Category: Creative Writing
The Silly Art of Speech It was yet another day traveling with my family's caravan through the great lands of Arcas. The land was rather warm, even though it was the month of Malin’s Welcome. We were traveling somewhere south, so it was rather understandable. It wasn't too long after my father had suddenly left our caravan, and my mother was still sad and mourning as if he was dead, even worse. I can remember her not speaking for a long time, and rationing her meals, unable to eat. They were sad times, but both of us managed to get by, we had our whole caravan supporting us both. I was around no more than 13 years old, still a child with a family to care for him. We approached this great town after a long day of traveling, though I cannot remember its name. I've never been great with names really. The city was lively and noisy, which meant good business and good trading. I remember as I was walking with quite heated from the warm weather, a rather refreshing breeze hit me in the face, sending what hair I had backwards, as if it was water; it was a rather good feeling, as I can remember it to this day. My mother looked at me, and so she spoke for the first time that day, it was around afternoon, the sun was up in the sky. "We will be walking around to sell the metal we got." she'd say in a very stoic tone, almost emotionless, as she'd look down to me "You are free to look around and buy." a couple of Minas came out of her pockets before she'd hand them to me. I took them in a serious manner and nodded, not saying anything "Though do not wander far." she then turned around and sighed before I had any time to respond. She used to allow me roam around cities quite a bit, it was a sort of routine by now. I placed the Minas in my pockets, and started to stroll around the market stalls that surrounded and filled the plaza. The market was big, bigger than I had first expected, it was surrounding me like a huge forest, and I was in the middle. The ongoing trade between the merchants and their customers felt like bees buzzing, each trying to sell their honey to another bee, arguing which one was the better. Walking around such a marketplace is something that never gets old, something that always gives you the same feelings every time you do it. I believe this is because of how different each one of them is on their own right, yet they mostly contain the same formula. Yet it doesn’t feel so. At the time I was in need of a new journal, the one I bought two months ago had run out of space. I used to write down quite a lot at the time, I still do as you may expect. Looking around different stalls I saw different faces of different merchants, selling different products. Some of them had journals, books still waiting to be written with stories, thoughts, or imagination. I ended up in front of a stall surrounded by brown pieces of decoration; the curtain covering the stall like a mother covering its baby with fine silk was a pleasant dark brown, well-crafted leather. The seller appeared to be a fellow human, not much taller than me. His hands were rather thin and were covered with bruises and had some callous here and there, clear indication of a skillful craftsman. Looking around the stall I could tell that his expertise and merchandise was based on leather products, weather be it jackets, bags, pouches, or even journal covers. He greeted me quite welcome, even though I would appear a little boy with quite some dirt on my face from all the traveling. Most traders who’d see me like that would just turn me away, guessing I was a beggar of a sort, though this man greeted me open-heartedly. He was around his 30s, interestingly enough his hair was brown too, fitting his shop as if it was his matching outfit. After looking around his products I decided I’d buy a leather journal cover, it was rather nice and good looking. When I touched it it felt rather soft on my hand, giving it a pleasant feel, just like its looks. Though I would need a journal for it to cover, something I still did not have. So I left the stall promising Varian, that was the trader’s name, I’d come back as soon as I’d buy a journal. He let me go with a smile on his face, I could tell he believed me. My next step was to find my journal, and my best shot would be some sort of scriv merchant. I walked back into the forest of trading and started looking for a shop covered in white shades. I did so after looking around and realizing that almost every stall was colored similarly to the product they were selling; so a metal trader would have gray covers, a botanist shop would be colored green. Though I heeded that tailors, working with different colors, just set displays outside they stalls or shops, so that they were quite obvious. Wandering around, I finally came before a shop covered in white, and as I was expecting, they sold papers, scrolls, charcoal for writing, written and unwritten books, and much more. The trader this time was a High Elf. when he first saw me I could tell his suspicion towards me, taking be for some beggar most likely. I’d already gone through multiple occasions such as this, and decided to greet him using his language, “Karin’ayla!” I nodded, looking him in the eye with the most charming smile I could manage to pull off. I could tell he understood I wasn’t some beggar, not only because of me speaking his language - something I learned during my travels - but also because of the coin purse I took out and gently settled on the counter. He then appeared quite delighted, giving me a smile. At the end of our meeting I was able to haggle a price I felt was alright for a journal. It wasn’t too thin, around medium width, and was an almost perfect fit for my right pouch, which I used to keep my journals. It was just slightly smaller, though it still had enough space to last me another two or three months, taken I had something to write about. Leaving satisfied from my first purchase of the day, I turned back to Varian, who still hadn’t sold the leather journal I asked him to save for me. We then tried if my new-bought journal would fit the leather cover, and so it did. I believe it mostly did since I actually measured the size of the cover with my eyes before buying the journal, and so the journal I bought was quite fitting. “How much does it cost?” I asked him, the covered journal still on the top of the stall table. He’d offer me a smile “It would cost 20 minas” he said matter-of-factly, and the continued “Though I’ll give it to you for 15” I nodded, pleased with the price. I took out 15 Minas and paid for the cover before I placed in my pouch. After saying goodbye to the craftsman I started wandering around the market once more. An instant I found myself going too far from the rest of the caravan, I stood in an alley when I caught myself walking too far. I was lost in my thoughts at the time, thinking about my father and how he'd leave like that; so suddenly, so unreasonably, and most of all without a trace, just a note where he briefly said he went to pursue his wanderlust alone. Maybe that was true, maybe he was killed, maybe he was kidnapped, or joined another caravan, I didn't know at the time, and I still don't. So, as I was walking back I took a turn in order to get back to the alley. After taking it I found a well and heavy-armored figure standing before me. It appeared to be a man, and wasn't quite tall, a dagger lay on his hand. At first glance I understood he was waiting for me, expecting me, maybe he followed me, though he clearly was after my purse. As the man approached, I realized he was quite old, very old actually. He didn't seem to have much power in him, barely taking steps properly inside the heavy armor. I could hear him grunt a little, and say to himself, "Damn armor's too heavy!" I'd hear him frown, but then he'd get close enough that if he wished he could stab me. I did not move, something inside me told me not too, maybe it was just surprise or fear, but I did not move, I can't exactly explain why. I stood there as he approached, and placed his knife not too far from my stomach. An elderly voice could be heard coming from behind the heavy helmet"Your Minas, now" he'd say, trying to be frightening, probably more than he appeared. I decided it would be stupid to just try and escape, his dagger was close enough, and I probably couldn't hurt him due to the armor. Even if I could I probably wouldn't, I wouldn't do that. Instead I referred to speaking my way out of it, and so I made a rather surprised, yet confused face. I was not too bad at acting, you learn something like that when raised among wandering traders. "What?" I squinted my eyes and lowered my eyebrows. Even from outside the armor, I could tell his face was confused, and he was observing me. His tone grew slightly louder "What is what?" he'd ask. "What do you mean?" I replied, attempting to tailor a play of words in order to confuse him, and it seemed I succeeded, the man was quite old honestly, I still am not quite surprised to how he fell for it. "What do you mean, what do I mean?" his voice grew even louder, and due to confusion and irritation he screamed "What?!" I remained calm, still expressing fake confusion "The thing you meant when you said was mine before I asked you what?" I'd guess he was confused, for I couldn't really see his face, though he made did make pause. during this small bridge I decided to change the subject "Wait, what is that?" I'd gesture to his nose, and he'd move back. "Did you just try to touch me?" he'd take a step back, which made me realize he was really harmless, so I decided to play with it, and shook my head "No, I'm just trying to figure out what the thing on your nose is." I squinted my eyes trying to look closer, as if there was really something. There was a small opening in his helmet around his nose and upper lip, so it was rather believable, to him at least. He seemed to have fallen for it; "Where?" I then pointed to my own nose, indicating for him to look at his "Here." I'd make a small pause, not allowing him to do or say anything "It looks like blood!" I raised my eyebrows in surprise, with a hint of shock too. "Oh God! I think you're bleeding from your nose!" my voice would sound a little horrified, and so would my expression. I believe I overdid the act, though he still believed it. "Oh dear, it may be blood!" he'd start to panic a little. "I think you should check it with someone. It seems pretty bad. Or maybe the helmet is too heavy!" still in panic he'd observe me a little. "Are you trying to offend me?" he'd say, but before I could reply he continued "To hell with it!" he shook his head slightly "I knew this helmet was too damn heavy!" he'd quickly get further from me and start walking away. My plan has somehow succeeded, and I still had my money on me! Not only that, but while slowly leaving due to his heavy armor, he took the helmet off and threw below him, trying to get some weight off. The helmet was rather rusty, though a little more than half of it was still made out of some pretty fine steel. I took it, and had it as proof to tell my tale to the others. Though my mother wasn't too happy to hear I wandered too far, though she wasn't really happy anymore.