This is my entry for the Edge Chronicles Wiki Fanfiction Contest of March/April 2018. I based my entry of off the canon Single-Page Short Stories. Be aware that, while this story is about a character from Doombringer, it contains no spoliers and you will be fine to read it even if you haven't read the book. Without further ado, here is the story:
“Most people think that my job is an easy one, and I would know, because I’m a ghostwaif , and I hear them think it. But the truth is, people who think that being a tavern waif is easy are dead-wrong.
There is a lot more to my job than sitting in my nicely carved chair up on the pillar all day. I need to listen. Is someone who had a little too much sapwine looking for a fight? I need to hear that. Are the oakelves not noticing someone’s call for more to drink? I need to hear that. Is someone trying to sneakily pay a little less than they owe? I need to hear that. Sergeant Gleep is counting on me to hear those things, and to let him know so that he can take care of them. But listening like that isn’t easy.
In the quiet of the Nightwoods of my youth, listening to the thoughts of another was like spotting a Nameless One in the daylight, not difficult at all. But in Hive , boisterous, bustling Hive, it isn’t like that. Tens of thousands of thoughts are clamoring inside my head, all at the same time, so making out the ones I need to hear is like looking for a blackwood twig on the forest floor on a moonless night, very difficult indeed. And even after I hear the right thoughts, there is yet more subtlety to my task.
The sergeant is a busy mobgnome , and he can’t afford to waste his time. When I hear an aggressive thought, I have to decide rather or not the sergeant is needed, rather or not I need to tell him about it, or if the situation will calm down on its own. If I go wrong one way, a fight starts, and if I go wrong the other way, then Sergeant Gleep’s valuable time is taken up needlessly. Being a tavern waif is not nearly as easy as most people think.
So, what I’m saying is, next time you hear about how many hivers I make each day, pause and consider for a moment before you start complaining about what an easy time I have to make that much.”