[WP]You are a 17th century black market dealer, You sell one item only, That item? Pineapples.

The man approached the customs house to the turnpike, his mule seemingly lazily pulling the cart forward one cobblestone at a time. He knew the guards and used this route often. His customers, as vile as they were paid well for the freshest... 'goods'. He shuddered slightly at the thought of a man consuming such a thing as what lay in his cart, hidden with more wholesome produce.

The man hopped off the cart and led his mule by hand to greet the man. A tall man stepped from the shack, tucking a pistol into his uniform belt, his ornate hat sitting on his head at a jaunty angle.

No. This isn't right, this isn't Jakob, but some stranger.

"Hail thee and halt, sir." The guard stated flatly, the standard greeting the customs were supposed to use, not the suntle codephrases used by those inside the trade. This was bad.

"Hail, I seek passage through this road to Heath"

"Aye, what goods to you ferry into Heath, man?" The customs man spoke in flat, formal tone with a touch of provincial dialect.

"Cabbages" The man replied.

"Indeed, kindly remove the tarpoline so I may inspect these cabbages." The customs man rested his hand on the handle of his musketoon.

Sweat broke out. This was all wrong, who is this suspicious about cabbages? A second guard stepped from the customs house, brandishing a musket with fixed bayonet, spitting a long stream of tobacco juice into the dirt, he stared at the man guiding the cart.

"Aye, tis but cabbages, sir" he nervously undid the convoluted knot he tied on one corner. His ears grew hot, feeling the custom man's gaze on the back of his head. He pulled back the corner to reveal cabbages.

"Kindly sir, will you uncover the whole of your cargo?,

The man complied as the customs man stood back. He threw the tarpoline off.

"Step thee to the side sir." The customs man stated in the same flat, official tone. The man opened his mouth to protest but failed to find words.

The customs man removed gloves from his belt, donned them and purposefully moved to the cart and carefully lifting cabbage after cabbage, stacking them to see underneath.

The smuggler's heart sank. His blood ran cold. He thought to run, to start to pled but it was took late.

A panicked gasp from the customs man, "DEVIL TAKE THEE SMUGGLER! ON YOUR KNEES!" a high pitched tone of panic and disgust, he drew his pistol and leveled it at the smuggler. The customs man with the musket rushed to the cart.


The man was dragged roughly and tied to a metal ring bolted to the building like a horse and berated by the wild-eyed customs men.

"Who did you intend to sell these to!?" He was struck in the ribs.

"Have you smuggled these wretched things into Heath before? The other customs man shouted, spittle forming at the corners of his mouth.

The man capitulated. He knew the punishment for smuggling pineapples and knew he would soon face justice.

/r/WritingPrompts Thread