The evening of council
“Something is stirring in the east,” the watchman at my side said. We were nine at the meeting. Number ten, the sleeper, guardian of the dreams was on duty. Some would count 11. But we would only laugh around in our corners, eating merrily and say how much we wish the teachers tought better, and this country was going down the hills.
”Something is stirring in the east, the watchman said again.
“That must be my broccoli”, Broadamine screamed, and ran faster than her mild roman hips would allow, and this was the first meeting. It was already ruined.
Broadamine roamed and disturbed the fresh silence with her running over the floor in the Oval Kitchen hall, were the watchmen had all their meeting. Though we always had a decent cook at the watchman´s meeting, the meeting could only last as long as the fire was stable, and the fire in the stove burned slow and steadily. After the unity of the fire had been broken, we had to pack our books and call in the folks for the hamlet party.
What tastes of spinage, broccoli and basil! It was as bitter as my journey, so the evening meal was good now. It was the song I could sing, after days of being silent. And then, I am talking about 40 days with nothing but dry bread and water that I never could trust not to be poisoned. I spoke the creed and survived every day. And now Broadamine was making pudding for the neimhood. Pudding of Halms ! I did not have that since the Darburry Years.
Every 16th month the watchmen met. Except for the Darburry Years, where we met every evening, because we had to finish the copying of the chronicles, it was due that high semester. Luckily it was 24 years until the next time, so I doubted if my office would still be then.
The Darburry years were also perticular with all the new wooden sorts that sprung up that year, ready to make all kinds of musical instruments. The Grenfiol, Shinfenglar, Bur-Burs and Teedweights. Though the Teedweights were popular as percussion instruments, they were they only instruments that were actual living things. Not that it mattered or somebody cared, but they should. Who would have wanted to be carried and thrown around to every man and scrambled at any beat as any daily drum of Venset. No, it was not a daily drum, but a cymbal type of instrument, the Teedweight. And, as the name implied, it was perticularly light and easy to carry around.
That was not to be said about the Shingfenglar and the Bur-Bur. The Shingfenglar, was a simple copy of a harmashian Dung Drum, made only to make noise, and to make fun of the neighbour city: No, there were no Thunder that night, we had to explain. All over again. No wonder people were sick for weeks after playing the drum. A Bur-Bur was something that grew out of the Darburry years. Oh how wonderful the combination of a singing drum and a watery organ, with wooden and stone pipes. A Bur-Bur, because someone shouted highest, and they usually do when we give names to instruments, that late at night. First, but not last – the Grenfiol: a piano that sounded like an orchestra. Whenever you played it, it would imitate poems on three of the keys. Keys that were only visable at night. And after that, when you would close it, it seemed to fit in a small wagon. Only 400 of them were told to be made. And no-one could rightly fix them.
And that night I had dreams. I remember only the words from one:
By right you called them children of worms, the king said.
And I heard myself say: “This grieves me that I have ever opened my ears to listen to such a breed, be them orcs as in the tales of men. Yes, just so. ”
“That would just fit your story, wouldn´t it,” the apparantly holy character in the dream said.
I said; yes it would.
11. december 2012