I am unable to resist posting this. It was the only bit I had already written on this as a story, beyond the Dour Brotherhood image description, and it was what sold me on trying to continue it at all. (I haven’t yet figured out where it GOES in the story, mind you–it was one of those chunks that shows up splendidly isolated and you have to write a hole to drop it in–but I liked Big Matilda’s…err…problem…way too much to resist.)

I might’ve posted this as part of the fragments I occasionally put up, in which case my apologies for the repeats–and this is arguably rather tasteless, in which case my apologies for my crudity. *grin*

The inn was called the Pony’s Hoof, and it was run by a woman named Big Matilda.

Big Matilda was big. Not just fat, although she was that, too, but a genuinely large woman, with immense shoulders and hips. She was not particularly tall, but she had biceps like cantaloupes, and breasts like watermelons, which she kept just about contained in a sheer white bodice that would not have shamed a covered wagon.

Angler found the breasts problematic.

The Dour Brotherhood was celibate, naturally, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was that due to some fluke of either her clothing or anatomy, Big Matilda had one nipple that pointed more or less forward, and one that went off to the side at better than forty-five degrees. When Big Matilda talked to you, you had the full attention of both her and her left nipple, while the other one stared past you into the middle distance.

After about five minutes of this, you started to get an overwhelming urge to glance over your shoulder to see what her right breast was looking at.

“You runnin’ from somethin’, boy?” demanded Matilda, after Angler had looked over his shoulder for the third time in as many minutes.

“No!” he said, jumping as she slammed a hand down on the bar. “No, really!”

She glared at him. So did her left breast. The right one appeared to be interested in the paneling over the fireplace, or perhaps the stuffed swordfish over the mantle. He sneaked a glance at it. It was quite a good swordfish. The nipple had excellent taste.

Matilda growled. He pinned his eyes firmly above her collarbone and looked meek and pleasant and not terribly bright, which were all virtues he epitomized fairly well anyway. After a moment, her face softened.

“All right, then. You can have dinner, poor boy, if you go back in the back and peel potatoes for Cook, and you can sleep in the stable. But no funny business!” She leveled a finger like a root vegetable at him, and he nodded furiously, briefly unsettling the napping bluebird, who made a grumpy chirruping noise and went back to sleep.

“There’s important guests at this inn,” she said, “and I don’t want you disturbing them!”

“I won’t.” He shuffled back towards the kitchen.

“There’s a bird in your hat, boy,” called Big Matilda.

“I know.”

Matilda considered saying something like “No birds in the kitchen!” but the chickens were always wandering in from the yard and laying eggs under the pans or behind the cheeses, so it wouldn’t have been entirely fair, and Big Matilda was a fair-minded woman. He was a good-looking enough boy, she thought, if not very bright—if he wanted to carry a bluebird around in his hat, that was his business and none of hers.

She went back to her customers, and Angler sat down to peel potatoes for his supper.

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