Marigold's Message

But Danny was not outside.  She could see him nowhere in the small square covered from the rain which still flowed down with no sign of stopping.  Now and then someone would push the water off one of the tarps that had been strung up in such a way that the water gathered in the centre instead of rolling off.

Sarah allowed Deputy to show her around, from window to stall to window.  She was both fascinated and repulsed by the gaudy jewelry in one store and hungry again when she smelt the fried food at another store.  But the store that drew her the most was the fabric store.  She loved the feel of the different materials and loved to dream of the dresses she could make from them.  She and her sister used to go to fabric stores together to dream—before Nate came into their lives.

Sarah wanted very much to know what the note Marigold had given her said but she could not find Danny.  There was something wrong in this strange little town.  She needed Danny.  Strange how much she had come to rely on Danny in so short a time.  She didn't even know him really.  She didn't know anyone here, so far from home.  Worry began to shift in her gut and a chill ran through her as she drew her hand across a bolt of silk.

She had to read that note.  But she dared not ask anyone here to read it to her—the Deputy would notice and Marigold had clearly not wanted that.  After wandering for quite a while with no sign of Danny, she brought him up again to the Deputy.

"Could we ask someone to help me find Danny?  I really want to talk to him."

"Don't worry yourself dear.  He has to be around here somewhere." the Deputy dismissed lightly.

"I'd like to see the fabric shop again."

The unopened store was next to the fabric store, and Sarah glanced at it nervously as she fingered the materials.

"You especially like that blue one, don't you dear?" said the wiry old lady who sold the fabric.

"Yes," she responded, trying to smile.  She wished that she had money so that she could buy something and make this whole bazaar feel more authentic and less like some sort of exotic trap.

"Well, I'll tell you what," the woman produced a pair of scissors and some measuring tape.  "I'll give you a couple meters of it."

"But, I—" began Sarah, feeling as though she aught to politely refuse.

"Nonsense.  It's been sitting in my shop for far too long and it will look pretty with your bright blue eyes."

"Thank you," said Sarah, holding the soft material to her chest.

This woman seemed friendly, and the Deputy was waiting for her outside the shop.  She took a deep breath and dared.  She pushed the note into the old woman's hand, asking in an intense low voice, "Will you read this for me please?"

Curious, the old woman unfolded it and began to read, "Run away.  They mean you harm.  They serve a dark woman in a tower.  Run—" the woman stopped reading, seeming to only then realized what she was saying.  Her face when pale and she pushed the note back at Sarah, peering nervously over Sarah's shoulder.  Painful fear froze her heart in her chest.

When Sarah turned around, the Deputy was standing only a few feet behind her.  He must have come in when the woman was reading and Sarah was processing her shock and fear at what the note said.

"We must go on," said Deputy, giving the old woman a stern look.

Sarah drew herself away and led the way out of the store, her heart thumping frantically after it's period of absolute stillness.  As she did so, she heard a rumbling noise, like thunder in the distance.

"Is that thunder?" she asked Deputy.


"I'd like to find Danny, can we please look for him?" she asked, trying to keep the panic out of her voice.

"Sure," said the big Deputy with a smile, turning his head to look about the square.

The rumbling grew louder.  That was not thunder.  It was a train.

"But I thought the track was abandoned?" she asked in nervous surprise.

Sarah began to truly panic.  They might put her on the train… and take her—who knows where.  Wherever the dark woman in the tower was.  She had to get away.  She started to run, but before she had taken three steps she felt a strong hand on her arm.

"It was."

The End

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