the servant's umbrella

james pulled the linen cloth tight across the small wooden frame and tied off the coarse twine. he held the square construction up in the candlelight with pride so edwards could get a good look at it. “I do believe that’s the ugliest hat I’ve ever seen.” edwards laughed as he took another sip off the brandy. “it’s an umbrella you old billy goat” james quipped. the wooden shutter blew open and a gust of wind swirled into the small room, blowing out several of the candles. edwards jumped up and secured the windows as james held up his creation and admired his handiwork. “my son is turning nine on the morrow edwards, and is in bad need of an umbrella for his long walks to the schoolhouse.” a rumbling sound was heard and the men stopped and looked at each other. a horse's whine in the distance sent the two servants scrambling to hide the brandy and relight the candles. james opened the large wooden doors and shielded his face from the stinging rain, “by heavens he’s blind drunk again.” “may the good lord help us.” edwards said cowering behind the door. ben franklin stumbled into the corridor holding a thick woolen blanket that draped his plump frame and clutched a sloshing crystal decanter of french wine. “attend the horses damned ya bastards!” he slurred as he flung his velvet hat down the hallway, “and prepare my meal or i’ll have all yer hides so help me!” edwards ran into the darkness and grabbed the reigns of the horses as james scurried to clear the large wooden table. “he’ll have my head for sure if that turkey burns” james thought as he franticly set out the plates. edwards emerged behind him out of breath and soaked to the bone, “he’s out there in the thick of it james, and damned my eyes he’s naked as the baby jesus!” james ran to the front door stepping over a large pile of wet clothes and saw ben’s nude body stumbling around in the howling wind and rain. he was laughing hysterically as he held onto the tugging line of twine that stretched up into the sky, the square umbrella that james had made for his son now flying at the end. james clenched his fists and softly said a prayer, “lord may ye please strike that fat bastard dead.”

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