Madrigar’s Chappi Stall

Day 455

This is closer to what I was hoping to get yesterday but still not what I’d meant to accomplish at the start…

Madrigar laces a canopy to the frame at the front of his stall then tightens the iridescent purple fabric by snugging up the bar that wedges it out from the back wall. His chappi stall languishes like a cat in a window. Comfortably seen and easily attended by all.

The stall’s registered designation in the Vendor Bureau at the Merchant Ministry is SB. South side; second stall. But here in Run Dark Ally, the grand dam of all Tropulan’s ally fairs, it’s known eponomously as Madrigar’s. A cook’s assitant looking for fresh caught trout would find them on ice from Dromie’s at NE. A guitarist looking for newly attenuated strings would pick them out from Spring House at SH. In Run Dark stallmen, veteran patrons, and signage all cry out names with designations. But never Madrigar at SB. Only, solely, Madrigar’s.

In other alley fairs the best spot—sometimes the SB designation—is known as the madrigar. At newly installed fairs vendors cluck like wansi hens bidding for the stall designation they think will become that ally’s madrigar. Vendors plead and beg and offer to pay Madrigar to assess a new fair, but he refuses. In a confused tone he insists he doesn’t sell information only chappi. So, he recommends a crisply carved luck medallion he obtained from an artisan in the Narrow Door district or a jagged locator stone gouged from a quarry wall only a fortnight ago. Maybe these will aid you he says.

Madrigar borrows the broom from inside the backdoor of the draper’s shop his stall cozies up to and sweeps the grime and rainwater into a nearby drain. He nods at Musi, his neigbor at SA, when they meet eyes, but neither speaks yet. Musi boils water for tea and steamed milk. Soon the stallmen and women from the west end of Run Dark—some as deep as NL or SJ—will arrive for their breakfast meeting.