Book of Days: November 16, Last Night of the Festival

It was the last night of the Nightdale festival, and even the merchants seemed to be closing for the celebration. Illaana searched the crowd for the friends she’d made during the set-up and at last found Olli sitting by the fountain, eating one of the fluffy pastries Pala’s parents sold.

“Am I late or early?” Illaana asked as she took a seat next to her happily munching friend.

“You’re right on time,” Olli said, handing them one of the pastries. “It’s everyone else that’s late. Pala’s parents are packing up early, so they popped over to say they’d be late and drop off the pastries.”

“Did they not do well?” Illaana said, taking a bite and closing her eyes as the flavour of berries and cream burst over her tongue.

“Better than well.” Olli finished off their pastry and grinned. “They’re sold out. No need to leave everything in place for the rest of the evening, so they decided to pull it down now and get an early start tomorrow.”

“Then we really are saying goodbye tonight.”

Olli patted her shoulder. “We always figured we might.”

“I know. It’s just…” she shrugged and couldn’t finish the thought.

When news came that the market at the Nightdale festival was going to be open to merchants from the wider towns, there had been something of an uproar. At least an uproar for Farviin, which amounted to a lot of muttering and some occasionally terse words. But all the same, the sentiment was that it ought not to happen and the council should change their minds.

The council assured everyone this was a wonderful idea, and they would see the benefits to be gained from inviting their wider neighbours, if only they were allowed to invite them this once. It was, of course, rude to counter such an argument with anything as insubstantial as “but we don’t want to” and so the invitations had gone out.

Though Illaana’s parents were among those who had complained, even they had stopped before the first day of the market was over. It seemed the cloth they wove was of a quality the neighbouring villages could not match, and both the praise and the purchases won them over. A similar story was to be had at every stall in the market, not to mention the camaraderie of setting up and running a table for the day, as the council had been sure to scatter those from the different villages around one another.

Illaana had met Olli first, as their parents ran the ceramics stall next to her parent’s fabric one. Olli had met Pala when going to pick up food from the other side of the market, with orders for most of the merchants on their side, and so Pala had assisted in carrying the order back to them. Pala had met Ralith when there was some minor altercation and the son of one of the weapons merchants stepped in to resolve it all.

And tomorrow morning they would all be leaving. The festival was over, and if Illaana saw them again, it would be in a year’s time.

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by | Nov 16, 2021

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