She sat, letting the weak conversations wash over her. Listening to how people spoke; words used; localities of phrase. At basic communal tables, sided by benches, is how most of the alehouse folks sat. Only she, and another patron across the room, shied from convivial companionship.
He appeared incurious of her; staring thoughtfully down into his cup of ale. He was a scruff; hair and beard ne’er seen a blade; his clothes being rough cut and even more worn than hers. The edge of his upper lip, as could be seen amongst the grizzled hair, was twisted, perhaps pulled by a scar. It was the minutiae of such things as shape of mouth, measured patterns of speech, and sociability which proved the infinite possibilities of observation. Keeping her alive until tomorrow, despite attempts to have it otherwise.
feature image: sketch, JW Waterhouse, 1904