Afrosays to me

…random excerpts from my communions with the AfroMuse

The Faist-Nugger’s Scheme May 3, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 4:44 pm
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Tis’ a speech to you, King, Queen.
Beware of such and such schemes, AfroSays,

 

THE FAIST-NUGGER’S SCHEME

 

ha-ha!

 
 

Grand Marquis,

 
May you be as loved as the pussy in the hands of an old woman, may your light shine over the people like a solemn balding spot under the sun, may your wisdom lead us forever and whether it be into prosperity or peril, may we be subject to it.

 

I stand here before you today as prefect of statistics and measures to give you the gross and the net of countings and weighings under your lordship and tell you whether it is better or worse than the last year. I know that if it is better, you will be pleased and there will be a feast in the evening for all the prefects and their captains and captainesses because gold is being spun and cows overflow the barns and soldiers are in the arms of young mothers. Because, it is well deserved. The evening feasts have never failed because, if this humble prefect shall be honest, it is why we work so hard all year, to please your majesty so much that we can dine with him during the harvesting season, neglecting our sons who lie under the stars on our abundant farmlands in exhaustion form the day’s work, getting drunk on your honeyed ale and sharing risqué jokes amongst ourselves.

 

 
Forgive my laughter.

 
But I fear to admit, your pompadour, that this benevolence which you extend to your servants has not been deserved these past five years. In times before now, peradventure there were not enough soldiers born, or not enough horses in the sheds in the country-side surplusing to the year before it, there would have no feast in your courts but vigilant accounting and auditing and a thorough investigation into the mal-affair. Perhaps I should remind you that Your Grace would require a head or two on the exalted spears at the city gates on occasion, but such remedies have not been taken for the past five years even though there has been a steady decline in the prosperity of the royal purse and the people. My grace, we have merried in the most riotous fashion, despite the economic circumstances.

 

 
Pardon my inner child.

 
Your grace, we are headed towards calamity; the accountings speak to the fact that there are no surpluses to be found under your rulership. We have been lucky that the gods have not struck us with a taste of the foul moods that find them on occasion. We are at peace and the rains keep to time. Your throne would be correct to agree with me that good fortune is a harlot and she only belongs to a man for a night or two or three, or a week if he is rich. I fear that she might leave us soon and if we are not prepared…

 
I am loath to laugh while presenting this matter!

 
It is not secret that we have all been happy overmuch. This happiness is the cause of our problems and the one who is called The FaistNugger is the cause of this happiness that will ruin us. He wandered into your courts while we were still a hardworking people and you granted him audience.

 
The joy that bubbles inside of me!

 
He was an alchemist, yes he was, but he is a wealthy man now. Out of his weathered cloak, he had retrieved a glowing potion that we could apply to our rivers every time our three moons are full – every thirty-seven years. He swore on the purity of all science that the populace would wear a grin, just like the moons do, when they are not round, while they are not round. He only asked for a place to stay.

 
Oh! Good spirits!

 
He…

 
Oh! Gladness of heart!

 
He, The Faist-Nugger, his alchemy did work as he promised. I recall clearly, as I have been commissioned to, that we acquired this scheme to better rule the people. Your lordship and the council of prefects were convinced by the Prefect of the Police and Armaments that it would stop the few crimes that were brought before the court and we assumed likewise but really it didn’t. We, as a people, and as a council began to consider offences in exceedingly good nature.

 
Yes!

 
We’ve been all too happy to beat our sons when they pinch from our purses or our daughters when we find them in the barn kissing Tedder, the Blacksmith’s son. The bastard has kissed all of our daughters, Your Grace, even Her Delightfulness, the princess too.

 

 
Give me a moment to recover from this deep mirth.

 

 
But we are too happy to do anything about it. Citizens are killed in joyous fashion. Women are raped and they laugh about it, even returning to the evening dances to be swung around by the same boys that defiled them. These daily evening dances have drained the surplus we’ve gathered from the time of your father till now.

 
I find this hilarious.

 
We are too happy to work. Your people are to happy to…

 
Ha-haha! Ha-haha!

 
But the alchemist does not drink of our rivers. He collects our gold and loves our women but he does not share this crazy spirit with us even though it was his bewitchment. He is the organizer of these dances, he invites jesters and fire-eaters and bards and poets and an assortment of entertainment and collects our own gold on our own land. Ha-ha!

 
If the Faist-Nugger cannot cure us, let him create a new river right by the old one.

 
Haaaa! My ribs ache! My ribs ache!

 
Let him!

 

 
Let him bring us another river from the springs in the mountains.

 

 
Let him… Faist… Ha-ha! The Faist..

 
Nuuuuggggh…

 

 
Ha-ha!

 
 
He rolls into a laughing, coughing fit.

 
 
 

 

Old Tom’s words April 19, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 7:01 pm
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The seasons come and go and leave remnants of us.
AfroSays,

 

OLD TOM’S WORDS

 

... it's all gone too soon ...

 

I never took the walk back home alone.

 

Even from the first day I started mixing drinks at Tom’s, he would leave the night’s accounting to escort me.

 

Actually, it wasn’t inconvenient for him because I stayed only two short streets away from the bar; I guess that it really was therapeutic, for good old Tom never said much as we dragged our tired feet along – mine tired from tending his garden of bottles for the quarter of a day and his from welcoming all comers with a handshake and a fatherly inquiry into their affairs. Tom genuinely cared about us all. It seemed that this nightly walk of ours was a form of catharsis for him because he always kept the burdens of the small town on his mind. He’d walk by my side with his head bowed, and shoulders mellow, smiling and humming an old tune I would never recognize. The same tune every night.

 

We would avoid shallow puddles on those cold evenings and walk like father and daughter. Once or twice, he had told me about the wild days of his youth, how he met Janet, of whom he was widower-ed three years ago, how they had never had children, how life had passed so quickly. “Titi” he’d say, “It’s all gone too soon.” I would smile and squeeze his hand and he would laugh a weak one.

 

I only worked at Tom’s through the fall of 1996. I think I stopped mid winter because my degree eventually earned me a better paying job. most of that year remains a Gaussian blur to me but I’d never forget old Tom’s words.

 

I was twenty three years old, January the following year. I remember because that was the year I fell in love. The fall did not last too long and I landed on the cold hard floor; in my moments of bitter tears I remembered old Tom’s words.

 

Life skipped along and happy times found me and abandoned when I began to feel entitled. The pains of sorrow would eclipse the bright times and just when my breaking point was near, the sun would shine again. Friendships came and went just like love did, until I eventually found a lovely friendship. I am widowed of Joe now, a heart condition tore him away from my hold. Too soon.

 

My parents decided to get a divorce last year because they both decided that it would be more peaceful to die alone; they both still hope that I’d take a side. I’m too old to care.

 

I had my life planned in the beginning and I haven’t done bad for myself. I am not where I planned but I am in a beautiful place, beautiful because I choose to see all the good things around me. Although, I can afford a lot of the simple things I want but I don’t enjoy them as much as I thought I would, except maybe when it’s a new experience like my first full body massage at the inexplicably expensive Shirley Buddha.

 

I’m turning forty soon and I still have half a full life to live and to enjoy as much as I can. Sometimes I think back to those walks with old Tom and his hollow laugh brings a smile to my face. He darn sure was right, it’s all gone too soon.

 

So why not enjoy it while it lasts?

 

 

 

The Baby April 13, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — Betty @ 9:20 am
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Betty beats a gong of riotous sounds. Listen.

 

 

Sheila and Dayo were an odd quiet couple. They lived in their quaint bungalow at No. 4, Adeniyi street. The house had been Dayo’s father’s and Dayo being the only child, had inherited it upon his father’s death. Sheila and Dayo could be seen huddled together as they took long walks or just looking straight-ahead as Dayo drove them to church or the supermarket.

 

They were the couple that other parents warned their children to stay away from and a topic they shared with visitors when the couple passed the front of their gates. They had eyes only for each other and had no friends save colleagues and other parishioners.

 

But this little family lost their silence when Sheila had a baby. Her pregnancy had mostly gone unnoticed as she had quit her job at the Primary School teaching Art in her third month, long before a bulge was evident. It was left to Dayo to provide for their family from the funds from his furniture shop.

 

They named their daughter Annabelle Ayomide after both their mothers who were both too dead to witness the little naming ceremony that a few friends from the Furniture shop, the Primary school and the church attended. Anna cried through it all. She cried when her the pastor lifted her up for blessings; she cried when the well-wishers gathered around to coo at her strong lungs and she cried when her mother tried to stuff her nipple in her mouth in an attempt to quiet her.

 

This became the announcing symbol that Sheila or Dayo was near- the lusty crying of their daughter. She cried at the supermarket, inviting evil glares from other customers. She cried at church, until Sheila began to spend her services outside, under a lone speaker the church had set on the street to attract lost souls. She cried at night, while her parents would wrap themselves in each other’s arms in the next room and pretend not to hear her for one hour.

 

Sheila, or Dayo, would then march to the baby’s nursery, hit the light switch and glare at the baby. Sheila would pick Anna up, try to feed her then return her to her cradle and proceed to sleep through the noise. Dayo would gather Anna into his arms, rock her a bit, throw her into the air, make funny faces and then give up to join his wife in sleeping through the noise.
Sheila or Dayo, when seen without the baby, could be seen sporting dark eyes, laden with eyebags. Pitying looks were cast their way where wary glances had been thrown, before Anna.

 

The breakthrough came a night when it was Sheila who got out of bed. The electricity was out so she lit a candle and placed it on a high chest of drawers on the other side of the baby’s cradle while she settled in the armchair. But Sheila missed it because it wasn’t until the next morning, when she woke up with her neck hurting from sleeping off in the armchair, that it occured to her that her baby had stopped crying.

 

Dayo and Sheila rejoiced but the next day and the day after saw them back in the feeding-tossing-sleeping-through-the-noise phase once again.

 

Sheila figured it out eight days after. She lit a candle and set it on the chest of drawers then went off to the kitchen to make herself a cup of tea. She returned to see an amazing sight. Anna wasn’t silent, but she wasn’t crying either. She was cooing and making baby noises while smiling and stretching her little arms towards the candle’s dancing flame. Sheila ran to wake Dayo and they did a little jig in Anna’s nursery before going to sleep soundly for the first time since she was born.
Candles were placed at distances from each other and heavier curtains replaced the flimsy ones there to keep out the light. Anna became a happy baby. Her little eyes shifted from one flame to another; her hands flailing about while her legs kicked happily. Everyone was happy again.

 

Sheila and Dayo could once again be seen taking walks, huddled into each other, without their daughter. They went to church without their daughter. And went to the supermarket without their daughter. Anna was happy in her sanctuary of candles, giggling and waving.

 

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise when Dayo and Sheila were interrupted in church with cries of “Your house is on fire!” But it did. Dayo and Sheila rode home in a frenzy, their thoughts hopping about the place, never dwelling on the horrible visions their minds conjured.

 

No one else knew how it happened except the boisterous rat and Anna, who had watched it run into a candle that fell to her diaper bag which was leaning against the curtain. She had watched with amazement and her widest smile yet as a fire bigger than any she’d ever seen enveloped her. But neither Anna nor the rat could relay this story as they were both burnt to crisp by the time Sheila and Dayo arrived.

 

The neighbours, those who weren’t at church, had tried to put out the fire- but it hadn’t occured to them that a baby had been indoors, alone- perhaps they would have put more effort.

 

Dayo and Sheila rebuilt the house. Neighbours say they became a little crazy, if they weren’t before. They still went on about on their huddled walks and supermarket visits and church services but whenever asked about their crying daughter from a clueless curious or about their general wellbeing from a kind curious, they would look behind them- as if haunted- and whisper: “But the fire made her quiet.. The fire made her quiet..”

 

 

 

Arena April 11, 2012

ZOINK! 101010101000.11
AfroSays:

 

ARENA

 

 

 

The music that filled the arena reminded me of the music I would hear from my son’s room whenever I gave him my brainpod to hack for new software I couldn’t afford. Keygen music he called it.

 

I dipped both my hands in the wide can of engine oil that was before me and scooped out a full palm bowl – enough to make my wire braids shimmer – and greased the coppery shrubbery that poured from the back of my head.

 

“Turboooo!”

 

I lifted my hands and walked onto the gangplank. Strobe Lights led the way from the helicopters that hovered above and on the steel floor, pairs of little fluorescent bulbs did same. The volume of the electro-music was turned up to match the fever of the moment.

 

“Colder than steel, faster than light, hydraulic strength, laser precision. The mind-blowing explosion. You don’t wanna mess wiiiiiiiiiitthhh….”

 

“TURBO.”

 

An explosion followed and a hellish fire filled the arena – wild flames dancing in the crowd in synchronisation with the deafening music.

 

I walked and then jogged and then ran towards the elevated stage, forward flipping over seven feet of electric caging and landing perfectly with the last note of my summons music.

 

“TUUuuuuuurbooooow!”

 

The crowd cheered as I walked the space confidently with my machine enhanced body reflecting the many lights shone on me. Strategically placed Red Light Emitting Diodes began to simulate a racing whirlwind from my legs to my neck and then the fiery hologram was put out. Everything suddenly went black and quiet. Everything except the red whirlwind on my naked hybrid form.

 

Twenty seconds.

 

“Xenax!”

 

The crowd roared again and another version of keygen music began, more violent.

 

I saw him skate onto the gangplank at the other end of the arena, arms out at his side, body leaning to the left now and to the right later. A hologram of rain and evil blue lightning enveloped the arena as he approached the stage. The lights would dim and explode with a wicked clap of thunder now and then.

 

“Nightmare. He cuts through steel and bone with his teeth. He’s never known defeat. From the west to the east, all hail the king”

 

Another clap of thunder.

 

“Of doom!”

 

Silence.

 

Violent music burst forth again as my opponent flipped onto the stage.

 

I looked at my son and I didn’t know he was my son. He didn’t know that I was his father too. The only consciousness we had is that which was provided us by the martial software running in our brains.

 

Blue diodes simulated a race around his body in shock patterns and he lifted his hands up. He was only five feet tall – even with lifted hands – and lithe as screwdriver. That was the boy wonder, the killing machine – his brain could run the latest martial software with ninety eight percent efficiency. The best of us could only manage previous versions of the same artificial intelligence to the sixtieth percentile.

 

“Xeeee… Naaahhhhx!”

 

The cheering exploded.

 

If I had still been human, I wouldn’t have begun to appraise his form for weaknesses that I could not find; I’d have knelt before him and asked him to execute me.

 

If he had still been human, he would have ran to me and cried in my arms like he had done they day they came to take him away from me because of my gambling debts.

 

They had come for me the following week when I had gambled away my last possession to get him back.

 

I had been the last thing I owned.

 

————————

 


Deep in the cortex of the nascent consciousness of the warrior robot boy, there appeared suddenly a throbbing glow so profound that it could not be seen by the human eye. It died immediately the embedded software in his brain was made aware of it by very alert listeners; neutralization agents were dispersed immediately by the artificial intelligence that was seated in his psyche and the tears that would have been were not.


But the glow glowed again.

 

 

 

Mr. Edgar April 5, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — Betty @ 9:00 am
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My gong is one of oddities and whys. Of choices and their waves.
Listen.


MR. EDGAR

 

 

There was a lone light bulb dangling from the ceiling above the two occupants of the room. It was the way Mr. Edgar liked it, he got what he wanted because he hadn’t failed anyone yet. He was a man of odd proportions- his short torso and long long legs always attracted stares whenever he ventured outside, which wasn’t often. The twitch in his left eye was a subject of pity on the streets; but within these walls, it was an all-seeing twitch.

 

The other member of this meeting stared at the twitching eye and shivered. The fear and confusion emanating from this eleven-year old hung over the room like a palpable fog. His fingers gripped the seat of his hard-backed chair and his lower lip trembled.

 

Mr. Edgar crossed his right leg over his left knee, the tip of his shiny shoe catching the light.

 

“So.. Kingsley?”

 

The boy nodded.

 

“Yes.. Kingsley. So, tell me.. Why did you kill your brother?”

 

The boy began to cry while Mr. Edgar looked on in silence.

 

“I didn’t! I swear I didn’t!” Kingsley’s voice squeaked. He raised an arm to wipe his eyes but the tears were readily replaced.

 

“So, how do you explain it? They found the knife in your hands, Kingsley…” Mr. Edgar uncrossed his legs and leaned forward. There was nothing seperating the two males. “You were standing over him.. Kingsssley..” He drew out the ‘s’ in his deep voice- the only enviable feature he had.

 

Kingsley cried harder. “I don’t know. I swear! I didn’t do it!”

 

Mr. Edgar leaned back again and allowed the sound of Kingsley’s tears fill the room for a minute. He spoke again- “They’ll take you to a bad place, Kingsley. Do you want to go to this very bad place?”

 

Kingsley shook his head hard but said nothing.

 

Mr. Edgar rose suddenly and walked to the door, Kingsley’s widened eyes following every movement, tense.

 

“Send in the mother!” He spoke to someone on the other side of the door. He gestured for Kingsley to leave and returned to his chair.

 

A skinny woman with red puffy eyes walked in and replaced her son on the chair. Her hair was tied back with a floral scarf but the black long dress she wore made her look gaunt. Mr. Edgar surveyed all these silently for a while before she shifted in her seat uncomfortably.

 

“Mrs. Iwu?”

 

“Yes?” She looked up at his twitching eye then looked away. Then she looked right back, as if realizing her previous action was rude.

 

Mr. Edgar’s lips turned up in a mirthless smile but that disappeared soon after. “Tell me what happened,” he commanded.

 

Her bony fingers latched on to each other, like one would do when pleading or praying. Her eyes watered but she blinked them away and stiffened her back.

 

“I came back from church around eight-thirty..” She pursed her lips then looked up to the light bulb before going on. “I..I saw Richard lying on the couch and..and there was blood.” She lowered her head. “And his brother..Kingsley..was standing there with a knife in his hand and there was blood.. Everywhere..”

 

She broke down then and cried silently. Her slight frame shuddering with the silent sobs. When she noticed Mr. Edgar had said nothing, she spoke again.

 

“Why? Why would Kingsley kill his brother? Richard was a good son! That Kingsley! I knew he was an evil child! The devil’s spawn! Always making trouble!”

 

“Oh?” Mr. Edgar voice ended her rant. “Tell me about that.”

 

She took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Well, yes. He used to make trouble. He was rude and lazy and was always getting into fights at school..” Her forehead furrowed in a frown. “But he got better after the accident. I think that scared him but he was so good afterward.” She let out a sigh. “Now this..”

 

“The accident?”

 

“Yes.” She looked away.

 

Mr. Edgar leaned forward. “Tell me about that.”

 

She was suddenly tense and her eyes roamed the walls and floor and everywhere her eyes would go that wasn’t Mr. Edgar.

 

“Mrs. Iwu?”

 

She glared down at her fingers and clenched them into her dress. “I was driving home from Ibadan. Ike’s sister lives there with her husband. Then I don’t know what happened but the car behind us rammed into us but reversed and sped away before I could recover from my shock.” She fell silent again.

 

Mr. Edgar crossed his legs.

 

“I parked so I could make sure the boys were okay and the damage was minimal but it was getting dark and.. Then some man who had been walking past stopped by my window ..with a gun, he had a gun.. And he asked us to get out. We did.” Mrs. Iwu looked up at the bulb then at Mr. Edgar’s twitching eye then back to her hands. “He grabbed my boys and..and pointed the gun to their heads. One after the other..” She began to cry again.

 

“Please go on, Mrs. Iwu. What happened next?”

 

“He..he.. Asked me to choose. Asked me to choose which son he could kill.” She whispered but her voice rose as she became more agitated. “And I begged him to kill me instead! But how was I sure he wouldn’t kill them after me? And..and he said I must choose or we three would die and I..I..”

 

“You chose Kingsley, didn’t you?”

 

Mrs. Iwu’s crying intensified and her “Yes” was almost drowned in the midst of it.

 

Mr. Edgar waited for her to calm down and motioned for her to go on.

 

“He then pushed them both before me and he laughed and laughed and..and he walked away. And I tried to make Kingsley believe it was a whole ruse to make him behave but he started having all those dreams..” Her words were pouring forth in a jumble and Mr. Edgar leaned forward to catch every one. “But he became good. Kingsley became good. Until he killed his brother!”

 

Her eyes widened suddenly and her neck snapped up as she stared at Mr. Edgar with panicked eyes. “Could that.. Is that why?”

 

Mr. Edgar showed off his mirthless smile again and said- “We’ll see.” He rose to the door again and asked for Kingsley to come in.

 

He told the frightened boy to sit in his chair while he walked a circle around mother and son.

 

“Kingsley, tell me about your dreams..”

 

Kingsley looked from his mother who wouldn’t look at him then back to Mr. Edgar. “It was the man from the road. The one that had a gun. I used to see him in my dreams and I told mummy but it was just because she wanted me to stop being naughty. And I had stopped, I started cleaning my bed and stopped fighting and..”

 

“The dreams, Kingsley. What happened in the dreams?” Mr. Edgar cut in.

 

“Oh. The man would just be laughing and I used to tell him to leave me alone. To leave us alone but then he would say he was part of me now and he would continue laughing..”

 

“Did you tell your mum?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Mrs. Iwu?”

 

“I took him for deliverance!” She sounded angry. “Pastor. Mike prayed for him!”

 

Mr. Edgar paused and squated next to Kingsley. He took the boy’s right hand in both of his.

 

“What happened when Richard died, Kingsley?”

 

Kingsley began to whimper. “I don’t know..! I swear!”

 

Mr. Edgar rubbed the hand between his. “Try to remember..”

 

Kingsley looked at the twitching eye again and looked at his mother’s bent head. “Me and Richard were sleeping in the parlour, waiting for mummy. Then.. I had a dream again. The man came again but he was not laughing this time. He was angry. He said..”

 

“What did he say?”

 

“He said he was going to punish mummy for picking me. Then I woke up and I was standing in front of Richard and there was blood and mummy was screaming and…” Kingsley began to cry again. Loud harsh tears that reverberated in the small room.

 

Mr. Edgar stood straight and tapped Kingsley soothingly on the back. “Thanks boy,” he said and walked out of the room.

 

 

 

George April 3, 2012

Filed under: Scenic — afrosays @ 4:35 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lazy this, lazy that.
AfroSays exactly what?


GEORGE

 

 

Quite recently, George has been unable to write stories.

 

He would sit at the four-seater dining table in his small apartment on most days and under sixty watts of bright yellow, he would stare into the white Microsoft Word canvas on his Dell machine. He used to stare into Layo’s eyes exactly the same way after he’d found out that she was cheating on him. He’d never said a word about it to her – he would just look deeply into her eyes after sex until she felt uncomfortable and turned away.

 

He’d written a book about her instead. It had been sensational.

 

George doesn’t have Layo anymore and he hasn’t had her for five years but he’s written another two bestsellers.

 

In one of the books, he wrote about a young man who writes a scandalous book that makes puts him under international spotlight with fancier clothes on his back. This book is a bestseller because the young man’s good fortune leads him into wilder circles. He starts a passionate relationship with the pretty daughter of an old statesman and she leads him into all sorts of forbidden pleasures. The book ends in tears, betrayal, and a suspicious suicide. It is a very gripping tale.

 

The next book, equally as gripping, is the tale of a young man battling old demons and new enemies. In this young man’s fight for survival, he must overcome dangerous habits that have taken him prisoner so that he can fight an even more dangerous battle that threatens to end his life for good – a dirty duel with a powerful government official. The story takes the reader through a twisting path of drug dealers, prostitutes, assassins, expensive celebrity lawyers, corrupt police men, jail time, all mixed into a massive effort to perpetuate a bitter vendetta. When the story ends, the young man’s life has been effectively paralysed and the antagonist is killed by natural causes.

 

George is yet to recover from the hell he’s been through.

 

 

 

Charming Town March 23, 2012

Filed under: Abstract,Scenic — afrosays @ 11:50 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Buckle up bonnie lassies and fellas, tis’ good that we share a tale in the hall today with meat between our jaws and ale in our bellies, aye.

 

Kiss yer pardners as AfroSays

 

CHARMING TOWN

 

art for art's sake, yer know?

 

I am Toodulo and it’s nice to meet you. I am dah tallest lad in all Charming, as tall as a cow. I’ve got pretty long ears and dah largest blue eyes, but I’m not dah only one with these last two – tis’ dah way we all are.

 

Charming, she’s a small town and we all know we, to think it well, we’re all one big familee.

 

In Charming, we mostly make our living from beauty, them travel catalogues say we are quaint art village hidden in dah purple hills, lapping lazily on dah sea water. ‘though, dah catalogue is right about dah town itself, it says nothing about dah people. Of kerrs, yer can imagine all dah very strange people that would call an art village thurr burrough – dah gypsy, dah lover, dah effeminate, dah old painter with dah suffering marriage, dah penniless string plucker, dah fat singun’ lady, dah happy-go-lucky dancing couple, dah little genius fella, dah cantankerous fire-eater, dah black clown, dah collector plus obsessor with a plucking purse of gold coins, plus plus. We at Charming are nothing like so, nothing at all.

 

From cottage to cottage, on every cobblestone street, in every back alley where a thieving orphan or two might make bed and especially in dah Town Hall where you’d see us all gathered on days we make tah be merry, yer’ll notice something strange and unsettling, I tell yah. There is only one face in Charming and that is dah face we all share.

 

My fadahr and my modahr are brodahr and sistahr and so were dah parents of them. On dah occasion where this is cannot be, dah would be a cousin available to build a home with. No outsiders can settle in Charming, i tell yah, and no member of dah family ever leaves. All our cottages are built exactically likewise – green mud walls and sun-yellow thatched roof with two windows out front and out back. All our clothes are dah same too: dirty wooly sweaters, brown and green checkered long johns and bunny slippers. Although, we all are artists of different kinna sorts, we’re all dah same person. You can’t live in Charming if it ain’t yer surname.

 

Dah travellers-through are used to dah way we live. They never stay more than a night at Molly’s inn for potatoes and nightsack; they as well are wanting to leave inna quickin’. They never stop coming though, for we paintings, we stone work, we wood work, we jewellery, we fashion, we books, we food, we music bottles, we shows and anything else they could be hoping to make a fortune from in dah big world.

 

Them travellers-through, they pay us in inspiration, for we have nothing of needing save that. They tell us stories of how things are, about thurr families, about thurr villages, about cities as big as ten towns put togedahr, about othahr ways of life, othahr creatures, othahr fashions, othahr songs, othahr shows and we are usually satisfied. Them tales helps us to create what we are not needing but they are mighty liking. On dah next trade day, yer can be looking to find statues of winged men as tall as houses or clothes that are too small for our little ‘uns. Yer would be finding paintings of men with hair on thurr faces and cows with six legs. Tis’ what makes living in Charming so wonderful – discovering othahr parts of dah big world in every home.

 

I make music bottles, I trap me merry voice in a green flask and yah can listen to it if yah put yerr ears close’nugh. One bottle, one song. Once you let dah song out, yer can’t put it back in. Me wife, who is also me sister, she makes fashions. And though we all wearing similar johnnies, dah travellers-through, they love Binnie’s fashions. Mah Sonny, he can make a painting of running cows, aye, and he can make yah hear them footsteps thumping on the field, fast and strong that yer gonna be looking around for a stampede. I love it here with my lassy, Binnie and my sonny but sometimes I’m thinking if I want to travel the big world for myself and see all these wonderful things fer meself.

 

If I journey outta Charming, I’d be the first lad to do so, aye!

 

But if I journey outta Charming, the familee’ll never let me back.

 

 

 

 
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