~The Market~ pg 6

When Fiora hesitated at telling her own rescue story, Demil saved her by telling them why she was there. They all hopped up and down from their excitement. The girl Trina took her hand and dragged her in through the front door to the very back of the Inn, down some stairs, and through another door. That led them to a stone walled tunnel with moss growing on the sides. Fiora shivered a little, though she didn’t know if it was from the chill or from the fact that she felt like she were in a tomb. It didn’t help that three bar maids had just decided to come along on her shopping trip. They were nice enough people, but it was all incredibly odd. Demil and Melinda each grabbed a lit torch at the entrance and led the way down the corridor. 

It ended at a steel gate that someone operated on the inside with the sound of turning gears and pulled levers.  When it finally opened, Fiora could hardly believe what she saw. The cramped corridor opened up into a crowded cavern that must have been as big as the ballroom of the Sanctuary if not bigger. It was filled with an underground market lit by enclosed candles and lanterns. Vendors of every item imaginable were lined up in fairly neat rows. Some had tables for their wares while others just set their stuff down on the dirt floor or on rugs. Fiora could not hold back her curiosity. “What is this place?”

“This is the best!” Demil answered with no little pride. “The best of everythin’ fer the best price, all in one convenient location.”  The way he emphasized ‘convenient’ made her think that it was more convenient for the vendors and patrons’ sakes than for the authorities in Brittner.

It was noisy; almost too noisy to hear Demil as he picked his way through those selling goods. She was surprised by how popular he seemed. Men strode up to shake his hand and clap him on the back. Women walked up to kiss him on the cheek. Children ran up for hugs. She could feel the eyes of everyone they passed. Some wary, some curious, some outright ogling, but thankfully, none approached her. The three bar maids surrounded her and stared down any who looked like they might want to try. Fiora was suddenly very thankful that they had come with. Their immoral clothing seemed to blend in down here where cleavage and knees were bared on more than half the women. She, on the other hand, stood out like a sore thumb in her fine dress. She hoped the trek wouldn’t stain it. 

The End

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