Fiction Saturday – “Fortune’s Kiss – A Fable” Part Four
Time had been kind to the old home but the various passersby had not. Most of the furniture was gone or broken to pieces and burned, as evidenced by the blackened area in the middle of the marble-floored ballroom.
Late in their third evening in their new home, while they were enjoying their daily cordial, there was a knock at the massive mahogany front door.
When the Woman opened the door and saw two men carrying rifles she pulled back before laughing out loud and saying,
“Well, hello gentlemen. I didn’t expect to see anyone from town out here so soon.”
Answering with a courtly bow that revealed his bald and shiny scalp, the taller of the two men grinned and replied,
“A hunting trip, my good woman, and just because the Official Asses of our fair town behaved poorly to you, does not mean that you and your beautiful daughters are not desired and appreciated by the unofficial asses. We saw your lights shining through the trees and thought some other hunters were already camping here.”
She welcomed them in and they spent their evening in comfort.
The woman knew the value of skilled labor of all kinds and so she offered the men a discount in return for their assistance in doing some repairs around the home.
“Tell the other men in town that we are here and that we’re having a sale. A little barter perhaps? Carpentry for Love.”
When the men got back to the town and word spread of the new Home, only two days walk to the East, the number of hunting trips to The Interior grew quickly.
The news also reached the ears of the Haters, but there was nothing they could do about it. Their powers ended at that point in the road where the birds began to sing again and the sunlight cut through the cold wind.
As time passed the parade of men restored the abandoned mansion to a grandeur rivaling that which it had had years before. And an interesting thing began to happen. Some of the men built themselves a small bunkhouse where they could store their tools and get some sleep before beginning the two day walk back to the town. Then a separate washhouse and eventually a small kitchen/dining hall were erected.
A small settlement started to grow around the home and take on a more permanent look with some of the men spending more time there than they did at their homes in the town. The owner of the General Store, who had become an avid hunter of late, saw that opportunity was gently tapping on his doorway and he opened a small branch store next to the new tavern which was next to the new gunsmith shop which was next to the new bakery. But the cost of maintaining both stores was too high and he had to choose. On New Years Eve he closed the store in the town by the coast and moved his inventory inland.