Adventure Kids

~ The Merchant Man~

When roamed and loitered, brisk he can,

Avast, he hinders, the Merchant Man,

With pears, and parsley, and fabrics of vine,

In parchments of paper, each one of refine

Tassels and tastings and tidings, good will

And roamed even further, announcing each sill

each home in each city, each pavement, each van

could not evade from the town’s Merchant Man.

The hymn was howled amongst the streets of Serevada, their serenade chanted all others, alighting Civ’s attachment to sweets; withholding confectioneries of a multitude. She wasn’t particularly dependent on them, but the only times she disregarded a Tuscan wrap of glazed honeycomb toffee, was seldom, and often accounted for later that day.

School was tacitly bland and her endowments were pursued elsewhere. She was passionate about the world, caressed into the ongoings of it. Her home was extant but merely involved in her life, often being meager of foraging further from the pavement sill. She prevailed a familiarity to her surroundings, engaged with few and knew well the public she endorsed herself with.

She festooned amongst all others in her illusive fallacies, incandescent into the brim atmosphere she created. Garlanding into the voluble expansions she enchased and furrowing creatures artists could grimly copulate. Her incandescence was furtive to oneself, amorous when displaced in a platoon of solace.

Her parents disconcerted her broad incantations, “Child’s play, it needn’t flounder her”, and never were they a claimant to her acquaintance.

He announced himself every Sunday, striding amongst the marshes with his cherished Dunton hemlock carriage. Its cast iron wheels interspersed of yew spokes, the rims castled lacewood and steel lug holes. To courtier the verdant pastures was their privilege, to closure its breech staples amidst towpaths was their pride; it reveres an umber pendant. The brace struts consoled their ghoul carnage lamps and brake wheels furrowed a ferment of carob pine. The crown boards mimicked a righteous hue of pecan, jaded with a veneer of scotch mist polish. It pinioned a grand allure and appeal; its master condoned it with utmost reverence.

School endured until two o’clock in the afternoon, an account for the gouged, flaxen bell to convulse in a jagged motion, signaling the end of the day. Her deviant manner of departure rummaged from clustered hallways onwards to the vibrant towpaths, tallied her leather satchel alongside her waist and surged the passive pavements in impulse to arrive. The casket faltered with unquenchable vitality, reaching the cessation of the town market and in the rear vicinity of the pastoral river. He used the foliage that rounded the riverbanks of ferns and aster flowers as one of its many allures, the appendage of tendrils spiraled in fixed motions around the base of the carriage.

The bridle of the horse was staged within reach of dainty Strictus grass, a horse impeccably unable to forage through it or eat, the Merchant man merely said, “She likes the view past there”. He called her “ Korny”, her name embroidered on her head collar, the sable martingale lynches from it, he and him illiterate was fond of writing and engaging to try to.

When youngsters encountered him they were gleeful to show them their school work. He gave them much gratitude and the piety they were admonished was humbling, “ Righ’n when schools now dealin with all sortsa kids they keep pushin blosters of books innim”.

She unraveled her pocketbook, retrieving two pennies and a whole pound for Korny’s bale. She was fond of her, from her pastern to her throat latch she was coated a sheer black pitch of soot with a bristle of driftwood on her chest. The brim of her eyes havened a print of clover honey with its center of royal twilight. The crest of her mane perplexed of crow feathers and could cradle and child from its mellow touch. Civ approached her with utmost caution, Korny’s size was relative to that of the five stocks of hay her master compiled for her, she frivoled her rubber saffron boots along the weeds and taproots that bordered the gravel. Endearingly having reached, she stroked the withers of her mane, having to stand upon the Aalto stool that bolstered the pavement below. She tottered her thimble hands verse the poll and bridged loins that afflicted its skin, Korny grudged a deep bray and taunted its dock and tail as trudging the air around it, sufficing to stern the tied latch across the bole to greet her.

“Hello Korny, eatin yet?”, she presumed she hadn’t given the state of hay propelled around coronet hooves. She fledged into her left pocket, feathering to find it. “Wanna know something?”.

Korny as ever sterned her stifles in strive to applaud a conversation, her mandible hinged slightly in assuming her given trinket, “ I snuck this out of Mr. Rifle’s fruit canister, so if you do see him you mustn’t tell him or we’ll both get guttered. D’you promise?”, her eloquence and concern was most vital, their secrecy a prime factor of the bond between them. Korny whinnied another neigh, sealing her demanded promise. “Here, don’t tell Cob either, he might not take it too well and we won’t be able to see each other after”. The horse with an ending grandeur toted the autumn apple between her lips and churning, merrily wielded its core.

“Hi Cob, any luck with gears?”, she jolted across the pilled wall, the plywood and its matte coating gated from the sun overhead. “ No no its pitter’d with soot ‘n dunt need fixin n’less I go in m’self”, he adjourned the matter in the same level of concern as Civ did with the stolen apple, both people of perspective.

“ Cob what’f I heap under the brakes, you can hand me the filer and sponge and I’ll just have to nudge the bevels to work.”, her proposal was logical to both of them.

“ Righ thenu dun smart Civ, lets giv’it a go”. He levelled the jack for her and pelted her the tools when needed, “ Hand me the gauge Cob”, she requested with a pleat of adultness to her, treated with potential to be given a task as this.

“ You dun go too hard Civ, you’re mum’l be wonderin where you’ve gone off to shortly”, he pressed on as the awareness of dusk was soon peering. Passing of nearly a few mild minutes later she creeped out from under, tainted with calamities of ink and grease that surpassed shortly on her school pants.

“ Civ your’all drenched, my yur nice tie’s all cluter’d n’ ur hands.. you can’t be goin ‘ome like tha’ it wunt do”, he returned from the shaft of the carriage with his chiffon handkerchief and a fresh bar of soap. “ Now yu’ll needta rub ur shirt withis”, he handed her a bottle of window cleaner-gel, he’d always purchase one spiff of it every week and use it with content for most of his chores.

“ Oh no Cob I won’t need to, you see my brother’s got his old school clothes from Wernov and I know he’s outgrown them, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind handing them to me”, she alluded being aware of the time she washed her hare with it, him prevailing with bare survival.

“ That’s merry then Civ innit!, I thought you wuldn’t go to school cuza this”. She grinned at the state of her trousers and tie, bidding adieu to Cob and Korny after the last beam of sunset sifted vice the Hibiscus and black current shrubs, sprawling the gooseberry ferns and twigs.

Now as Civ upturned the essence of cartridge oil and grease ink she endowed herself into the adventures of Cob and Korny..

His shift and tolls, and brim-tailed ran

The lawful, the pious old Merchant Man. 

October 02, 2020 16:36

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.