Just a writing practice that took an interesting turn. It might become something more. But it's more likely to rot in my hard drive.
In a little freckle on a stretch of bland country is a village. Tiny houses and establishments speckle the land, which glow with warm, buttery light in the early winter. Here, the buildings rather seem to have faces and expressions, which change in accordance to the shadows of day or evening.
There is a shopping market, where the outlets are lined like ducks along a pewter grey street, trodden more by scuffed boots than by wagon wheels or horse hooves. As you stroll along, the sleeves of your coat brush against passersby, who smile and offer an apology--though the touch is not unpleasant. The air rings with the chime of dozens of bells as customers enter and exit shops. Chipped and faded shutters squeak and sway to whichever song the wind sings, and street lights flicker to the dance of the breeze.
We call this strip the Lilliputan. It is so small, but never uncomfortably so. The dinky windows emit the warmest of light, and the air is rich with a familiar scent which, strangely, smells a little different to each visitor. Towards the end of the street, which is lightly dusted with the winter's first snow, stands a little shop, which is only a little different from the rest. It is sandwiched between a tall stationary supply and a stumpy meat market. The display window is littered with toys--wind ups or singing snow globes, porcelain dolls and wooden airplanes. It's called The Littlest Emporium--for, though small it may be, it holds a great many things, and I think it rather larger on the inside than out.
Why, I was rearranging this display to fit the upcoming Christmas season when first I found you. The jingly bell rattled as the front door brushed against it, letting in a swift breeze that carried cinnamon, the smoke of a burning fireplace and--the musk of a wolf pelt.
Those eyes… they’re the color of deep sorrow. You’re a very sad person, aren’t you? Eyeslike those… they compel me. Tell me, is there anything in this shop you would like? Anything at all. If for just a flicker of relief in those eyes, there is no price tag here.
What’s this, now? Yes… yes I see. Something that any stranger could just as easily buy is hardly of any merit. How about then, I reach into my pocket, and… Ah, yes! I can already see a spark of pleasure in your eyes! You like this, then? That’s because it is a very special talisman. This is no key to be hung on a wall. This key… why, I rather think it might go nicely with that ribbon in your hair. May I? Ah, yes… Now if we just thread it through the ring, like so… Now we can tie it around your neck. There, now. See how lovely it looks? Red does compliment an object as this, so dearly.
I am so glad to see your eyes smile, even if your mouth does not. I suspect this key might unlock doors that lead to happier places than you’ve known.
A good evening to you. Keep your coat tight around your shoulders, now. It’s cold this evening. I wouldn’t wish to see any ill befall you…
No, none at all.