Bread. An apple. A bottle of milk.A treat. All denoted as pictures for ease’s sake. Odette waddled through the marketplace, waving at the vendors, stopping to pet street cats and stopping to pick two pretty flowers. She smiled and held it in her tiny hand. Tulips were her favorite.
Oh! That’s right!
Papa said she could get a treat of her choice after she got everything on the list. She had nearly forgotten looking at the tulips. She pulled out a piece of parchment and laid it on the ground. She pointed to each picture.
“Bread. Apple. Milk Treat for me!” she giggled at the last one. She put the parchment back in her pocket and headed off to the baker. It was a brick hut with a chimney and a wide window to one side. As Odette got closer, she could smell cinnamon. She smiled and went to the window eagerly.
“Mr. Thomas! Mr. Thomas!” she called. Even if she stood on the tips of her toes, she couldn’t see inside the shop. Usually, papa would pick her up to see but today she was a big girl on a mission and big girls didn’t necessarily need to see inside the bakery. After a moment, a mountain of a man appeared in the window. Some claimed he had Giant in his blood. Others claimed he was a shifter. Though, no one could say that Thomas didn’t make the best breads in all of Ifross.
“Good morning Mr. Thomas. Bread please?” Odette said holding up a gold coin. Thomas laughed. It was warm and hearty.
“Good morning little one. Are you doing the shopping by yourself?”
“Yes!” she said bouncing. She pulled out her parchment and held it up. “Ish my first errand. Papa said I gotta get everything on dis list. Den. And den, I can get a treat just for me but papa said after and not before.” she smiled.
“Oh my, what a big girl. Let me get your bread so you can hurry to get your treat, wait here,” he said taking her coin and heading into the shop once more. He knew Calief always asked for day-old bread so he took a loaf from the shelf. He thought for a moment and picked up two sweet rolls as well. He wrapped them all in paper. When he returned to the window, he found Odette giggling and playing with a couple of rocks. He smiled and handed her the package.
“Here you go. There is a sweet roll for you and your papa. Will you be able to carry it?” he asked.
“Uh-huh, Lyra is gonna help me carry everything,” she took the bread eagerly and put it on the ground. Thomas was glad he thought to wrap it. He watched her with amusement as she took out a small stone and hugged it to her chest with an excited look on her face. It glowed brightly and an owl griffin appeared next to her. It was as big as a barrel and claws that could kill a man. Instead, it nuzzled up to the child, purring and licking the side of her face. Thomas laughed and Odette giggled and hugged the beast.
“Alright. Be sure to get home when you’re done,” he said going about his business.
“Yes Mr. Thomas. Thank you,” she called.
“Okies! We gotted the bread,” she said, placing it in Lyra’s saddle bag. “Next is...Hmm. Bread. Apple. Milk. A treat. Okay next is apples” she repeated. Lyra blinked at her but followed along as Odette rushed off to the nearest fruit stand.
Odette clapped excitedly when she found a bushel of apples. Green, pink, and red ones laid in a basket for easy grabbing. She took out another gold coin. When she approached, an elf-born woman turned to her.
“Welcome Odette. Welcome Lyra. No papa today?” she asked. Odette smiled and told her of her noble quest.
“Can I please have some apples Ms. Ida?” she asked reaching up with the coin. Ida took it and told her to pick 5 apples. Odette couldn’t count that high so they counted them together and she helped her place them in Lyra’s bag. With a pet to the head, Ida sent her on her way, reminding her to get home after. Odette had a habit of wandering.
Odette stopped after a little bit. It was snack time so she plopped down on the soft grass with Lyra who wrapped her tail around her. Her papa packed her a snack because what adventure went without a snack? In her pack was a bottle of milk, a small cup of applesauce, a strip of jerky for Lyra. He had enchanted the bottle to keep the milk warm but not too hot for when she was hungry.
When they finished, Odette started to play with Lyra’s tail but Lyra meowled at her to remind her of the quest.
“Oh right. Bread. Apple. Milk. A treat. Oh! Almost time for my treat. We gotta get milk next,” she said heading off with vigor. She passed the Bird Leaf Hall. It was where the Young Adventures Guild would meet. Her papa had taken her there a couple of times when he needed to leave town on missions. It functioned as a daycare as well as a school of sorts. The towns could submit requests for the younglings to complete. Things from picking weeds to feeding the ducks to painting fences. When you completed missions you got your choice of a reward which ranged from a toy, sweets, and even pocket change.
She could see other younglings playing and laughing in the courtyard. She looked at them longingly before heading over. Maybe Ms. Abi could give her a mission and she could get some candy. Her thoughts stopped suddenly as Lyra picked her up by the shirt of her collar and set her down again with a nuzzle.
“Oh right. I’m already on a mission,” she giggled and headed off. She remembered the butcher also sold milk so she headed off there.
When she got inside, there were a lot of people there. She stepped a little closer to Lyra and sucked at her thumb as the bustle went around her. She waited for a bit but it was a busy day at the shop. Odette didn’t know if she would be able to get the milk with all these people there and she started to tear up.
Alec was just about to head out for a delivery and noticed her standing there. He walked over and crouched down.
“Hey there Odette. What’s wrong, did you lose your papa?” he asked. She shook her head and told him about her special quest and how there were so many people she would never finish her quest now. She wiped her eyes on her sleeve. Alec looked at the line and back at her.
“Don’t cry. You just got to wait in line. Everyone gets their turn, come here,” he said taking her hand and leading her to the back of the line.
“See, you just wait your turn and you’ll get to the counter in no time. When you get all the way to the counter, it’s your turn and you can order the milk. Can you do that?” he said. She sniffed and she nodded. She could wait in a line, easy. He chuckled and pet her head wishing her luck on her quest before heading out for his delivery. She dried her eyes. She could do this. Lyra licked at her face and she laughed.
When she arrived at the counter, it was Kasey helping today. He greeted her with a smile.
“What can I do ya for wee one? Out on a mission all by ya lonesome?” He asked.
“I’m getting milk for papa. Then I gets a treat. I’m not by my lonesome, Lyra ish here. Milk please Mr. Kasey, it’s my turn now cuz I waited in da line,” she said, placing a coin on the counter. Kasey laughed.
“Aye, that it is wee one,” he took the coin and went to get her two bottles of milk. He helped her place it in Lyra’s saddlebag and sent them on their way.
When they were out of the busy shop, Odette took a couple deep breaths. Just like papa showed her. She took out her list again.
“Bread. Apple. Milk. A treat.” she said. She looked in the saddlebag. “Bread...apple...milk...OH! Oh!” she jumped excitedly. “It’s time for a treat!” she told Lyra and hugged her around the neck. She ran off to another store. She knew exactly what she wanted.
When she stepped inside a familiar face looked up. Her favorite face other than Lyra.
“Hi sweetling. Did you get everything?” Calief asked, coming around the counter. He picked Odette up and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Odette gave him a squeeze.
“Almost. Almost, down please papa,” she said squirming. Calief released her with a chuckled and Odette ran over to one of the shelves and picked up a stuffed bear. She took it to the counter and looked up at her papa.
“I wanna buy dis please,” she said holding up the last coin.
“Honey, is that what you want for your treat? I can just give it to you,” he said crouching down.
“Nooo,” she said with a pout, “right now I’m a customer. You gotta do the thing.”
“The thing?” his eye brow raised.
“The thing.” she said and pointed at the counter. He sighed before laughing and stood up.
“Okay okay,” he walked behind the counter.
“Welcome to Calief’s Crafts. We make any dream your heart can imagine. What dream can I make for you today?” he said, feeling a little silly. Odette giggled.
“My dream is to have dis toy that my papa made and den to give my papa all the things from the list..and den take a nap,” she said, holding her hand high with the coin. Calief took the coin and walked back to scoop her up in his arms. He chuckled and kissed her brow before taking her to the back for a well-deserved nap.
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All the characterization was artfully done and you got a feeling for all the characters really quickly. Although there were a lot of names to keep track off/get to know in a short amount of time. I really liked the twist at the end, where her treat was going to her Dad's shop.
Thank you. I really appreciate the feedback.