Shopping with Mages
(and why you shouldn’t EVER take a mage shopping…)
[Picks up where Button Holed left off]
Water swirled past, sails lay slack and gathered,
rowers plied their oars moving the trireme
down the River Nirthal. Winter withered
what autumn left behind, a color scheme
spare and dark where naked trees stood sleeping
the winter’s sleep, dreaming of greening spring days.
What the hell was he doing here standing
’round staring as trees slide by in a daze?
Roped into a shopping trip despite doubts
about the holiday they went to shop–
“Do you know what this Christmas day’s about?”
“No school that day,” Miren let his crutch drop.
Not the answer Sarn’d sought as the mountain
neared and with it, today’s destination.
~ ~ ~
His sixth sense kept track of the boy scribbling
away, his elbow anchoring papers.
“Look! Look!” Ran crowed and held up a drawing.
Sarn’s likeness cast in graphite and paper,
Miren smirked in three-quarter view, a sketch
of Sarn’s family. “This is amazing,”
Sarn looked at his son, who smiled, then he fetched
Miren’s crutch, handed it to his staring
brother as a stone quay hove into view.
A zigguarat parked before a mountain.
Crowds mobbed its steps and disappeared from view
into the complex, into the mountain.
Sarn donned a light tight blindfold to confine
his eyes’ glow, as his party joined the line.
~ ~ ~
Pollen struck his nose as they passed florists’
arranging Christmas wreaths, which Ran described
fascinated by the beribboned twists.
Ethanol scented the air, someone ribbed
a brewer as they moved through the market.
Vociferate hawkers hawking fabric
from artificial roofs, frocks of velvet,
psychedelic washbasins and broomsticks
that fly, all on offer from ateliers.
The din and the mob made Sarn want to bolt,
but he did stay despite the crush that day.
His magic kept tabs on the all the adults.
He’d promised to accompany Nolo’s
family, so he carried their cargo.
~ ~ ~
Sarn’s sixth sense tracked Inari in the shop,
his brother and Nerule perusing books,
his son sticking close, narrating the shops,
enjoying an audience that couldn’t look.
Ran watched his father’s magic flare, its sphere
expand, wash the market in green that traced,
licked the crowded stalls, leaped over aisles, sheared
through stone walls and made Papa’s heartbeat race.
Not good, Ran signaled Inari to go.
Papa’s magic was straining his control.
Plates rattled, glasses crashed, dust rained down, though
none touched Ran in his magic, shielded bowl.
Ran backed up, the mountain shook and the ground
wobbled, shoppers fled, Ran shouted, “inbound!”
~ ~ ~
Sarn sensed knives, were they concealed? In plain view?
Some shoppers were armed with blades, but for who?
He counted the weapons, widened the view,
cast his magic further at thirty-two.
Bone knives, stone shivs, obsidian daggers,
bows and quivers, short swords, crossbow? Really?
Are any peace tied? A shiv man swaggered
towards Inari, intending to bully?
Don’t talk to her, keep moving, keep your knife
in your pocket, preferably banded.
Her husband asked me to protect his wife.
Step back or be magically backhanded.
Sarn juggled parcels, his magic crested ’till
Ran’s voice pulled him back and everything stilled.
~ ~ ~
The story continues in Beloved and the Trouble with Magical Security.
Follow Sarn’s Advent Journey
Second sonnet/stanza was inspired by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Wordle #89 and I am very thankful for the words for the market! Also, since the piece contains lots of fallacies, Poetry Rehab 101 – Fallacy.