KC entered the Bazaar with a sense of anticipation or, more precisely, of appetite. She was ready to rock. The stalls were set up, the day’s business begun and her mission, as always, was to come out on top.
She started in the tchotcka aisle. No sense in hitting the high-end stuff too soon. Nice stuff here and there but nothing to crow about. Still, she came out the other side with money in her pocket and her pack no lighter than before. She bought, she sold, she traded. Gossip, as always, was free but you had to watch what might come back later to bite you. But knikknaks were always easy. Lots of newbies in the trade in that line. The smart one’s traded up, the dumb ones left the game.
The next aisle was gadgets, her favorite. There was always some new toy that the techno-heads couldn’t live without even if they didn’t know it yet. She had a few strategic allies on this aisle who could be relied upon to make sure she had a chance to make the pitch, but not too many. This was a churn-and-burn aisle, too but that was the nature of the product – lots of fun, bright lights and pretty pictures but don’t buy in too far – it won’t last. Again, the money flowed in and on she went.
As she munched on falafel and black coffee, KC thought about that last maxim. “Don’t buy in too far.” It had been a while since she’d made that mistake… but when she did, it was a doozy. Ah, well, credit under the bridge. Time to finish cleaning up this joint before the next ship headed out of port. She’d heard a rumor that there was something extraordinary in the Jewelers Circle, right at the center of the Bazaar.
Nothing extraordinary, nice but not fabulous. Leaving the Circle she glanced over and saw a new little shop, a bit shabby, obviously a traveling salesman like herself but with an actual booth to sell out of. Hey, what do you have? Anything unusual? Necklaces? Not precious stones but attractive…
And there it was. Or at least part of it. She’d been looking for that for years. It stopped her for a moment -But you can’t let them see you choose. How much for the whole tray? That much? Really? I woudn’t have thought…. But maybe you might want to trade a bit? The dance went on and finally the deal was made. KC carefully packed the necklaces away, all but one, and gave the dealer her thanks. “I’ll wear this one myself – and be sure to let folks know where you are”.. standard line… smooth exit.
The seller didn’t see the glow. Didn’t see the “stone” disappear. KC left the Bazaar, happier and bit older. She’d had a good day. It wasn’t every-day you got a chance to buy back a piece of your soul.