Written by: Collette Cottingham; Boot Hill
The yellow dust danced through the air. You could see it everywhere, roof tops, the ground, and stuck onto faces. The harvest had been good. The dusting was a sign that everyone would reap the rewards from the golden harvest.
Zeed emerged from the bank happy. He had the tiny yellow particles stuck to the crevices of his fingers and coins jingling in his satchel. Zeed looked up. There before him stood Janc. Why was Janc here? He lives in Quantar.
Zeed really need to talk to him, but how to approach him? Janc didn’t know Zeed. Janc knew Wnztar. Wnztar the woman Zeed used to be, and hopefully would be again someday. Janc was from the area of Laleek, perfect Zeed would pretend to be the butcher’s son.
Zeed walked up to Janc. “Janc, hello, what brings you here? You are a long way from the planet Quantar?”
“How did you know…?”
“I grew up in the same area as you, Laleek, Quantar.”
“I am one of the butcher’s sons.”
“I understand if you don’t remember me, there are a lot of us.”
“Yes, very large family, what are you doing now?”
“I live here on a farm with my sister and her husband. What brings you here?”
“I am here on business.”
“Are you still working for the authority?”
“Yes, I am.”
He looked surprised that knew that, “I have an excellent memory, is there anything I can help you with? I know the area here very well.”
“Why yes, thank you…sorry I forgot your name.”
“I am Zeed, what can I do to assist?”
“Is there a place we can talk?”
“The corner café is good. It will be slow this time of day.”
“Perfect, I will follow you.”
At the café, Zeed knew he needed to be helpful, but also get information. Janc knew someone very important to Zeed…Cresta.
“Zeed, have you noticed any new strange characters in the area?”
I can’t get myself caught up in the middle of anything, especially agency business. When the agency appeared it usually meant trouble.
Janc noticed the worry on Zeed’s face. “Don’t worry I won’t reveal my source.”
Yeah right, that old song and dance, the truth Zeed didn’t know many people. People ask questions, Zeed needed to stay safe and under the radar. He wasn’t getting to know anyone.
“Some new characters area in the area about two weeks ago, I don’t know their names. There were four of them. They haven’t done anything, but the hair stands up on the back of my neck when they appear.”
“I hear ya Zeed, where would I find them?”
“I see them down by the old wharf or at Grump’s Tavern.”
“I really appreciate that Zeed, thanks.”
“Do you ever see Cresta?”
Janc looked surprised, “You know her?”
“Yeah I haven’t seen her in years; remember I grew up in Laleek too.”
“That’s right. She doesn’t work for the agency.”
“Is she still working at Clovers?”
“Yeah, as a matter of fact she is.”
“If you see her could you tell her I still have the key”
“It is an old childhood game we use to play, Cresta will get it.”
“I better get home. It was nice bumping into you, Janc. I hope you find who you are looking for.”
“Thanks, it was nice to meet you Zeed, take care.”
They shook hands and parted ways. Zeed knew Cresta would get the message. It was an interesting message from a grubby farmer to a lovely lady. Zeed knew he had peaked Janc’s curiosity. Zeed knew Janc would seek Cresta out when he got back to Laleek.