Friday, 2 November 2012

Story Hook: Get Yer Eels

Story Hook #11: Aggressive Eel salesman interrupts noble wedding


The doves cooed quietly in their white wicker basket above the bride and groom, fluttering nervously and impatiently awaiting their return to the sky. I sat near the back of the church, watching the proceedings with half an eye and the guests with the other half. The wedding hall was certainly beautiful. White streamers hung from the ceiling and the soft glow of light through the windows reflected off the polished wood pews to give an almost unearthly glow to the event. The bride stood at the altar, resplendent in her flowing white wedding gown. The groom, a nervous youth whom, I suspect, was not quite ready to give up the single life, fidgeted nervously. The priest motioned, one hand holding a frail red book and the other a white staff. They spoke their vows quietly and in the crowded church it was more than a little difficult to hear over the straining of all the other guests as well. I stifled a yawn. I wasn't much for this type of thing, truth be told, but I was here so I might as well make the most of it.

I glanced about the pews at the guests. Most of the noble houses were in attendance. After all, one of our own was about to get married and everyone wanted to witness the event, or at least sample the food. However, it wasn't like this was an exciting event, and it certainly wasn't like we hadn't seen this all before. I stifled another yawn and glanced at the back of the church, where a brief exchange had broken out. The man at the door seemed to be arguing with someone. One or two other guests looked, but they were keeping their voices low. 

Suddenly, the voices at the church entrance rose. The door man began to yell at someone and then was pushed into the church, landing on the carpeted floor with a soft thud. The priest ceased speaking as the nobles in the pews turned to see what the disturbance was. This bit of gossip surely was not to be missed. Into the church strode a rather villainous fellow wearing an eye patch and some large leather gloves. His hair was a greasy mess and his face spoke of its common heritage. However, perhaps the strangest thing about him was the large tray he was carrying, hooked over his back so that he could carry it and keep his hands free. Across the front of it were the words, "Our prices are so low, it's shocking!" and splashing sounds emanated from within the tray. The man gave a smile, revealing several missing teeth, and proclaimed to the rather shocked guests "Oi, does anyone need an eel?"

"An eel?" the groom sputtered, "what use have we for an eel?" "Well," said the man, "Your average eel is a real hair raiser in a marriage. It'll really lighten any problems you have with each other. Why, I believe that a big eel is in fact key for a good love life." The man grinned. The groom sputtered. "We have no use for your eel," the groom said, "begone from this place." The man laughed. "Its not you I'm talking to anyways. It's your bride. I was gonna give her this big eel here since it looks like you haven't got one." And so saying so he drew an eel from his tray, marched up the aisle, and handed it to the startled bride.

The groom snarled at this indignity, and grabbed a sword from one of the men in the front row. He brandished it at the ruffian, the light pinging off its blade. "Ah," said the man, "A man who must use a sword is certainly a man with a small eel." "I haven't got an eel," the groom shouted and struck at the man, who danced out of the way. "Your bride seems to be enjoying that big eel," the man said with a laugh. And this was true. The bride was stroking the eel, which wriggled a bit but seemed remarkably complacent for an eel. "It's actually kind of cute," the bride said, "can I have another one?"

Silence descended through the church as the man casually gave her yet another eel. "But," he said, "once you're married I highly recommend having just one eel and sticking with it. They tend to get angry around one another." The groom, recovering from the fact that his wife apparently loved eels with remarkably good faith, stabbed at the man once again, striking his tray. "See how wonderful my eels is," the man said to the audience, "In fact anyone who wants an eel is more then welcome to my eels." With those words he leaped from the altar, splashing the front row with water from the eels and raced down the aisle, followed by the groom. The man leapt over the fallen doorman, whom I can only assume was out cold, and raced out the doors. The groom gave up about halfway down the aisle, shook his head and returned to the altar.

I glanced across the audience. The front row was soaked and a couple men had gone to help the doorman. Meanwhile the bride was still holding two eels, which she put down on the altar. The groom shook his head, "What a shocking thing to do in the middle of a wedding," he said to the bride. "I don't know," said the bride, "I think it lightened the mood the a little bit."

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