Feb. 13th, 2013

Sixteen

Feb. 13th, 2013 11:13 am
“This is what comes of drinking in the morning,” the Town’s Elector says. “Gossip runs wild. Fearmongering. You men have work you’re neglecting to be here, I am certain.”

No one challenges the obvious lie, they simply file out meekly past him.

“And you,” he says to the barkeep when the room is empty except for the three of us. “Know that we’d have no trouble finding a buyer if your license were put to auction.”

Another lie, another meek response.

“As for you, my outlandish new friend… I think you had better come along with me.”

“You know, I think you’re right at that,” I say. Everyone is being so agreeable, it seems like it would be a shame to break the streak.

“I am Elector Tyrol,” he says as he leads me away through the street. “And who might you be, my good, er…?”

He trails off into uncertainty, groping for a word that won’t come. I mentally file him away as one of those types who can’t help slotting people into categories.

“I’m called Wander,” I say. “And I’m not much for titles or honorifics, if the truth be known.”

The town’s beginning to wake up properly, and the people out and about tip their hats to him but give us a wide berth.

“I hope the truth will be known,” Tyrol says. “You have the look of a meddler, Wander.”

“That makes you the second most astute person I’ve met today,” I say.

“Considering the company I found you in, that’s hardly flattering,” he says. “It would be truly convenient if you were the cause of our temporary difficulties and even more convenient if we could end said difficulties by hanging you, but while I am an expedient man, I’m not a simple or wasteful one. When a meddler comes to a town that is prosperous, a town that functions, that is uniformly a bad thing. To take something that is rolling along smoothly and interfere with its charted course…”

He shudders, as though the idea is too distasteful to contemplate.

“But if your present course leads somewhere undesirable,” I say, “then maybe any alteration could be an improvement.”

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theonecalledwander

June 2013

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