Quills and Swords

by Amara K.F.


Tan boots navigated around a fruit vendor's cart, the wear's steps brisk and irritated.

"I said no Salmoneus,"Gabrielle said heatedly.

The pudgy, fawning man trailed after her, unfazed by her numerous refusals.

"But just think of it!"His eyes gleamed as a far away look came into them. "They'll be red hott; we won't be able to keep them in the stalls!"

Gabrielle shot him an annoyed look over twin mounds of nuts at the next venders stall.

"XENA!"She cried gleefully, spotting the tall, dark haired lifesavor across the crowd. Either the warrior would rescue her or join her in her pain.

Hearing the cry, Xena made her way towards the bard and mentally groaned when she realized, too late, who accompanied Gabrielle.

"How did shopping go?"Xena questioned, warily eyeing Salmoneus even as she teased the bard. She received a playful smack in response to her teasing.

"You could have joined me, Smartie. I got some of those... watchamacalits? The pastry things you liked."

"Xena!"Salmoneus cut it, physically interposing himself between the two women. "How have you been? I was just telling Gabrielle about my latest idea –well invention, really. But who's counting? And I can't claim all the credit-"

"Salmoneus!"Xena interrupted to get his attention.




"Whatever it is? No,"Xena clarified.

Gabrielle tried to hide her snickers, making a mental note to write that dialog down. The puzzledly crestfallen look on Salmoneus' face was priceless.

Xena felt her own smile re-emerge at Gabrielle's amusement. The day thus far had been mildly torturous. She was seeing starbursts after ramming her head, figuratively speaking, into the brick wall that was an overly jolly rancher incapable of understanding why Xena wouldn't "take care"of his "little Centaur problem."The problem being he was a narrow minded ass and the Centaurs in question had fireball tempers. Of course she felt much better after being able to vent some of her frustration on the airheaded idiot when he made the mistake of calling her "tootsie."If she could just get herself and Gabriel away from Salmoneus without going bonkers, the day wouldn't be a total zero.

"Okay, so you're not interested yet."Salmoneus gave a fake shrug. "That's just because you haven't finished hearing my idea! Let me connect the dots, give you the BIG picture. I've invented this candy,"He held up two gooey squiggles that looked like gummy worms, apart from the fact the worms, no matter how slimy, where generally not swamp blue and green respectively. "And I wanna use your names to sell it! We'll be like the three musketeers; I tell you it'll be payday! Of course since I'm doing most of the work we'll settle at a 15-85 percent profit split, which is more than fair. And of course there's the matter of fund-"

"You wanna name a candy after us,"Gabrielle burst out. "That's ridiculous!"She shared a look of utter disbelief with Xena.

The peeps from baby chicks and few stall down could be heard in Salmoneus brief moment of affronted silence, although if they had been out of the town Gabrielle was sure it would have been frogs. Unfortunately she was too amused to care.

"It's perfect! You guys are already famous and now your names will be on the lips of every person across Greece. The crunchy yet sweet, but with maybe a hint of-"

"No Salmoneus,"Xena said firmly.



"Fine, I'll ask Herc, but don't you two crybabies come crawling to me when I'm rich from these sugar babies."

"Seriously Salmoneus,"Xena queried the affronted man. "Candy named after me? What sort of goober would want to eat a candy entitled 'Destroyer of Nations?'"

"I don't know Xena, you seem very edible to me,"Gabrielle jested... half jested.

"I was going to call them taffy Quills and Swords."

"Quills and Swords?"Gabrielle's snort of derision added insult to injury. "Who would name a candy after such commonly used words?"


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