The Propheteer

We’ve given up our non-prophet status

Skip to: Content | Sidebar | Footer

Smokey the Enforcer

16 February, 2006 (10:45) | hitch | By: hitch

Nestled in the mountains of Italy there sits a small, peaceful town. This town is unique because it sits at the base of a particular peak on which grow a most magnificent flower, the likes of which are unknown anywhere else in the world. This fact has made the town – and the flower-sellers in particular – very wealthy.
Each morning the florists of the town go up onto the slopes of the mountain and bring down as many of the flowers as they need for the day, making sure they gather only so many, both to keep the prices high and to make certain that there will always be enough of the flowers to ensure continued prosperity for their village.
For hundreds of years this arrangement worked very well, and the renown of the beauty of these flowers grew throughout the lands, until one day a monastic order decided to build an abbey closeby to the village.
This particular order of monks was renowned for their abilities in the arrangement of flowers – bouquets, sprays, nosegays, towering centerpieces and accent work, their talents knew no bounds. Their precepts taught that the arrangement of God’s beauty into these arrangements was as wonderful a prayer and praise as could be offered, and this particular group of friars had decided that gaining access to these particular flowers would allow their praises to achieve new heights of wonder.

The local flower-merchants were initially concerned about the new monastery, but the monks assured their neighbors that they too would abide by the practices that ensured the continued health and abundance of the local flora. Thus mollified, the merchants welcomed the monks into their community.
Thus it was with horror and outrage the local merchants found out that the monastery on the hill was giving away their arrangements for the asking! Sending a representative to the abbot, the merchants demanded that the friars either stop their arranging and leave or charge a suitable price for their handiwork. The monks declined, citing their tenets that their work was out of love and must be given freely or it would be rendered meaningless to them. The sale of their art was anathema to them, and to stop entirely would mean be the same as leaving their order, and having risked so much to build their new abbey in this new location, they refused.
The merchants were furious and came together to discuss ways to put an end to this outrage – they thought to close the town to the monks, but it was feared that people would simply go directly to the monastery for their flowers and the town would lose all their income. One suggested the burning of the abbey, and that was discarded as well, for not only was it too extreme, there was also the danger of the fire spreading to the mountain and destroying the flowers. There was no way to prevent the monks from gathering the flowers themselves, for the mountain was too large and too well covered with the blossoms.
Finally, one man stepped forward and claimed to have the answer.
“I have a cousin”, he said, “who will be able to handle these monks if any can.”
The room held their breath for a moment, for many knew what he would say next.
“His name,” he breathed, “is…Hugh.”
The room erupted into chaos, a nigh-incomprehensible babble – despite the certain knowledge that this course of action would succeed, many were concerned that this might be taking things too far.
It quickly became obvious, though, that this was indeed their only safe course of action and all came to an agreement – Hugh would be sent the very next day to the abbey to see about the monks.

That fateful morning, the entire flower-arranging population of the town gathered near the road that led to the abbey and watched as Hugh marched up the pound on the doors.
As a man they held their breath as the doors opened up and Hugh walked in, confident in his mission.
The massive portal swung shut behind him and all became deathly quiet as the huddled mass strained to hear any escaping sound, but nothing could be discerned save the insects on the wind.

Hours seemed to pass, and the townspeople began to worry. Had Hugh failed in his task? It seemed impossible, but the entire situation was unlike any they had faced before. At long last, the door to the abbey swung open, and Hugh strode out, looking worn but satisfied, and the townspeople knew that they had been saved from certain poverty.

The very next day the monks abandoned their monastery, leaving everything inside and fleeing as though for their very lives. To this day, no one knows what transpired in that building between Hugh and the men of the abbey. Only one thing is certain – the facts are clear and undeniable: Hugh – and only Hugh – can prevent florist friars.

Write a comment