Allure Of The Night

C.11Feb 27, 2023

Eve stared hard inside the ceramic vessel as if her bath salts would magically appear if she tried harder. And she did try it, nearly glaring at it before giving up and sighing.

“How did I forget to refill it?” She put her hand inside the vessel and touched the bottom surface, only to feel her fingers touch the little amount of grains left in there. 𝗳𝘳𝐞e𝙬𝙚𝚋𝗻𝚘𝚟𝗲l.𝑐𝑜m

Unlike when Eve was young, she didn’t have to depend on bath salts every day. When she turned eighteen, her body had finally turned accustomed to her legs, but that didn’t mean she was free from using the bath salts. In a week, she had to use it at least once. The longer she took to bathe herself in the salts, the weaker her legs turned.

She already was clumsy enough. The last thing she needed was to fall flat on the ground.

Once she was done taking a bath, she changed herself into a dress and walked down to the kitchen. Picking up the cool lemonade in her hand, she took a couple of sips before asking Eugene, who was cleaning the island of the kitchen,

“Do we have Sour rocks in the storage room?”

Eugene paused what he was doing and nodded, “We must have enough to last you for the next four weeks. Would you like me to bring some of them to you?” he asked her.

“I will take it,” replied Eve, and she walked to the storage room, where the servant followed her from behind.

“Did you run out of it?” Asked Eugene, and Eve nodded.

“I did. I won’t be needing it for the next three days, but it would be better to stock them,” Eve had bent down, pulling out a small bag that was hidden behind the other vessels. When she opened the gunny bag, there were small black rocks. After she went through another vessel, she said, “We are out of Ivory dust. Seems like a trip to the deeper part of the market is required.”

“Let me accompany you,” Eugene offered, and Eve gave him a small nod.

It wasn’t that Eve wasn’t capable of taking care of herself. But Lady Aubrey had never approved of Eve stepping into the darker side of the market, and the older woman preferred that Eugene accompanied Eve.

If Eugene knew to identify the rocks, he would have gone to buy it himself. But there had been a couple of times when he had been fooled by being given simple rocks of no purpose. In the beginning, years when Lady Aubrey had taken Eve in, she knew a merchant who sold it. But three years ago, the seller had disappeared without a trace.

Even though their town was occupied by middle and lower class human families, the items that were of no use to the humans were sold right in Meadow without their knowledge.

Eve and Eugene reached the market by foot, which was located in the corner part of the town.

“The weather seems to have changed quite quickly since the last two hours,” commented Eugene, while he looked up at the sky that had turned cloudy.

Thankfully for Eve, she had carried her umbrella with her.

The pair shopped for other regular things so that they didn’t look suspicious before coming to stand in front of the human merchant’s shop, who sold different rocks.

“Good afternoon, Lady Eve. Did the stones help in blocking the water seepage?” inquired the merchant.

“Yes, it did. But I believe we will need some more of those,” Eve smiled. She explained, “With the house being old, it needs constant care.”

“I can only imagine,” the merchant agreed. “You don’t have to come all the way here for that. I can always send these things through your servant.”

“This gives me an excuse to come out and take a stroll in the market,” Eve moved closer to look at one of the gunny bags before she raised her eyes to look at the merchant throwing white stones into the gunny bag. “It looks like you have fancier looking ones. How much are these?”

The merchant gave a glance and replied, “Those are rather new and of very high quality. It costs fifty shillings, but if you are going to buy, I will sell it for thirty.”

“That is very kind of you,” replied Eve. 𝙛𝙧𝙚𝒆𝘸𝚎𝙗𝒏oν𝙚𝘭.𝐜𝒐m

Since the past, wealthy men were only aware that mermaids made use of salts, but they weren’t able to figure out what kind because there were two components mixed in it—Sour rocks and Ivory dust. This is why it made it easier for Eve just to buy the rocks and then crush them for use.

“Shall I add them?” Inquired the merchant, eager to sell and make his profit.

Eve turned distracted when she heard a little commotion take place further inside the alleys of the market. It had not only attracted hers but a few others’ attention. The only difference was that the humans went back to what they were doing, trying to avoid the darker side of the market. While Eve stared in that direction.

The clouds above the town of Meadow had come to hover, growling softly.

“Maybe next time I visit,” she replied. She paid the merchant the money, who handed the bag to Eugene. “Thank you.”

“Lady Eve, this is the way,” came the startled voice of Eugene when he caught Eve taking a step in the opposite direction.

“Would you like to take a walk with me, Eugene?” There was a look of curiosity in her eyes, which Eugene turned wary of.

“No… I think my legs are tired, and we—Wait! I am coming!” Replied Eugene when Eve started to walk in the opposite direction. Catching up with her, he whispered hurriedly, “I don’t think it is safe for us to walk where you plan to walk right now, miss.”

“I felt I heard someone scream, and it was very faint,” Eve replied worriedly.

“I think that is a sign to walk away and not towards it,” Eugene looked around them as they continued to walk. The people on this side of the alleys wore long cloaks, and they didn’t look like people who were kind or had good intentions.

“We’ll take a quick look and leave,” said Eve because she knew if she didn’t take a look right now, she would keep wondering if someone had been in trouble. “There’s nothing to worry. We are still in our own town.”

Though the wind that blew was cold, Eugene had begun to start sweating. He kept an eye to make sure no one was looking at them, but he knew sooner or later, people would.

Eve’s blue eyes tried to find anything that could stand out, but so far, in the places they had walked past, everything appeared to be normal. As the scream had been faint to her ears, she wasn’t sure if it was a male or a female’s voice.

Soon drops of water started to fall, first softly before increasing the pace. Both Eve and Eugene had pulled open their umbrellas and positioned them over their heads.

The rain blurred the vision of their surroundings after a few steps. The town’s men and women hurried back to their houses while some took shelter. Then there were a few who continued to l