All told, the 14th century was not one of humanity’s proudest efforts, at least in Europe. I spent most of my time in York with a few jaunts here and there just to liven things up, and I would have to say, in the aggregate, it wasn’t impressive.
But despite the food shortage during the plague, we often had a good time. Humans aren’t just for eating, after all. They provide endless entertainment. That wedding, for example…
Of course, we vampires do not need weddings to be bound to each other, although we do enjoy ceremony. As well as any excuse to dress up. But for us, the love union is a private, wordless thing that can take place over a period of years. We have time.
Humans don’t have as much cause for nightly celebration as we do, benighted things, so they like to make a fuss over a wedding and good for them. Even when the couple isn’t in love. They can’t have everything.
This particular wedding was in 1351, just after the Black Death, and people wanted to marry their children quickly and get to work repopulating the country. Which we were all in favor of, as most of our usual menu was now out of season.
Whatever Edward and Margery thought of each other was immaterial, of course – she was only thirteen and not presumed to have any brains worth mentioning. Not that he looked to be much of an Alcuin either, mind. Just an observation. Pretty gown, though. Good silk.
Their families had never liked each other. Not quite in a Montague/Capulet sort of way, but firm words were often spoken. However, they only had one surviving child each and a lot of adjacent land to defend, so…
…they married. It was a sunny day, so we missed the ceremony and jugglers, but the party was still going strong in the evening, and they said all were invited, so Eamon and I took them up on it. We had a wonderful story ready, but no one asked who we were. Being the best-dressed couple there helped – they assumed we were noble and didn’t dare intimate they didn’t know us. Besides, they were already drunk.
Humans and their drink! Eamon and I paid the minstrels sixpence to play our favourite songs and were dancing in the middle of the room. But then someone shouted that the eel-and-almond-milk pie was actually cod bits and things went downhill from there. Goblets were thrown, crockery shattered, cheese-stuffed eggs soared everywhere and stained the tapestry. At first, we joined in, now on one side, now the other, just to keep the confusion high and fun. But Eamon wanted to liven things up further, so he took up juggling the tossed eggs and assorted dinner daggers that had entered the melee.
When a few men started to duel in earnest, I signalled to Eamon that it was time to offer perspective. We put on our vampire faces – Eamon on one table, me on the other.
‘Silence!’ we roared.
‘Careful lest you wake the dead!’
Which got some good screams and real pandemonium. Once Eamon stopped laughing, he leapt across to me and we both went out the window – long gone before they could organise a chase. Marvelous night.
But a week or so later, we left them two pounds for the stained glass. It was from Stephen’s time. Rather a shame, that.