Today is the first Friday of the month, which means it is time for the monthly Session. For Session 82 Steve Lamond from Beers I’ve Known poses something a little different.
The subject this month is the beer yarn. Tell a tale relating to beer in someway. Maybe an anecdote or a fun beer adventure story. Well, I took it as a literal challenge. I came up with a story. It’ said little goofy, a little fun but something in an odd way related to beer.
Bottles clanged together as several smashed into the ground. “I told you to keep it down.” Grey said. He threw a bottle and hit Timmy in the shoulder. The bottle bounced away and smashed on the ground.
“What you do that for?” Timmy said. “I can’t help it all these bottles fell out. You stuffed the cart too full.”
“I splained it to you already. They’s gonna give us money when we bring back all these bottles.”
“That don’t make no sense. Don’t they already got bottles there?”
Grey used his hat to wipe his brow. He counted to ten quietly before putting it on again. “Of course they got bottles there. We went over this.” He bent down and picked up a few of the bottles still in one piece. “They need the new bottles to replace the full ones.”
Timmy stepped around the broken glass to help Grey pick up the rest of the unbroken bottles. “Is that why I had to clean all these bottles?”
“Yes,” Grey said. His voice became a bark. “They won’t give us a fair exchange if the bottles are dirty.” They put the last of the bottles in the cart, then grey thwacked his mule on the hind quarters and set it on the path again.
The bumpy dirt road rattled the bottles in the cart but it was the only road they had available. At least it’s a short trip, Grey thought.
“When we get to town,” Grey said. “Don’t touch anything. We are on a mission and we don’t have time to be sidetracked, not like last time.”
“She was pretty.”
A heavy sigh, “We went over this already.”
“I know, Grey. I am not allowed to talk to nobody. Bad things happen when I talk to people.”
“You can talk to me Timmy. That much is ok.”
“Thanks Grey.” A butterfly caught Timmy’s eye, sunning itself on a big green leaf. He stepped off the path into the tall grass.
Grey continued, Timmy’s disappearance unnoticed. Timmy’s scream stopped him short. “Loud fool.”
“Timmy? Where you at boy?” He received no answer. He left the cart and mule where he stopped then tracked back along the trail to see if he could find Timmy. When he found the place in the tall grass where Timmy left the trail he followed Timmy’s path.
“This stopped being funny a while ago, Timmy. Where are you?” He came to a clearing. Timmy was trussed up, his hands behind his back, gag in his mouth, and hanging by his feet from a tree. He looked around the clearing but saw no one else.
“What did you do this time?” Grey pulled the dagger from his belt and cut the rope around Timmy’s ankles. Timmy fell to the ground with a loud thump. He cut the rope at Timmy’s wrists and removed the gag.
“Did you see them, Grey?” he asked. “They was neenjas. Dressed all in black and their faces were covered. I think they went invisible.”
The bray of the mule cut through the air. “Shit! They just wanted our cart.” Grey took off toward the path. Timmy unwound himself from his ropes then chased after Grey.
Sure enough, two people dressed in black had taken the cart. Grey saw them just before they went around a bend in the trail. He charged after the cart. Timmy followed with a strong stance ready for anything they might throw back at them.
Out of breath and no closer to catching the cart Grey fell forward on the trail. He crawled a few steps after the cart but it was no use. Out of shape and out of breath he had no chance of catching up now.
As he lay on the ground huffing and puffing he realized that they had only place they could go with the bottles. It was the same place he and Timmy were going. The brewery didn’t care who brought in the bottles. But these were Grey’s bottles and he wasn’t willing to give up without a fight.
“Get ready Timmy,” Grey said. “We’re going cross country.”
They cut through the woods. There were no paths other than those they created. In the end they made it to town ahead of the thieves and their cart. Grey had a plan and he was determined to make it work against their thieves.
They might think themselves safely ahead of Grey and Timmy but Grey was ready. He knew he could do this.
The cart rolled into town twenty minutes after Grey and Timmy arrived. The thieves drove it straight on to the brewery. Still in their masks they left it close to the road as they walked to the entrance and then inside.
Grey and Timmy charged out of the bushes and raced to their cart. (He never said it was a great plan, only that he had a plan). At the cart Grey fed the mule a carrot then got it moving again. Protecting his bottles was the larger concern for Grey. He could always find a new place for the bottle exchange.
They turned the mule and cart around to go back the way they came. On their way they were ready to get to the next town and make the exchange there.
“Don’t go wandering off this time, Timmy,” Grey said. “We can’t keep doing this. I’m close to running on empty.”
“I know, I know,” Timmy said. “You don’t have to scold me like a child.”
“Sometimes I wonder.”
With both of them riding in the cart they made good time. Sure, the last town was a bust but it wouldn’t be long before they were at the next one. As the day wore on, Grey knew they would not reach the next town before night fall.
Timmy found a place amongst the bottles to curl up and catch up on lost sleep. Grey chose first watch. They chose to keep pressing on so they would arrive at their destination before day break.
“Freeze and give back the cart.” One of the people in black stood in front of his cart. The masked figure held an armed crossbow. “Remove yourself from my cart and I will spare your life.”
“I don’t know who you’re kidding here,” Grey said. “this here cart has been in my family for generations.”
“I don’t think you understand,” the figure said. “The cart is ours now.” The other thief came out of the darkness to occupy the space right next to Grey. The crossbow in the thief’s hands was a good argument to reduce Grey’s ideas of resisting.
“Really Nemarra,” Grey said. “Do we have to do this everytime?”
The first thief pulled her face scarf. “You never pick up the beer I want.”