A Tale of Two Lives is now active (live!) on Amazon and available for purchase. Alternatively, if you are an Amazon Prime Member and have a Kindle you can ‘borrow’ the story for free!
Koonin slipped out from beneath the arm of the sleeping beauty at his side and dressed as rapidly as he could manage and still remain silent. With one last look upon her gentle features he stepped out, closing the door quietly after him. He’d have to hurry if he wanted to make it home on time, his wife would be awake soon. The streets were just coming to life, Koonin noted, as the sounds of cartwheels on cobblestones and straw brooms sweeping at store fronts greeted him. He considered himself something of a night owl but he’d always enjoyed dawn. It was a private time, much of the world still asleep and those that were not were too busy minding their own business to bother nosing into his.
Koonin heard the distinctive clunk of Jeppo’s damaged cart before he saw it. The street vendor’s cart had been in ill repair for as long as Koonin had known him, and Koonin wondered if it wasn’t left so intentionally at this point. Jeppo smiled and waived as Koonin approached.
“The usual my friend?” Jeppo asked, pausing in his uphill struggle with the small wooden food cart. Koonin reached for his purse, which felt a bit light. He pulled at the strings and fingered through the contents.
“Perhaps only the coffee this morning,” Koonin said, his shoulders slumping a bit. Jeppo’s pastries were the finest in the city, but maintaining a wife and a mistress cut just as deeply into his purse as it did his sleep. Koonin rubbed at his eyes and toed the misshapen wheel on the side of the cart as Jeppo prepared his coffee. “Still haven’t gotten this thing fixed?”
“How am I to afford repairs if you only buy the coffee?” Jeppo replied, his lips stretching into a devious grin. “Not all of us are capable of working magic.” Koonin chuckled, accepted the small wooden cup of steaming liquid and swallowed the contents in a single gulp. Koonin winced slightly as the hot liquid burned its way to his stomach and wiped the remnants from his beard with the hem of his robe.
“And for my next trick, I shall make it home in the very nick of time,” Koonin said and this time it was Jeppo who laughed as Koonin began to trot away.