The sound of chimes and the hum of several languages fill the perfumed air. She breathes deeply and her senses dance with the warmth of vanilla and the tang of lemon balm. With a sure hand, she strokes the luxurious fabrics the weaver has set before her - fine wool, brocade shot with silver, and silk like angel wings. It’s a fine morning to browse the marketplace, greeting the merchants and sampling the delicacies in the food stalls. She is planning a gathering. Their friends will enjoy her rich hospitality, but they’re really there for the company and the after-dinner entertainment. As the finest storyteller in the city, her guests will forget the sweet wine and the perfectly spiced dishes when they lose themselves in the tale of the ill-fated lovers who may - or may not - escape the jealous duke and his sorceress companion.
These days, she has a satisfying purse of gold nestled in the folds of her skirts. The vendors in this marketplace have done well and so they have supported her husband, the master glassblower who makes vials for their potions and windows for their homes. And it’s not just his money she’s spending. Now that she is a celebrated teller of tales, she’s being paid handsomely to amuse and enchant at the wealthiest households in the region.
Everyone in the square seems to glow with the contentment of enough and even the glow of plenty. There is news of strife and famine abroad, and she knows she’d see hollow faces if she entered the shadowy alleyways. She’ll leave an offering with the priestesses at the temple - she trusts them to put the coins in the hands of those who need it. Next week she will stay a while and offer the needy her stories. For surely, a person needs a good story as much as he or she needs bread.
But today, There is enough in this little world of theirs to sustain every creative source and to leave some extra besides for those who haven’t yet found their way into the collective bounty of the marketplace.