Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:13 am
Location: Lehi UT
Tonight is the night of the Midsummer Festival and drunken revelers wander the streets of Corinth in regalia and masks. Jackson has his horse ready to go and is waiting impatiently for his companions to join him for the short ride into town.
Jackson's horse frisked, stepping sideways. Cobalt was picking up on his master's nerves. Jackson reached back to scratch his head where the leather cord held his mask in place and then absentmindedly reached down to pat Cobalt on the neck. "Where are those rascals? I said 7 o'clock sharp."
Two of his rascally friends come out of the stables, leading their horses. Trailing behind them is his younger brother, Matthew, a hopeful expression on his face. Jonas, the tallest of his friends, calls out as they approach, "Kev is still trying to convince your sister to ride with him." They both laugh.
Cobalt rears up as Jackson's laughter joins with the others to ring off the walls of the stable yard. Jonas and Lucus mount up and walk to the gate. Matthew catches up to the group as they ride out of the yard, cloaks flaring in the soft evening light. Their laughter mixes with the stamp of horseshoes on the hard packed soil, creating a cacophony as they ride away from the small manor house.
The Lye estate is just outside of the city, though his father hopes to move his family to the nobles district within the walls of Corinth next year, providing his trading goes well this season. As Jackson and his frinds approach the large main gate into the city, they can hear the clatter of hoofs as Kev rides hard to catch up. Above gate the words "KNOWLEDGE COMES, BUT WISDOM LINGERS" are carved deeply into the stone. The scents and sounds of the festival drift on the air.
As the group clatters through the gate of Corinth Jonas leans over in his saddle, trying to pinch a guardsman's helmet but missing. Lucus laughs and pushes him, hoping to unhorse his friend, but Jackson catches Jonas and pulls him upright as they all clear the gate and enter the city with indignant cries of the gate guards fast on their horses heels.
The streets inside are crowded and people dart out of the way of the horses. Cobalt rears at the sudden press of people and a few women scream. "Watch out, you buggers!" yells a fat man, stumbling aside.
Their group clatters to a quick halt, horses neighing in protest but the young men all laugh. "Out of the way fatbody," Jonas yells at the same time as Matthew asks what they're going to do now and Lucus begins clamoring for wine, women and song.
Kev hits Jackson in the arm as they all dismount, "The stables are over there, Jack."
In the stables, they all dismount. Jackson turns and sees Kev helping his sister down from his horse. Mariel's face is flushed, either from the ride or present company, hard to tell. She quickly steps away from Kev as Jonas and Lucus throw a few catcalls in her direction. She glares at all of you. "Where is he?" she demands, her eyes searching. You feel a small hand clinging to your sleeve from behind.
Grinning like a kestrel with a sparrow in its claws, Jackson looks down at Mariel. "Where is who?"
Kev leans over her shoulder, "I'm right here, my beautiful flower." Her nostrils flare and she stamps backward, narrowly missing his toes. "Where is Matthew? He's too young for this."
Jackson turns to look behind him and then looks back a Mariel, laughing, "What? He's only a few years from his Naming Day. You're just jealous because Mother didn't let you go to Lauren's house tonight."
"She wouldn't let me because I was to stay home and watch him tonight while she and Papa were entertaining friends. Now, where is he." The last three words are slow and deliberate.
Jackson looks at Kev and winks. Putting on his best serious face with his fists planted on his hips, his feet shoulder length apart, "Well, he's with us of course, you can watch him and have fun. And, Matty gets to be around real men instead of hanging on your skirts."
Matty pokes his head out around Jackson's elbow, "Yeah, Mari, I don't wanna be in your skirts..." The rest of his words are lost in the laughter of the older boys.
Kev takes Mariel's hand, trying to stifle his snickers. "I'll help you watch him."
She lets go of his hand and bends down to be eye level with Matthew. "You stay with me, you hear? If you get lost, come back to the stable and I'll find you."
He nods solemnly, then grins up at his older brother worshipfully. "Let's go, Jackson! Wine, women, and songs!"
Mariel sighs. Kev grins and offers Mariel his arm, which she accepts, blushing. Matt pulls Jackson after them.
After paying the rent and tipping the stable boy, they clamor out onto the street. Lucus demands that they head to the nearest tavern and Jonas seconds the motion with his feet, heading on up the street.
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:13 am
Location: Lehi UT
Re: Jackson's Prelude
They weave through the crowds, passing vendors selling masks, meat pies, and finer wares. Boisterous people wander the streets, each face hidden behind a surprise of colored, shadowed, and even animal face masks. Mariel rejects the first tavern they come, pointing with disgust at the dirty, drooling man sprawled on the ground just outside the threshhold. The next tavern passes muster and Jonas is the first to belly up to bar and is already gulping down his first round before anyone else can gain their bearings. Kev elbows through and claims a table for them.