Poetry hopped happily from left to right foot and back again. “REALLY?” She squealed with delight. Creed sighed to himself… starting to regret what he had offered.
“Yes Poe, it’s your money… it’s time you started to learn a little responsibility.” He said, holding out the small pouch of silver coins. “You can take this money and spend as much or as little of it as you want to, on whatever you want to, but your mother and I will not be buying you any more toys until next month unless you earn them.”
Poetry squealed with delight again and grabbed the coin purse. “Thank you, Daddy,” She beamed with a wide grin and kissed her father. She ran away towards the row of shops, they had lived here her whole life and she knew very well the shops that catered to her. Creed smiled, pleased that his daughter was happy. He sprinted after her, staying a few feet behind her, easily able to maintain pace with her.
Poetry ran first to a brightly colour shop, a striped awning with yellows and reds and brightly coloured lettering. The Sweetened Pig. A sweet shop. Poetry pressed her face to the window and looked from one sweet treat to another, almost eating the whole stock of the shop with her eyes. After several minutes of taking in the colours, Poetry ran inside and parted with a couple of coins and exited the shop with a medium-sized bag of sweet treats.
As she ran to the next shop, she took handfuls of the sweets and ate them quickly, like her parents would take them away if she was found with them. Creed kept pace with her, making sure she was safe and that she wasn’t going to get in any trouble. As she turned down another street, Creed realised he knew where she was heading this time, the pet store where he and Sybil had bought Poetry her ferrets. She loved to go there still to look at the other animals and to buy her pets treats.
When he rounded the corner and found her pressed to the window of the pet shop, he could see that she wasn’t looking inside as hungrily as she had done with the contents of the sweet store, but the look of delight in her eyes was not dulled at all. A new shipment of rabbits took up the pen in the window and she squealed with delight as they hopped over to look at her, and nuzzled the window. It took her longer to pull away from this display, but eventually, she did and she went inside, parting with another small handful of coins for a bow for her ferret.
Poetry spent the rest of the afternoon running from one shop to another, looking at anything bright, or shiny or sparkly or any combination of those attributes. After a few hours of window shopping, Poetry found a large building she couldn’t remember having seen before. A large viridian sign over the door shone with golden lettering proclaimed the most amazing experience, an indoor version of the Feywild’s famous Hedge Maze, recreated here on the Prime Material plane. Poetry’s eyes went wide as she looked at the sign. A man in an emerald green suit took in the sight of Poetry’s wonder and smiled a wide grin.
“I can let you in, just 5 silver pieces.” He said, holding out a hand to take her coins. Poetry opened the purse… but she didn’t have 5 silver pieces left. She looked crestfallen, but the man’s smile persisted. He pulled a small, golden metallic device from the pocket of his suit and looked into it. “Well… we are closing soon… I suppose I could allow one free pass.” Poetry brightened up and ran inside.
A few minutes later, Creed turned down the same alleyway, but the Veridian sign had disappeared. In the alley stood a man in an emerald suit, who looked up and locked eyes with Creed. “You look like you are missing something young man.”
“My daughter, she would have been here just a few minutes before me, did you see which way she went?”
“She choose to take a free ride” The man in the emerald suit smiled, with no warmth behind it, “and now she owes me, so she’s mine until her debt is paid”
Creed instantly surged forwards towards the man, prepared to pin him to the wall behind him… but as soon as he made contact with him, a bolt of energy erupted from the man and sent Creed flying backwards where he landed in a heap.
“Now now, Creed, she’s only gone until she repays her debt… or until I get what I want.”
“So what is it you want, what the hell are you?”
“I’m just a lonely traveller passing through, I allowed her into my maze, because she wanted to see something that can’t be found in this world… Creed. You would know all about hopping to other worlds, wouldn’t you?”
As Creed picked himself up from the floor, the man in the emerald suit took a step backwards and became one with the shadows.