Thursday, June 16, 2011

"ROGUES ALL!" ~ It's Epic*sode 4 of THE VILLAGE SMITHY ~ As told by Absolutely*Kate ... #fridayflash

As told by ~ Absolutely*Kate  

Epic*sode 4 ~ "ROGUES ALL"
The sexton rang the village bell. The village band in the gazebo with lanky Jim Casey, the druggist's son, conducting . . . played on. The mighty village smithy moved not a brawny muscle where dripped honest sweat, but stared down the strawberry blonde, hands on svelte hips, entrenched before him. Casey's band . . . played on.
Muddled mutterings of the butcher, the baker and the cocksure candlestick maker grew progressively more profound, due in large part no doubt, to their unconcealed trouncings, closer and closer still (but not quietly), across the well groomed lawn which made the village green. The three came as one to ogle the two -- the village smithy under the magnificent spreading chestnut tree and Liza, alleged shady lady newcomer to their scene. Quick as the flick of a wick, the cocksure candlestick maker hardly ever missed a trick. He'd scurried and hurried companion businessmen so as not to let a curious occurence waft on by. And today, with his cronies . . . well, he was lit. 
SPOKE THE COCKSURE CANDLESTICK MAKER:  "I tell you boys, I've seen her. I've seen her before. She's been around town." 

SPOKE THE BUTCHER:  "Bah. She's new in Essex. You're the one after all who sent up smoke signals like crazy when she got off the train. Don't you recall?" 

SPOKE THE BAKER:  "Crazy, yeah crazy. Bartholomew cuts to the meat of the matter as usual, Chas Chadwick. Perhaps the wax in your ears got in your eyes?

At this, Bart the boisterous butcher pummeled the back of the baker good naturedly -- with guffaws. From his chum, flour flew! The cocksure candlestick maker, turning with disdain, got caught in puffs, mid airstream. A bit of a coughing fit did ensue -- but in no way, no way at all was he through.
SPOKE THE COCKSURE CANDLESTICK MAKER:  "You're right but you're wrong. She's been here longer than today. I know these truths to be self-evident. Will you two listen to me, what I say?"
SPOKE THE BOISTEROUS BUTCHER:  "Sorry Charley. History will show that you're repetitive and you blow smoke."
SPOKE THE BACKING UP BAKER:  "Yeah. That's right. Sorry Charley -- You blow smoke."
SPOKE THE COCKSURE CANDLESTICK MAKER:  "Why look you two lame lumpkins! -- Just look at her valise. Doesn't something stand out funny to you there? And there?"
SPOKE THE BAKER:  "Has a valise look to it, it does. Handles, latches, tan leather sides, every one of them, and a nice hue. Can't see how it makes me laugh though. It's made for travels, which surely she did do."
SPOKE THE BUTCHER, BACKING UP THE BAKER:  "Yup. Utilitarian, through and through."
EXASPERATEDLY SPOUTED THE STILL COCKSURE CANDLESTICK MAKER:  "But look, look there at its markings. Those labels. They appear to be not anything familiar to my learned eye."
At this the butcher and baker hooted in full chortling force,  hepping up their happy hysterics. They huffed and they hopped. They upped the ante of their antics to fan down the cocksure candlestick maker's smoke screen. Some in the village band under the gazebo's decorative Victorian roof lost their places in their sheet music, resoundingly deflating some D# sharps to come out quite flat.

Casey shook his head. "Rogues all," was all he softly said. Flo the floutist in the front row, sweet on Jim . . . fondly winked.
SPOKE THE BUTCHER:  "Hey Bakes, imagine that -- The great candlestick maker makes his smart eyes study. All I can see is wise eyes guy is up to no good with our comely newcomer."
Liza, startled at D-flats diminishing By The Light of The Silvery Moon, almost turned from where the village smithy clamped her vision, strong as iron bands. But forceful is as forceful does. This man could look the whole world in the face and cause mankind due pause. Still the village fellows whooped louder their protestations. "Rogues all", she exhaled from where still she held proud her ground.
There. Did she catch then, a twitch -- a twinkling, a besmirch of mirth in the village smithy's almond dancing eyes?
CHORTLED THE BAKER:  "Butch, I tell you, you've got vision and the rest of the world wears bifocals!"
At that, Liza did swiftly swivel and turn, way past startled, way past proud. The weather took that moment to evoke a sudden turn as well. Clouds changed formation, opened propensity for precipitation and soon, very soon, raindrops kept falling on her head. Liza gulped. Liza gasped, "That line. How do you know that line? Why it's from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance --- "
ERUPTED THE COCKSURE CANDLESTICK MAKER:   "Kid? -- You new around these parts or have you been around?"
The village smithy turned more than a sudden dislike of the meddlesome and cocksure candlestick maker clutching the handle of the lady's leather valise . . . into . . .  action. Leaning to grip where it propped against his anvil, he raised high the planishing hammer. 
Like his bellows, he blew!
They scattered, they scampered. They ballyhooed and ran their aprons ragged under more persistent rain drops which fell now against the slam, slam, slammed doors of the bakery, the butchery and the candle shop beneath the forest green awning at the other side of the village green.
Liza, assessing time and time-travel might not be on her best behavior's side right now, speedily configured a range of answers to questions she reckoned would be forthcoming.
The village smithy shook his head, shook his fist and thundered, "ROGUES ALL!" to the wet sky slopping o'er the empty village green. (Though the townsfolk were titillated, they knew enough to get out of the rain.) Raindrops bounced, reflecting bright sparks off his hair, dark and crisp and long. He angled almond eyes where Liza still held her ground, as well as more tightly, the handle of the tan valise. "You're getting bedraggled, you know. Say, you like stew?"
Jim Casey's band, under protection of the decorative gazebo on the village green no longer played on . . . not since watching that scene. They packed up sheets of music, tubas, trumpets, plus a trombone or two. They encased clarinets, an oboe and of course the kettle drum. Jim was so preoccupied with gathering the wobbly metal music stands that Flo the floutist turned to Stanley for sax appeal. 

It was suppertime in Essex . . . 
It was summertime in Essex . . .
 and the night . . . was young at heart.
Fairytales could come true,
It could happen to you . . . 
Couldn't it? 
© 2011 ~ Author Absolutely*Kate
 in a small-town large state of mind 

Village Smithy photo ala Wolfrage



Harry said...

You got zing and you got moxie. I really liked the dialog between the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker and the way you slid the B.C. & T.S.K. raindroppy bit in. Keep it coming!

Kevin Michaels said...

Great dialogue and a fun read - I agree with Harry (love that subtle nod to BC and TSK). And some really vivid/kick-ass descriptions and details that fly under the radar but really punch up the story.

I wouldn't trust that candlestick maker - who knows what else he's been rolling between his hands......

ratatouille's archives said...

Hi! Absolutely*Kate...
Another interesting fun, read...I look forward to episode 5 and the happenings Of The Village Smithy, the villagers, Liza (Time-Travel) and the tan valise.
Thanks, for sharing!
deedee ;-)

Anonymous said...

Kate - when I lived in a small village way back when in Holland the butcher, baker, candlestick-maker and bycycle repair man where all the same person! Thank God for big city blues in Phoenix Arizona.
Take care,

Helen A. Howell said...

You spin a tale like only you can Kate! But to the clang of smithy hammer all was well again under the spreading chestnut tree. The Butcher, the Baker and the Candlestick Maker back in the rightful places....

A fun read!

Author said...

Great fun - stylish wordplay, Lady K, loving it.

KjM said...

"The three came as one to ogle the two..."

Artistry, just(!) artistry.

This is a romp of a tale, with no telling how/where it will end up. You've assembled quite the rogues gallery, Ms. *Kate, and there's fun to be had - not only in the reading.