RINGS AND FINGS: EPISODE 17
RINGS AND FINGS EPISODE 17
It had been two weeks since the traveler had moved his leather bag into the right side spare room upstairs. The other spare room, her parent's old room, remained locked. Considering the events that led up to the dark stranger moving in, it had been extremely uneventful here recently on Kelly Mill farm.
Len still did his care taking things about the place. Occasionally he dropped in to the workshop to visit the traveler who was supposedly working to fix her car, but she had her doubts. She would hear laughter from the workshop and was certain that Len was bringing ale to the mix. The traveler would often rush into the kitchen and make sandwiches then quickly return to the old stone garage. Rachael feared her car would never be fixed, but to tell the truth, she really didn’t care. She was unemployed, so she had nowhere pressing to go. Food was abundant and plentiful thanks to the gathering skills of the tall man. The liquor and ale never seemed to run out.
This gave her the opportunity to do something she really had not done since she was a child; just live on the farm, enjoying it and fixing it up. She also began to fix herself even though she did not realize that, of course.
The place just looked prettier and cleaner. The curtains were bright and flowers adorned every spare space. The traveler had made hanging planters and fixed them to the outside walls of the farmhouse. Although Rachael realized that this wasn’t a normal situation by any stretch, she felt a sense of happiness in her soul that she simply could not deny.
Rachael never really knew where he was. He was kinetic, always on the move. Except for when they spent time together in the kitchen or sitting in the front garden around the stone table that used to be the millstone for the old farm operation. They would eat, drink, talk, and laugh.He would point to the starry sky in-between storms and tell her about the heavens. Earth bound tales were wondrous and traversed across thousands of years. The discussions were so far out that the next day she would often have to check herself that they had not been part of some surreal dream. They never were, but most of all she would laugh.
On the few occasions she had entered his room she saw a room that had not changed since he moved in. The bed untouched, immaculate.The old squared widows always open, does he even sleep in here?
One thing confirmed his presence, his old leather bag. It seemed big but quite small at the same time. She had tried to pick it up once under the pretense that she was just being a good landlady, and simply tidying up. She couldn’t move it an inch, it creaked in protest as though it was attached to the solid wooden floorboards, she knew that it wasn’t of course, so it must have had something really heavy in it.
She tried to open under the same fabricated pretense that she was being a good landlady and making sure he didn’t have anything dangerous in there, or something to do with national defense. It had so any flaps and buckles and locks that she could not even begin to open it, airtight, she thought.
The Next Day
Early in the evening, just as the sun was setting at the end of the valley, she was walking back to her house after gathering flowers in the nearby woods that angled up the opposite side of the valley from the farmhouse. Silhouetted in purple was the traveler sitting on the roof with his back against the chimney. His long legs stretched out in front of him. He seemed to be playing an instrument, like a small guitar or ukulele, but knowing the way he was, it was probably a lute or something.
The pretty notes danced and bounced off the roof and breezed to her ears. Holding the flowers she had gathered she stopped to listen to the indigo musician, at that moment he leapt up, putting down the instrument.
“Rachael.” He said arms outstretched, “Where have you been?”
She shook her head gently.
“Come on, we are going to the tavern,” he announced.