Athyes’ Black Friday-An Ongoing Tale Chapter 225

Hello! Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here! Thanksgiving was a wonderful celebration with close family. I appreciate all of you that dropped by the Campfire yesterday to celebrate as well!

One of the blessings that COVID has brought this year is a disruption of Black Friday. For those of you that are unaware, Thanksgiving is disrupted on Thursday evening to make way for sales and shopping sprees early on Friday for Christmas preparation.

Black Friday is a non holiday to me as it robs our thankfulness and fighting for the best deal begins. Spending time with our loved ones is how holidays should be celebrated.

Since we likely weren’t up all night fighting over an electronic device that will be outdated next November,

It was a market day in Hahyrst and folks had come from miles around to resupply and purchase amenities not so easily acquired otherwise. 

A shrewd woman named Penelope hosted the affair in a large circle of wheeled carts and every shopkeeper from miles around participated. This was no small affair. One could try his hand at bobbing for apples, gamble with dice, wrestling, and even hatchet throwing.

Peasants, gentry, bandits, in towners and out of towners revelled from sunup to sundown engaging in all sorts of not so eloquent exercises.

Cider was courageously quaffed as was a  new import from La Longi. Athyes, the local shopkeeper had ordered several casks of Screaming Peaches, a despicable drink that even the most seasoned ale drinker would struggle to keep down. A pint could blind the drinker of any sensibilities for extended lengths of time. 

The basest of the festival fellows contested in drinking display and some could not even stand the smell of the putrid pint of peaches let alone sip the imported beverage. 

Dancing, revelry and outspoken tongue waggers romped, oblivious to constraint. These events were rare, and welcomed.

Galvin, a bard, or minstrel, brought a troupe of entertainers, paid complainers, fire eaters, jugglers, and acrobats. They had constructed a stage and at scheduled times they would  entertain. 

Now, if you never heard a paid complainer, you should have been at Hahyrst. 

Mel, a proficient entertainer and complainer, screamed a blood curdling scream, garnering attention. “Galvin!!!!” “Galvin!!!!” She screeched. 

Everyone gathered around, even Penelope, who was quite pernickety about leaving her prospect for profit, but this was the finest entertainment that could be had at the moment.

Mel looked to Galvin, batting her eyes. She downed a pint of Screaming Peaches, and to the amazement of all, downed a second. Setting the double fisted tankards down, she began.

“I am not happy with my purchase, and I would like to make a return. For tis the great blue yonder, my heart begins to yearn.”

Galvin, serious in expression, responded.

Silence, Sot, for what more want than revelry?What finer goods can be bought, but from Penelope?

All around clapped and cheered for Penelope. It was rare for her to organize these events in Hahyrst. 

Mel continued.

“I made my purchase from a merchant, sad of state is he, for ornament I did buy, took my life from me.”

Having spoken the words, she collapsed to the ground, the contents of her handbag spilling out on the stage. 

Galvin the Bard  put a hand to his mouth in shock. 

Was it merchant, curse did cast,

 upon this town’s reaches? 

Or be her plight less renowned,

Be from Screaming Peaches?

He rifled through her scattered belongings.

“Be it drink, methinks not, for ole Mel a seasoned sot. Be it this handkerchief, or brush?Or this warpaint, called blush?An ornament she said, What more could explain, Was her cause of death, This golden chain?”

Everyone from town recognized the chain to belong to Athyes the shopkeeper. He wore it all the time. They gazed at his metal bereft neck and laughed. What hilarious advertising it was for the store owner.  

Galvin tossed the chain to one of his acrobats who deftly threw the chain into the crowd. Though hands grasped for it on it’s flight, it landed squarely on the neck of Athyes. Galvin proclaimed, 

“Let’s give a Hahyrst cheer to the bringer of the beer!!”

Everyone cheered and clapped for Athyes. He was a local hero for bringing the exotic drink.

Athyes’ face was white as a ghost. It was indeed his chain, given to Ashton by Athyes as insurance against being pressed into a merchant ship. 

He departed in haste to the confusion of everyone, but it was hardly noticed as the show was over and other events were to be attended. To keep the ambiance, Mel was drug offstage in ragdoll fashion by the troupe. 

It was all fun and games until a real scream emanated from the crowd. A townswoman cried, “My husband is dead!” 

The woman was frantic and her companions hoisted his body into a wheelbarrow and took him away, his mourning wife following.

All evidence pointed to him having drunken himself to death on the fermented Peaches. Two large tankards, one near each hand, lay nearby.

“He tried to drink like Mel”, Speculated a man. 

“The Screaming Peaches are not safe!” cried another. 

“Mel died onstage, and now he is dead! Something must be done!” Cried yet another.

The festival was in disarray. The casks of Peaches were broken and great speculation was given as to who died and how much he had drunk. Many of those who had consumed the beverage began to vomit. The whole grounds stank of puke. 

Quietly, and efficiently, Galvin, Mel, his troupe of troubadours, acrobats, fireeaters, jugglers and a “screaming townswoman” packed their things and moved on down the trail. There were new shows on the circuit.

Athyes, quickly celebrated, was instantly vilified. 

That was his problem.

Author: The Storyteller

Benjamin Thiel is a husband, father, correctional professional and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire. His favorite quote is "Don't count the lions. It will make you afraid and slow you down."

9 thoughts on “Athyes’ Black Friday-An Ongoing Tale Chapter 225”

  1. I hate Black Friday, it became a thing in Slovenia too and people are spending money on stuff they don’t need or want. It’s literally the opposite of responsible consumerism or sustainable living. I liked the ‘buy nothing for Black Friday’ initiative I saw going around. Like it’s ok if you need something and take the opportunity to buy it at a discount, but people usually don’t do that.

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