Summer Day -- Mhed
I didn’t see the crone again the next day. Which was fine, but it meant I had to scrounge up my own breakfast. Hunting through the shack revealed little in the way of stores and what I did find was as spoiled as my appetite.
Water. Water will have to cut the rumbling in my stomach, and then I'd best find somewhere else to get food. Which will cost more coin I don't have. Patting my too light purse I sigh at the feel of the child's toy. Maybe I could sell it? Gods what morbid pleb would buy this?
Heading into the pale winter dawn with my travel cloak pulled tight, I made my way to the market plaza. I'd heard the shouts of commerce yesterday when on patrol but the scale was still shocking.
People everywhere, running to and fro, shouting and calling. There were animals too! Cattle, sheep, pigs and even birds all trapped in pens and led sounds by plebs. The cacophony was disorienting and I was only at the edge. Hugging myself tightly under my cloak I watch a butcher casually transform a pig into pork while a pleb stands impatiently chatting. Turning away I stagger a bit, catching myself on the corner of a wall at the mouth of an alley. Maybe… maybe I shouldn't. There were too many people.
Suddenly I feel a rough hand on my back, an unfamiliar weight pressing me to the wall. I freeze as the heavy voice growls, "Nice and slowly now little girl, give me the purse and you'll keep that pretty face."
My heart already thundering in my chest, everything seems to take forever. He'd grabbed me from behind, one hand on my spear the other pressed to my head. His breath smelled of cheap wine, and voice sounded like a wheezing bellow. A moment later I felt him growl next to my ear even as he shoved me against the stone and began to paw through the cloak, "Come on!"
Reflex took over, an elbow slamming back to strike him in the gut, another two scrambling for purchase on the wall to shove. The wash of sour breath and a curse was followed by a jab that saw my head bashed against the stone but he'd been unseated. Dazed by the grit and tasting blood I managed to twist around and lay into him with a blow or three that sent him staggering. Trying to scrub my blurry vision clear, I level the spear as he pales and trips backwards. His wheezing voice now climbs with panic, "M-Monster!"
Glancing around the smaller side street causes my head to swim, we were alone but… Pulling the cloak closed once more I turned from the drunk and fled back toward the shack, away from this market and it's crowds. I had nothing to show for my hunt save a bump on my head, an empty belly and accusations ringing in my ear.