Sinbad sauntered into the tavern. He had a lot of time to kill before his crew showed up, so he decided to booze away the time. He looked around the small establishment, then laughed.
"Why, if it isn't my old friend Ayrwohyeh!" he cried, spotting someone in a corner. "Ayr, how are you doing?"
"I'm fine, Sinbad! It's good to see you!" the old seadog got up to give Sinbad a hug. "It must have been ages!"
"Ten years, at least!" Sinbad agreed. "The last time I saw you was on the ship, oh, what was it...."
"The Titan. She was a grand ship," Ayr sighed. "It's a shame about her accident."
Sinbad nodded soberly. "She lost a lot of fine crew. Thank the gods I had left two months earlier."
"That was good fortune, all right." Ayr nodded. "I wasn't so lucky, though--I lost a good friend when she went down."
"When the ship sank?"
"No, my friend went down. Couldn't swim. Kept mumbling something about not forgetting, and for me to live my life...I can't remember now. It was all very sad at the time." Ayr downed his ale glass in one go.
"What was her name, again?"
"No, the friend."
"Oh." Ayr's face scrunched up as he tried to remember. "Rosalyn? Rhoda? Something like that."
"That's it!" Ayr smacked the table in chagrin at not being able to remember in the first place. "She was a damn fine woman, damn fine."
"I know, " said Sinbad with a dopey grin on his face.
"Eh? What's that?" asked Ayr, suspiciously.
"Uh...nothing," Sinbad said hurriedly. "Let me buy you another drink."
"Okay," replied Ayr, not protesting. The waitress was waved over, and a pitcher of their finest ale was bought. Not that it was great ale, of course, but ale, like many things, is relative. They both poured glasses for themselves, and had a bit of a toast before reminiscing again.
"No, really? Did you actually say that to the Shah of Persia? That must have taken some guts.." trailed off Sinbad in awe. "Either that, or you were completely sloshed."
"A little from column A, and a little from column B. I'd been wanting to tell him off for weeks, but didn't have the courage." Ayr replied, waving slightly. He held up his glass, staring at it wobbly. "Liquid guts, that's what I always say."
Sinbad kept a comment to himself about that what it probably was, considering the taste and the lack of hygiene in the tavern.
"Well, I haven't been just sitting around myself, you know," he said instead. "Me and my crew have been out and about."
"Yep. Just the other week, we were attacked by this giant creature that looked like a cross between sea gull and a bat. Huge. Wings the size of the ship. Firouz--the scientist friend I told you about--had this crazy notion that it was a reptile! And that it was from eons ago when giant creatures ruled the earth! Can you believe that?"
"No one in their right minds," agreed Ayr.
"Except Firouz. Anyway, we're about two miles off shore of this small island--what was the island called, now? I can't remember. Oh yeah! That's right. It was called Nihon, or something like that. The inhabitants were really strange, too. Kept bowing all the time. Anyway, we're about two miles from the coast, watching this huge monster fly around, shrieking, when the water starts boiling! Right in front of the ship. Naturally, we turn around, and head back to the island, when this huge monster--and I mean gargantuan!--comes up from underneath the water, and starts fighting with the winged monster. The water monster can even breath fire! It was the strangest thing."
"Very strange, " nodded Ayr.
"So we watched, and the water monster defeats the winged monster, and then just disappears under the water! End of story!" Sinbad shook his head. "It was the weirdest thing."
Ayr finished his ale in one gulp, then went to refill it from the pitcher, and found the pitcher empty. He waved the waitress over again, and got a refill. Sinbad (who was on his first still) just sighed.
"So ah sez ta him, `you make me wanna retch!' that's wuz I sez." Ayr was swaying very heavily now, and was almost completely incoherent. Except for his swearing, which made even Sinbad blush.
Suddenly, the door to the tavern opened, to reveal Doubar.
"Little Brother!" he called. "Time to set sail!"
"Thank Allah!" Sinbad whispered. To his brother, he yelled: "Over here, Doubar! There is some I want you to meet!"
Doubar sauntered over, and was met by Ayr puking on the floor.
"This is Ayrwohyeh," Sinbad explained ruefully. "I used to sail with him."
"Ah." Doubar looked dubious, but kept his remarks to himself.
"Ya baloney!" Ayr yelled suddenly, then tipped over in his chair.
"What?" Doubar frowned, his eyebrows knitted together.
"Don't mind him, Doubar," Sinbad soothed. "He's just an old drunk. Come on, let's go."
As they started out, Sinbad stopped, turned and said: "Good to see you again, Ayr! Maybe we'll meet up, sometime."
Ayr waved at him feebly, then fell over. He lay on the floor, sighed and said:
"`You must never give up, Ayr. You must always go on.'" He sighed again. Then he noticed something on the ground. "Hey!" he cried excitedly. "A peanut!"