Juniper dusted the snow off her cloak as she entered the claustrophobically small shop. Shelves full of trinkets and bobbles and bobbled trinkets. Potion bottles and feather tipped arrows too. And a leather glove with brass trimmings and a brightstone set in the center. The topaz yellow gem winked at her as she stared at it.
Gus, the shopkeeper, leaned over the counter. “Hello, hello. What can I help you with, little missy?”
“I need one Gauntlet of the Scorching Sun.” She dropped three gold pieces onto the counter. The earning from too many oddball quests.
Adjusting his spectacles, he eyed the coins, then the fairy girl with wings like a monarch butterfly. The gap in his teeth let out of long whistle. “No can do, little lady. That there doohickey is five gold.”
Her wings stiffed in agitation. “What? But I need that for a friend. It’s supposed to be a gift for the winter solstice celebration.”
Shoulders bounced. “Holiday inflation, you know. “
“You gots anything to trade? Adventurers always got things to trade.”
Her lips pressed into a thin line. Grumbling under her breath, she searched her bag, sifting through miscellaneous items acquired during their adventures.
“How about three gold coins, fifty silver pieces and two bubble potions.” Two vials of pink liquid were set on the counter. His head shook slowly. Thumb jabbed over his shoulder to an entire case of bubble potions. She dug deeper into her satchel and held up a bloody canine. “Annnddd a…. Goblin tooth?”
“That’s a troll tooth.”
“Same difference.” Juniper pushed her items closer before reaching out her hand to shake. “Do we got a deal or not?”
The door creaked open. Cecil flinched in surprise, a book tucked under his arm. A smile spread across his face. “Juniper! What… What are you doing here? I thought you were leaving to Mirinda already.” Those plans were still true. There were a bundle of fairies down south waiting to celebrate the solstice with her. Juniper offered the young wizard a poorly wrapped package.
“Oh, I’m on my way now.” She assured. “Couldn’t leave before delivering your present first, could I?” He gestured her inside the tiny cottage. The warmth of the fireplace embraced her. Frost melted from her wing tips. She gave a quick greeting to his mother and grandmother, who were preparing a small feast for the three of them.
“You s-sure you can make the flight in this weather?” Cecil ask as he unwrapped the gift. Snow and wind blustered outside.
“I’ll be fine. I still have bubble potions left.” Two potion bottles were holstered to her belt.
The wizard gasped, holding the gauntlet in his hands. “But how did you…?” A anxious look flashed through his face, worried about the cost of such an item.
“Don’t worry about it. Go on. Try it out. ” She nudged him as his fingers slipped into the glove. The golden gem shimmered. A glowing sphere appeared in his hands, hovering in the air. Watching her young wizard friend cradle a bright ball of light made it all worth it.
After the shopkeeper declined her deal, he was asking for roguish deviance. Juniper left the shop with a huff, claiming that she’d take her business elsewhere. In actuality, she snuck back in with the stealth of a true thief. Smoke bombed the cramped shop. Amidst the chaos, she swapped the gauntlet with 3 gold coins and a bloody troll tooth. Tis the season, after all.
Happy holidays everyone! Love, Lady Jabberwocky