This week’s story does not belong to me.
That’s right. I am unashamedly posting another author’s work on my blog. Not sharing a post, not passing on a link, but posting her story on my blog.
Let me explain.
As artists, creators, and authors, we all began somewhere. We began with handwritten stories that we hid beneath the bed, dreams of books and characters that were too big and too complicated for our limited abilities, and embarrassment whenever anyone saw our work.
We all needed a place to start, and we all needed a little boost to get going.
So today, we are giving Elli a boost.
Elli is twelve. She is my little sister, a brilliant, shining example of a young woman who is learning to stretch her wings and discover just who she would like to be. This story belongs to her. I gave her advice and encouragement and corrected her grammar where necessary. But the writing and the story belong solely to her. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
I pull my small cart full of fish to the market. This is the first time I’ve sold them alone. I set my stand up once I get there. I lay my blanket down, then place my bucket of fish on it. When I open the lid of the bucket my lungs fill with the smell of fish. When I was little I had to plug my nose or I would feel sick, but I don’t mind now.
People are starting to arrive. I recognize some of their faces from last time. One of the faces I recognize is a cat, a skinny tabby with one bald leg, but he disappears around a corner. The stand beside me is selling chickens and ducks. They are very loud. The market is always loud.
I see the cat again. He’s closer now, but he dodges under a cart, and I lose sight of him. It’s getting really hot. I can hear cows and goats being sold for sacrifices. I see the cat again. He’s three or four feet away from me, he’s eyeing my fish. In the blink of an eye, he snatches a fish and disappears into the crowd. I would have chased him, but there were too many thieves in the market. Last time he stole from me, I lost all my fish because I chased him.
So I let him go. This time.
As the sun gets higher, the heat burns my skin. The air smells deeply of spices. The bells start to chime for prayer time, and people are starting to leave. I pack up my fish and go to prayer.
The cat is creeping back. He’s peeking out of the stand beside me.
I jump and screech at him, and he runs away. I chuckle as he disappears around a corner.