Photo credit: Tony Oxborrow
Tallen stumbled, weak from walking. Some adventure this had turned out to be. His coin had run out weeks ago, and the few Pyanni who’d hire a raggedy-looking foreigner paid little.
He’d hoped to find a welcoming-house here, in the city’s foreign quarter, but wandered in vain.
Finally, Tallen turned a corner and saw it. The traditional round door. The paint was faded and chipped, but the street in front was well swept.
Inside, someone sang cheerfully to a lute, people laughed, dishes clanked.
He brushed the dirt from his clothes. Straightening himself as tall as he could, he knocked.
A crack appeared, and a silhouette.
Tallen raised his palm in the sign of greeting and bowed, touching his forehead.
The door opened wide. The woman was tall, red-skinned, in northerner garb. A Pyanni. He stepped back. He would have to keep looking.
She smiled. “Hello, my friend.”
As he choked back a sob, she pulled gently on his sleeve.
“We’re so glad to see you. Come in, please. Are you hungry? We have soup.”
Inspired by this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge — thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting! See the original photo prompt below, and click here to read the other stories and to submit one of your own.
Photo credit: Uday