Friday, November 08, 2013
New Beginning 1017
Gwinn breathed a sigh of relief when the shop finally came into view. She’d run the entire way from her village, almost a quarter of a day’s journey. A quick glance at the sun told her she was ahead of schedule. Still, she couldn’t stay long. Her parents thought she was in the orchards and would expect her home for lunch. If she arrived late, they would ask questions.
She slowed to a light jog as she made her way down the hill, the faint path merging into the wide and well-worn road. The shop sat about twenty feet back from the road, leaning slightly to the left as if it were tired. It was actually more of a glorified shack attached to an even smaller shack meant to be a home, but it was the only shop Gwinn could reach by foot. As she approached, she noted two unfamiliar horses. Good. The last thing she wanted was to encounter anyone from her village. They could ruin the surprise. She opened the heavy door and walked inside.
Although she hadn’t been there in several years, it smelled just as she remembered – sweet, like the hard candies that glittered in glass jars along the wall, mixed with dried rosemary and sage. She paused in the doorway.
Two strangers sat at tables near the register, presumably waiting for the inscrutable shopkeeper to appear with their orders. Was that Gwinn's order on the counter? She peered into the bag. "Dammit!" The Mu shu pork had congealed into a solid mass! And the lo mein was cold. Who knew "ten minute" really meant ten minutes? Now her family would start asking hard questions, like Where's the duck sauce and spicy mustard? What was the point of surprising them with take-out if this was the result? She searched the bag. Ah-ha! Saved! At least they'd remembered the fortune cookies.
Opening: Alice.....Continuation: Kregger