Preparations for a Wedding
A wedding. A wedding like none there had never been before, and he was responsible. By Merlin’s socks this would not be an easy job. He had really been thinking about it a lot. What needed to be built? What needed to be made? And how could he possibly make all guests happy? The forest was calm, and sunny, as he and uncle Cadry walked through the trees.
“What about this one?” he asked and walked up to the broad tall oak and looked up at the massive branches. “Is it sturdy enough?”
Peering skeptically at the large oak, Cadry looked hesitant “Hopefully it will do. I certainly won’t envy the peasants who has to try and cut i down and turn it into a giant’s footstool.” Thoughtfully Cadry added ”I never thought that I would have to help arrange a marriage where one part of the bride’s family are giants and the other part are some of the most loathsome and evil women in existence.”
“That’s for sure,” Brynach agreed. “We seem to be entering a strange time.”
He stopped and looked around momentarily distracted.
“We also need flowers,” Brynach noted, “a massive amount, and different ones to be sure. I am paying my farmers for everything they can find in the fields, but I think there are different ones in here no?”
“Wreaths,” Brynach said and kneeled down. “I’m going to make sure that all the guests get and wear one.”
“For some particular reason? Or just for the beauty of it?”
Brynach smiled: “For the sake of scent,” he said and blinked at Cardy.
Figuring that his nephew was being cunning and sly, Cadry couldn’t help but be curious “For the scent? Or to cover up certain other scents?”
Brynach just smiled and they continued walking.
Looking disgusted at the mere mention of the three horrible crones, Cadry shuddered “Considering that she supposedly delights in cruelty and evil I would say that three feet of solid steel would be the best solution. If only she wasn’t a guest…”
“I wonder if the best solution would to place her next to uncle Maelgwyn. Do you think that would be a wise choice?”
“Possibly…. Her evil ways must be kept in check and few others have as sharp eyes as Maelgwyn. I have my suspicions as to what her schemes are. I am afraid that her stakes in all of this are more personal than we suspect.” Cadry looked genuinely worried and almost afraid at the mention of the Wicked lady. “Celebrating the wedding on Beltaine should help diminish the power of all three ladies. The fires are lit to chase away evil and to cancel out black magic.”
The darkness in Cadry’s voice took Brynach aback.
“What suspicions, uncle?” he asked feeling uneasy.
“When your father and I were young squires, we helped serve at a feast. At that feast Cyn’s father ate some of what was then called mystery meat that was served to the three prospective wives of Count Roderick. As you well know that meat was cursed. It is my suspicion that it was the Wicked lady who had cursed the meat.” Cadry looked like he was about to divulge an even worse secret but thought better of it. His nephew didn’t need to be burdened with an old man’s fears. “Since the Loathly Lady interfered with her curse, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Wicked Lady’s spiteful nature would cause her to take revenge at an occasion like this.The only weakness that i have heard mentioned in regards to her is her supposedly bad eyesight, so perhaps we can use that against her.”
Brynach looked thoughtful. “So,” he said weighing his words, “prepare for sabotage. I think I can do that...”
“When it comes to the Revolting Lady, the only thing she seems to like is to complain about everyone and everything, never being satisfied. Maybe we can trick her into liking something, like for instance showing her several pretty ladies and asking if she doesn’t like her beauty. When she dismisses one after another we can politely suggest that the next one she will definitely like and then when she gets ready to snub the next one we hold up a mirror and show her herself, that might throw her and get her of guard enough so as not to cause problem. But you mentioned that you had some ideas in regards to her, dear nephew?”
“Well, twelve of everything, I think. We might need that trick though. I guess we will have to see… And there’s the bachelor to consider,” Brynach continued aloud. “According to tradition we should put him through a couple of tests. Could we do a version of the leap maybe?”
“I guess we could…. But what’s wrong with the good old classic of getting him drunk? Set him up with a enormous goblet of wine and have him try to drain it in one go” Warming to the thought Cadry kept throwing out ideas “Maybe blindfold him and let several different young girls kiss him and see if he can tell which one is his bride to be? Or perhaps have him wrestle some other men or some other feat of strength to show his manliness?”
“He would like the goblet of vine,” Brynach considered, “but getting him too drunk might be a bit… unwise. And he has already proven his dedication to her. I think your last suggestion is the best. Let’s make him prove his worth as a man and a husband.”
Birds singing above them made Brynach stop.
“Of course,” he said looking up. “We need birds too. Lots of them if a distraction is needed for the father of the bride. Different colours, singing birds, a variety so that we have something that he likes.”
“Hopefully that works, otherwise the bride to be seems to attract small animals when she is around. That could be a good backup plan. I wonder though if she knows her father? I mean if the Loathly Lady tricked him into laying with her, and he has been avoiding her ever since then…?”
“I’m sure that he’ll be coming,” Brynach said smiling, “and I actually, weird as it might be, like the fellow.”
“I don’t think I’ve heard that very often, someone liking a giant.” Cadry smiled “But I guess we should count ourselves lucky that we didn’t fight him, no matter how that fight would have ended.”