I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil. — Truman Capote
Noise engulfed Mary as she walked down the creaking stairs and into the busy tavern. Both fires roared in their blackened hearths and a layer of smoke, from pipe and wood, filled the upper reaches of the room. She approached the scarred, grime-covered bar, the surface awash with dark red wine and ale.
As Mary’s two copper coins clattered onto the bar, the innkeeper’s snarl became a smile. He pushed a tray towards her, then filled three large, pewter tankards with watery looking ale, then poked a fat finger in the direction of a table close to the furthermost fire. His grunt completed the interaction.
Mary lifted the tray and began to weave her way between the tables and chairs, talk rising around her as she travelled through the boozy throng.