The sun rose in the crisp morning air and a gentle wind rustled the leaves outside the bedroom window where Jinx was just waking from a deep sleep. It was market day and the old dwarf was as grumpy as he usually was when he had to go to town. He stumbled out of bed, put on his trousers and headed to the kitchen where Adala was making fresh biscuits. “Good morning!” she said cheerfully placing some hot tea and a fresh biscuit on the table. “Are you all ready for market day?” Jinx just rolled his eyes sarcastically as he took a sip from his mug and replied “You know I don’t care for crowded places and all those crazy merchants tryin’ to sell me stuff I don’t need, but it’s gotta be done so I do it.” With a knowing smile on her face, Adala gently kissed his forehead and said “You take such good care of me, how can I ever thank you?” The old dwarf couldn’t help but be softened by the girl’s sweet spirit and a smile tugged at the corners of his mouth as he finished his biscuit. When he was all done he put on his wool coat, cap and boots and turned to go. As he reached the door way he stopped and watched Adala clean the breakfast dishes while humming a soft, almost haunting melody. Somewhere inside of him the feeling of fear began to wrap its cold fingers around his heart. He couldn’t understand where it came from or what he was afraid of but it was most certainly there.
After, what seemed like an eternity Adala noticed him still standing in the doorway and asked “Is everything alright, Jinx?” The old dwarf shook himself out of his contemplation, cleared his throat and replied briskly “Of course it is! I’m just movin’ slow this morning. I’ll be back soon, my dear, keep safe ‘til I return!” He walked quickly to where his donkey and cart were waiting outside, trying to forget the feelings that seemed to tug at him from some dark, unknown place. However, as he set out on his journey Jinx grew more and more troubled. His thoughts kept drifting back to that night when Adala had thrown the silver garment into the flames and begged him not to tell a soul about the special thread or the power that it possessed. He couldn’t help but wonder if maybe it wasn’t really over… if maybe talking to Grenada was really a terrible mistake. His mind swirled with so many thoughts he barely noticed the time passing and if wasn’t for a deer almost running him off the road he might have missed the turn off for the market place all together. When he finally approached his destination the hustle and bustle of the crowds began to draw his attention away from his fears and back to the task at hand. “Ho there, Jinx!” came a friendly shout from a tent directly across the road. It was Old Macintosh; a stout old man with wild gray whiskers who had been friends with Jinx for over a decade. Jinx smiled and brought the donkey to halt beside the tent. The two men greeted each other warmly and quickly got lost in conversations about the weather, the bad roads and the ridiculous food prices. They didn’t notice the well-dressed, dark-haired merchant who was now strolling by to peer inside Jinx’s cart. When his eyes fell upon the stacks of exquisitely woven blue blankets, a smile of satisfaction curled the corners of his mouth. “Hey! Can I help you?” said the gruff voice of Old Macintosh. The mysterious merchant casually turned around and said “Now Mac is that any way to talk to an old friend?” “Gitano? Why I usually only see you when you come by the shop, what brings you out to the market?” “Well, you know buyers are getting picky these days so I thought I’d come see if there was anything interesting to be found out here. I just now noticed these blankets and they are quite exquisite… I don’t think I’ve ever seen the like. Tell me where do they come from?” Poor Old Mac shifted uncomfortably and replied “Well… uh… Jinx, he brings ‘em. We uh… we don’t really know who makes ‘em… but they sure are the finest! Can I interest you in one?” Just then Jinx came up from behind and eyed the merchant suspiciously. “Who’s this?” he huffed. “Oh this is Gitano he’s one of the merchants who visits my shop every month. Gitano this is Jinx.” As Old Macintosh made the introduction Gitano smiled warmly and stretched out his hand to the dwarf. Jinx huffed again, half-heartedly shook his hand and walked to the cart to start unloading. Unruffled, Gitano turned Old Macintosh and said “You know Mac these blankets are simply too exquisite to pass up, I will just take the whole lot of them. Can you give me a good deal?” Old Macintosh’s eyes lit up under his bushy gray eyebrows and Jinx nearly dropped the blankets he was holding in his hand. Of course Macintosh made him a deal and Gitano paid an errand boy standing near-by to take all but one of the blankets to the local inn where he always stayed. Now with all his merchandise sold Jinx was grateful for the excuse to leave the market early and after saying farwell to his old friend he saddled his donkey to go home. Little did he know that following in the shadows at a safe distance behind him was Gitano, and the fears that had troubled him on his market day journey were soon to become reality.
(All content on this page is copyrighted by Angela R. Sexton, all rights reserved 2013)