his head, seemingly he was laying down in a bank of snow, just off one of the walkways coming on to the university grounds. Yes, that made sense, he had been at the library again doing some research on Elquin. He sat up, slowly brushed the snow from his cloak and shirt. A couple of people walked past, leaving the university grounds and looked over at him. He smiled, slowly raised a hand in greeting, they said something to each other, giggled together and moved on. Mokha rose to his feet in a slow languid motion, for a moment he had the sensation he was rising high into the sky. He settled into himself and sighed contentedly.

He adjusted his cloak and retrieved the small satchel he carried when he was out on the town. Then he stood for a while watching the traffic outside the university’s south gates. Gates but no walls, everything around him seem well and good, everything moved as it should. Everything had its own flow.

Flow. Movement in unity. Balance. Such a beautiful winter night.

Mokha remembered he had been looking into something to do with the Elquin priests, it had been his fifth visit to the library since he had arrived in GreenBridge. His studies today had been cut short when an enterprising student had approached him and offered to sell him a potion she had made. When he asked what he was buying she had said it was a new concoction she had developed. She was at the university to study alchemy, the small potion she had sold him had a warm orange colour to it, she called it Flow.

He smiled to himself, hoping he would remember her later, her potion was very good, he would be wanting more. The warm glowing feeling the potion gave him moved Mokha off the university grounds and into the flow of traffic. He was unsure how long he had been laying in the snow, but he assumed it was long enough to have at least partially soaked his clothing. He knew it was fairly cold outside but did not really feel cold himself, as he moved along with the foot traffic he realized it was in fact evening, he knew he should find a place inside and warm up. He let the flow carry him along, keeping an eye out for a nice cafe or tavern. The blocks around the university had many such fine establishments.

His attention was eventually caught by a sign that read, Hearts Nook, or maybe it was corner or box, Andalee was not a very precise language. The sign mostly consisted of a large compass, a mathematical instrument, opened upward with a stylized heart resting within. It was all carved from wood of a dark tone and prominent grain. Exceptional. Mokha stopped to sketch the sign and then crossed the street to do a quick drawing of the cafe’s facade. People moved passed, flowing by, he was unsure how many people passed him, the street was busy and the passing traffic had become an ambient background of colours and snippets of conversation.

Surprisingly he was not shivering, but his figures were looking colder than he felt, he crossed back over the street, ignoring a rude comment from one of the locals, gave an admiring glace to the well made door and window frames. He had not seen similar architecture anywhere else, all the wood seemed to flow into the next section with connected ring patterning, despite different types of wood being used. The windows were of different coloured glass squares, a warm light and movement from within.

When he stepped through the door the warmth of the place hit him like a warm blanket, he felt languid and was overwhelmed by the beautiful woodworking he saw within this cafe. It took him a moment to register what the fellow who came up to greet him was saying.

“-, or you can have a booth if you prefer?” The chap was quite handsome and smiled openly.

“Yes, a booth please.” Mokha gave his cloak a shake and pulled it off in an elegant flourish, tossing it on a nearby coat rack. He followed the charming man down into the cafe, past the bar and an open room with a small stage and a few tables. Towards the right hand wing of the building were two rows of booths, five aside, along either wall. Four large carved panels of wood running down the centre of the room, offered considerable privacy within the booths. He saw a number of youthful folk, judging by their banter, they were students. Elegant lamps were ensconced within the woodwork, set in brass and burned pleasant smelling oil. Two large fire places were at either end of the of the building, they each had a merry fire burning.

The first stall against the outside wall was empty, Mokha flounced onto the bench that would have him facing the door, with a bit of a view of the stage and the main room. He started shedding scarves and hats, found his gloves.

The hostess did a quick back-step, “Yes, this booth is also available.”

Mokha turned the table lamp low and then through an act of will tore his attention from the swirl of the table’s polished surface and focused on the earnest fellow. “Do you serve Tannican coffee?”

“Of course. Sir, might I suggest a seat near the back, it will soon be busy with students and music.”

“Excellent. I’ll take an urn of Tannican coffee please.” He gave his most charming smile and passed the man a silver coin.

The young man was clearly confused, perhaps dismayed. Mokha fished out his newest favourite book and opened to where he had left off. A most extraordinary find this grimoire! Almost as extraordinary as the patterns in the wood. After giving full appreciation to the masterful woodworking of the booth he was sitting in, his coffee showed up.

The handsome man had been replaced with a handsome woman, who was wearing entirely too much clothing for the temperature in here. She laid out the coffee service more or less correctly, though it came in a pot, not an urn. Sadly, she did not offer to pour, sing or dance and she seemed a bit afraid of him.

Mokha took a deep breath of coffee steam and exhaled in appreciation, it tickled his nostrils, he sneezed. Then he watched the steam rise from the coffee for a while, eventually he remembered to pour himself a drink. Some people left, others showed up, more showed up. After a while he found his favourite book again and attempted to read a page but gave up a short while later when a trio took to the stage and started tuning; fiddle, long necked lute and whatever they called that small guitar. He should ask someone what they are called at some point. He put his book away and looked up to see the nearest table in the common room had been occupied.

Two people sat at the table, the nearest had her back to him, some butchy looking lady from the angle he had, but the one sitting facing him was the love of his life. Or so he thought in that brief moment their eyes met, a recognition. They were soon being served and Mokha discovered he had run out of coffee. Had he drank so quickly? He raised a hand to get his server’s attention, she ignored him. It took a while to get service, the staff seemed to ignored him for some time.

The musicians began to play, their music flowed into the background ambience, for a while he was lost in grains of wood.

Eventually the handsome woman came back, “Are we finished?”

“Are you? I’m not.”

She seemed baffled, “What can I get you?” She forced a smile.

Mokha made a small circling gesture over the coffee service with one hand, “This again. Thank you.”

The server took the coffee pot and flounced off, muttering something about Tannicans. Mokha ignored her and returned his attention to the woman in red. Across the room, she was deep in conversation with her dining partner. They were both leaned in over the table, obviously having an intense conversation. The woman was tallish and trim, wore spectacles that made her eyes too big and had the prettiest mouth Mokha could ever remember. Her face was framed by unkempt shoulder length hair, she had an ink stain on her forehead. She was also a mage, more powerful than he, though she did not shield that fact. He also noted she had a somewhat fatigued appearance. A few times during the conversation she had glanced up at him, the second time she had given him a tentative smile. His coffee showed up.

“Anything else?”

“Stuffed grape leaves?”

“Ech, what?”

“Bread, goat cheese?”

“Sure mister.” The waitress left.

When he looked up the woman in red was staring at him. He smiled, she smiled then turned away. Mokha slid out of the booth and wandered over casually, focused on his hearts desire. How could one fall in love so quickly? Anticipation tingled through his body.

She looked back up just as he arrived at the table, she appeared startled. Mokha, with his most charming smile, suggested, “I often find on winter nights that three lovers can find all kinds of interesting things to-”

Tipper looked up at him with a frown.

“What the- Tipper?”


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comments user
Kampus Swasta Unggulan

enough story to make us think about how it goes. is there a printed version of this?

    comments user
    JB Michaels

    There isn’t a printed version planned as of yet, unfortunately.

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