(Part 46) For the complete list of this series, please go here.

After a few moments of solitude in Sunfury Spire, Aerissa repositioned the cowl Twyla loaned her to obscure her face.  As Aerissa passed the large fountain on her way out of the Court of the Sun, distant shouting caught her attention.  She peeked over her shoulder at the commotion amongst the guards and quickly headed for the Bazaar.

She checked the information Tomber had given her and searched for the shop.  Aerissa wandered along the outer ring of the Bazaar, gazing at the window displays.  Occasionally she would stop to admire this item or that for a few moments, then move along, but the next window Aerissa passed drew her in.

She gasped, moving closer to the window.  Aerissa placed her hands upon the glass, staring at the beautiful dress before her.

“Ouch!” Aerissa yelped as the prick of the needle poked her hip.

“Hold still, missy!” The seamstress said sternly.  She readjusted the needle, wrapped measuring tape around Aerissa's waist and pinned another bit of fabric.  “I can't custom fit this dress if you keep squirming.”

Aerissa sucked in her breath, trying hard to hold still.  She feared being poked again for breathing.  After the next pin was placed, she let out her breath with a loud sigh.

“Oh, now, it's not that bad,” muttered the seamstress as she took a step back, eying her handiwork.  She twirled her finger in the air, “Now spin around.”

Aerissa turned around, feeling the skirt of the dress swish around her legs.  She stared unbelievably at her reflection.  The dress was pure white with shimmering beadwork along the bodice.  She had to admit that the pinned fittings to be taken in at her hips and adjustment of the hem enhanced its beauty.

“You will be the most beautiful bride, Rissa.” Xandarian walked up behind her, admiring the seamstress's work.

Aerissa smiled back at his reflection in the mirror, his blue eyes piercing hers.  She blushed profusely.  “You know you shouldn't see me in it yet!” she chided him.

He crossed his arms, his face serious.  “And why not? I'm paying for it.”

Aerissa gasped for air, pulling her hands away from the window.  It looked so much like that dress… her dress…  Aerissa blinked rapidly as a face appeared on the other side of the window.  The woman's mouth was moving, but Aerissa could not hear her.  The woman inside the store thumped on the window with her fist.  Her lips moved fast, but she didn't look pleased.  She waved her hands, shooing Aerissa away.

“S-sorry…” she meekly apologized as she quickly trotted away.  She tried not to think about the memory of her wedding dress.  On the one hand, she was glad for recovery of more memories, but on the other hand, that memory stung as did most of them.

Aerissa finally located the shop that would have a supply order for Tranquillien at the southeastern corner of the Bazaar.  She bit at her lip, the order slip trembling in her hand as she approached the counter.

The shopkeeper looked the slip over.  “Oh good, you're here.  They were asking about you.”  He nodded, then disappeared in the backroom.

She stood there for a few minutes, but no one returned.  She assumed Tomber was getting impatient waiting for his order.  She had been gone at least a day longer than planned, due to her overnight at The Undercity.

Aerissa wandered about the store, trailing her finger along various shelves.  The amount of dust collected upon her fingertip sickened her.  She rubbed it against her pants, thankful that she had changed out of her dress before leaving The Undercity.

“Here we go,” grunted the shopkeeper as he lugged a large crate from the backroom.  He banged it against the doorjam before clearing it, dropping it onto the counter with a huff.

Aerissa's eyes widened.  “All of this? How am I going to get it to the fligh-”

The shopkeeper rolled his eyes, holding a finger up in the air for her to wait.  He inserted his finger and thumb into his mouth, letting out a shrill whistle.  A young boy dressed in raggedy clothing came out of the backroom with a rickety looking cart.

“He'll getcha as far as the city gates, then you are on your own.”

Aerissa sighed, but figured it was better than nothing.  Besides, maybe she could ask one of the guards or the flight master to assist her.  After all, the crate would have to be sent on a separate flight from her anyway.

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2 comments

  • I loved the trip down memory lane…even though it brought up a very bad time in her life. The way you described her looking at that dress…I could see her. Hell, I was the woman inside the store, telling her to get her grubby mitts off my window display.

    Engaging 🙂

  • @Cait – I’m glad you enjoyed that! It was not planned, but she insisted upon looking in the windows…and bam, there was the flashback.

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