Writing Excuses 10.5: The Market - Noble

Writing Excuses 10.5 writing prompt: Take three different characters and walk them through a scene. Convey their emotional states, their jobs, and their hobbies without directly stating any of those. The scene in question: walking through a marketplace, and they need to do a dead-drop.


The market is not a place in which I usually find myself.

It is noisy and rife with chaos, the throngs pressing into one another all along the way.

Yet today I find myself in unusual circumstances, descending into those very same masses.


Night before last, I received a most unusual package, dropped upon my doorstop with nary so much as note or notice. Not even a courier, one whom I could ask from where the package originated.

It was a simple box, as white as new fallen snow, with a thin red line running around the summit of the sides. Neither a style nor material to which I was accustomed.

At my word, my manservant Johanas sliced the box across the top in a single smooth motion, lifting two thick flaps to either side so that I might gaze at the contents therein.

Imagine then my surprise, when inside of the box I found but three smaller packages, each in a more traditional brown wrapping paper, tied with a piece of twine and sealed with wax. Lying on top of the three of them, a piece of thick parchment, waxy to the touch.

Said letter contained only three lines, in a thin spidery hand I had never before seen:

Deliver to Temple of Acbris before sunfall, three days hence

Failure to comply and your indiscretions shall become common knowledge

Do not send Johanas. Go yourself.

It was unsigned, the only identifying mark a curving line, two figures inside of one another, like an arrow in flight.

Imagine, a Lord of the House of Sarane being treated in such a manner.

Yet the mysterious author of the note knew too much. Knowing that dear Johanas would be the one with me when I opened the package; Johanas, who I of course would have been inclined to dispatch in my stead.

And my … indiscretions.

Yes. I of course would have to send the packages.

But one never said that I would have to carry all three.


For the first of the three, I hired a child of the street. I saw immediately from the look on his face that he would do his job and return. And all for a pair of silver marks. Pocket change.

The second, I handed to a golem. Dependable lot that. More expensive than the child, but dependable. The letter had been unclear on what would be the outcome were only one or two of the packages delivered.

The last, I took myself.

I had a carriage of course, pulled by a pair of mechanical steeds. Johanas drove, at my insistence. The letter had said that I must go myself, but who else might I trust to this endeavor?

There was only a momentary pause, halfway across the market. A crunching sound and a few quick screams. I called out to Johanas, asking what might be the matter, but he said only not to worry, that he would have me on my way in no time and all. And off we went, true to his word.

At the far end of the market, I for a moment considered handing Johanas the package to place at the foot of the pyre, rather than risking my own person. I had come this far; I would see it through.

And then it was done.

We parked the carriage off down the block, to allow Johanas a vantage point by which to observe the other two deliveries. He claims the boy made it first, placing his package without a second glance.

Then the golem, a few minutes later.

That surprised me somewhat, I must admit, that the young lad could outrun the steady determination of a golem. Johanas assured me though, that both packages were delivered in excellent form, joining my own.

And now I must hope only that the mysterious author of the letter too keeps his word. If not, well… Then perhaps I will ask Johanas to find them. Teach them precisely the meaning of the word indiscretion.

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