Fairytale for the lonely heart, chapter 99

Anneli followed Castor and the others deep into the streets of Pyropolis. His cape was taken away and he was given a pale yellow cloak of thin paper fabric. Everyone’s clothes were clothes were changed to make it easier to blend in. Helen was not happy about her black coat being confiscated but she changed as well. Anneli watched the people, the markets and buildings. Everything was new and strange. The streets were bustling and crowded despite the heavy humid air and the blistering sun. Many people passed, bumping into him as they did but they did not pay him any attention. Anneli’s cloak lacked a hood but he got no more than a passing glance from the people around him. The market was filled with a myriad of colours. The fruits and vegetables shined like cut gems, the silk fabrics were hung in rows or folded in toppling towers. The people like their stalls were different shades from black to sepia  to pale golden while in his own country the people were various pale shade of pink. Castor held Anneli’s hand firmly but was pulled out of the crowds by an overzealous merchant.

“Sir, would you care to look at some of my products. They come all the way from the yellow continent.”

The tented table had various items in no particular order. Silk necklaces, rings, embroidered bed spreads and wooden boxes with painted enamel lids. The merchant looked wealthy. Unlike most, he wore vibrant red shirt and several golden rings on his thick fingers.

“Sorry sir, I am not interested,” replied Castor, pulling up the collar of his shirt to cover his face.

“What about a collar for your demon?” asked the man, picking up a silk beaded necklace.

“No, sorry,” muttered Castor and returned to the river of people.   When Castor and Anneli reached the hotel Pollux and Helen were waiting impatiently. Pollux pushed them inside and lead them to their room.

“I’m going back to the palace, you best leave by tomorrow morning before the guards do their rounds.”

“The horse in the stables, it was a rental.”

“Hmm..” grunted Pollux, “I’ll have it brought in the morning. If you return to the palace father will get suspicious.”

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