Here is the portrait of Fawn, which hangs on the wall behind
the bar of the inn (right next to Hugh's old Broadsword).

Fawn is a ghost. She appears to be 5'8", with long blue-black hair. She is hauntingly beautiful. She haunts the inn (and works for Hugh) due to her portrait hanging behind the bar. She is wise beyond her seeming years (she looks to be in her early twenties, but has actually been around since her murder, nearly a thousand years ago.) She has many strange and mysterious powers, seems to know what people are thinking, and comes and goes as she pleases. When she is not around, patrons of the inn have remarked at how strange her portrait makes them feel, and how the eyes seem to follow their every movement. Unless the customer is a regular, most do not realize Fawn is a ghost until she does one of her 'spooky' tricks.

 


How did the portrait come to be at the inn?

Hugh had just turned back to the bar after filling some tankards for Sera, when he noticed the large package sitting on the bar top. He handed the tankards to Sera, who took them over to the thirsty customers awaiting them.

Hugh picked up the large package, and noticed some writing on it in a spidery hand.

'Deliver to Hugh Rogers, owner of The Dragon's Inn'

That was all there was. There was no return address on it. It was a flat package, perhaps an inch thick, and around 2 ft. by 3 ft. in dimension. He looked at the script again. The handwriting seemed somewhat familiar.

Sera had come back with some empty tankards to be refilled. "What have you got there?"

"I don't know. Did you notice who left this on the bar?"

"Uh-uh. This is the first time I've seen it." Sera read the writing. "Says it's for you though. Why don't you open it?"

Hugh placed the package back on the bar top, and took the tankards from Sera's tray and refilled them. He placed the tankards back on her tray, and wiped his hands on a bar towel. He picked up the package and turned it over. Taking a knife from below the bar, he carefully cut the string from around the package, and began to remove the brown wrapping paper. He felt a cold chill as he removed the final bit of paper from a framed portrait.

It was the portrait of a young woman. An extremely beautiful young woman. Long bluish-black hair framed a perfect face. Hugh couldn't help looking into the grey eyes. So cold. So lonely. He could almost hear the girl whispering to him. The hairs on the back of his neck were standing up, and he felt a cold chill as he continued to stare into those eyes. So cold. So lonely.

"Gaaah!" He said, as Sera layed a hand on his arm and looked over his shoulder. "Hmmmm, she's really beautiful. Who is she?"

Hugh looked back to the portrait. "I..I don't....Fawn...her name is Fawn."

Hugh blinked a couple of times. Where had that come from?

Sera continued to examine the portrait. "Fawn, huh? Pretty name for a pretty girl. Where do you know her from?"

"I really don't know. I don't remember ever meeting her. I just somehow knew her name."

Sera suddenly felt a cold chill while looking at the portrait. "You know, there's something else there. Something in the background behind her. You can't really make it out, but you know it's there. Whatever it is, it gives me the willies!"

Hugh tore his eyes away from the the girl's face to look at the background. At first he didn't see anything. It just looked like some bluish-grey mist. As he continued to stare at it, he started. For just a second, it appeared that the mist moved. Or something in the mist moved. "I see what you mean!"

Hugh tore his eyes from the portrait and looked around the room. He stopped looking around when he saw the blank spot next to his broadsword, which hung on the wall behind the bar. Without knowing why, Hugh walked over and hung the portrait from the nail which was mysteriously already there. "There now. You won't be so lonely anymore."

Hugh felt his hair bristle again, accompanied by a cold chill, when he thought he heard a whispered 'thank you'.

 


Over the next few days, Hugh's business began to increase. He found himself thinking of the portrait more and more, and upon occasion (when no one was looking) found himself talking to it.

Soon things began to get so busy that he began to forget about the mysterious portrait. He had trouble keeping all his customers happy, and finally decided it was time to hire another waitress. He would look for another girl as soon as things slowed down enough for him to start looking (catch 22).

One day, one of Hugh's customers came up to the bar where Hugh was busily filling tankards for Sera's order. "Hey Hugh! Where's that new barmaid with our drink order! She took it over a half hour ago!" Hugh looked at Sera, who said "I didn't take an order from him. Everytime I went to their table they told me they'd already been helped! I thought you had."

The man shook his head. "Not her. The new girl. The one you got a picture of right there!" The man pointed to the portrait hanging behind the bar, and both Hugh and Sera felt a shiver creep up their spines.


05/20/00