Matthew, the son of an innkeeper in the village of Foldale, used to be the most mischievous kid...Reading Time: about 4-6 minutes
Matthew, the son of an innkeeper in the village of Foldale, used to be the most mischievous kid...
As a harbour was nearby, the village always had new faces passing through and the newcomers kept confronting the innkeeper all the time.
"You run this whole big tavern... why is your own boy dressed in rags!?"
"That little... I swear it's not like that at all..."
Indeed no matter how many new clothes he would buy, they'd end up dirty and torn at the end of the day. Not just the clothes, the havoc involved ceramic jugs and plates, perhaps only some iron mugs and wooden kegs were on the safe side of the disaster called Matthew Mills.
Luckily Mama Fortuna, the local fortune teller, told Mr. Mills over a mug of mead that his son will rise like a star if given some time and patience, and Mr. Mills was a patient man. And one day it changed...
One day a couple of acrobat twins came from across the seas, the innkeeper took his son to the main square to watch their performance but quickly regret it as the show made all his bones and joints ache like crazy.
He almost turned his feet back to the tavern when realized his little Matthew was still standing there hypnotized like a mouse in front of a couple of twisting snakes. Even shaking him by the shoulder didn't help, so they had to watch the entire thing and a bonus.
Matthew was unusually silent all day, in the evening he came out of his room that came as a big surprise to his father.
"Whoa, son, I thought you were outside the whole day!? And you look at that, not a single scratch on the new leggings? Are you feeling well?"
"Dad!! Look what I can do!"
Matthew spread his legs on the smooth wooden floor so wide apart that little by little his butt almost landed all the way down on the floor, the whole tavern went breathless, when suddenly a loud sound of torn clothes broke the silence. Matthew blushed, quickly sitting on his butt.
"Whoopsies, I forgot this might not work with them leggings on..."
"Gods, Matty, what did you just do?!" Mr. Mills raised his thick white brows so high that the entire tavern could see the color of his eyes for the first time.
Matthew giggled like an idiot and quickly crawled away.
"Sir, it's entirely not my business..." spoke some man in a top hat, "I mean it's entirely my business in fact, as a merchant who sells clothes, but I think this boy here could really use some stretchier pants and I just happen to have a perfect pair for him if you're interested!"
"What? What are you trying to sell here?"
"Eugene, I think he's right," spoke the young man sitting in front of the innkeeper. "Had no idea your son had it in him but if he's gonna keep going he could use a better pair of pants."
"Wait a minute, master Jules, keep going where?"
The young man continued: "I mean, he was a trouble so far but if you let him grow as a contortionist, imagine all the people talking about the innkeeper's contortionist son, the word will spread like fire and your tavern will be full in no time..."
"Hmm, if you look at it this way..." Mr. Mills rubbed his chin.
"He's right, you know!" nodded the top hat merchant. "That kid will make people come from afar one day just to see him, but when that day comes you better make sure he's up to their expectations, and has a fancy pair of pants!"
"Alright! Alright! How many pairs of pants do you have in stock? I'm buying all of them, I'm sure he'll find a way to tear them no matter how stretchy they are..."
"Well, he'll have to have some godlike flexibility to tear my fabric."
"What, you dare to think my boy will ever be that good!?"
"If I may, Eugene," Julian continued, "I used to take dancing lessons in Armbury, so I could coach him."
"In Armbury, huh? Well, look at you all being helpful! Alright, alright, you do your thing, just don't get too crazy."
Since then Julian visited a lot to offer a hand in Matthew's training. Sometimes he hired the boy to perform at his mansion for the esteemed guests. Matthew felt he fell in the good hands and Julian had a natural talent as a coach, whenever they had a couple of hours to practice they always made some good progress, so they ended up spending whole days together.
Matt just couldn't get enough of contortion, he thought it was contortion that he couldn't get enough of... 😏