YEllow, white, green, red, brown; a cascade of striped colors dyed on the coarse cloth stretches across wooden beams, to form an atmosphere of stall-tents covering the concrete surface from the elements above. Looking down rather than up on these stalls, from high on the slippery rooftops, or perhaps the watchful eyes of a hungry jackdaw, the market square would look like an ocean of colorful candies. There were many odours, stenches and smells at this location: the noxious smoke of industry; the sweet reek of garbage rotting in the dogday sun; burnt tobacco, curling from the red-hot ends of fatcat cigars or plebeian cigarettes; perfumes, whose synthetic compounds were more apparant than the flavours they were supposed to impersonate; and then, the food. Oh, the smoked meats, sausages, fried fish and patties burning on a grill, rat kabobs...it brought him back to his childhood. So little had changed.
An old woman approached The Don, a Goblin dressed lavishly to symbolize his status of importance in this society. She held a low and humble posture, like a subject approaching his Throne-seated king, and she held a basket of freshly-baked, steaming crab cakes in her hands.
"Don Scrunky..." She croaked hoarsly, and extended to him the basket: "He has trouble with Blackwater Raiders, I-.."
"Neh-eh-eh." Scrunky said assuredly, a wide smile on his fat, dark green lips. He extended a hand for the basket, and took out a crab cake. His fat, gold-sniffing noise first savoured the smells, for his one was exceptional at such a task even for a Goblin. He sank his teeth into the half-fried pastry, gnawing silently upon it; blending the crisp surface, its soft layer below, and the juicy crab meat into a pleasant, home-baked symphony. Having concluded his first bite, he swallowed, and nodded to the old woman: "Very good."
And so she pulled back, saying not a word, only bowing to him as he did.
The Don looked around the bustling market. Despite the many aromas which were truly perplexing in their complexity, made up of foreign wines or spices, he was eager for something much more simple, and nostalgic. Then, his eyes settled on a sign: it was of a dark metal, with bolts drilled into it, and it had a bread-roll crudely painted on it in white. Gizmo's bakery, he thought to himself. Gizmo himself, a shrewd little Goblin, who couldn't have been more than thirty back then, was engaged in a most verbal session of bartering with another Goblin, who was all too eager in wishing to earn a discount on Gizmo's grease-crackers. This show-down was so engaging, that the cunning Baker could not notice a young Goblin, dressed in little more than ragged cloths; patched in some placed which could afford, or just full of holes in others, and caked with dirt and oil. The boy had a slender form, malnourished even, as he skulked the vicinities of Gizmo's stand like a gutter rat.
Gizmo had many types of bread and pastries on his stand. Buns, laced with sesame seeds. Crackers and biscuits, flatbread, baguettes, you name it. But all the little boy wanted was an unseeming loaf of bread. Surely, it was impressive in its bombastic girth, but it was just a loaf of sourdough bread, with its sharp crust and soft, steaming innards. Scrunky looked upon the cutpurse regretfully, as he reached out his little hand to snatch the loaf from its still.
A large, dough-punching hand locked itself around the cutpurse's little wrist. "What're you doing, kid?!" Roars the baker.
"Stealing ma hard work?! Ma daily bread?! You little RAT!" Gizmo cried and sent his other hand to slap the senses out of the boy's cheek. He looked up at Gizmo, with panic and tears forming in his eyes, as yellow as a rising sun, but found no remorse in Gizmo's cruel gaze. "You will pay for this, kiddo. BRUISEEERS!" The baker yelled out. Helplessly, the boy tries twisting himself from the clutch he was in, but it was as tight and heartless as the iron shackles soon placed upon his wrists when the Bruisers arrived, eager to drag another dirty little whippersnapper for a back-breaking sentence in the pits.
A single tear ran down Scrunky's cheek. Unfaltered however, he approached Gizmo's Bakery Stall. The sign was now decrepid and rusted, hanging half from its post.
"Bread! Fine..freshly ba-.." Gizmo was about to yell out, but a throat-clenching coughter caught him right in the act. He sounded sick, which was not surprising, in the noxious industrial environment of the Goblin metropolis. Aside from that, age weakens the body, and Gizmo was now an old man: his hair white, his snot-green face wrinkled and drooping from his face like the coagulated stearin of a recently extinguished candle. When he recovered from his fit, a customer stood before him: one which was lavishly dressed, a Goblin of high status.
"D-Don Scrunky...!" The Baker exclaimed, in half-excitement half-terror. Scrunky looked upon the hunched baker, with a feeling of melancholy in his eyes, as yellow as the rising sun. Gizmo however, did not mistake it for remorse.
"You know me then, Gizmo. But, I doubt you remember me." Scrunky said, and held a hand over his shoulder, receiving in it a sharp knife from one of his suited bodyguards.
"Don Scrunky...w-..what is it I c-.."
"Silence, baker." Scrunky said firmly, and reached out farthest away at the stall, where Gizmo's sourdough loafs lied. The Don took one of these unassuming breads, and stuck the knife into it: carving a fine, fat piece, the crust crumbling and flaking at his feet as he did. "I just wanted a taste of your delicious bread. I've always wanted to."
Scrunky sank his teeth into the slice; the soft, airy innards colliding with the crisp, flaking crust.