Gitano followed the oblivious old dwarf straight to the cottage where Adala sat in view of the attic window. From a nearby tree top he watched as she wove intricate patterns into a piece of blue fabric identical to the ones he had just seen in the market place and the song she sang was so enchanting it almost felt like the stones themselves would soon come to life. The merchant knew he had finally found his prize. Silently he slithered down the tree trunk, mounted his horse and set his course for the palace city.
After two days of long, wearisome traveling Gitano finally stood waiting in the king’s private chambers with a blue woven blanket tucked under his arm. His head hurt, his body ached and somewhere in his soul the feelings of guilt began to make him very uncomfortable. He shifted his weight to his right foot, then to his left, then back again to his right. He cleared his throat and stared at the ornately painted ceiling. “Oh come now!” he muttered to himself “You don’t even know this weaver. For all you know she could be as wicked as the king! Just do your duty and be done with it.” Suddenly the great silver doors burst open and startled the merchant out of his one-man conversation. King Dempsy waddled into the room with an unusual feather plume rising from the collar of his royal blue robe. His cheeks were red and his eyes were wide with impatient excitement. “Well, have you got what I want or not?” he demanded. “Of course, your majesty.” replied Gitano recovering his composure. Bowing low he unfolded the blue blanket. “I have found your magic weaver, your majesty.” King Dempsey reached out and fingered the intricate patterns of the soft blue fabric. “Truly exquisite.” Said the king with indifference “But if this is actually from the magic weaver then this blanket should make me sleep in peaceful bliss… or so the legends say. Obviously there is only one way to find out if that is true.” With that he snapped his fingers and ordered his servants to take the blue blanket and prepare his bed chamber. “Wait!” said Gitano as they snatched the blanket out of his hand “What am I to do until you’ve completed your test?” King Dempsey smiled a cruel smile, snapped his fingers and began to waddle out of the room. Before Gitano knew what was happening two burly guards seized both of his arms and began to drag him down a side staircase. “Wait! What’s this all about? I haven’t even told you the location of the weaver! I demand an explanation!” King Dempsey casually turned around to face the enraged merchant and said in a cold voice “First of all, I am the king and you demand nothing of me. Second of all, I am well aware that you have not told me the location of the weaver which is why you will spend the night in my dungeon until I have verified the validity of your claims. If the blanket does what it should then we will chat in the morning. If it does not then you will face the gallows at dawn. Very simple I should say.” Gitano felt all the life drain from his face as he watched the ridiculous form of King Dempsey disappear behind the great doors. His arms felt like lead in the vice grip of the guards and his feet barely met the ground as they led him down a dark stone hall way. When they finally came to a stop Gitano was shoved into a tiny cell with nothing but a straw mattress and a bucket. The poor merchant rubbed his sore arms, leaned against the cold stone walls and slumped to the floor. “Curse that confounded King!” he growled under his breath “Who knows if there even is such a thing as a magic weaver and now I am probably going to be hung by that ridiculous peacock for getting involved in nonsense! Nonsense!” For the first time in Gitano’s life he felt he did not have control of the situation and it made him angry, scared and enraged all at the same time. One minute he wanted to punch the king in the face and the next minute he wanted to simply run for his life. He tugged at his thick, black hair, looked up at the grey ceiling and then sighed a sigh of resignation. There was nothing to be done but try to sleep and wait until morning. Curling up on the dirty straw mattress, his eyes drooped but his mind kept reaching for the hope that somehow the legends were true and there actually was such a thing as a magic weaver.
(All content on this page is copyrighted by Angela R. Sexton, all rights reserved 2013)