Meldrick's Tales, Chapter 5, The Royal Vineyards
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Meldrick the Elder
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Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:55 pm
Chapter 5

The Royal Vineyards

Meldrick had left the area of the gates of Edingtol to go sit under the big elm tree in the center of the park nearby. He had stopped a food cart and had picked up some grapes.

Leaning back against the tree's trunk as he ate one of the juicy purple fruits, he smiled as it brought back memories of the time he had visited the Royal Vineyards just outside of Edingtol when he was younger.

A few children and a young lady had gathered around him and upon seeing Meldrick with the grapes, the lady had remembered that he had mentioned the Royal Vineyards before and asked if he could tell her of the story.

He smiled when she asked about it, as if she could read his mind. "Of course, my lady."
- - - - - - - - -

As Meldrick slipped out of camp he headed down the road back towards the Royal Vineyards they had passed on their way into town. He had heard the tales of the sweetness of the grapes and wanted to taste for himself.

It was late in the season and all the grapes that had been harvested were now being turned into wine. But the Royal Vintner always kept a section of the vineyards for travelers to be able to taste the grapes. Meldrick hoped that there were still a few bunches of grapes for him to taste.

There was a sign posted on the gate that stated that travelers were welcome and that the grapes were to the south of the vineyard's road. As he got off the road and searched about the vines to the south he found none of the grapes available. Disappointed he stepped back on the road and was about to head back to camp, when something attracted his attention . . . a flash of golden hue on the northern side, where the older vines were located. The vines were huge and rumored to be hundreds of years old and what he had seen had been deeper in the midst of the vines.

Meldrick carefully worked his way back to the area where he thought he had seen the golden flash, but there was nothing there that he could see that had caused the flash. He sat down on one of the thick vines and sighed.

Looking about, he saw something that brought a smile to his face. Not two feet from him was a bunch of grapes, the largest grapes he had ever seen. He move and picked a single grape and held it in his hand, sniffing it and breathing in the heady fragrance of the fruit. He then popped it in his mouth and the sweet taste of the grape exploded in his mouth. Closing his eyes and enjoying the incredible juiciness of the deep purple grape.

"Those grapes be mine, elf!" He heard a little voice that sounded like the tinkling of wind chimes and opened his eyes.

Looking about he saw a small golden butterfly faerie, she was standing on the thick shaft of the vine, her hands on her hips and a scorn on her face as she flashed a golden hue.

Smiling as he knew he had found the source of the golden flash he had seen earlier. He looked into her beautiful face noting that she had the greenest eyes he had ever seen.

"I am sorry, Miss Faerie, I didn't know they were yours." Still smiling, he noted her beautiful golden hair and her light green, short dress.

Still looking defiant, the faerie wagged her finger at him "I be not a 'miss' I be a Princess . . . Princess Vailis of the People of the Valley of the Grapes!"

Meldrick tried not to chuckle, because she appeared so serious, but he couldn't help himself, he smiled and chuckled. "I am sorry Princess, I didn't know your proper station." he bowed and looked about. "If I may be so bold as to ask, why is a Princess out here all alone and gathering grapes?"

He absently picked two grapes from the bunch handing one to her and popping the other in his mouth. She had a hard time holding it and finally sat on the thick branch holding the grape on her lap.

Looking up at Meldrick, she couldn't contain her joy at having one of the grapes for herself, "A Princess does not divulge her reasons, especially if she does not know the person who is asking." Her mouth was water as she heard the grape crunching in Meldrick's mouth as he ate his.

"Forgive me Princess Vailis, my name is Meldrick of the gypsy elves and I am very pleased to meet you, your majesty." He bowed again, seeing her looking hungrily at her grape. "Your majesty, do you need help with that grape?"

She looked up at him with her big green eyes pleadingly, "If ye would be so kind, Mel Drick. It seems I have left my carving knife at home." She lifted the grape towards him.

He smiled and pulled out his small pocket knife and took the grape from her and sliced it in half, handing her half and setting the other half beside her.

She looked up at him and smiled, it was the first time he had seen her smile. It was a very beautiful smile.

"I thank ye Mel Drick." She bit into the grape and closed her eyes, much like Meldrick had.

She seemed to be enjoying the grape at least as much as he was, he thought as he took another and popped it into his mouth.

As Princess Vailis finished the first half and reached for the second one, she looked up at Meldrick. "Since ye have helped me, Mel Drick, I will tell ye why I am out here alone." She took a bit of the grape, then continued, "I slipped away from my bodyguards . . . " She looked down, a single golden tear rolled down her cheek. " . . . just once, I wanted to be alone, to fend for myself, just to show them I could do it . . . "

She looked up into his eyes and he could see how much it meant to her, "They expect me to rule the People one day, yet they treat me as though I was made of glass and would break at the slightest touch." She shook her head, "Maybe they are right, I rushed out here willy-nilly and didn't even bring my knife . . . If I hadn't met ye, I would still be trying to figure how to get the grapes without a knife." She looked at the grapes still on the vine and at the grape in her lap.

Meldrick remained still for a moment then looked to the Princess, "Your majesty, I am sure you would have figured out a way to get the grapes, as it was, me being here made it easier for you." He picked another grape and looked at it, then at the bunch that was still attached to the vine.

Princess Vailis looked up at him "I must thank ye again for yer help and apologize fer my earlier behavior. I am in yer debt." She smiled and continued to eat and finish the second half of her grape, then laid on her side on the branch, still looking at him.

He popped the other grape in his mouth and smiled, then taking his small pocket knife out, he looked at it and the blades it held and smiled.

She looked at him curiously as he removed the smallest blade from his knife and looked about for something.

He picked up a twig and broke of a little of it and then pulled out a small pouch that held a needle and thread. He carefully wound the small piece of twig with the red thread covering the new knife's handle completely.

She moved closer to him, still very curious as to what he was doing.

Smiling as Vailis moved closer to him, he reached down with his knife and cut off a small piece of leather from his soft leather boot top. He molded it around the blade of the little knife he had made and then sewed it, forming a sheath for the blade and cut off the end of his shirt lace and fashioned a belt. He smiled as he handed it to the Princess.

She accepted it and tied the belt around her waist, then sliding the knife from its sheath, she smiled, the blade was a little heavier than the one she normally had, but it was also more beautiful than hers. She looked at Meldrick and then flew to the grape bunch and swung the blade, cleaving the bunch from the vine.

Meldrick reached out and caught it as Princess Vailis giggled and looked at the blade. "I don't know how to thank ye, Mel Drick. Yer gift be too beautiful and truly fitting a Princess."

He bowed and smiled, "Your majesty, I am glad you like it." As he said the words he noticed several purplish flashes coming their way, "Princess Vailis, is that someone you know?" he pointed to where the glowing figures made their way through the grapevines and were coming towards them.

Princess Vailis smiled as she saw them, "Mel Drick, that be my bodyguards." she turned just as the bodyguards reached them. Taking the new 'sword' that Meldrick had fashioned for her, she smiled, "I have thought of a way to repay ye, Mel Drick." She took the blade and tapped him once on his left shoulder and then flitted over and tapped him on his right shoulder.

"Mel Drick of the gypsy elves, fer yer service to the Royal Heir to the Throne of the People of the Grapevine, I dub ye Sir Mel Drick and I thank ye fer all that ye have done fer me this night."

She turned to her bodyguards, "Please take the bunch of grapes from Sir Mel Drick's hand and take it to my mother as a gift from us both." then turning to Meldrick she smiled. "Sir Mel Drick I must be going, but I will never forget ye or the things ye said and did this night." She sheathed the blade and then sprinkled him with golden Faerie dust, "Fare ye well, Sir Mel Drick, I hope to see ye again." With that she turned and flew off with her bodyguards, turning to look back and smile, just before disappearing into the vines.

Meldrick smiled and waved and watched her disappear into the night. Popping the last grape into his mouth he got up and turned to head back to camp.
- - - - - - -

Closing his eyes and smiling, Meldrick popped another grape in his mouth.

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Sat Sep 22, 2007 2:13 pm
Nema pauses as she walks through the park, noticing the small group gathered around Sir Meldrick, as he tells one of his wonderful stories. As he finishes, she smiles and nods to herself, thinking, so that is how Sir Meldrick got his title… She places a small posy of marguerites at his side, before continuing on her way. "Another most delightful and amazing tale, Sir Meldrick."
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Sun Sep 23, 2007 5:43 pm
Meldrick smiles as he 'looks' up at Lady Nema, as his hand touches the marguerites and lifts them to his nose," I thank you Lady Nema, for saying so and I thank you for such a wonderful present."
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Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:30 am
Selena giggled softly as the tale ended. "Thank oyu for sharing another wonderful story with us, Sir Meldrick. Now I have a craving to go get some grapes!"
Celestrya
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Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:10 am
You are not the only one who has recieved a craving for such lovely grapes.
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