Flashfire & Brimhat
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
The creaking of the wagon never bothered Flashfire. It was a sound he heard every day. It was steady, like a heartbeat, sure and solid. It signaled travel, and it made his itchy feet less itchy. It was a sound of permanence. People might not understand how a wagon, that traveled endlessly, could be a symbol of permanence, but that was because they thought of a single place as home. For Flashfire, the entire world of Cerulean was home, and no greater contentment could be found than walking its length from end to end, like a proud homeowner, making sure every part was properly tended.
Calling his vehicle a wagon didn’t truly do it justice. It started out as a wagon, right enough, but with the various artful and imaginative changes it had endured over the years, one could only come to the conclusion that there really was no word magnificent enough to encapsulate the wonder and beauty, that was his home, his office, his method of travel and his oasis, therefore, they just ended up calling it “The wagon” so, he understood. The wagon consisted of 3 basic parts.
The actual wagon section, with wheels and wood and whatnot, the part that moved as the horses or motor moved (depending on what land was being traveled) it was a sort of blue-grey, which is what the color had settled into over time and multiple paint layering’s. The wagon section was, like its owners, apt to being underestimated. There were hidden panels, secret sections, and parts that had carefully constructed to appear extremely uninteresting to anyone looking at it.
The front section, was where the driver sat. Either steering the horses, or the wheel (once again depending on the particular area being traveled) This section was separated from the rest of the wagon by a wide planking that often converted itself into an enclosed box, that served to house the engine under the seat, when not in use, and give the driver a handy way to be covered or shielded from the elements when a canvas was utilized over it, without having to be part of the actual cabin section. Currently it was open to the night air.
The last section was the cabin used for both living and storage. It was only partly connected to the wagon bed. It was covered by a bright red canvas that started out looking like some sort of gypsy caravan, and ended looking like the top of some overstuffed hot air balloon. The top of the canvas bulged outward stuffed with merchandise, some of which was lashed precariously to the wagon by means of rope, twine and string, in various stages of wear and tear and the canvas had clearly been patched many times. Across the front of it painted in shiny gold (the only section that appeared to be rigorously maintained in its pristine condition.) were the words “The Tinker ” Flashfire had considered a long time before committing to this sign. He had argued that it would have been grander to have it say “Master of trade, seller of wares, trinket trader and marvel merchandiser.” but there just wasn’t enough canvas, and the round nature of the thing made reading it impossible if longer than a few words. He had settled on “The Tinker” because that was what he did, what he sold, and sometimes, what he bought, if something had enough interesting bits he could modify for his own uses.
Flashfire fingered the end of one of the reins and nodded absentmindedly to himself, they were overdo to stop at Snapples. He had a few packages to deliver, as well as, a few very important messages. He smiled to himself when he thought of Snapples wife, Penny. She was most certain to ask questions about Snapples purchases. He had taken great delight in crafting something useless and impractical, just for her to get annoyed over. Like a magician, he knew his craft well. Distraction and mystification. How he enjoyed his work.
He leaned forward in the drivers bench and tapped a code into the wood. Moments later a man appeared over the top of the canvas navigating the lines hand-over-hand, the easy way he navigated the canvas had a feeling of ship rigging and the masts of great sailing vessels, which was only expected given where the man had started out his life. He slipped easily over the planking and into the spot next to Flashfire, where he regarded him from underneath that which inspired his name, a porkpie hat in black and grey. He had a scar on his chin that stretched upwards, although how far upwards one could not gather, as the hat obscured all the rest of him from scrutiny.
“His stil followin. Tinks his clever. Subtle as a Piker, makes mo noiz then 2 quinks.”
“Nah!, jus’ no a good trackr. I magine his ga betta trainin as a killr”
“Hmmm.. When was the fisk last fed?”
“Da o two ago. Ga a big mess o fish, gave em.”
Flashfire pulled a lever from underneath his seat. There is an almost silent whisper of hinges sliding open and something falling onto the passing ground beneath them.
“Wa if’n he eats im?”
“Are you concerned for his wellbeing?”
“Nah! Jus wondrin if’n we need worr bout the coppies”
“If he gets himself eaten by a fisk he’s not a very good assassin then, is he?, besides, the fisks already full. Though, he might be inclined to nibble.”
He and Brimhat shared a momentary smile that turned into mutual kench when the quiet night was disturbed by a sudden unexpected screech of surprise from some distance behind them.
“Loos like e’ foun im”