Hello! It’s Friday and time for another short snippet of fiction. This week, we’re back in the marketplace, but set in the same world as Wolves of Sorrow: Shoba. It seems their disappearance has been noted by the other residents of Earth Prime.
The photo included the prompt of “What is your character looking for here? Do they find it, or do they find something else instead?” For once, I actually used the photo and prompt as given! Go me! If anyone else wants to play along, feel free to paste yours in the comments below, link to your own site, or on my Facebook page.
Luna prowled the market in search of supplies. Most of her pack had scattered throughout the busy stalls hunting the dried fruits and spices unavailable in Bright Perish. She hunted different prey.
Three nights past, traveling merchants brought word of the disappearance of the wolves of Sorrow. A hundred of her kin, including a distant cousin, just… gone. The dens not swallowed by the toxic haze stood empty, barren of personal belongings but rich with food, tools, and weapons. Except for one. Inside, a solar comm device held the history of Sorrow including a final entry detailing a distress beacon sent and answered.
Her pack’s elders cautioned hasty actions, but Luna had a younger sister. If there was a way off this desolate planet with its dying sun and failing atmospheric stabilizers, she would find it. She had to find it. That morning, the haze had taken another den of Bright Perish.
As the harsh sun faded to the promise of a cool night, she spied a junk dealer hovering on the edge of the market square. Age and sandstorms had weathered the brightly colored canopy, rust marred the weapons, the clothing hung in tatters better suited to the rag bin than a closet. She turned to leave when a basket of strange boxes caught her eye. A few had knobs, several had buttons, and all had plastic casings made fragile by time and the environment. She picked one up.
“Ancient storytelling device,” said the stall’s owner. “Very rare.”
Ten minutes, a bag of spiced nuts, and her second-best knife later, Luna carried the basket from the stall. The wires and components within these devices were worth ten times as much. An easy ten-mile lope separated Bright Perish from the nearest stabilizer. There, she’d find an intergalactic transmitter.
There, she’d find hope.