Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sally, Part 5

1.  I have clothes.
2.  We have grapes going bad in our fridge.  I don't so much like that they are going bad, but that we have food enough to allow that.
3.  Silverware.  Without it, cereal would be much less enjoyable.

If you have not read Part 4 you'll probably want to.  This probably won't make much sense if you haven't.

Finding and buying the food needed for the voyage would be easy.  The Cook had already made many business partners in Andrill who always had food ready for him and who gave him remarkably good prices because he purchased in such quantity.  The idea of currency was still young in the world, but The Cook was of the first to fall in love with it.  Just two years before he had found himself running around Andrill, buying a mule from one man with gold so that another would sell him jerked venison.  For a man trying to catch a boat bartering was not an option.  So, as quickly as he could, he found vendors who dealt only in gold.  Gold was the way of the future, and The Cook wanted only to deal with those who were on board.  As an added bonus, the year he stopped bartering was also the year he had an extra two hours to experience Andrill (which was sometimes pleasant and sometimes not).  He figured this year to be no different and that two hours would be just enough to find someone to give the child to.

As The Cook walked from one vendor to the next he started to look for someone he thought would be a good care taker to leave the child with.  Andrill had no shortage of wealthy people and The Cook began to dream for his little ward.  Perhaps the boy could go to school.  Maybe he could ride on horses, and buy expensive jewels to be set into trinkets that had no use but to be pretty.  Perhaps he could buy a large mansion and have servants.  Then The Cook really began to dream.  Maybe he would hire an old sea cook for his kitchen, and that cook wouldn't have to buy awful produce and feed his creations to ungrateful mouths.  What better sea cook than he, the man who saved the boy in his infancy?

Angry shouting roused The Cook from his fantasy.  There, amid the throng, was a woman, dressed in a large purple dress with gold trimming, yelling at a small boy, dressed in rags and carrying a very high stack of packages, with one lying at his feet.  She demanded he pick it up and not let another of her boxes touch the ground.  The Cook then noticed more children, walking shortly behind rich adults, dressed in worse than poor pirates.  Only occasionally did he see a child dressed well, and when he did, that child always bore a strong resemblance to the adults he or she walked with.  He had never noticed it before, he had never had a  reason to, Andrill's wealthy enslaved orphans.  What The Cook could not see was that child slaves were practically a commodity to the rich.  A family was not considered respectable, or part of he elite of Andrill unless it owned at least a couple of children.  Granted, the slaves always had a roof, always had food, and were often taught a trade so that when their masters had no more use for them, they could find work.  But the labor was hard, too hard for little fingers, and many of the children would drop dead in the fields before reaching adolescence.

The Cook had worked too hard and risked too much to leave the boy to such a fate, but who else was there to leave him with?  The other adults The Cook saw were barely getting by themselves, he feared (and this was his prejudice of the people of Andrill) that the baby would end up in a stew for much needed protein.  An even worse idea would be to give him to one of the scampering halflings who were shrewd enough to sell him to a wealthy family for a tidy profit, and then The Cook would be back to his original fear.

The time to get back on the ship was drawing close, and still The Cook had not found a suitable guardian.  It could be argued that The Cook hoped too much for the child, after all, what could really be expected for the bastard child of a whore?  Perhaps fighting to stay alive as a slave was the best situation for him.  Just as The Cook was about to give up, and leave the boy to a destiny of servitude, he noticed a little face peering out of a darkened hole in the wall nestled within an ally way.  As he walked closer the face noticed him and disappeared.  The Cook investigated the hole she had been looking out of.  For a child, the deception was quite remarkable, as the hole was no longer there.  It had been crafted so that the face could live beneath a house, but that the panel that worked as a door to her dwelling was concealed whenever an outsider came near.  The Cook then got an idea, could this little face care for a baby?  The thought at first was ludicrous, but after seeing the other inhabitants of Andrill, The Cook began to think seriously about it.  He could teach that little face to feed the baby using goat's milk in a sheep's stomach.  The face had crafted a very deceptive door.  And, if The Cook remembered right, children often loved, even if it was not in their best interest to do so.  This cleverly disguised hiding spot might just be the home The Cook was hoping for.  Sure, the boy would not have an education, but he would have his freedom, and in Andrill, if he were clever enough, he could make his fortune.  The Cook hesitated once more, and then gave a sharp rap on the make shift door.


  1. This is great! I am so glad your aunt Jennifer shared a link to your blog! Keep the story coming! I look forward to reading more every might! Fabulous!

  2. I'm happy she did too. I usually post every weekday, just so you know. And any time you want to share it on your facebook would be greatly appreciated. I'm trying to get some more readers.

  3. I missed a lot but I'm catching up now.

  4. Good good. Thanks for taking the time.