• nicolasakmakjian

2: A Stranger at the Festival - Part Three

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Alak and Felanar had little desire to follow their parents from stall to stall, and so found themselves watching the games of skill in progress. Felanar looked with some longing at the younger children’s games, but he also felt that it was better that he take some interest in the more mature games, especially around his older brother Alak. It was a point of some frustration to Felanar that Brindledown boys did not begin apprenticing the fishing trade until age twelve. As Alak was twelve, he spent most of his time with Chafrar on the fishing boat. Felanar yearned to be able to join them. The few times he got out on the lake it was for pleasure, with the family, and not for work. It was work he wished for most of all.

Schoolwork was easy enough, but his future lay in fishing and it couldn’t come soon enough.

As the day wore on, they eventually made their way over to where the archery contest was in progress. The boys and Kara watched with fascination as the archers took part in tests of their skill. These archers were mostly local villagers or from nearby farms. High Men, if they happened to be in the vicinity for the occasion, rarely entered these contests. It was considered rude to do so, as they had far more opportunity to hone such skills, and it would be showing off to enter the contest against mere Low fishermen. There was one year when a particularly arrogant High Man did enter, won with a flourish and flaunted it in the local pubs that night. It caused bitter feelings among the regulars and an ugly situation was avoided only when the High Man decided, after all, that he was not quite as superior as he may have claimed, and backed away from the crowd and fled on horseback, back up the Highway. That was a rare occurrence, however, as High Men mostly showed respect, if not quite deference, to the Low Men.

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