to read the tale so far, visit: jusjojan tales from the alehouse ~~ Mistress Sweetmeat

Finishing her wine, Mistress Sweetmeat picked up her basket and did a slow amble around the room, coming to rest at the scruff’s table. While he seemed to be fumbling for coin, she leaned closer to him, and whispered, “Now, what a pretty sight you have become.” He hissed, “And, I sense the jest of your new profession.” In room-level voice, she declared, “Come now, you have a coin somewhere for this feast.” One of the earlier spurned men groaned and muttered something which caused a sniggle.

Lowering her voice: “I will be forgetting something to come back for. Then, after a heartbeat or two, follow me out.” Aloud, she laughed: “Oh, alms for the poor,” leaving a bag of nuts without payment. Calling farewell to the barkeep, Mistress Sweetmeat readied herself to return to the storm. She stuffed the covering cloth back into the basket, donned her coat and was gone into the night.

The cloaked woman let out a held breath. The vendor, Mistress Sweetmeat, showed no signs of recognition. Though she had not the answer, she knew the question: what had passed between the two? No indication of recognition when that woman pushed in from the storm, yet, a whispered exchange afore she left. She observed an obvious, to her, ruse to return: a robin’s egg blue cap, the sort knit of thin spun wool with flaps that button under the chin, remained hanging on a wall peg. She was sure the woman had nodded, subtly, towards it, then called her farewells to Mattersond at the bar.

The cloaked woman thought a portion of her last ducat, not long ago destined to pay for a room, now need be spent in the alehouse. Her curiosity engaged as she and the scruff seemingly shared secret knowledge of this Mistress Sweetmeat. So, she motioned to the barkeep the next time he took in the room. He pulled a cup of ale, and set it upon a platter with a half a loaf of flat bread and a wedge of cheese. When he approached her table, she said, dismayed, “I can not pay . . .” She could not afford the meal, simple as it was.

“Never no mind,” Mattersond said, “It is just that as you and that other traveller,” pointing towards the scruff, “are storm-stayed, so I can not turn you out into the doldrums.” She accepted his charity – a rarity on her part. But she had not eaten well of late and her stomach growled at the sight of provender.

The barkeep proffered the same fare to the scruff. He mumbled something in thanks as he wound a faded and unraveling royal purple scarf around his neck, untucking his beard when done. She wondered how the situation would play out. She doubted they would leave together – a veil of secrecy seemed imperative to their actions. No, they would exit apart – she as the first thing, he as the second.

I challenged myself to see if I could several incorporate prompts, and keep the tale going.

from jusjojan: button and first things (which is another cheat – it’s an SoCS prompt and I did some editing)

from pensititivy101: just, ago, doldrums; stuffed, push, flat

from mlmm Saturday mix, opposing forcesanswer and question; together and apart

and, happy to be joining again the colour your world (#cyw) challenge. Tourmaline (of toy photography) sets up the challenge with each week’s prompt being one of the 120 colours in a box of Crayola crayons.

week 1: robin’s egg blue (one of my favourite colours!); week 2: royal purple

Join me here at tourmalinenow.com for a new blog challenge each Tuesday at 11AM EST.

On your own blog, social media page, etc. within the week that follows, post a poem, photo, really anything, just get inspired by the weekly color! Within that post make sure to link back to that week’s prompt post or share your link as a comment on that post, so that I can share your links the following week, and tag your post ‘coloryourworld’ so others can see what you’ve shared in their WordPress Reader.