Merry Crispmas – Chapter 1: The Preparations
The whole nation of Artificial Island held its breath… The so-called »forwards election« just came to an end and very soon the new king of the small island state – lovingly called AI by its inhabitants – would be proclaimed.
The weeks since the abrupt end of popular King Sigmoid’s life have been hard on the hearts of the islanders. Even the elders mourned the seemingly everlasting and peaceful reign for a long time before they finally gathered to elect a successor to the throne. The inhabitants‘ daily business went as usual, but due to the unpredictable future, a cloud of uncertainty lay over the island. No one could foresee how the cloud would affect the state of Al…
On the border of the small village Seaborn on the south coast of the island, the man everybody called Claus barely noticed all this turbulence. His house was right next to the largest forest on Artificial Island – the Random Forest, as the locals called it since it consisted of about 2.000 different endemic tree and bush species. After he left his country of origin, Claus found his new home in these woods.
The last months of the year usually were the most beautiful ones in the summer of the southern hemisphere. It was a sunny day, a warm breeze blowing through Claus’ long and shaggy white beard. Claus had just started to make his garden fit for the warm season. The trees were pruned, the iris flowers were placed nicely distributed, evenly clustered in the first quadrant of his bed of flowers. Evaluating the result, Claus gave the species in the flowerbed a final examining gaze: Setosa, Versicolor … but one species was missing. Apparently, he forgot to vary the seed.
On his way to the village, he took his usual path along the banks of the river and past his favorite tree. Since his arrival, this tree was something special for him. The end nodes of its branches were just so perfectly pure…
The closer he came to the marketplace, the more he was surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the town. The center of the village usually offered some entertainment; on this day, however, the cheerful atmosphere was almost tangible.
»Two packs of Virginica?« asked Loretta, the operator of the herb booth. Claus nodded confirmingly, handed her three Bitcoins and stored the seeds in his bag of herbs. »Beautiful, ain’t it?«, said the merchant, pointing to the adjoining houses which were already festively decorated. Claus returned a perplex gaze to the lady. »Don’t you know? The annual celebrations of our villages’ foundation are coming soon.«
The celebrations have been a permanent institution in the village for now 256 years. Every year in the first week of December, the residents take the opportunity to import packages of numpies, cranberries, strawberry cheese and other characteristic delicacies from the surrounding region Cran. In the early days, the festivities were fairly simple, but meanwhile, all shopkeepers of the village participated with their very own booth. From butcher to blacksmith, from baker to color-brewer – every merchant put hard effort in preparing his workspace and in presenting his tidy, versatile goods. To the climax of the celebration on December 6th also the nearest neighbors of the surrounding villages came to local music and dance – Hard Roc and Qlik Step.
In the hope to plant the seeds that same day, Claus took a focused step across the marketplace. At the main street, he was stopped by an unsupervised mass of village people. Everyone looked curiously towards the town entrance. In the distance, two noble-looking men rode into the village on their horses. To Claus, the animals seemed particularly robust in their physique, efficient in their pace and consistent regarding their decoration from mane to hoof. »… the delegation of the king«; »They will only announce to the mayor who the new king is. Everyone already knows anyway…«, Claus could catch two word sequences of the villagers.
Indeed, the King’s delegation was on its way to see the mayor. The message, however, only partly matched the villagers’ expectations. As usual, their assumptions did not hold and they soon had to realize that what the mayor was going to learn would cause the village some serious troubles…
- Merry Crispmas – Chapter 4: A Good Deed - 22.12.2019
- Merry Crispmas – Chapter 3: The Upside of a Local Minimum - 13.12.2019
- Merry Crispmas – Chapter 2: A Perfect Fit - 08.12.2019