Braegga’s Day, Karthied April 12, 2019 Frederik looked up as the door to his store opened and his regular, a man named Haevar, came staggering in through the door. “Hey, Fred, you got a smoke,” he asked with slurred words. Frederik grabbed a single from the box of loose cigarettes behind the counter and held it out. “A florent and a half,” he informed the inebriated man. “I thought theys was a florent,” he muttered angrily. “Not for the last three years,” Frederik said. “They raised the tax on ‘em, remember?” The drunk pulled out a bill and a coin and dropped them on the counter, snatching the single from Frederik’s hands. “Fuckin taxes!” He put the cigarette into his mouth. “Got a light?” Frederik handed him a match, and when he made to strike it against the counter, Fred told him to take it outside. “Hey why ern’t you outside enjoying the festrivities?” Haevar asked, pronouncing his words wrong. Frederik shrugged. “I work for a living.” Haevar thought that must have been the funniest thing he’d ever heard because he laughed so hard he began to cough and gag. He was still wheezing as he left. Frederik went back to reading his newspaper. Truthfully he’d have much preferred to be out celebrating (there was supposed to be a trio of dancing bears up at Eastgate) but once afternoon rolled around he’d be busy and he needed the profit. He heard the door open and another gentleman came in. He was dressed in festive clothing, a colorful shirt and red pants, his hair decorated with spring flowers. He bought a pack of smokes, a cheap imported brand with a smoking camel on the packaging. When he saw the paper Frederik was reading he gestured at it. “Who do you think will replace the old man?” he asked. “You know, what’s his name? Hettenberg?” Frederik took the man’s money. “Maybe Prushten,” he said. “Guys been doing fine work as the Vitskanslor the last two years. Really though, my monies on Kolta running.” “Really?” the man scoffed. “He’s too busy as Sherwin’s right hand man. He’s running the country.” Frederik put the money in his drawer and handed the man back his change. “He’s gonna run. Mark my words. Sherwin needs someone loyal in the high office.” The man didn’t seem to be convinced. “Alright, we’ll see if he does.” He picked up his pack and left. Frederik started reading his paper again. He thought to himself that maybe he’d close up for an hour, pick up a couple honey cakes and maybe a breaded sausage. Those were the best part of Braegga’s Day anyway. He shouldn’t miss them.