Make Belief Studios ~

February 2, 2008

chapter 01

Filed under: 02, Gilded Providence, Story, WIP — Tags: , , , — Saturday @ 1:35 pm

The start of the second book now. Things should get a lot more interesting! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy it!

Crowds clamored incomprehensibly. Our feet stomped hard against the rough and dusty road. People packed together as if we were products being shipped from an assembly line, cushioned in our own clothes. Tall, shiny soldiers peered down as I passed through the gates of the great outer wall of the city. On the other side, the market place dazzled.

What a great place! Everything’s so big and busy! Clothes, food, toys, books, machines! Wow! This place has it all!
Unfortunately, I did not. My pockets were as empty as-
Wait a minute…
I felt my palms around the outside of my pockets. At least one of them had something in it! Excitedly, I pressed my fingers into the lip on my blouse’s side. False alarm. I still had that branch tiara I made a couple days ago at Tremarch’s place. It had lost most of its green leaves though. I exhaled my breath of anticipation and placed the tangle of twigs back into my pocket.
At least it feels like something’s there. I wonder if the Royal Honey Tremarch gave me is worth anything. It shouldn’t be called ‘Royal’ if it can’t at least get me a night in a decent hotel.

I continued to weave through the crowd down the main street of the city. The crowd began to disperse as I moved away from the entrance gate but the stores were still bustling and money or not, I didn’t have any interest of being anywhere else at the moment. As I walked down the street, I passed a pet store, a bakery, and what seemed to be a consulting service of some kind. This was definitely the capital city. The rest of the land seems so solitary and spacious compared to this place.

So many different places and people were around. Above the store tops I could see the white castle looming with many multi-colored flags rolling and whipping about in the wind. On the ground, people of many different cultures and professions intermingled. Warriors in arms, exotic foreigners in bright clothes, magicians with tall staffs, walking in and out of stores, entertaining local children, and trying to meet their daily needs. I couldn’t help but stare at a dog faced fellow as he exited a music shop carrying a lyre.

Alright! Items of importance: Money. Following that I can get a bite to eat and a hotel to stay at.
Getting money can take time, so I was prepared to sleep outside for a night or two, but hopefully I could find some loose change before I started picking garbages for food.
I guess I’d better see how much this Royal Honey is worth. If that doesn’t work, I guess I could find a cafe or something to work at. People are always willing to give big tips to cute girls such as myself!
I strode along optimistically into a nearby trinket and antique store.

“May I help youuu?” a lingering, condescending tone came from across a trinket covered counter. A scrawny man with long eyelashes and slicked back hair peered down the sides of his large nostrils at me.
“Ummm, yes! Do you do trades?” I appealed.
“Dreadfully difficult to do business here if I didn’t. No one seems to carry the king’s currency around here,” he stated flatly.
“What’s the currency?”
“Yes, gumdrops.”
That sounds amusing. I wonder if this guy is alright in the head?
“Personally, I work with gold, but that’s the beauty of bartering, it doesn’t really matter what the official currency is. So, what do you offer? What do you want?”
“Oh!” I recollected myself, “this-” I raised the leather strap with the little capsule from around my neck, the man let out a wild high pitched gasp with his fingers braced at the sides of his mouth and startled me.
“Theif!” he said.
“You stole that capsule! Right from under my nose!” the man pointed at a turn table style rack covered in miniature capsules identical to the one I was holding. Awkwardly, the rack was behind him and out of my reach.
Well, it’s a big nose to do it under.
“I did not, I just came in here! You were watching me the whole time!”
“I don’t know how you did it! I just know that you have one of my capsules and I’ve never seen you before! I never forget the face of a paying customer!”
“Well, how much is it?” I asked.
“Two piece.” I made a face. I suspected Tremarch would have been so cheap. This man, apparently, was even cheaper! Unfortunately that was two pieces more than I had on me.
“Look, I didn’t steal it. It was a gift! Besides, it’s already full with Royal Honey!” I raised the necklace and waved it in front of the man’s disturbed face. “I couldn’t steal it then fill it right in front of you, now could -” A hand from behind me grasped the shoulder of my waving arm firmly. I jumped a little.
“With what?” The man asked disbelievingly.

I slowly turned my head to see who had grabbed me. I reared my head over my shoulder, but there was no one there. I followed the hand on my shoulder down a chubby arm. Lower. Lower. There! Beneath a large puff of fluffy red hair was a stout old woman who’s height immediately reminded me of Tremarch. She frowned and plucked the dangling capsule from my grasp then gave it a couple of sniffs.

“She did not steal it, Jeregald. I gave it to her and I would appreciate it if you didn’t accuse my niece of such things!” the peculiar woman stated boldly. The man, “Jeregald”, seemed to have fallen back on one of his feet. He blinked a couple of times before blurting out:
“Forgive me, madam! I had no idea she was a relation to one as esteemed as yourself!” I stood there blankly. If I could have gotten my capsule back I probably would have backed right out of the store and ran away, but the old lady clasped it firmly between her claw like fingernails.
“And you, young girl,” she threw the necklace back at me, “have a lot to learn about the elegance involved in being a lady!” I was shocked, but quickly changed this to an annoyed expression. Then the woman grabbed me by the wrist and pulled me from the store. The man behind the counter just looked distressed as he attempted to recompose himself by retucking his hair behind his ears.

Once we were out of view from the store owner I tried to pull away from the hags grip. She just tugged me closer.
“Where are you taking me lady?”
“You can’t just go flashing Royal Honey around like that!” she hissed. “I’m taking you to the castle!”
“Are you gonna turn me in?” I hissed back, trying to hide my concern under my breathe.
“Of course not! You owe me!” The lady sneered as she led me through a set of gates leading into the large green and white courtyard of the castle, bowing my back with every step she got ahead of me. “You’re going to model for me!”


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