Mead

  • For the Joy of It

    In prison Shadow had learned there were two kinds of fights: don’t fuck with me fights, where you made it as showy and impressive as you could, and private fights, real fights, which were fast and hard and nasty, and always over in seconds.

    “Hey, Sweeney,” said Shadow, breathless, “why are we fighting?”

    “For the joy of it,” said Sweeney, sober now, or at least, no longer visibly drunk. “For the sheer unholy fucken delight of it. Can’t you feel the joy in your own veins, rising like the sap in the springtime?” His lip was bleeding. So was Shadow’s knuckle.

    Whiskey, mead, honey, gold, sweat, and blood.

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  • The Drink of Heroes, the Drink of the Gods

    “Taste it.”

    The drink was a tawny golden color. Shadow took a sip, tasting an odd blend of sour and sweet on his tongue. He could taste the alcohol underneath, and a strange blend of flavors. It reminded him a little of prison hooch, brewed in a garbage bag from rotten fruit and bread and sugar and water, but it was sweeter, and far stranger.

    “Okay,” said Shadow. “I tasted it. What was it?”

    “Mead,” said Wednesday. “Honey wine. The drink of heroes. The drink of the gods.”

    Shadow took another tentative sip. Yes, he could taste the honey, he decided. That was one of the tastes. “Tastes kinda like pickle juice,” he said. “Sweet pickle-juice wine.”

    “Tastes like a drunken diabetic’s piss,” agreed Wednesday. “I hate the stuff.”

    Nine glory-twigs dipped in golden mead.

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