rime of the instant mariner

“Greetings, gentle shopkeep,” the well dressed man said as he entered my humble workshop. He was as grateful to get out of the driving rain as I was to receive some unexpected business. “I was glad to find you. Many of your fellow craftsmen in this village have closed up shop early and gone home.”

I shook my head to indicate that I shared his disappointment in my peers. “It takes a man of extraordinary discipline and fortitude to ply his trade in the face of trying circumstances,” I commiserated, surreptitiously placing my hat under my workbench and my keys into my back pocket, then kneeling behind a shelf to quickly refasten my grease-stained apron. “What may I do for you?”

He unwrapped a handkerchief to reveal an object of considerable interest, as well as considerable beauty. I furrowed my brow and grunted, trying not to betray my puzzlement, for my ignorance of this gewgaw would not have been greater had he brought forth a priceless bauble from Peking or the jewels of Araby. I wondered if I would be able to help him.

“Ho! Fret not, my good man. I do not expect you to have much immediate knowledge of this item, not in this remote hamlet. In my travels it came into a state of disrepair, and neither my driver nor my attendant nor I can seem to make much sense of it. To return home failing to deliver it in acceptable condition would cost me… quite dearly, in fact. This puts us at your mercy, but I can deduce from the way you look me in the eye that you are honorable man; and from your neat, organized workshop, that you are a man of prodigious handskill. I will gladly pay you in advance simply for trying to fix it. The name on the door said Bayall Sanyan. Is that you?”

I nodded proudly in affirmation, wiping my hand on a cloth to make it more presentable. As he shook my calloused mitt, he pressed a few gold doubloons into it. The firmness of his grasp contrasted with his digits’ softness, which was as that of a silken pillow, having been protected by the fine leather gloves I had noticed him removing. Corinthian.

“Pleasure to make your acquaintance. Drakkar Reverendston. If you can get it running again, there will be plenty more where that came from. Bought it from a gypsy. He called it an e-cigarette.”

I told him I’d do my best, then felt a sense of foreboding over what manner of man I was entering into business with as I plugged it into the USB port. Maybe it just needed to be charged.


1 Response to “rime of the instant mariner”

  1. 1 becca
    December 7, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    This is wonderful!

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December 2011
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