Twas Christmas In Bristol:
Episode 1: On the First Day of Christmas, My Captain Gave to Me...A Bruise in the Serengeti (Aka Newmarket).
Anne slung her pack over her shoulder and tripped down the gangplank to the docks. “Careful there, Andrew!” Captain Frobisher barked. “You can’t get drunk before I do!”
“Not plannin’ on it sir!” AnneDrew laughed and shivered a bit as the breeze caught the gap in her cloak. Tonight was the gathering of many of the Bristol towne folk at the Dirty Duck Inn for a special Christmas feast that the Ducks had invited everyone too attend. With the promise of floozies (especially one, Chastity Trollop) and strong drink, Frobisher was not one to miss such a gathering.
Seeing the city of Bristol all covered in a light dusting of snow (everyone suspected the Weird sisters of holding off a blizzard that almost was brought down on the city by the Draco disciples) was a new sight for young Anne. Sure, London had its grey and slushy covering every late November through March, but it wasn’t anything like the six inches of pure white coating Newmarket (t’was a bit chilly to call that area the “Serengeti” at the moment).
All of a sudden, Anne found herself being hoisted and thrown off the dock and into the freezing Lake Elizabeth. Not only was this lake of icy temperature, it was also coated with a thin layer of ice. Anne came up sputtering to hear the booming laugh of her Captain.
Shivering, Anne crawled up the banks and shouted, “What was THAT for?” Her head was pounding and Anne felt a lump forming on the side of her skull. “Really Captain, we all know you’re as strong as an ox.” Anne silently added that some days, the Captain seemed as thick as one too. Anyone with a bit of sense would know better than to throw a man (or woman, in Anne’s case) off of a dock into freezing water. However, Frobisher was never one to pay attention to that governing shared consciousness called “common sense.” He’d argue that he was anything but common, and in many ways (and definitions of that word), he was right.
“You need to grow some hair on your chest!” Frobisher laughed and thumped Anne on the back. “Besides, a little water never killed anyone!”
“Hypothermia might.” Anne muttered.
“Do we have any coal Captain?...I forgot to fill one of the stockings on board ship.” Each of the crew’s members would wake on Christmas morn’ to find a stocking full of coal (and maybe a bit of paper that would count for an extra ration of ale along with some sausage). While some might find this gift a mark of a year of bad behavior, the crew was always delighted to receive such a practical gift that would keep them warm up in the arctic sea.
“That can wait Andrew, let’s get to the Duck! FOR WARD!” Frobisher shouted and with his codpiece leading the way, Captain Frobisher and AnneDrew started on their journey (dedicated to the elusive Ward) towards the Dirty Duck Inn with the promise of warm food and the possible prevention of hypothermia.
Well that starts of my 12 Days of a Bristol Christmas series. Check tomorrow for more fun!