The Trader-Chapter One-The Trader

Fiction By Erin // 12/19/2009

The Trader Chapter one A man stood in shadows, waiting. Waiting for whom? Passers-by would wonder. He was a mysterious, striking figure. Tall and lanky, bearing a long cloak and a hat with a peacock feather.

The dark alleyway in which he stood was filthy and smelled of decay. Mice scurried about, squealing and chattering, and yet the man still did not move. Soon it was night, and the man still stood. Had that filthy lowlife gotten the jitters? He wondered. He stepped forth, towards the front of the alleyway. Ugh, the putrid scent! It was so like Pickingsworth to choose a place like this to meet. Then, he heard a familiar voice. A deep, gruff laugh came about, and his hand moved compulsively to his side. He felt around a bit, and then a sigh of relief escaped. His bejeweled knife hilt—stolen straight from the elves themselves—still rested in its case, if needed.

He shuddered slightly. A trader shouldn’t need to carry a knife. Or use it. Ah, there he was. “Ah, Collins!” bellowed a big bellied man. He was squat, and his face looked shiny in the dark. Collins could see his eyes darting from side to side nervously even in the darkness. Collins smirked.

“Pickingsworth,” he said, stepping forward to greet the man. “I know from your punctuality that you have eagerly,” he put particular emphasis on the word, “been awaiting me, but I must request that you quiet yourself before the entire village awakes.”

Pickingsworth’s eyes looked anxiously at the ground, and Collins noticed a drop of sweat fall and splash to the stone alleyway floor. A mouse scurried by. “O-of course, Collins,” he mumbled.

Collins smiled, then rubbed his hands together in apparent eagerness. “Then we should certainly get to business, now?”

Pickingsworth lifted his head. “Yes,” he said quietly, solemnly. “Now, did you get the ring?”

Collins nodded. “Did you expect any less of me? I’ve stolen from giants, fairies and elves, and you thought I couldn’t steal from a simple queen? I tell you, sir, that woman has no brains. I swear they’ve been taken over by diamonds and silks.”

Pickingsworth laughed nervously. “You’d best watch your tongue. Now, please do hand off the ring.”

Collins stared. “I shall hand off the ring after you pay me what you promised,” he said in a low, dangerous voice.

Pickingsworth began twiddling his thumbs, and took a sudden interest in the mouse skeleton that lay off in a corner nearby.

Collins waited patiently for a couple more minutes before speaking again. “Pickingsworth? Do you have my reward?” he asked. He tried to sound casual, but he felt his temperature rising.

“Erm…..” the huge man looked up with frightened tears in his eyes. In a breathy, terrified voice, he spoke. “P-please, p-please, have m-m-mercy! I l-lost all my g-gold. St-stolen by some scoundrel!” at this, he began to sob and collapsed at Collins’s feet.

Collins’s nose wrinkled in vague disgust as he stepped back. If he were a good man, he would be helping Pickingsworth to his feet. If he were a good man, he would comfort him and say he had never harmed a fly. If he were a good man, he wouldn’t be in this alleyway. “Get up!” Collins hissed. “You heard me, rise!” Sniveling like some small child, Pickingsworth heaved his great body to his feet. He looked pitiful. His eyes were red and bloodshot, and tears streaked his face. His great, blubbery legs shook with effort of standing. At the last moment, Collins took pity on him.

“I’ll give you another chance,” he growled.

Pickingsworth’s eyes grew and refilled with tears. “Oh, thank you! You great man, thank you!” he made to go down and kiss his robes, but Collins briskly backed away.

“Stay up, fellow. You must work to re-earn my trust! You must assist me on my missions, so to speak,” said Collins with malice. In all truth, he had never trusted the fool to keep his promise, but no matter. He was sure that Pickingsworth would surrender to help him out of sheer terror. He wasn’t sure what the man could help him with, but he would find something out.

Pickingsworth stared at him. “C-Collins, are you sure that is…er…reasonable?” he stuttered.

Collins’s eyebrows arched up under his hat. “Yes, I am most certainly sure. You have to pay, Pickingsworth, before I’ll ever even consider giving you the queen’s ring. If you refuse, no matter. I can always simply keep the ring to myself…..” Collins glanced absentmindedly to Pickingsworth’s face, which had gone paper white, and smiled contentedly. He had him now.

“I’ll do it!” Pickingsworth breathed. Collins turned around and offered out a gloved hand. “Then, my comrade, we have a deal.” Pickingsworth shook the hand, and without further ado, Collins exited the scene.

Comments

Sorry if the paragraphs were

Sorry if the paragraphs were off. The posting thing was being weird!

Erin | Sun, 12/20/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

I am awaiting the next

I am awaiting the next chapter anxiously. :)

Maethorwen (not verified) | Sun, 12/20/2009

I'm glad you like it! I'm

I'm glad you like it! I'm working out what is going to happen next. I have a couple of ideas....

Erin | Sun, 12/20/2009

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond