Between the Pages

In a magical world, Between the Pages, lives Sebastian and his twin Edmond. That is, until Edmond decides to work against the Queen and disappears to join the Queens brother, and setting a curse over the country. Concerned for his brother (and the world), Sebastian sets of to search after him. But he needs help.

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7. V

Lina could definitely see how this was his favourite place. It was huge and instead of the cobblestones that made up for street, the base consisted of a patchwork of gravel, asphalt and tiles.

If you could fall in love with a place, she had, no doubt, done so. It was a place where you immediately felt home, where you could imagine everything happening.

Ever since they had made their way here, the smell of books had followed her, until she was so used to it that it just blended in. But the marketplace opened her senses. It was old books, vanilla, chocolate and coffee, all at once, a giant explosion of scents that filled the air and lured the people to its midst.

 However, it wasn’t only the sweet aroma that caught Lina’s attention. It was the way it had been made, showing that not only its base was a patchwork. It was a splash of cultures, or perhaps a new one. The place itself reminded mostly of the Italian Piazzas, huge and round. However the market stands could have been taking out of photographs her aunt had shown her of India, the bursting colours and many stands offering everything the heart longed for. Greek columns marked the place, holding up small statues, and providing some, if only little, shadow. At huge fountain prided the centre, yet, there where the water source would normally be placed, was a great Egyptian obelisk, its gold tip gleaming in the sun.

 At the edge of the market there was a playground with a carousel and those metal horses in which you could insert a coin –or coins, if one pleased to stay there longer. Kids with wide eyes and big grins were jumping around.

 “I’ll show you around, come.”

 Lina felt out of breath, not because of the running around the city, but because of the sheer excitement and life filling every corner. When Sebastian’s voice finally cut through to her, she immediately snapped back to reality. Not that she minded this version of reality.

***

 “What do you think so far?”

 Lina did not know what to say, and shook her head in utter amazement. It wasn’t just the stands that had caught her attention, but the people. Observing people was a game for her, and one she had often played back home. Guessing people’s history from how they acted and what they did was an easy way to spend some time. And everyone here seemed to be as easy to read as an open book.

 On first glance, they seemed like everyone else. She could understand every word spoken, and by times she caught herself wondering why they spoke Danish. That was, until she remembered that they didn’t. The accent and clothes were the only reminders that they were not Danish. But there was something else too. It was in the way they carried themselves, and it hung in the air when they spoke. There was a familiarity about them, which Lina couldn’t fathom. She was sure she had never met anyone, yet she felt a sensation of recognition every time she locked eyes with a stranger on the way past her, or asked about the prize of a bracelet.

 Although it was hard to surprise Lina as the feeling was slowly becoming a constant part of her, she was pleased to find out that the salesmen did not seem to care with what kind of money she paid with. The grey haired salesmen didn’t even flinch when she pulled out the violet slip of paper she had in her pocket. She took the small notebook and they wandered past a juggler, throwing the multi-coloured balls into the air so fast, that they seemed to be mere streaks of colour across his head.

 “Don’t you have any currency?”

 “Oh, we do.”

 Lina raised an eyebrow. “But…?”

 “There’s no but. We have currency, but if you pay with some money from your world-“

 “Krones.”

Sebastian bushy eyebrows furrowed and she could recognize the puzzlement in his eyes.

 “You call them that?” He shook his head. “Anyway,” he continued, “as I was saying: Eckexly changes them.

 “Eckexly? Is that a real person? That can’t possibly be his real name!”

 “Hers,” Sebastian corrected Lina. “And sure it is.”

 Lina opened her mouth, but before she could bring out anything, he clapped his hands.

 “Anyway, enough of that: lets move on. I think we should talk.”

 He didn’t even wait for her answer, and already off he was, disappearing between merchants and street artists.

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