The Night Market.
What do you envision when you hear a name like the “Night Market?” In the most cases, you’d probably see a farmer’s market type setting, except late at night, with street lamps and electric lights strung over stalls to illuminate the wares being sold. It would be the usual market fare: fresh fruit, jams, pastries, meats, jewelry. There’d be places open nearby to get food or a late night cup of tea.
In a more fantastic setting, you’d see items you’d never seen before and food not known to any culture on earth. And you wouldn’t use money to pay. Items would be purchased via trade with whatever you have on you. The market would also be tucked away in some mysterious back alley that only looks like an alley on one side. It might be good, but there may be malevolent forces at work.
I’m obviously sticking to the first description, but a girl can dream. Despite the simple name, there are expectations.
Let me tell you about the “Night Market.”
On Saturday, I got together with Sharayah and Cindy, two of my dear writer friends, at Sherlock Holmes Pub for dinner. Once we finished our meals, we headed out into downtown for a walk. As we went, I noticed something scribbled on the sidewalk in blue chalk, with an address beneath it.
The name intrigued. I’ve been to several markets around the city, but I’d never heard of this one. We were only a few streets away, so I suggested we take a walk down there. Along the way, we discussed the types of things one might find at such a place, provided a more fantastical setting. Perhaps I had The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern on the brain.
I believe a few scenarios ended with horrible things happening and the possibility that someone was selling child slaves. We aren’t the sanest of individuals, sometimes.
We finally reached the address, and saw nothing.
Well, almost nothing.
There were two food trucks—useless to those who had just consumed either Chicken Pot Pie or Steak and Mushroom Pie and Apple Crisp—and three booths. One of the booths was selling scarves and jewelry, I believe, and another was selling skin care products. The third had two people sitting at a table, but no visible product on sale, so I think they were with some sort of non-profit group. I admit that, with nothing visible on sale, I had little interest in them.
Also, it was disappointing as fuck. There was a transit station nearby, so my friends and I parted ways.
Names are not always indicative of what awaits you, which is quite sad.
Not all was lost. Our writer-ly discussions of what could happen gave me a few ideas for some short stories. A few end well. A few…don’t.
Inspiration is everywhere, even in the mildly disappointing.