Sunday, June 28, 2015


Nestled deep within the bazaar, in amongst the crowded merchants, all selling their specialties of spices, silks, textiles, and exotic foods, there is a singular stall which only has one item for sale; one rare and mysterious artefact that is only meant for one individual, and for that individual alone.

This particular stall has existed ever since the ancient market was open, thousands of years ago, and yet it has gone unnoticed by most, staying just slightly out of view, mixed in with the much more colourful and interesting shops.

From generation to generation, the shop's owners have passed over the maintenance of the stall from father to son, mother to daughter; all through the years, waiting for its one special customer to come along and purchase its one piece of merchandise.

Leisurely strolling through the busy laneways between the rows of shops, Lance browsed listlessly, paying little attention to the shouting hawkers trying to entice him with their myriad of unique treasures not to be found anywhere else, especially not at the next booth boasting the same of an identical pot or rug.

Walking on, he almost went passed the plain and completely bare stall at which there sat an elderly man behind the empty counter staring directly at him. The uniqueness of the sparse stall was what caught his attention as it practically shone like a beacon amongst the other lavishly decorated booths.

He stopped and wandered over to the stall, trying to see what, if anything it offered. Seeing nothing, Lance asked the old shopkeeper what he was selling.

The old man beckoned him closer and Lance moved to lean in and put his hand on the counter top. With startling quickness, the leather-skin man lunged forward and grabbed his hand with a firm grip and twisted it palm up forcefully.

Lance started to protest but fell silent as the old man only traced the lines of his palm with a bony finger, muttering in a language Lance did not recognize.

With a crackling shout, the old man let go of Lance's wrist and looked into his eyes with a wild excitement. Speaking quickly and laughing gleefully, the shop keep turned to the back of his stall and opened a dusty chest that was the only thing beside a well-worn stool within the dirt-floor stall.

Lance tried to peer around him as the old man hunched over the chest but it was of no use, yet the merchant soon turn back around to him, cradling something in his arms.

As the old man brought it closer, Lance could see it was wrapped up inside a vividly coloured cloth and it was not much larger than a big grapefruit.

Looking around suspiciously to make sure there were no onlookers, the old man then solemnly and delicately unfurled the cloth to reveal a platinum orb that filled the entirety of his palm.

Motioning for Lance to take the sphere, the shopkeeper dumped its surprisingly hefty weight to Lance's awaiting hand. Regarding the smooth surface of the orb, Lance tried to think of what it could be. He looked to the shopkeeper who was grinning happily and holding up one finger to intricate the price.

Lance asked what it was and what it did, but the old man simply nodded and pointed with his one finger at the sphere and then indicated the price again.

With a shrug, Lance dug into his bag with his free hand and pulled out one coin, still looking inquisitively to the old man, and questioned the low price, but showing his lightning speed once again, the shopkeeper snatched the coin from his hand and laughed and waved as if to confirm their transaction was complete.

Further questioning only brought more nodding and waving so Lance shrugged again and turned his attention to the shining orb as he walked away from the odd little stall.

A gust of wind picked up and blew stinging sand up into his face, so Lance turned back to shield himself from the dusty onslaught only to see that the booth was no longer there.

No empty plot, no trace of it at all, only the other stalls pushing up onto one another as they had always been.

Taking a step toward where the booth had been, Lance was bumped into by a hurried delivery boy, striding quickly to his next drop off, causing the orb to drop out of his hand and onto the well-beaten ground with crack.

Bending down quickly after it, Lance picked the orb up gingerly, only to see that it had split neatly along its circumference, as if it was meant to be opened there.

Curiously, he twisted the two halves of the orb and it opened up to reveal a hand made coffee mug nestled inside the shell casing. Letting the sphere halves drop away, Lance held the well made mug by its smooth handle and read the lettering that was printed in bold block lettering with blue dye.

Unbelievingly, he stared at what seemed to be an anciently-made, yet modern designed mug which read 'Lancelot St Hoilett: World's Greatest Lover'.

Laughing to himself, Lance thought what a turn of luck, he had always wanted a mug just like it, and, until now, had not been able to find one.

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