The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part One: The Baker 31
Serial Fiction Novel
Yet another usher offered him a black cigarette from a shiny holder. He took one and smelled it. Leather, toffee, dark chocolate, earth, peat and brandy aromas blended together for a feast.
‘I see Archibald had transformed you into a connoisseur.’ Spoke Harry as he appeared out of the darkness.
‘You must be Harry.’ He extended his hand.
’And you are the most famous artist of our times.’ Smiled Harry.
‘You are too kind.’
‘How was your ride?’ He went on, as he lit and extended a flaming matchstick.
‘A thrilling way to introduce people into your world.’
‘My world is even more thrilling but we like to build up to it. Come on in you will see for yourself.’
‘I don’t doubt it. Still, your security measures seem a bit excessive.’
‘Maybe you are right. I have always been preoccupied with protection. When I first rented a room for myself to live in I also bought a safe box. I put inside my passport, a thousand dollars and a gun. Since that day I have accumulated more things worth protecting. How is your cigarette?’
‘Exquisite! I would take a box with me.’
‘You can smoke all you want in here, unfortunately I can not allow you to export my little secrets.’ Gently denied Harry.
‘Now I enjoy it even more.’ Smiled the Baker.
He was led in through dark curtains into the main room of this exclusive establishment. Everything seemed to be the color black. The only lights that showed the way came from burning candles. There was just enough light so one can see, not a vestige more.
The main room was circular with curtained niches all around. The delicious cigarette smoke was being sucked out by silent vents he felt on the edge of the room. Most of the semiprivate tables were filled with well-suited folk, mostly men. The little black cigarettes seemed to be very popular. No sign of security personal. Painfully gorgeous young women came in and out, distributing short bottles filled with spirits. They were dressed strictly in black evening dresses. The Baker couldn’t see a flow in the grotesquery of this place. It was beasts’ waterhole.
Cold and analytical eyes glanced at him from the comfort of their niches. The very leaders of modern society were present puffing their sins away and plotting new ones.
‘Don’t stare too hard. Where are your manors!’ Harry grinned.
‘Right.’ He grinned.
‘Don’t judge them. These are the very people that pay your bills.’ He smiled.
‘Unfortunately you are right.’
‘Don’t get into deep thought here. We specialize in quite the opposite. This way, sit in one of our thrones. Feels good doesn’t it!’ He ushered him into a niche with a massive wood carved, leather cushioned chair. It did feel good.
The appealing servants looked more like elegant business assistants. One of them tended on their needs immediately with two short glasses and a little bottle with a volatile spirit. Harry handed him a glass.
‘Those people that you so despise are you twenty years from now. The very lions of society. They are naturally selected just like you were. They were once young and full of idealistic dreams of bettering the world an inch. Then they grew up and experience showed them that the world is like the capital markets, it’s self-winding. Most of all these people have found balance and purpose and most of them do good for society in general. There are a few weeds but like any gardener will tell you every garden has its weeds. Ask your grandfather!’ He grinned. ‘The majority of people have no defined purpose other than surviving. Meaning BBQs, TV and beer. They don’t posses the energy in them for a bigger goal. In fact a very small percentage of humanity has the capacity to rule the world. That is way the world is structured the way it is structured. Some of them lack good morals but that is a whole new argument. The workforce finds last resort in having children with the hope that they will bare the capacity of a better future. Soon kids want to move on because they want to live their own lives often disappointing the parents who think they know what is best for them. Parents again are left without purpose and unfortunately blinded by this purposelessness they often deprive their children from dreaming and growing just because they feel lonely. Isn’t that cold? Rabbits raise rabbits. And it goes like that in circles. Wise men like yourself have long realized this is the foundation for politics. Give people art, pride of the town, sports teams to cheer for and clubs to be part of. Because people are weak, they give up looking for a goal. People are tired, they need rest and we give it to them. There is no other way. If people were stronger there would be the strongest once more. The pyramid shape of society is a constant.’
more by PETER ODEON
Photograph by Vita Vilcina