Chapter 30: No day un-ruined
By Whitney Emeigh
Adette’s hand shook slightly as she turned her hand over and let the silver piece fall into the outstretched hand of Tarn. He smirked but didn’t give anything away. His perfectly sculpted eyebrows rose and his thin lips mocked her with a knowing smile. How could she have been so stupid to think that he wouldn’t have his hands in the workings of Swynton?
“I wonder, Sir.” Adette swallowed the lump that had perched itself at the top of her throat. “Do you ever get any rare types of herbs or seeds?” Tarn chuckled low in his throat.
“I suppose I do every so often, but lately that sort of thing has been a bit hard to find. Of course, I can always find some things for a fee, but I’d need to know what you’d be looking for first.” Adette swiped her things off of the table and scowled.
“I didn’t have any one thing in mind. I just wanted to know if there was a possibility.”
“There is a possibility of a great many things if one only asks,” Tarn replied with a smirk. He rearranged his table even though nothing seemed out of place. Adette took in a deep breath and was about to say something nasty when Lana took hold of her arm and yanked her away.
“I hope you’ve finished because you’ve absolutely got to see this!” Lana had looped her arm through Adette’s and was steering her away from Tarn’s stall. One last glance showed Adette that he was watching with the same self-satisfied smirk he’d worn the last time she’d seen him. What could he possibly want with this tiny town? What could he possibly gain?
Lana pulled the two of them through the crowd. Several older ladies complained shooting nasty looks in their direction, but Lana didn’t seem to notice. She deposited the two of them somewhere to the front of the crowd. Adette could feel Tarn’s bright eyes burning into the back of her head, but she chose not to look back.
“Oh, here they come.” Lana’s eyes went wide. She clapped her hands together in delight and shouted with the rest of the crowd.
From behind a brightly colored cart, three people, two young men and a girl, tumbled into the center of the square. Adette folded her arms across her chest and prepared to be bored. But soon enough, she found herself clapping and stamping along with the rest of the crowd.
The tumblers danced and leapt across the square. Streamers flew in the breeze created by the motion of their arms and legs. They did flips and somersaults and tumbled together and one by one. As the performance grew towards its climax, they slowly came closer together. As one they swarmed, over each the other until they had formed an impossible three person tower. They signaled to the person at the bottom and then the two people at the top leapt, head over feet, toward the ground. All three rolled forward on the ground then at the very end of their roll they leapt onto their feet and stood with a flourish.
The entire crowd erupted into wild cheers. Adette even found that her own lips had turned up into an appreciative smile. The three tumblers bowed to several parts of the crowd. She was clapping along when they turned to bow toward Adette’s part of the crowd. The boy on the far left looked up and smirked. Adette’s hands paused mid-clap. He shouldn’t have been looking at her, but he was. When he saw that she’d realized he was looking at her, he winked. As soon as he winked, the group turned to face another part of the crowd.
“Miss Adette?” A tiny hand reached up and tugged politely on Adette’s new green skirt.
“Yes?” Adette blinked several times in confusion. The face and hand belonged to a small blonde child with bright, precocious eyes.
“I’ve a message for you.” Without another word, the child produced a letter from somewhere inside his shirt and pressed it into her hand. In the space of time it took to look down and see her name written on the envelope and then back up, the child was gone.