Written by Kenneth Shumaker
Episode 014, ‘Scarlet Tasmanian Tiger Tuna’
Written on September 14, 2017
Part one published on Virily on March 29, 2018.
We continue now with Morgus episode E014, ‘Scarlet Tasmanian Tiger Tuna,’ on …
Winter 21 Unicorn
Waking in a room of the Westmolmot Mill on the second floor, Morgus finds that it is a barren room. Morgus has discovered staying here has been an experience in itself.
The previous tenants have cleaned the rooms spotless of dust or refuse.
Now at ten in the morning, a full hour-and-a-half before gods-rise. The room is still warm, even though the hearth-fire died out hours ago.
Dressing in a leisurely time, Morgus understands he’s damn near bankrupt again, now he has about as much wealth as he had arrived in South State with, more than a season ago. But he has the lease of this Mill for the next hundred years at the cost of 492.57 coins per year. Which is to be paid on Winter 1 of each year to Fremal’s grandchildren. This fee pays for the lease on building and lot, plus the Royal and City taxes for both, each year.
Stroking Square’s short smooth thick yellow fur on her back, Morgus determines he needs to talk with Leza about getting her set up with a shop in this building. He can use, or rent out the rest of the building, as he sees fit.
Walking down into the property’s stable to saddle his horse, Morgus is careful to be sure not to wake the others.
With his riding-horse, Rex, saddled, Morgus jumps back as he is moving to swing his leg up to mount Rex, when Fremal taps Bloodgrue’s shoulder, saying, “it’s dark, come back in and eat with us.”
Relenting easily, Morgus smiles happily at the invite and he leaves Square with his horse. He returns inside walking with a casual gait following beside Fremal.
Inside the building, they eat the families last meal in the facility.
The freesia round doll sits boldly as the day-gods on the table as they eat, staring over at Morgus during the whole meal.
During their meal the banter is light, and after two helpings of oatmeal, Morgus clasps arms with everyone, and then he excuses himself, wishing them good journeys in their lives.
Arriving at the Chester’s house, Morgus ponders the issue of the wooden building needing a new coat of paint as he knocks on the door.
Leza arrives at the door with furrowed brows, eyes knit tight together as she asks, “Morgus? … what?” Stepping back, she adds, “please come in … I’m working on some tailoring for Azmuth … I’m to deliver the work over at the tailor’s shop … how can I help you?”
Walking into the kitchen, Morgus begins to make tea for both of them and says, “it might be good news … but you best be sitting down … I think?”
Sitting, narrowing her eyes as the water starts to boil in the kettle.
Soon, Morgus pours the boiling water in with the tea mixture he’s prepared in the ceramic teapot. Placing the steeping pot of tea on the table, Morgus sits near Leza, while he has a morbid expression in body manners and facial looks.
He takes her hand. “I have financial news about your job, but I want you to relax with tea first. I’ll pour … honey and cream … right?”
Nodding, forlorn, Leza is watching Morgus expectantly as he pours two mugs of fresh tea and places honey and cream in each.
Stirring the mixtures, he then offers one to Leza and sips from the other.
Leza is so tense her muscle lines are showing on her neck and arms, she sets her mug down, sitting rigid stiff, ready to swat Morgus.
Saying proudly, Morgus addresses her while locking eyes with Leza. “I now own Westmolmot Mill, and I’ll rent you some store space … at a fair price.”
Groaning, settling back in her chair, Leza pales.
Blinking twice, Morgus double takes. “What? I hoped you’d be happy … I thought you’d be ready to open your own shop.”
Shaking her head sadly, Leza says, “I can’t … my journeyman contract says I have to give two seasons notification of my withdrawal.”
Grinning broadly as an oak, Morgus answers, “easy, three seasons of your rent will be prepaid by me.”
Shuddering slightly as she rocks fore and back, Leza says, “I have no equipment or supplies to open a shop with?”
Blinking several times again, losing his grin, Morgus ponders this, then he says, “we’ll take care of that next season … setting up the shop while you’re finishing out the season two of your termination with your current master.”
Reaching out taking Morgus’ hand, squeezing it tight, she asks, “you’re serious?”
Squeezing her hand back, in turn, Morgus replies, “rent will be 3.10 coin a season, which will be due on the first of each season. Can you do that?”
Nodding several short nods as her colour starts to return and she brightens up. Leza replies, “I’ll make it happen.”
Leaping up together, they embrace in a more than a friendly body-to-body hug. Bodies are tight to body.
Suddenly realizing their impropriety, they release and back away, brushing their clothing smooth. Both with flushed darker skin tones, while they both look at the floor.
Clearing his throat, Morgus says, “I’ll have the parchment contracts scribed and brought over for you to sign soon.”
The two sit back at the table with one chair between them as they continue to talk for over an-hour-and-a-half.
“I should be going, I have other matters to tend to. I still have the Punting Horse’s wagon and horses I need to return soon. My apologies for misbehaving.”
Offering her arm, while blushing a darker pink, Leza replies, “don’t think anything of it. Later … Master Morgus?”
Nodding and clasping arms, Morgus replies, “yes … later.”
Having returned to Hessan Estate, Morgus hitches the wagon, and with his horse tethered to the back, trailing behind, he sets out. He drives out onto the paving stones and heads southeast on Drescol Street toward Perch Inn.
Stopping at Perch Inn an hour after evening meal, Morgus books both stabling and a room, then he eats in the tavern. Later, Morgus relaxes for a while early in the night with patrons and converses with staff.
Winter 22 Unicorn
The rain during last night was horrendous, and with the cold this morning everything is slick under the darkness of fully overcast cover of the sphere. The nearly still air isn’t helping move the cover to break it up as the day is wearing on. Morgus drives his wagon team much slower today because of this.
This poor weather results in Morgus arriving at Punting Horse with the wagon, much later than he had desired.
Searching the Punting Horse’s courtyard from the driver’s seat, Morgus doesn’t see anyone about. But he does hear the familiar smith’s hammer pounding away in the stable and can see the familiar forge’s thick black-grey smoke rising from the roof stack.
Dismounting, Morgus enters the stable and the forge area for the blacksmithing. He finds Terrec forging a shoe for a mare, who is tethered nearby.
“Terror Tot, you giant of a rogue smith. Finish your shoes then we need to do business!” shouts Morgus, over the pounding of the hammer.
Written by, Kenneth Shumaker
©2017 by Kenneth Shumaker with Inevitable Unicorn Press
To be continued in the next Morgus episode, 014, part two, ‘Scarlet Tasmanian Tiger Tuna,’ …
May the words stay with you!