Basket in hand, Leafsong hummed tunelessly to herself as she clambered up the crumbling stone steps of Discount Groceries, pushing her way inside the crowded shop-front. Although the shop, located in a tucked-away corner of the Old Town, was not the most convenient location to buy food (being on the opposite side of the city from the Park), it had the lowest prices; and for low prices, she was more than prepared to walk a little further.

There hadn’t been an quake since the previous evening, the tremor hitting just as she and her mate had been preparing for bed. They had fallen together into the shelter which had been rapidly constructed beneath the stairs, bringing the hanging door curtain down with them. Only Mirae and Analith had been woken up, both of them sitting up dozy-eyed in their shared crib. The twins, slumbering beside them, had barely noticed the shuddering.

Leafsong slung the blanket onto her other arm, pushing her way through the crowd (mostly human) gathered before the counter. Ruptured water pipes and interrupted delivery schedules had led to mild panic and mass buying; and tonight it seemed as if the entirety of Stormwind’s poorer population had flocked to Discount Groceries to stock up. Fortunately, the less than salubrious owner had means of obtaining goods other than through the disrupted official channels. An ageing human woman, her face lined with wrinkles like a young girl peering through a lattice window, sniffed at various lumps of cheese. A paladin, looking somewhat uncomfortable, stood restlessly beside a pretty priestess. The golden-haired woman was surreptitiously inspecting bottles of cheap wine, eyes flickering nervously.

Clutching a bunch of rather battered bananas in her hand, Leafsong gazed at the rabble before her and briefly contemplated popping them straight into her basket. Her hand hovered for a moment, before she decided against it. She wasn’t willing to risk being banned from the cheapest food source in the city. Scowling as she surveyed the dented pyramid of tins, she raised her voice to call across to a harassed shop clerk.

“Where soup? Where soup?”

The man, whose hair was practically standing on end, jerked his thumb towards the stairs. Leafsong nodded, making good use of her bony elbows as she navigated through the crowd, her jaw set. Nearly losing a sandal as she tripped on the first step, she caught her breath sharply. Was it a tremor that had caused her to stumble, or a wave of nausea-induced dizziness? She was terrified of getting sick. Pausing on the bottom step, she tucked a dirty curl behind her ear, completely still. The ground remained solid beneath her, and she clambered up the rest of the stairway with trepidation. The building, as if reflecting its contents, was shabby and cheaply built; the upper storey almost seemed an afterthought, tacked on with nails and string.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Aphel said,

    I love seeing you describe how Leafsong shops, and where she shops … [Continued in Part 2]

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