A Halfwit's Tale By Writer Man
Once, a boy named James II was brought into the world in a hospital by his mother, Martha. The boy's father, James I, thought it important to teach this lad about his work, which was carpentry. James II was instantly hooked, just like his dad was after his adopted parents tought him. James II grew up and, at the age of 17, had a stable job and a future wife. Alas, before James II was able to teach his son all he knew of the trade, he tragically passed away as a result of a heart attack. So the boy searched all the realm for another teacher.
James II found one in a distant land who had made many works his father's parents had in their home. The pieces were exquisite peices of art, with the craftmanship the likes of which neither James I nor II were able to replicate. Unfortunately, the place in which the master carpenter, named Radom, was one very unlike James's own. They spoke a different language, ate different food, and had different customs. But James was determined to seek the old man out, so he went to the local loremaster and learned all there was to learn of this foreign culture. The kingdom in which he resided, Poland, spoke a language different from James's local English. That did not stop James, for he was an unstoppable lad. By the age of 20, he had mastered the language, culture, customs, and even tasted most foods of the land. All 3 of those years had been tough, and James was happy to be over with his study.
With the knowledge to know and the will to be willing, James hired a cargo ship to take him aboard on a trip to Europe. The ride lasted the greater part of a day, and he arrived in a society named the Netherlands. Gladly, the place did not look or feel as the name would imply, and he made quick work on a horse the journey to Poland. The Germanics did give him some trouble, but James showed no harmful intent and told them off, and off they went. The trek from Amsterdam, the city of the Netherlands James arrived in, to the Germanic town known locally as Hanover was around a day and a half. James talked up the people there, as his father had taught him the Germanic tounge. Many wished him well on his journey, but, at one point, he was robbed of his money and could not travel any further.
He decided that he should work to gain funds for the long journey ahead. He teamed up with the local carpenters and began to make fantastic pieces, including intricately carved chairs, sturdy and beautiful tables, spoons with carvings of Christ on the cross, and bowls with wonderfully carved scenes on the outside. He had made much money, but he knew he had less than half of the funds required to make it any farther. He sent a letter via pigeon to his mother, in which he requested one half of what more he needed, and said he would make the rest over the next few months in which the letter would be recieved and then another sent. As he worked and worked, he made friends with some of the folk there, such as Otto, the skilled brewmaster, Reimar, the huntsman, and Thade, the local governer. They all stated they would chip in if the letter from his mother was somehow lost, or if she did not have the funds.
Yet, even more tragic, a friend of James's family had sent a letter back, bearing horrible news. Like his father, his mother had died of a heart attack, and a Germanic doctor said, with this knowledge, James himself might be at risk as well. Horrified at the thought, he asked his friends to chip the funds in as soon as possible so he could be granted his last wish, meeting Radom Dabrowski.
All in the town had known of James one way or another at that point, as most used the work of his toil in their own homes. They were all sympathetic with him and, on the day of his departure, threw a going-away party. Otto had made fine ale, Reimar had cooked an entire wild hog, and Thade had set up the party and gave everyone a day off for the occasion. Afterwards, that crazy governer had made that day a holiday, in which nobody shows up to work and everybody has a party in the town centre. James was so humbled, one citizen swore he saw a tear fall from the carpenter's face. As everyone said their last goodbyes, the party was far from over, everyone getting drunk and stuffing their faces. And he did not leave without gifts, as Otto even gave James a bottle of his finest brew, Reimar gave him a big salted slab of meat, Thade gave extra money, and all in unison gave a hearty "Good luck."
The journey to Radom's home town, Krakow, was a long journey of 4 or 5 days with no interruptions to speak of. God, it seems, had graced him in his journey. At the end of the trip, James had but a pound of Reimar's cooked hog and a few gulps of Otto's hearty brew. James paid for a bed in the local tavern and asked around for Radom's address. James rested and prepared to make the journey to the master craftsman's workshop.
The day he woke up in was his 21st birthday, so he ate the rest of the hog and drank the rest of the ale in celebration. He was ready to set out for the old man's workshop, so he did.
As he approached the stone building, all was silent. It was a foggy day and James was somewhat inebriated, so he walked in a wavy line and almost tripped multiple times. He approached the door and the squeek of the stairs caught him off guard. He slammed the knocker to the iron it connected with and waited. And waited... waited some more.
And some more...
James was getting impatient, so he tried the door. It gave without much resistance and swung open into a candle-lit workshop. A door was open on the other side of the room, perhaps Radom's dwelling. He walked over and glaced from side to side, seeing a strange scene for a master carpenter's workshop. Tools were scattered everywhere, as if boxes were dumped onto the ground and tools were left. He kept walking toward the door and almost tripped on a fancy hacksaw. The momentum threw James into the room, his eyes receving images of a dead old man with a dagger in the chest.
The living in the room closed his eyes and his body broke a wood tile in half. Heart attack, the same that had taken the rest of his family, had met James II with a terrible fate. The scene was discovered by a client whose piece was due to arrive last night. The doctors of the town had both burried, one with the headstone saying Radom with a well known Polish man sitting in a casket, and the other with no name, and the body of an Englishman, left to rot in the ground with nothing in between flesh and dirt.
Nobody in Hanover nor James's home town were contacted, as no one in Krakow knew him other than for asking directons. His wife-to-be found a different man and Hanover waited for James's return trip, which never came to be.