After having got a few helpful hints about how to improve my little first scene for Honey's Writer's Workshop, I wrote two others. They are far shorter, because I have currently visitors and can't really concentrate much.
Both scenes are for "Twisted Paths" again, first we follow Alexander and then Valeria. These little pieces are not necessarily closely connected.
"Hey Alexander! Where have you been all this time? We actually had to pay for our drinks!" It was loud in the tavern, and the three men who greeted him with pats on his back had to shout. He just grinned and ordered a round for them all.
"So what have you been up to, my boy? Do you know that our chap here is getting married in a few days? His landlady, of all skirts in this godforsaken place! It seems she finally wanted some other kind of reward for doing his laundry."
Alexander let the bragging and joking from his friends wash over him. Only the familiar voices let it stand out from the rest of the noise. A nod here and a sound of surprise were enough to keep up the appearance of sufficient attention. It was unlikely they would tell him anything of interest. They were only his excuse to sit in a spot that was ideal to eavesdrop on those who might actually have some valuable information.
It is a warm and sunny day. The numerous smells in the air make Valeria's mouth water and her nose wrinkle at the same time. It has been a long time since her last visit to such a big market. For a moment, she relished the sweet aroma of fruits that were coated in chocolate. A few paces onward, the local speciality was sold: a tiny fish with a hugely revolting odour. Before it could really upset her stomach, she turned into a random direction and pushed through the crowd.
The heat made wearing a shawl or even hood too uncomfortable, and she didn't like the wide straw hats that many people wore here. Alexander had acquired two of them, but Valeria had refused to put it on. It looked ridiculous on her. Especially in contrast to the silver markings on her face. But thankfully he rarely insisted that she dressed in local styles. And luckily this coast-town was filled with a great variety of people.
Hardly anybody gave the seer a second glance as she freed herself from the busy market. Facial tattoos were not uncommon among seafarers and there were far more interesting individuals to stare at. A group of half-naked slaves, hold on a leash by a young boy. Two horses with artificial wings made from ekara feathers pulled an open carriage with some rich folk in it. And at three corners of the big place performed musicians and acrobats. Most people here probably believed they could shape their own future with skill or gold, or they would rather not know of dark times ahead and enjoy this beautiful day. Valeria could feel it. Along with her gift came the ability to sense those who sought what she could give. To her, this special sense was more like a compass to assess if somebody really wanted to know the future she saw, or how much of it.
How do you like it? Any advice what could be improved and how? I know, they might not make much sense or be a bit uninteresting, but I thought this exercise was about placing the character in a rather familiar setting - not one where there is a lot of action and important plot-moments.