The market sellers called their unintelligible persuasions, trying to sell her things she didn’t want or need; old toys, used shoes, dodgy DVDs. In Winter, the early darkening of the sky causes the traders to call well into what feels like night, causing an odd sense of disorientation. The orange streetlights filled the wet gutters with gold that sparkled, shimmered and shattered as her boots broke the surface of the water. The few shoppers still around gave her curious, nervous glances; she rewarded them with a shark-like grin that caused an involuntary recoil.
A homeless man muttered to her from beneath the red brick archway leading to the town hall.
“Spare any change?”
She threw him a twenty and that smile and made to walk away.
“Well... th-thank you, Miss...?”
“Fortune.” She threw back over her shoulder, leaving the old man huddled under his worn red blanket to wonder, exactly what kind of little girl walks the streets alone at this time, handing out that kind of money?
She thought about crossing the paved road to the fountain that sat at the centre of town hall square. She remembered it being a different colour when it was installed. She turned left instead, taking another left at the Starbucks and stopping at the end of a long, wide, grey street lit with tall colour-changing lights the council had installed for no real reason. Gallowtree Gate? She chuckled, What a lovely image.
Now... where’s the nearest Chinese?
By: Aimi Jeffs, Dmu.