She put on a dress, the old one that Thsay said made her pretty, with the black and the silver and the way it flared when she turned and was straight when she didn’t.  She worked for an hour on her hair, then gave up like she usually did and brushed it so it at least wasn’t tangled.  She even reattached the jewelry to her face tendrils, posing with them just so to make sure that everything was absolutely perfect. 

Then, she picked up her cloak, the ornate one with the silver thread and the hood and the fur lining and settled it around her shoulders, trying a few quick steps to make sure everything was still swishy.

It was.  She bounced in place.  Then, carefully – she scooped up the ratty basket and… headed to the market.

She loved the market in Stormwind.  She always had.  All the people and the massive gates and the cheese shop and the nice man who kept insisting she needed wine when she didn’t and the auction house with so many coming and going and all the life.  The living.

So many humans everywhere.  Laughing and hugging and families and… 

She touched the firey amulet in its choker at her neck, and … entered the crowd.  

They pressed around her, ignoring her as she clopped her way over the cobblestones.  “I am sorry, yes?”  SHe tried a smile – and got one in return.  One boisterus fellow in paladin garb clapped her shoulder by way of apology after he’d helped her pick up the apples that had spilled out of her basket, and pointed her in the direction of the spice stand just off of the canals.  

She was warm.  There… weren’t any looks, or people making way, or a sort of bubble where people paled and whispered after she passed.  Children ignored her as she went by.  One dwarf even swatted her on the rear end and she relished haranguing him in Draenic and shaking her fist at him while he laughed.

She was… warm.  And nobody put things under the counter or pulled their children under their cloaks and hustled away.   SHe could -touch- people.  Accidentally.  People jostled her.  It was…

It was perfect.  Glorious.  She couldn’t stop smiling.  

She decided she’d shop more today.  Maybe listen to a bard.  Did bards still play?  There was a tavern once…  she remembered that that’s what people did to listen to bards.  THey drank things and people sang.  Maybe the one in old town?  With the dwarves?  That would be perfect.  Perfecter.  

Was perfecter a word?  She’d ask Ygraine. 

Abruptly, and with some surprise on the part of the poor guardsman, she hugged a guard.  Hard. “… thank you.  Yes?  Thank you.”  

“Miss?  You’re.  I can’t breathe?  Uh – “

“She will like cookies, yes?  Oh!  I will make her favorite – Yes.  Definitely.  There will be pie!”

“… sure?  I.  Can I help you find something, miss?”

“No!  ANd it is wonderful, yes?”

And she clopped away – her cloak swishing, just so.

Author Aunne
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