Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Death in the Scent of Saffron

Zig didn't say much.  He stood in the corner of warehouse watching the few workers carry in crates and roll in barrels.  They never saw him even though he made no effort to hide.  He was a fixture like the six support beams that supports the loft above their heads, on up to the mansard roof.  Zig stood and waited. Patience was always one of his best skills.  The last barrel rolled in and stacked on its side, two wooden wedges to hold it into place to complete the three tier pyramid.  The double doors swung closed and banged shut.  Then the muffled sound of the bolt being secured and the click of the lock.

And Zig breathed in the silence.  Now all he needed to do was chose.  Which of these good would be leaving with him tonight.  He favored the wine, but the shipment was from Torq from across the Solten Sea.  While considered an excellent wine by most, it did not travel well in the hot underbellies of the ships and often soured in route.

There were casks of cinnamon brandy.  Its weight was well worth the pay off.  But there were only two casks and his friend, Yarrimir, ordered it special for his daughter's wedding.  Zig was pleased to see it was stored properly and untapped.

It was the aromatic small crates that caught Zig's eye.  A dark, sweet scent permeated the area.  While Zig couldn't read the foreign letters on the crate he recognized their meaning.  Saffron.  A king's ransom could be contained in the smallest of crates.  Lady Eleanor was always in the market for exotic things.  She paid well and did not ask questions.  Zig's favorite kind of customer.

He hefted the small crate, two of the foreign looking letters glowed and his jaw trembled.  Before he could utter a sound Zig fell to his knees, his gaunt corpse exsanguinated before it hit the floor.

In the morning the workers opened the doors to flood the warehouse with light.  A harsh white wave of light washed over Zig's dark clothing.  One of the worker's with a clef lip lifted the clothes and dust poured out of them.  He tossed the clothes into an empty barrel then grabbed a broom to sweep the dust out into the street.