I want to share I got my first 5-star review on Amazon for Terracotta Pomegranate! What a wonderful feeling to know my words connected with someone out there, and she noticed the birds!
The smoke here is thick, and I can’t remember the last time I saw the blue of the sky. It’s making me turn inward the way I do in winter, an early hibernation, and it’s easy to fall into depression. Thank you all for coming here to share my journey and my stories. It truly helps.
Someone cleared their throat behind Sharna. Now I’m in for it, she thought. “I’m so sorry. I know you thought I’d do the magic for you, but I can’t. I just can’t,” she said.
“Do you want to get out of here?”
It wasn’t the merchant. Sharna lifted her heavy head and looked to see who had spoken. In her muddled state, she didn’t understand at first. The woman looked familiar, but why? She didn’t know anyone…oh, it was the thief!
“You! But, your hair?”
The thief put a finger over her lips. “Hush! If she hears us, we’ll both be in for it. That wine you drank is worth more than a stuffed horse. You’ll be here murdering animals all day. Let’s get out of here.”
Sharna sniffed back her tears and stepped toward the thief’s outstretched hand.
“But what about him?” she asked.
The thief cocked her head. “The horse? Lady, I don’t care and you’ve got bigger problems.”
“I…I won’t leave without him.”
The thief burst out laughing then. “You are drunk. So be it.” Before Sharna could process what was happening, the thief had grabbed her around the waist and slung her over a bony shoulder.
“Don’t you dare scream!” She smacked Sharna hard on the backside, and the large breath Sharna had drawn to shout came out in a surprised cough instead. “If she comes back, she’ll own us both.”
Sharna let herself go heavy and limp, and smiled a bit to herself when she heard the thief grunt softly. When they emerged onto an alleyway, the thief didn’t release her. She kicked a bit and earned another smack.
“Put me down! I can walk, you know.”
“Oh, I know. But, I want you to walk with me, not away from me. I don’t trust you.”
Sharna craned her head around to try and see the thief. “You don’t trust me? I’m not the one who steals things!”
“Do I need to knock you out? Are you determined to get both of us arrested?”
Sharna froze before hanging limp again. Arrested would be bad. Would her mother ever speak to her again? When she didn’t show up at the Mansion, both her parents would disown her.
“Where are we going?”
The thief stopped walking. “I’m not actually sure. I just need to talk to you for a minute. Somewhere quiet and out of the way.”
“Put me down. I won’t run, I promise.” Her head hurt. “I don’t have anywhere to go.”
The thief attempted to put her on her feet, but the shift in weight overbalanced them both, and they fell in a tangle of arms and legs.
(See you next time!)