Temporary Assignments

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Two men meet for the first time. Or Is It? --- This story might seem to be about the treachery of mankind, but it is really about how close we may be connected to those around us, and never even know it.

Submitted: May 30, 2017

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Submitted: May 30, 2017

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"Good morning to you sir, --- I am Jasper Calaboose, Tinker and Salesman Extraordinaire.

And who might you be?"

"I am known as Sobo Con, but some call me Hummingbird. Today I am a settler of debt for Prince Twann Muun."

"Hummingbird, why do they call you that," Questioned Jasper?

"It is a story of considerable length," Con replied, "perhaps I will show you later."

"Well, OK," Jasper replied.

Then changing the subject, Jasper stated, "So you are a tax collector. Do you travel this road often?"

Sobo reiterated, "Like I have said, this is a temporary assignment and is not my usual occupation.

I am a Mystic, reader of Signs and Omens, and the Seer of things unseen.

Oh, and in respond to your previous greeting, "I am pleased to meet you, Jasper Calaboose. It has been a long time."

Jasper looked confused and replied, "You seem to insinuate that we have meet before, Mr. Con, I do not remember seeing you before."

Sobo Con replied, "That is not surprising.

It was in a prior life that we first met, but you would not know that. Only those, such as myself, can remember prior lives, all others might only see occasional glimpses."

"Really," questioned Jasper, "and how would I know a past life glimpse if I saw one?"

"You would not. It would come to you in the form of a dream and you would dismiss it as being without meaning," Con replied.

"Hmm, that makes sense," Jasper said to himself.

Then Jasper asked another question, "Was I a Tinker in that other life, too?"

"Not exactly, but you claimed to be a salesman.

In that century your body was known as Nu Sing and you sold objects carved of Jade and Ivory.

My name was Tin Con, and I was my own great grandfather."

Jasper was intrigued and asked, "Did I sell many items to Tin Con?"

"You sold Tin Con nothing.

He came to you to sell a dragon amulet that belonged to my great, great, grandfather; who was a master craftsman. He was a designer and maker of fine items and he had created the dragon amulet for the emperor.

The amulet was to be presented to the emperor on the eve of the new year’s celebration."

"Well it must NOT have gone to the emperor if your great grandfather still had it in his position. Did he steal it?" Jasper questioned, and then laughed.

Sobo replied, "No, not so.

Dark forces were at work and the emperor was assassinated on the day of the festival; the city was in chaos for weeks afterward.

My great, great, grandfather fled the city after hearing that the new emperor had given orders to kill all those who lived within the emperor’s compound.

My great, great, grandfather took his family, his possessions, and those things that he was working on. With the Emperor dead, the amulet had no owner."

"So, did I, --- I mean, --- did Nu Sing buy the dragon from Tin Con," Jasper asked?

"No, --- Nu Sing took the dragon amulet and killed Tin Con with a dagger to the heart. Then he had some men toss his body in the river.

His bones rest in the bottom of the river to this day, but his spirit does not rest, it cries out for revenge."

"Well that is a sad and unbelievable tale. I am sure that I would never have anything to do with such a sad situation, then or now," Jasper said as his hand reached for something in his belt.

 

Con replied, "Then why do you carry a dagger hidden in your belt, and another in your shoe?

You are nothing but a thief and the son of thieves. You have come here to rob me of the Prince's gold.

But the Prince has grown weary of you robbing and killing his messengers and tax collectors. So he consulted me in order to know what day that you would come to rob and murder again.

To my joy he has allowed me to be the one to set a trap for you. And in doing so, I will appease the spirit of my Great Grandfather. After all, you know what they say, ("Revenge is best served cold.").

Jasper pulled the dagger from his belt and threw it at Con's heart!

But to Jasper's astonishment Sobo stepped aside and caught the knife in mid-flight, much like a hummingbird catches a Nat.

Within a blink of an eye Con returned the knife to the heart of Jasper, point first; Jasper fell to the ground.

 

As Jasper lay near motionless, Con removed the dragon amulet and chain from his neck, then said, "It is not always wise to follow in your forefather's footsteps, or to keep evidence of their wrongdoing in a place that is so easily seen."

***

 

Sobo Con returned to the palace of Prince Muun. Once there, he presented the Prince with the Dragon Amulet, the very same amulet that was meant for the Prince's Great, Great, Great, Uncle.

The Prince was surprised that Con was so honest and said, "You please me Sobo Con, you have rid the kingdom of a treacherous thief and murderer, then you return with a surprise.

You bring me this wonderful dragon amulet, an amulet that I did not know about and an item that you could have sold; I would have never known.

Now you tell me this story involving your family and mine, and how the relationship has spanned many generations. I am very pleased and impressed!

With such loyalty must come trust and gratitude.

It just so happens that I have received word of dishonesty in my treasury. It seems that the late governor and some of his family members developed a deadly case of sticky fingers.

So from this day forward you will be governor of my treasury and will oversee all my financial transactions.

You will be master of all those who serve me there and hopefully they will follow your good and honorable example. Besides, if they behave badly, you will know, and then I will know.

Understand that I am no fool, Sobo Con, I am sure that you knew what this day would bring because your third-eye saw the possibilities, and you have chosen this one; a good one. Now serve me well and we shall both prosper."

Sobo Con was dismissed and rose from his knees just as a well dress woman entered the area.

Something told him that she was important to his future so instead of leaving he moved into the shadows, near the doorway.

The woman moved quickly to the position where Con had knelt and gently fell to her knees. 

"Ah, my dear cousin, Ting, it has been some time," the Prince said as he stood from his seat and looked out a nearby window.

"You sent for me my Prince, but I was not told why my cousin has suddenly taken interest in me," Ting stated, while staring at the floor.

"Well, it seems that I have need of a Mystic, someone who reads Signs and sees things others cannot. And of course, I thought of you first."

Ting replied, "I will help you in any way that I can, dear cousin, you are the Prince and we are family."

 

The Prince turned to face Ting and asked, "Speaking of family --- how is the Con family these days?"

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF --- 05-28-2017


© Copyright 2017 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.