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Kings Mountain, North Carolina, United States
"A mind lively and at ease" is a blog by a first-generation Russian-Ukrainian immigrant Maria K. (Maria Igorevna Kuroshchepova). An engineer by education, an analyst by trade, as well as a writer, photographer, artist and amateur model, Maria brings her talent for weaving an engaging narrative to stories of life, fashion and style advice, book and movie reviews, and common-sense and to-the-point essays on politics and economy.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Great Appalachian Move - part II

The Lych Mistress awoke on the morning after the great esbath of Beltane feeling as if she had spent the previous day slaying dragons and disposing of their bodies. Then she recalled, that it was at the third hour past midnight that she and the valiant knight Gerald Paul had made it to the castle at the top of the mountain with their cargo.

Alas, their trials were not yet finished, for they had yet to transfer more of their possessions from the smaller cargo carriage into their new abode - this time without the assistance of the strong men of moving persuasion.

It was with no small effort that they located the magical substances of coffee, and cereal, and milk, and half-and-half to fortify themselves for the task ahead. The cargo carriage loomed tall above them. And even though it was but half the size of the one from the prior day, it appeared as large or larger to them, for they were weary.

As the brave knight Gerald Paul attempted to open the enormous vehicle, the hatch became wedged on one of the tightly-packed objects. Breaking glass could be heard, much to the Lych Mistress's horror, for it signified the destruction of one of her favorite lanterns. Sir Gerald Paul was glad that the Mistress was rather fond of him as her mate, for any mere mortal would have been slain on the spot for such misdeed.

The hatch was still being blocked by some object, and so they loosened up and extracted a few of their possessions from the bottom layer in order to reach the top and extract the offending artifact. The culprit turned out to be one of the Mistress's prized dining chairs made of solid maple and equally serviceable to rest upon and to be used as a weapon and withstand a direct hit from a mountain troll's club. It was little wonder that the chair held up the cargo carriage's hatch - it was simply no match for it.

Slowly but surely they transferred the treasures and artifacts into the area of the castle that lay above ground. At last, all that was left were a few trunks and chests that belonged in the dungeons. The valiant and glorious knight Gerald Paul climbed into the cabin of the large vehicle and readied himself to maneuver it carefully down the steep mountain slope in order to position it closer to the entrance to the dungeons.

But lo and behold! One of the rear wheels of the carriage had settled into crushed and softened pavement. The carriage was clearly not designed by the Lych Mistress's personal mechanics, for it had no proper traction control. Nor had it been blessed by a mage, for there were no instructions and incantations that would make the vehicle levitate inscribed anywhere.

"Fear not, fair Mistress!" cried Sir Gerald Paul, "We shall carry some of the heaviest trunks back into the carriage and position them over the mired wheel to increase the traction between it and the soil, upon which it rests."

They did just so, the Lych Mistress consoling herself with visions of skilled masseurs massaging her back and limbs all the while, for her muscles were greatly fatigued. Alas, while this technique was sound, the offending wheel was unwilling to abandon its trap.

"I must ponder this," said the brave knight Gerald Paul, "I shall contact the merchants who leased this vehicle to ask and inquire as to whether they can be of assistance."

And so he did, yet the uncouth maiden he spoke to refused to be of help and did nothing but rattle off the names of a few towing shops. The valiant Sir Gerald Paul contacted the first shop.

"None are here," said the spirit voice, "Leave a message and we shall contact you when it suits us."

The brave knight contacted the second shop.

"We no longer exist," said the spirit voice, "You may as well be dead for all we care."

The brave knight contacted the third shop.

"None are here," said the spirit voice, "Leave a message and we may consider doing business with you at our convenience."

The Lych Mistress became greatly enraged and considered going on a murderous rampage across the tow shops of the fair town of Hendersonville. She was foiled, however, by the fact that her glorious sword was still somewhere in her luggage, and she could not recall its exact location.

Sir Gerald Paul resolved, "I shall attempt one last shop - but not of those cited by the uncouth cargo merchant. I shall contact the shop from the roadside assistance guild I have personally engaged."

And so he did, and on the very first try, the honorable owner of Fate's Towing had responded to Sir Gerald Paul's summons and swore to provide his assistance within one hour. In the meantime, the Lych Mistress offered her personal equipage to transport the artifacts that belonged in the dungeons to their destination in small loads. At great risk they navigated the narrow and rocky mountain path that was partly blocked by the trapped carriage. Diligently they toiled, wasting not a moment of time as they waited for the towing man to arrive.

At last, he descended upon their driveway in his mighty and glorious vehicle equipped with all manner of things to extract marooned carriages. But the path that was suitable for the Mistress's small landau was much too narrow for the towing man's grand machine. The Lych Mistress's heart became heavy with grief and weariness.

"Oh, the great and powerful towing man of the mountains. I am deeply grieved for I cannot provide you a suitable path to get behind the trapped cargo carriage in order to fasten it to your own mighty vehicle and free it from its predicament. What advice can you give us, good sir? We are at the mercy of your wisdom."

"Spirits may bless your muscular skull-crushing thighs and your powerful shoulders, oh great Lych Mistress!" said the towing main, "But fear not! We are deep in the woods, and I shall find two sturdy trees behind your marooned carriage and run my mighty cables around them to fasten to the back of it. I shall then drive forward, causing the cables to circle the trees and to pull your carriage out. Thus, I can be in front of the marooned vehicle, but still free it by using its rear tow fixture."

And the Mistress rejoiced, "My good sir of the Fate's Towing, you are a great and noble man indeed. Should you ever have a need of an assassin, or a dragon slayer or a champion, my glorious sword (once I have unpacked it), my elegantly shod feet capable of annihilating one's genitalia with one swift kick, and my small yet powerful hands are at your service."

"I thank thee, oh Mistress," said the towing man, "You are as strong as you are glorious, Madam, and your mind is as sharp and as powerful as the jaws of the mightiest dragon. I shall not forget your offer of protection."

And so the skilled and powerful towing man had arranged his cables and his mighty vehicle as he planned. The engines of the two carriages roared in unison like a pair of wounded mountain trolls. The heavy tethers strained under their load, coiling tight around the two sturdy trees and exerting a mighty pull upon the rear of the stranded vehicle. At last, the soft bit of soil gave way, and the offending wheel rolled out of its trap and onto solid ground.

"I must be off," said the noble towing man having completed his task, "You may continue with your task, oh Mistress and noble Sir. But should you become stranded again, you know where to find me - I shall heed your call at any time."

"We thank you, good sir," said the noble knight Gerald Paul, "Please accept our gratitude along with a handsome quantity of gold for your exceptional services."

As the towing man departed, the Lych Mistress said, "We must not yet rest upon our laurels, Sir Gerald Paul, for we have yet to return the cargo carriage and make one more journey to our old abode for the small yet vital portion of our treasures that were left behind."

"I have an idea, oh Mistress," replied Sir Gerald Paul, "Let us return the carriage to its rightful (albeit misguided and mechanically inept) owners today, as we agreed. But let us postpone the last trip for our possessions till tomorrow, for we are both weary and must have sustenance."

"While I shall be concerned for the fate of our remaining artifacts," said the Mistress, "I must confess, this is not a bad idea. My feet are as sore as if they'd been dipped into liquid magma of an active volcano. And if I go another day washing my face with a bar of common soap instead of my special moisturizing wash and soft facial scrub, I shall indeed go on a murdering rampage. So, let us follow your plan and once we have acquired adequate sustenance for ourselves and our beasts, we must be back at the castle in sufficient time for me to locate those few items vital for my happiness and well-being."

And so they followed Sir Gerald Paul's clever plan to fortify themselves and brace themselves for one last challenge.


Bill Kirton said...

Surely there must be a transcendent meaning in all these travails. Will so much suffering and anguish go unrecognised and unrewarded? Will the Mistress's weapon remain sheathed and inaccessible? Will no genitalia be obliterated by her well-shod foot? Only the silent mountain spirits can intuit the definitive truth.

Anonymous said...

You're such an excellent story teller! It leaves me wanting to read more! MORE! It's me, LaTrecia by the way! LOL

DriveGoddess said...