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In the Old Street Market (Draft, Unreviewed)[]

From the Brittany Travel Guide Website

France Guide/ Faerie Territories Regions of Faerie Brittany / Waldalchia Dept. / Swanwick

Visit Swanwick (Brittany, France)

From the enchanting depths of Brittany's mystical landscapes emerges a hidden gem that bewitches all who dare to venture into its embrace – The Faerie Territories. Transported into a realm where time stands still, visitors are humbled by the magnitude of nature's artistry. The France Guide unlocks the secrets of this ethereal sanctuary, guiding explorers through moss-laden woodlands and ancient ruins veiled in whispers of forgotten tales. With each step, the air pulsates with an otherworldly energy that invigorates and compels. From towering cliffs overlooking the tumultuous Groac’h Sea to emerald-green meadows adorned with wildflowers, every vista evokes both awe and reverence. The Faerie Territories beckons adventurers to immerse themselves in its mythical allure, as they unravel its storied past while succumbing willingly to its magnetic charm. This is not merely a place to visit; it is an extraordinary pilgrimage for those seeking respite from reality, daring to embrace the extraordinary amidst rugged beauty and bewitching folklore.

Swanwick, a captivating town nestled in the Waldalchia department to the north of Brittany, lies just a short distance inland from the breathtaking Côte de granite rose. When one visits this idyllic destination, they are immediately met with a sense of awe and wonder. The landscape here is nothing short of breathtaking – rugged cliffs dramatically jutting into the cerulean waters below. As the sun sets behind these magnificent natural formations, casting an ethereal light upon the scene, visitors cannot help but feel a genuine sense of awe. Every corner turned brings forth another stunning vista, each more captivating than the last. But Swanwick is not just about its striking scenery; it is also steeped in history. Ancient ruins dot the landscape, offering glimpses into centuries past. With its rich tapestry of culture and unrivaled beauty, a visit to Swanwick promises an unforgettable adventure that will leave one forever under its spell.

Market day in Swanwick is held every Wednesday, Thursdays and Saturdays, and is a highly anticipated event within the local community. The market boasts a vibrant atmosphere filled with bustling stalls selling an array of fresh produce, handmade crafts, and unique, one-of-a-kind items. Locals and visitors alike flock to the market to indulge in the myriad of goods on offer. From locally sourced fruits and vegetables to artisanal cheeses, there is something for everyone's taste buds. Additionally, craftsmen showcase their talent by selling handcrafted jewelry, clothing, and artwork that truly encapsulate the essence of Swanwick's culture and heritage. Market day not only provides a platform for small businesses to thrive but also fosters a sense of community spirit as neighbors come together to support local entrepreneurs. With its diverse offerings and spirited ambiance, market day in Swanwick is undoubtedly an occasion not to be missed. '


IT ALL STARTED WITH A RUMOR... ABOUT A HOUSE. The House was known by various names, the Puzzle Place, the Labyrinth, the Tangle, and the Melgalish Mystery Mansion. It was so incredibly vast and convoluted that no one had ever succeeded in mapping it completely. It was impossible to get an accurate map of the Melgalish because it kept changing.

It was said that the Melgalish Mystery Mansion changed itself from week to week. The walls moved and doors vanished. Rooms became connected in odd ways, with new doors appearing in some rooms and disappearing in others.

People said that you could easily spend years trying to find your way out of the Melgalish if you were not careful. People said it was easy to lose track of time and direction within its walls. People said that you could not leave the same way that you came in. People said it was very much like the human mind.

Rumor had it that Melgalish, the wizard who built it, didn’t use any blueprints or conventional building materials.

“It wasn’t built at all,” people would say. “He just materialized his dreams into reality. You know how powerful he was. He could do anything. with his magic. That mansion’s now his brain, his mind, his soul. It could change according to his whim. And with his passing, he achieved immortality. “

They said his spirit remained deep within the mansion, guarding his vast treasure trove, waiting for the day when someone bold enough would dare to challenge fate and attempt to claim what was rightfully his. The mere mention of his name sent shivers down the spine of those who dared speak it aloud, for tales had been whispered throughout the years about the unforgiving wrath that would befall anyone foolish enough to cross him. But still, there were those brave few who believed in their own prowess and resolved to face the ominous presence looming within those haunted walls. They were captivated by the allure of unimaginable wealth and consumed by an insatiable desire for power. With hearts pounding fiercely within their chests, they treaded cautiously as if every step might awaken unseen forces. For deep within that hallowed mansion’s core, a darkness lingered – a darkness filled with agonizing secrets and an all-encompassing thirst for vengeance.

Twelve-year-old Eliza declared, "I want to do that," when she first learned about the mansion. “Wishing all my dreams from thin air like Melgalish! Maybe even go inside and find a bit of treasure!”

She raked a freckled hand through her short mess of frizzy red hair and smirked slyly. With mischief sparkling in her blue-green eyes and flaming strands that appeared to match her vivacious attitude, she oozed confidence that could light up any space.

It was nearly midsummer in Swanwick, an idyllic riverside community situated in the Faerie Territories of Brittany France. The sun shone brightly in the clear blue sky, and the sweet smell of flowers filled the air with a heady fragrance. The quaint village was alive with activity, as people of all ages filled the streets with laughter and chatter. Children ran about, enjoying the simple pleasure of being carefree and full of boundless energy. The Orth River sparkled in the sunlight, and the birds sang their songs in the trees. All around, the lush green countryside was dotted with wildflowers and rolling hills. It was a truly tranquil place to be, and it was easy to forget the troubles of the world in this serene setting. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the summer, and it was a joy to be alive and surrounded by such beauty.

The week before the Midsummer Eve Celebration was a popular time for garage sales. This year, the local farmers association had organized a large garage sale as a fundraiser.

Eliza and her ninth-grade sister Lori were in charge of the pastry table. With the help of their mother and grandmother, they had baked a variety of pies, cakes, cupcakes, and cookies, and they were thrilled to be a part of the sale.

They had decorated the table with red, green, and gold ribbons, and in the center, they had placed a stack of napkins wrapped in woven twine.

They had spent days gathering donations from local bakeries, and the table was packed with a mouth-watering selection. As the sale began, shoppers crowded around their table, scooping up tiny treats and chatting with the sisters about different flavors.

The entire day, Lori and Eliza had worked at the pastry booth, and they were both ecstatic about what they had accomplished. Each customer's satisfaction with their purchase was a top priority for them, and it appeared that their efforts had paid off. Even better, they had created a few additional pastries for those who had waited in line. But as soon as Eliza mentioned the Melgalish House, that radiant feeling of joy appeared to vanish.

“Idiot," mumbled Lori. "You're no more of a wizard than I am—"

Eliza's eyes grew bigger. "But you want to go exploring there too, right?"

Lori pursed her lips and gave Eliza a stern look. Her younger sister merely grinned impishly.

“I know,” she insisted. “You can’t resist the idea getting lost there. You told me before. You love getting lost. Remember the corn maze last year?”

"Yes, but I'd like to find my way back afterwards, and not die of thirst and starvation in some gods forsaken hole somewhere," Lori said sternly. "Did the other tell you about the other rumor?"

Eliza lost her smile. "Uh . . . no.”

Rolling her doe-like eyes, Lori sighed. “Anybody who enters the mansion will become and remain lost. Sometimes they are forgotten, and no one ever searches for them." She gave Eliza a serious look that was almost irritated. "It's as if they had never lived at all.”

Eliza snorted, "That's preposterous.”

Lori retorted, "The house was constructed by a wizard materializing his dreams into reality. Why would it be preposterous?”

"The whole getting lost and forgotten thing," Eliza said. "This rumor wouldn't have started in the first place, you see, if people didn't forget about the ones who get lost instead.

“Yeah, okay,” Lori grumbled brushing back a lock of honey-blonde hair.

“So then maybe someone got out and discovered that everyone’s forgotten about him,” Eliza persisted. “Or someone still remembers this person who’s gone into the mansion, somehow. But that someone would have to be the only one to have remembered, as he does. Or Melgalish spread the rumor to keep people away— “

Lori sternly commanded, "Eliza, don't enter the mansion. Don't even try to find it where it’s located. Should you ever stumble across an unfamiliar doorway or hallway, don’t try to find out where it goes.”

Eliza didn't stop grinning. “If I got lost inside the mansion, would you remember, Lori?"

"Yes!" Lori yelled. She continued in a hushed whisper after noticing how curiously people were looking at her. "Because the forgetting phenomenon seemed to only affects humans. Since you're only just half, you'll definitely be missed.”

“Hi, Lori. Hi, Eliza,” an overly chipper voice suddenly greeted them.

Carrol Laburnham, a recent transfer student from Massachusetts and fellow expat, stood across the table and was staring back at the sisters with her large blue eyes.

Nearly everyone at Lori's high school had grown weary of the sophomore's spoiled, entitled attitude after only a few months, and she was beginning to lose friends. Only a handful remained, nearly all of them misfit home stayers.

“Hey, Lori,” Carrol said excitedly. “How’s your kitten?”

Lori wanted to just shove Janet’s face into one of her mom’s apple pies, but she managed to restrain herself and respond politely, "Oh, Minzy’s doing well, thanks for asking."

Eliza, on the other hand, couldn't hide her annoyance and rolled her eyes before muttering a barely audible "Fine."

“Oh, that’s good to hear,” Carrol seemed oblivious to the sisters' lack of enthusiasm and continued with her relentless cheerfulness. "And Eliza, how's your art project going? I heard you're working on something amazing!"

Eliza's irritation grew as she realized that Carrol was only trying to pry into their lives to satisfy her own curiosity. She took a deep breath and forced a smile. "It's coming along," she replied, "It's going okay, I guess. Just trying to find some inspiration.”

Carrol's smile widened, clearly pleased with herself for striking up a conversation. "Oh, I'm sure you'll find inspiration soon! You're such a talented artist, Eliza. I can't wait to see what you come up with."

Eliza couldn't help but again roll her eyes discreetly. Carrol's words felt insincere, as if she was merely trying to keep up appearances rather than genuinely caring about Eliza's art project. It was frustrating how Carrol always seemed to insert herself into their lives, prying into personal matters without any regard for boundaries.

As the conversation continued, Eliza noticed her sister, Lori, growing increasingly uncomfortable. Lori had always been more introverted and private compared to Eliza's outgoing nature. It was evident that Carrol's relentless cheerfulness was starting to wear on her as well.

Still Eliza couldn't help but feel sorry for Carrol, knowing that her behavior stemmed from a desperate need for attention. However, it didn't excuse her constant intrusion into their personal lives.

Trying to redirect the conversation away from themselves, Emily interjected, "So Carrol, how’s your day going? What brings you here to the garage sale?”

“Oh, fine,” Carrol replied with a hint of surprise in her voice, clearly not expecting the sudden shift in focus. She hesitated for a moment before continuing, "I actually stumbled upon this garage sale while I was out looking for Ethel Larson. I thought she might be here. She’s always into things like old books and vintage toys.”

Ethel Larson was a slim, whimsical Freshman who happened to be one of Carrol’s closest companions in spite of Carrol’s habit of making Ethel her personal assistant and never showing an ounce of gratitude.

“Uh . . . Listen . . ." Carrol’s brows knitted together as she twiddled her fingers. “Some of us are having a sleepover tomorrow night. I was hoping to invite Ethel. Want to come too?”

Eliza opened her mouth to decline, but Lori was already answering, “Sure. We’d love to!”

With one quick movement, she picked up a wooden platter full of chocolate chip cookies.

“Here—we can bring these,” she said with a teasing smirk. Picking up one cookie, she held it out to Carrol. “Care for some cricket chip snickerdoodles?”

Carrol's eyes widened in surprise as she stared at the cookie in Lori's hand. Cricket chip cookies? She had never heard of such a thing before. Her curiosity got the better of her, and she cautiously reached out for the cookie.

Eliza now found herself intrigued by the unusual treat as well. She leaned closer to get a better look at the cookie and asked, "Wait, did you say cricket chip cookies?"

Lori nodded mischievously, her eyes twinkling with excitement. "Yep! They're made with real crickets. But don't worry though, they're perfectly safe and actually quite delicious."

Carrol raised an eyebrow at the offering. Smile fading, she took a step back.

She shook her head. “Uh . . . no thanks. I just had lunch.” Then changing the subject, she asked hesitantly, “Have any of you seen Ethel Larson around here?”

“Uh . . . nope,” Eliza muttered.

Lori shook her head slowly. "No, I haven't seen Ethel," she replied, her mischievous grin fading slightly. "Why? Is something wrong?"

Carrol hesitated for a moment before answering. "Well, she was supposed to meet me for lunch today, but she never showed up. I've been trying to reach her, but she's not answering her phone either."

A flicker of concern crossed Lori's face as she exchanged a worried glance with Eliza. "That's strange," she said softly. "Ethel is usually very punctual and reliable. Maybe something came up?"

Carrol nodded, her worry evident in her voice. "I thought so too at first, but it's not like her to just disappear without a word. I'm starting to get worried.”

Her wide-eyed glance flicked between Lori and Eliza, and she frowned. “You sure? Cause I really need to talk to her.”

“About what?” Eliza asked, feeling a slight shiver. Something didn’t feel right.

Carrol bit her lip as she glanced anxiously around before cupping her hands to her mouth.

“If you see her . . ." She whispered hoarsely. “Ask her— “

“What?” Lori cut in, squinting in confusion.

“Ask her if she's seen an unmarked package left for her on her doorstep. It's really important," Carrol finished her sentence in a hushed tone, her eyes darting around nervously.

Lori and Eliza exchanged puzzled glances; their curiosity piqued by Carrol's cryptic behavior.

"What package?" Lori questioned, her brows furrowing in confusion. Eliza's mind raced, trying to connect the dots and make sense of the situation. She couldn't shake off the feeling that something was terribly wrong.

Carrol hesitated for a moment, seemingly torn between revealing more information or keeping it to herself. Finally, she took a deep breath and continued, her voice barely above a whisper. "It's important. Tell her not to open it under any circumstances."

Eliza's heart skipped a beat as worry crept into every fiber of her being. "Why? What's in the package?" she asked cautiously, fearing the answer might confirm her worst fears.

Carrol glanced around once again before leaning closer.

“Just ask Ethel if you see her if she ever received a strange package,” she said softly, “and if she’d opened it. Also ask her . . . if she entered the part where the rabbits were?”

Lori’s eyes widened in disbelief as Janet's words sank in. The mention of rabbits sent a shiver down her spine, reminding her of the nightmares that had haunted her for years. She had always been terrified of rabbits, ever since that fateful incident in her childhood.

She took a deep breath, trying to steady herself before responding to Carrol. "Rabbits? What do you mean? What kind of package could possibly have rabbits inside?"

“What’s so scary about rabbits?” Eliza's voice trembled with a mix of fear and curiosity.

Carrol hesitated for a moment, glancing around once again to ensure no one was eavesdropping on their conversation. "I don't know all the details," she whispered, her voice barely audible. "But there are rumors circulating about strange things happening after people open these packages. Some say they enter a different realm where all rabbits roam freely."

Eliza's mind raced with questions and doubts. How could opening a package transport someone to another world?

The sisters exchanged baffled glances as Carrol struggled to keep her composure.

“Rabbits?” Lori asked finally. “What kind of rabbits?”

Carrol opened her mouth to say more when she got caught off guard by a whole mob of rowdy kids. Full of sugar -charged energy and mischief, they came at her like a screeching tornado, darting past her in all directions. It was almost comical how she stumbled back to avoid getting trampled on. By the time the chaos subsided, Carrol had vanished.

Both Lori and Eliza stared in confusion at the place where she once stood.

“Weird,” Eliza muttered under her breath. Crinkling her nose, she shot Lori a baffled look. “What’s her problem anyway? Rabbits?”

Lori sighed and slumped into a drink chair that folded up. "I don't know," she said. "I could care less. To me, it makes no difference.”

“Well, that was mean of you scaring her with that cricket chip trick,” Eliza frowned at her.

“Yeah, well she took our kitty when we at that neighborhood potluck, “Lori retorted. “Hurt him too apparently. I think that twatwaffle deserves a fright.”

Lori had long suspected Janet was responsible for Minzy’s disappearance a few weeks prior. When they found the kitten in their living room, she had a limp and a broken tail.

Eliza rolled her eyes. "I guess," she said, not wanting to start an argument.

"Anyway," Lori continued, "I overheard her talking about some weird rabbit thing last week. I don't know what it is. Guessed it's some kind of new pet she's getting or something, although I found it rather surprising since she’s doesn’t seem to be an animal person.”

Lori shrugged and leaned back into the chair, closing her eyes as if the conversation was over.

“Really weird,” Eliza muttered. “Rabbits, really?”

Eliza thought about this for a time, trying to figure out what Carrol might be going through. Even if she had always seemed a little off, this was on a whole new level.

"Perhaps she's involved with a cult or something?" Eliza offered, scarcely raising her voice above a whisper.

Lori shook her head and scoffed. "I don't believe so, no. That is not how she is. She is simply an oddball.”

Eliza pursed her lips and said, "Hmmm," as she observed the gathering. "Whatever it is, it's very creepy as well—almost as if she's scared of someone.

"Wouldn't be surprised at all," Lori replied. “She really infuriated a lot of people back home in America. Probably the main reason why she’s over here in the first place—“

“Seriously,” Eliza questioned. “I thought you had to have good grades and manners to be an exchange student?”

“Oh, ‘seriously?’" Lori quipped, her tone dripping with an unmistakable sarcasm. “Here I was thinking that to be an exchange student, one would actually need good grades and basic manners. Silly me for assuming that educational institutions uphold some standards when selecting individuals to represent their countries in foreign lands. Clearly, the criteria has been thrown out the window along with any sense of academic integrity. Who needs hard work and decency anyways?” She gestured towards the spot where Carrol once stood. “Let's just send someone over who couldn't care less about learning or respecting others, because that's exactly what we want our reputation to be built on: mediocrity and arrogance. Bravo! Give this girl a standing ovation for turning a once prestigious opportunity into a farce.”

"Oh my gosh," Eliza couldn't help but be impressed by her sister's impeccable George Carlin impression, though she managed to keep it clean.

"Uh," Lori mumbled, casually sipping from her metal drink bottle.

They fell silent, each lost in their own contemplation.

"I can't help but wonder what Carrol did to end up here," Eliza finally broke the silence, her curiosity getting the best of her.

Lori never got to answer the question, as two familiar customers showed up—Sheek and Jenelle Veka, who were both rather eccentric Karasu Tengu siblings who marched to the beat of their own drum. You could easily spot them in a crowd - Jenelle with her bold fashion choices and Sheek with his crazy hairstyles. They were always up to something unpredictable; one day they'd be hosting extravagant tea parties for their pet crows, and the next they'd be dancing through the streets dressed as mythical creatures.

Even while people frequently considered their pranks odd, everyone had a secret admiration for their brazen individualism. Despite being referred to be "weird," Sheek and Jenelle eagerly accepted it. And in all honesty, that's what made them so distinctive and lovable to those who were fortunate enough to come into contact with these wild characters.

Eliza couldn't help but think about the mayhem that might break out as they got closer to Lori's counter. Although they were unusual, Lori always had a soft spot for them in contrast to Carrol Laburnham who appeared to only sow seeds of strife in her wake.

As the atmosphere around the pastry booth buzzed with chatter and laughter, creating an infectious energy that Eliza found impossible to resist; she quickly dismissed Carrol's unfounded concerns about Ethel's whereabouts, mysterious unmarked packages, and rabbits.

She had way more important things to worry about, like her new artwork or what outfit she was going to wear to the Midsummer’s Eve party next weekend. Plus, Carrol was always overreacting about everything anyways. Like seriously, those packages were probably just some online shopping sprees or something the Vekas concocted. And as for the rabbits? Well, they're just cute little fluff balls hopping around. No harm done there! Eliza had better things to do than stress over stuff that really didn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Life's too short to sweat the small stuff!

In the blinding glare of the Brenton sun, Carroll strode down Swanwick's Main Street. viewing the numerous 15th and 16th century colombage houses in addition to some adequately substantial pink granite mansions. She would occasionally stop at one of the nicely arranged tables stocked with a varied selection of things to ask a question, but the owners would always respond the same. Today, no one had seen Ethel Larson.

Eventually, she found herself immersed in a swirling exchange of nostalgia and questionable fashion choices. The sea of neon windbreakers, teased hairdos, and outdated CD players screamed "early 90s throwback" louder than Vanilla Ice lyrics at a karaoke night. Amidst the chaos, the human teenager couldn't help but wonder if they had somehow stumbled into a parallel universe where fashion faux pas were proudly displayed for all to see. Nevertheless, armed with numerous excuse-me and sharp prodding of elbows, Carrol skillfully navigated the labyrinthine quagmire of polyester nightmares, garish trinkets and treasures.

Eyes watched Carrol as she worked her way through the bright and vivid crowd, cold and dead. Like phantom shadows, they followed her every step, casting an eerie presence upon her. Their gaze was piercing, causing a shiver to run down her spine, as if death itself were peering into her soul. It seemed as though the vibrant life around her had been muted in their presence, rendering the once festive atmosphere hushed and somber. The weight of their scrutiny pressed upon Carrol's chest, making it hard to breathe amidst the suffocating grip of their silent judgement. With each passing glance locking onto her like chains, she felt herself drowning in a sea of dread and melancholy. Despite the joyful revelry that surrounded her, Carrol was enveloped by an unshakable sense of foreboding; a profound awareness that no matter how brightly shines the light, darkness always lurks nearby.


Mmpratt99 deviantart (talk) 03:49, 20 September 2023 (UTC)

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2nd bumping

Mmpratt99 deviantart (talk) 22:28, 28 September 2023 (UTC)

Mmpratt99 deviantart (talk) 22:28, 28 September 2023 (UTC)

The story is now up on the main wiki>In the Old Street Market

You can leave a review at the new link

Mmpratt99 deviantart (talk) 04:10, 8 October 2023 (UTC)

~~ ~~[]

Bumping this up.

(talk) 03:39, 16 September 2023 (UTC)

EmpyrealInvective (talk) 14:55, 7 October 2023 (UTC)[]

Sorry for the tardiness in writing a review. Unfortunately, work has been eating up a lot of my time and trying to juggle a movie marathon on top is really cluttering up things. Anyways, here's some issues I found in the story and some things I liked:

The opening paragraph does an excellent job setting up the scenery ("The France Guide unlocks the secrets of this ethereal sanctuary, guiding explorers through moss-laden woodlands and ancient ruins veiled in whispers of forgotten tales.", "With each step, the air pulsates with an otherworldly energy that invigorates and compels.", "From towering cliffs overlooking the tumultuous Groac’h Sea to emerald-green meadows adorned with wildflowers, every vista evokes both awe and reverence.", etc.). The conversation regarding the mansion also does a good job making it an intriguing point in the story.

I did notice a couple of mechanical issues, mainly involving wording, spacing, capitalization, and punctuation. These are relatively small errors that can be easily to correct.

Wording issues: "Twelve-year-old Eliza declared, "I want to do that," when she first learned about the mansion. “Make my dreams come true by doing that.”" feels like it could use a bit of re-writing to clarify what she wants to do (Manifest reality through sheer force of will? Face the ominous force in the mansion? Etc.) " "I overheard heard her talking about some weird rabbit thing last week." I would remove either overheard or heard from that sentence.

Spacing issues: "Eliza didn't stop grinning. “ If I got lost inside the mansion, would you remember, Lori?" Has an extra space around the first quotation. ""Yes!" Lori yelled ." Extra space before the period. ""Because the forgetting phenomenon seemed to only affects humans ." Extra unneeded space before the period. "“Uh. . . Listen…” Carrol’s brows knitted together as she twiddled her fingers .", "Her curiosity got the better of her, and she cautiously reached out for the cookie .", “ Have any of you seen Ethel Larson around here ?”, etc.

Capitalization errors: "Lori wanted to just shove Janet’s face into one of her Mom’s (mom's) apple pies" A general rule of thumb for capitalization is to sub out the noun with a name. If it makes sense, it should be capitalized. If it doesn't, it shouldn't. ("I remember Mom/Rebecca loved the Groac'h Sea" vs. "My mom/my Rebecca loved the Groac'h Sea.". "“Really Weird,” Eliza muttered “ Rabbits, really?”" Weird shouldn't be capitalized.

Punctuation: "Eliza, on the other hand, couldn't hide her annoyance and rolled her eyes before muttering a barely audible(comma/colon missing) "Fine."", "“If you see her . . .(quotation missing) She whispered hoarsely. “Ask her—“"

All in all, I did appreciate the stage setting and I am interested to see what direction the story goes in next. I think you have a good start. Best of luck to you with editing.