Expensive Lesson

Once upon a time in a faraway land lived a humble tailor in his humble village. He often struggled to earn enough coppers for his dinner, or silvers for his fabrics. His perseverance slowly gained him a reputation for good, honest workmanship and he thereby earned a few more coins to buy a few more rolls, and was content.

One fine day in May, an attractive Lady entered Konrad’s tailor shop. She asked, “Are you Konrad, he who is known everywhere for his magnificent needlework?”

“Well, I’m Konrad, at any rate. How might I help milady?”

“It’s only a trifle. The tiniest rip in my bodice, right here.” Her manicured nails trailed along the bodice’s edge and lingered in her décolletage.

Konrad experienced sudden difficulties speaking properly. Yet the repair was indeed trivial, and soon completed.

“You do magnificent work,” the Lady cooed. “At the briefest word from me, fine ladies from all over the kingdom will travel to have all their sewing done here. I can easily arrange a surge in your fortunes, Konrad.”

“It will be fine,” Konrad agreed.

~~~

“She didn’t pay you anything, lackwit.”

Konrad’s mother was incensed when he recounted the tale. “How many times do I have to tell you, no free rides?”

“But she’ll make me rich. She’s nice, mother.”

~~~

Over the coming weeks, the Lady returned frequently for more tailoring. Konrad’s Mother continued berating Konrad for an idiot, and Konrad continued insisting Milady was extremely nice. Somehow, the promised surge in business never materialized, and Milady’s repair work grew ever more expensive. The poor house would soon be Konrad’s fate.

“I can’t take her money, mother. She’s much too nice.”

“Fool.” Mother slapped the back of his head, hard. “There’s your problem, you need to learn. Nice is different from Good.”

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300 words. Inspired by this week’s Flash! Friday prompt (3-40).