Secrets, lies, and fireflies (part three)

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People had already gathered in front of the wooden stage at the foot of the hill. The crowd was anxious. The basket bid has been a part of the festival for only a few years and everyone was holding their breath waiting for it. In a small town like Goodharts, it was the perfect opportunity to find out who liked who. It was dedicated only to young people over the age of sixteen, so it was for the first time Ferry and his friends took part. Mr. Bell, the headmaster of the Primary School, the Mayor, and Albert Pride were now on the stage, giving their speeches. Ferry was particularly attentive to the latter who was now speaking.

"Young people are the future of this town," Ferry heard the calm, clear voice of Mr. Pride on the microphone. "For them, we have now created so many opportunities in Goodharts. For them, we have built the high school, the library and made jobs at the sawmill. They are the ones who take our dreams further. You have big dreams, I know that. But why take your dreams away? Why leave everything you know and it's safe for you? Keep your dreams," he said, louder. "But keep them here. Where they belong. Home."

Mr. Pride ended his speech in the applause and cheers of the crowd. Mr. Bell, who had turned even fatter over the last couple of years, and looked like a barrel ready to burst, thanked Mr. Pride, then began the basket auction. The first basket was Stephanie's. The girl walked to the stage, all smiles and confidence.

"Let's see what's inside Stephanie's basket," said Mr. Bell in a ceremonial manner, looking at the contents of the basket Steph held. "Yam, delicious! Eggplant and pepper salad, bread, and a ... pasta that looks very... appetising," he added, trying to hide the disgust on his face. "We'll start the auction at five coins. Who offers five coins?"

Ben, who was next to Ferry, raised his hand without too much enthusiasm.

"Five coins once... Five coins twice... Sold to Benjamin Knight," he said and banged his gavel on the desk brought on stage for this special event.

Steph went down the stage and joined Ben, giggling with excitement. Ben put on a forced smile, probably thinking about having to eat all the fat-free, vegetable dishes his girlfriend prepared.

"Next, we have Miss Matilda Harper," Mr. Bell announced. The girl went up the stage, dragging her feet, and looking gloomier than a cold, rainy autumn's day. "Matilda's basket," Mr. Bell continued," contains a juicy chicken roast, a blueberry pie, and some agave syrup. We start the auction at five coins."  

"Ten coins," said a determined voice from the back. Everyone turned their heads and saw Danny Stevens who was smiling, confidently. The crowd was now animated with uproar. Matilda didn't look very impressed, though.

"Fifteen coins," said a boy from the football team.

Matilda frowned, while Danny glared towards his rival with a menacing look.

"Twenty coins," he said, this time louder.

"Twenty-five coins," said another boy in the football team.

"Twenty-seven coins," Danny cut him short.

"Twenty-eight," said the first boy.

The Lost Son | Ferry's Tale # 2Where stories live. Discover now