[Scene Practice | First Draft] I wrote this on a whim, for fun and to let my creative self kind of spill out onto something other than my manuscript. It’s a rough, first draft, and I’ll probably, maybe, go back over this, rewrite stuff and see where it takes me. I won’t subject anyone to the various iterations, but if it becomes something good, perhaps I will for comparative reasons.
From a wooden pipe, smoke curled and splayed out into the hanging jars of dried herbs and pickled limbs. The merchant, unbelievably fresh-faced for the age of forty-two, sat relaxed watching the wanderer pick through his wares. The merchant, with eyes squinted and mouth turned into a thin grin, inquired a second time, “You’re mission is of secrecy you said?” The wanderer nodded, her hands caressing a vial of blue liquid, she glanced at him, her orange eyes studying his own grey ones. The merchant’s grin widened, “I do love secrets, they hold power, in the right hands, magic can well from them, land can quake, plants can wither or flourish.”
The brunette warrior brought the potion to the merchant, “You’re a strange man.” She eyed up his peculiar items, “And you stock things I’ve never seen, strange… wizardry things.”
The merchant reclined and exhaled more smoke, “I’m not but a humble merchant, but, my kind hear stories and legends. Tales of the mystical, and the mundane.” He frowned, “Unfortunately, I’ll soon have to be passing through he Blackwell Marshes. Dangerous location, goblins, diretoads, and the like lurk, could use another mercenary.”
The swordsman shrugged, “Sadly, I’m not for hire, as said, I’m bound to another contract.”
The merchant finished his pipe, “Well that is a shame,” he fetched some more tobacco from a polished case, “I pay well, either in coin or in materials,” he lit his pipe, “Where did you say you were going again?” He exhaled smoke that suspiciously danced.
The swordsman shut her eyes in frustration, “I told you, it’s confidential. I will not betray my employer.”
The merchant frowned, “Well, fine, fine,” He then beamed, stretching his limbs, “To business then!” He took the potion from her, “Hm…? What would you have use of this? You’re no mage.”
She leaned forward, “Never-mind that, what is it’s cost? No price was labeled.”
He tapped the potion, “That’s because this rarity is worth more than you have.” She glared. He waved a hand, “Calm, calm, I can give this to you, if you tell me the secret.”
She turned from him, “I’ll find someone else.”
He called, “Fine! Wait!” she did. He slumped forward, “Another price then? If you join my trek, you can have this potion-you-cannot-use.” She didn’t move for a time. He contorted his face in defeat. No good then, this little Sword-Swinger must not quite like me, is it my smile?
“Fine.” She returned with one her black gloved hands outstretched. He pulled the potion back from her, “No no, not yet. When you have reasonably accommodated me you can have this potion. After all, what good is it if I give you it now? You wouldn’t show. I leave in three days.”
She folded her arms, “Three days, Strawman? That’s far too long. My mission doesn’t have three days to wait.”
His patience thinned, “Pushy woman. Fine. Two days?” she glared. “We’re on another’s scheduled as well, Tempress.”
She folded her arms, “Fine, Merchant.”
“Please, Felix, Miss. Swordsman.” He outstretched a ringed and scarred hand. She didn’t take it. He dropped it with a smile, squinting his eyes, “If all proceeds from this point on accordingly, we will leave, the day after tomorrow, at dawn. Please, await at Wheatwell’s Inn.” She made to leave. He called, “No name for you then? Shall I call you the Glaring Swordswoman?”
She looked over her shoulder at him for a spell before leaving his caravan and disappearing into fogging city depths.
[Scene Practice | First Draft]