“Mujo ma,” Tawni murmured sweetly to the food merchant, pressing a bird into his hand and accepting her purchases with a smile. “Until next time!” The man returned her smile with a tip of his hat, the witch wiggling her fingers in farewell, turning on her heel, and meandering off in the other direction.
A merry whistle joined the tinkle of her jewelry while she walked, this time approaching a clothier’s stall. With her newfound wealth, she was sure she could pick up a new cloak and finally lay her old, worn garment to rest. Another smile accompanied Tawni’s cheerful, “Hesta!” The tailor offered only a nod in response, watching carefully as the wick started browsing through his wares.
It was a rare occasion that Tawni even considered buying clothing in a more human style, but cloaks were fairly universal in their functionality. Besides, it wasn’t as if she couldn’t sew a more exciting pattern into it later, but for the time being, she needed something a bit warmer than her current sad, patched affair. All of these colors are so boring, she thought with an inward roll of her eyes, slender fingers rifling through her choices until she found one made in a deep maroon wool. It was not as ostentatious nor as bright as the clothing she generally preferred, but it was better than the plain black or brown of most of the others. Humans have so little imagination, she thought before taking her choice over to the stall’s netche.
It was only a minute or two before the wick was striding away, new cloak thrown over her shoulders right atop the old. With a sack of food firm in hand and the cloak on her back, she had accomplished what she came for, but her stolen loot was almost drained because of it. Frowning, she pushed her finger into the nearly empty purse and shook her head. Technically, she didn’t need anything else, but with the first bag of coin acquired so easily, perhaps she ought to try for a second. Besides, Tawni always did enjoy a challenge…
She didn’t think for long before deciding that’s what she would do, slipping the one remaining coin into her own satchel and letting the man’s flutter to the ground. She’d stolen it for the money, not the purse, after all, and it was never a good idea to hold onto unnecessary incriminating evidence. Tawni was young and impulsive, but she wasn’t stupid, and she’d been caught before. All it had taken was once for her to learn her lesson.
Tawni took on an unassuming stance, leaning against a wall and casually looking over the crowd again for her next (and final) target. Once more, it didn’t take her long to find one, spotting the perfect person a few stalls down the line. There. An older woman about fifty paces away, carrying a few too many bags for how small she was. The wick doubted she would even notice if one was gone.
Here we go again.
Pushing herself forward, she wandered in the direction of her prey, zigzagging a few times as not to make her path too obvious. When she got within reaching distance of the woman, she stopped, turning to look up at the sky. Behaving as if entranced with the cloud formations overhead, she started walking again, casually bumping into the nattle she’d set her sights on. Instead of her stumbling this time, Tawni had caused the other to do so, throwing her arms out as if to catch her.
“Oh, aren’t you kind,” the oblivious woman exclaimed, holding onto the witch’s outstretched hand in order to steady herself. “Can’t seem to keep my balance for anything these days.”
“It’s nothing, it’s nothing,” Tawni told her unsuspecting companion, hands patting her arms and back as if to reassure her. “It’s me own fault. Should’ve watched where I was going!” Locating a strap that didn’t seem too entangled with the others, she quickly found the buckle keeping it in place and eased it away from its owner.
“Now, now, it’s fine,” the woman replied with a kindness that almost made the wick feel guilty. Almost was the key word, her prize already stowed under her cloak to be redeemed later. “We all get a bit distracted now and then, don’t we?”
“Of course,” Tawni replied warmly, the charming smile she was known for tugging at her lips. “But I am sorry still.”
The other shook her head, already moving off in the other direction. “Pay no mind. You have a good day now!” All she received in response was a friendly inclination of the witch’s head, turning and heading off her own way.
Tawni hadn’t gotten very far when she heard a cry of surprise, a high-pitched voice shouting, “I’ve been robbed!” Hazel eyes widened in alarm, her pace quickening even as she tried not to be too obvious about it. Shit. Shouldn’t have been so cocky.
Ducking and darting through the busy market, she tried to look calm, though the haste of her step belied the expression on her face. Better not be a bunch of spitch in this bag, she thought bitterly while she continued to push her way to the main thoroughfare leading away from the market. She didn’t dare take it out to examine it now; it would have to wait until she was back in her kint. No use in getting caught red-handed.
Just a few more steps, she thought, brushing past a tall galdor man with bright red hair—though, this time the collision actually was an accident. Bright hazel eyes glanced back to briefly catch blazing sapphire before she was gone again…
…Leaving a jingle in her wake.