Thursday, February 10, 2011
The First Customer
Peering into one of two large multi-paned opaque windows, she sees that the souk is dimly lit on the inside, further adding to what mysteries that lay within. Standing in the dry stillness of the alleyway, she reaches for the door and pulls the horn on the dragon-head shaped knob and opens the shop’s sturdy entrance. Immediately upon opening, sweet smells of cigar smoke and incense waft into the alleyway. Lingering a bit to savor the aroma, she enters the souk and allows the door to close behind her. The door makes not a sound. Within, the red glow that hinted the alleyway with pale light radiates from dozens of red tapers sculpted into the shape of dragons, their flame- like long dancing tongues.
Within her new surroundings, handsome wooden shelves, stout round tables and clear glass cases contain a multitude of items of interest to her; from oils, elixirs and dusts to magic wands, small ornate weaponry and scrolls. Time seems to stand still. Suddenly, from all round her the candle flames flare, dazzling her for just a moment. When she recovers, she sees a red, terrible figure had materializes silently from the rear of the souk. Or was he always there and just escaped her notice? The woman steeled herself at the appearance of such an unsettling and unexpected arrival.
“Welcome,” It said in a deep other-worldly but very draconic voice, flames licking the corners of his wide jaws while smoke wafts from his nostrils. “How can I be of service?”
“I was told this is where I could get some ink…”