It’s Friday, so it’s time for another flash fiction piece. I managed to keep this one under 200 words. Go me! The image was posted in a Facebook group with the prompt of “What little stall is tucked out of the way here?”
I’m not completely happy with the piece, but I’m not sure I could change it so I’m happier with it without it becoming much, much longer. It’s not a sad one like last week, so no worries there. It’s just a shop! Come on in, and if you want to play along, tag me or post in the comments below or on the post on Facebook.
The shop had always been there. Before the days of asphalt and steel, it stood between a smithy and wainwright and offered its wares to the brave and the curious. Before cobblestones and mud bricks, it hunched on the edge of town wrapped in soothing incense and shrouded whispers. Floods couldn’t destroy it, invading armies and superstitious townsfolk couldn’t burn it down. Always, it rose like a phoenix from its ashes until it became an accepted part of the city, one more shop among many.
Today, it lurks in the background, tucked away between a vibrantly colored pavilion offering woven rugs and tapestries and a sweet-smelling stall selling candied nuts and cool drinks. It carries an eclectic mix of tchotchkes and old books, incense and essential oils. And anything else the customer needs.
Anything, if you’re willing to pay the price.
So think carefully, friend, before entering this shop. The prices are always high, always fair, but always cruel. All purchases are final, all deals are binding. No refunds. No returns. No redemption.
“Come in and be welcome. What do you need today?”