~The Market~ pg 10

The next hour was consumed with measuring and fittings and haggling. Fiora finally counted her money and inwardly cringed. She hadn’t expected much; she had been right to do so. Still, she would have more than enough to buy what she needed today. She could have made it go further if she’d let Kami give her the deep discounts she tried to. But Fiora refused to take less than a fair price. More than a few people stopped to listen to their odd haggling joust over her chosen riding outfit. “I won’t take more than ten coppers for it,” Kami said with her hands on her hips. 

“Ten coppers?! How do you expect me to sleep at night? Why not just tell me to steal it from you? It’s worth at least fifty and you know it!” 

“I’ve never sold one for more than twenty.” It was a flat out lie, but Kami spoke it with conviction. 

“And I’ve never bought one for less than forty!” That was the truth, but only because she’d never bought a riding outfit before. Still, she knew the prices for one in Kavaccet ranged between forty and a hundred coppers or more depending on quality. This one was of a fairly good quality and even forty coppers was a great deal, but at least her conscious would not prick her over it. 

“Fine,” Kami sighed overdramatically, “I guess I will take thirty coppers.” 

Fiora caught her in a steely gaze. As much as she appreciated the woman’s generosity, she was not going to take advantage of it. “No,” she insisted putting the money on the counter. “I will not be a burden. Not to Demil or to Demil’s friends. You will take forty or I will go to a different shop that would be more than happy to take sixty for the same thing.” 

Kami sighed again, this time in resignation. She caught Demil’s eye over her shoulder. He was chuckling and shrugged back at her. “You drive a hard bargain, Miss, I’ll give you that. Wisdom forbid I ever be on the wrong side of the bargaining table from you.” Fiora nodded in satisfaction as the woman finally took the money. “Should I wrap that up for you?” 

“No, I’d like to wear it out, please. But you can wrap the dress I’m wearing. I don’t want it to get any dirtier than it already is.” Kami nodded and Fiora went behind the privacy screen to change. The blouse and trousers were dull colors and made of a sturdy woven cloth that did not breathe near as well as the dress. Though she knew she would miss the freedom to feel the wind over all her body, this would be much more practical. She came out feeling a little uncomfortable under everyone's scrutiny. 

“I liked the dress better,” Trina blurted out. 

Melinda hushed her, but Fiora answered anyway. “It doesn’t belong to me. I need to return it.” 

“Oh, okay.” She looked down at the floor. “You really did have nuthin'.” 

“A little bit of money and a bedroll,” she corrected. That’s about it. But now I have my own clothes again so that’s good.” Trina nodded at her as they all made their way to the exit. 

“Wait a minute,” Melinda piped up, “Where are your shoes?” 

Fiora glanced down at her bare toes which were now much more visible without a skirt hiding them. She shrugged, “I’ve never worn shoes.” 

Trina’s jaw dropped. “Never?” 
“Nope, never needed them before.” 
“But you can’t just go around barefoot!” Melinda declared. 
“What if you step in a manure pile?” 
Fiora gave Trina a wink. “I wash my feet.” 

The End

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