Prompt for March 24: The Barter System


[prompt from]

I nervously fidgeted with the gold and silver coins in my purse, wishing I was simply back home with my own people. There, I knew the exact exchange rate: ten tarkins for a lera, fifteen leras for an oaksa, seven oaksai for an umbrin. It couldn’t get much simpler than that.

“You want this horse?” the vendor asked. “What will you give me?”

Five oaksai and eight leras, I desperately wanted to say. The bay mare in front of me had good strong legs that spoke of swiftness, though she looked tired. My price would have been a blessing, but I needed the speed of her kind to carry me the rest of the way.

Larkon was a strange land, indeed.

“What would you like?” I ventured. My forefinger and thumb continued to turn the coins in my purse. The man glanced at the leather pouch with a quizzical turn of his head. How many Ghians did he meet out in the Larkon desert, I wondered? He probably had never seen coins before, let alone knew how much would pay for the animal tethered to his tent.

He cleared his throat. “That is not for me to decide.” The words were louder than before, each one spoken with the slowness of one speaking to a child or an idiot.


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