Forums » Pantheon Fan Fiction

    • 315 posts
    September 23, 2016 5:19 PM PDT

    PICKLE

     

     

     

       “So, this is the fifth pocket I’ve picked this evening and all I have to show for it is three pieces of pocket lint, an old yellowed tooth, and a half-eaten apple, which was completely brown I might add…”

       The wizened old rogue gave his young apprentice a thorough looking over. He poked, prodded, pushed, pulled and even punched the lad once or twice testing his resolve and equipment. “Nothing out of place here. It must be your technique.” He said gesturing toward the young man to attempt to steal something from him.

       “Heeeeey! How’d you get that?” The lad went off in a heated gruff, pulling a large sour pickle from his master’s pocket. “That’s my lunch…” He guardedly placed the pickle back into his own pocket.

       “Hmmm, not your technique either.” The elder mused to himself, barely feeling the apprentice retrieving his stolen pickle, while completely ignoring the young man’s banter. “Perhaps…? No, you are smarter than that…” He glanced up observing the dumbfounded expression on his pupils face. “Well, maybe not so smart after all…” He trailed off obviously pondering the quandary.

       The pupil fidgeted about recklessly, showing his age, while the elder thought calmly and steadfastly toward a solution.

       “Ahhh, I think I have it.” he finally acknowledged. “And just where have you been going to do your nightly pilfering?”

       “The tavern of course.” came the apt reply.

       “Yes, but which tavern?”

       “Well, the one where I can get my beer for the lowest coin of course. The Poor Peoples Pub, down by the old docks in the lower section of the square.”

       “And therein is the answer to your riddle.” The elder rogue said with a certain twinge of pride having solved the dilemma of pocket lint pilfering.

       The apprentice kept the dumbfounded look and added a fake smile to it, feigning enlightenment. He truly did not fathom what his teacher had discovered.

       The abrupt smack to the side of his head woke him up, but brought no great illumination to his understanding except for the blinding white light he experienced, along with a searing pain and ringing within his ears.

       “You need to target better clientele you oaf.” came the stern instruction of his master.

       “But every time I try to enter the high society social clubs they tell me to get lost. They see right through me immediately.”

       “You don’t go dressed like that do you?” The master begged, grimacing at his young apprentice’s apparel.

       “How else can I go? This is all I have to wear.”

       “Its no wonder they see right through you. You look like a beggar, no, worse, you look like a thief! Come with me. I think I have just what you need to fit right in.”

       “Geeeesh, I look like a fruitcake-painted dingle-berry.” mumbled the apprentice as he waited nervously in line. “I’m not dressed regally at all. I don’t look anything like the rest of these high-hatted dignitaries. I bet I’ll get the boot again just like before.”

       “You’re late” reproved the doorman. “And you’re at the wrong entrance. Entertainment should arrive at the back.”

       Fear shook the apprentice, but as he started to turn to make a hasty retreat the doorman interrupted him.

       “No, no, never you mind that now. Come on. They’ve been expecting you.”

    There was no running away now. A firm hand gripped his shoulder and half dragged him through the entryway almost launching him into the immense ballroom.

       Entertainment? What was he talking about? Who did they think he was anyway?

       “Ahhhhh…. You’ve arrived.” came the soothing and graceful voice of a young maiden. 

       The apprentice turned to see a beautiful young lass adorned in gloriously splendid apparel. A stout and extremely regal looking man approached from her side.

       “I see the jester has arrived, and about time too. I was about to call out the city militia to go search for the missing fool.”

       “Yes father. He is here.” She said speaking softly and without cause for alarm. “I wonder what tricks he has planned for us tonight?” she motioned to the apprentice, signaling for him to begin.

       If he had been nervous standing in line, he was petrified beyond the state of solid granite now. He had no idea what to do, but he did know one thing for certain. This was the princess Iannea and her father, the king, who was standing beside her, was certain to have him thrown in jail or worse when he was discovered to be a fraud.

       The apprentice reached his hand to his neck, caressing the place where they would probably cinch the noose tight, just before they hanged him.

       Instinctively he reached his other hand into his pocket. He felt the giant pickle that still resided therein. He had to do something, and he had to do it now.

       The room went silent. His voice wavered horribly as he tried to speak. He’d heard bards banter on for hours before. They always spoke with a loud, commanding voice. He attempted to mimic what he had experienced, but the sound that came from his lips was more likened to a croaking frog followed by a squealing pig, than that of an accomplished entertainer.

       “What have you here in your pocket my king?” The young apprentice gingerly reached deep into the regal coat pocket of the king standing before him to the stunned, yet hushed, disdain of all who were attentively watching. Common folk never, ever, touched royalty.

       The eyes of the king widened in disbelief as the jester pulled a large sour pickle from within his pocket. “Good heavens!!!” he puffed. “Where on earth did you manage to find that?”

       “Right here in your pocket sire.” boasted the jester much to the pleasure of the amused crowd.

       “And what might you find hidden here in my purse jester?” asked the princess in her melodic sweet voice as she held it out for all to see. “Certainly there is no cucumis sativus, pickled or otherwise growing in here.”

       The young apprentice reached deep into the purse and produced a ball of lint.

    “Looks like you need to speak to the maid in charge of laundry my dear princess.”

       A stifled, horrified moan, broke from the servants chambers beyond the kitchen where the buffet preparation was taking place. Some poor laundry servant would receive a scolding tonight. Amused giggles reverberated through the crowd.

       He reached in again and pulled forth an old yellowed tooth at which the crowd, leaning closer with anticipation, cried, “Eeeuuwwww…”

       “Oh my….” the princess gasped seeing the grotesque and twisted looking tooth. “Where ever did you… How… ever did you find that in there?”

       The king rolled with a thunderous bellow which echoed thoroughly throughout the hall as he observed the expression of utter disgust mixed with shear delight upon his daughter’s face. This was the birthday wish that he had hoped for his daughter. Her thrill and delight was the grand fulfillment of that wish.

       Spurting with bouts of laughter still, he asked if there was anything further to be discovered in the purse, at which the jester promptly pulled forth a brown, rotten, half-eaten apple.

       The princess, the king, and the crowd erupted into a full gale of applause at the appearance of the apple. A hearty slap on the back prompted the apprentice/jester that he had indeed done well, but the gold sovereign placed within his palm by the king actually brought a genuine smile to crease his lips.

       “A parting thought my good king…” the young apprentice said before turning to leave.

       The kings eyebrows raised in answer, questioning the jester’s next move.

       “Might I have that pickle back sire? It is my only lunch.”

       The king squinted in confusion. “What pickle? You have already….”

       “Why the one right there in your other pocket my lord.” he said interrupting the king while extending his hand to receive the pickle that the king slowly pulled from his pocket.

       Laughter followed him to the door, and applause by the doorman and guardsmen stationed outside, followed him into the street.

       His legs buckled slightly with disbelief as he strolled nonchalantly down the avenue.  Somehow he had survived the evening and not been hung by the neck in the city square.

       Reaching into his pocket he fingered the gold coin. It was more than he had earned in the last eight months, but there was something of far greater value residing in that pocket. He pulled forth his salvation and took a mouth watering bite from its crunchy girth. His mouth puckered.

       It was the best sour pickle he’d ever tasted.



      



     

     

    • 807 posts
    September 23, 2016 6:09 PM PDT

    Once again you have delivered a wonderful treat Klumpedge.  And you even mentioned the banter of bards.  Thank you my friend.

    • Moderator
    • 8831 posts
    September 23, 2016 6:12 PM PDT

    These are really fun to read Klumpedge, nicely done :)

    • 34 posts
    September 25, 2016 7:57 AM PDT

    To be able to Read these... Pleases Longshanks.. Thank you Sur.

    Longshanks The King of England!!!

     

    • 272 posts
    December 14, 2016 7:39 PM PST

    This was awesome, Klump. Not too sweet & not too sour.  I love how nothing was wasted in the story. Bravo.  

    • 4401 posts
    February 9, 2017 10:00 AM PST

    Nice!

    • 316 posts
    May 15, 2017 2:29 PM PDT

    Great short reads Klump! Keep um coming!

    • 10 posts
    May 15, 2017 4:43 PM PDT

    Nice read pasted the time at work