Last year, in 2012, I took a course at Ryerson University on novel writing (quite glad I did). We were assigned approximately seven assignments, one of which was an exercise on writing a setting. Of all the assignments, this was my favourite piece. I hope that you all enjoy it.
A big thank you to my teacher, Susan Glickman, for editing my work.
I apologize for some of the grammatical errors regarding indentation. WordPress was giving me a hard time.
The Night Market
by Tina Narang
“Goodbye,” I waved to my grandfather, locking the gate behind me.
“Goodbye,” he replied from his balcony.
I made my way down the alleys and I followed the crowds of people as they headed towards the weekend night market near the temple. It was a busy night, as it was only days before Diwali. Yellow and black rickshaws surrounded the area and honked aggressively as they passed through the traffic. Bright lights lit streets in anticipation of the joyous holiday season. It was my favourite holiday.
At the north corner, near the local park, I could see vibrant costumes and painted faces gathering around the main stage in preparation for the annual play of good and evil. I walked towards it but stopped at the smell of spicy chickpeas coming from nearby. My stomach rumbled when I glanced at my watch. I was early and Bal would not be here for another hour. Intoxicated by the smell, I made my way to the busy cart.
“How many plates?” asked the chickpea man looking down at me from his silver podium. He was tall, dark, and thin.
“Just one,” I replied as handed him the money.
He handed me a paper plate with fried puri and curry covered in three white rings of onion and fresh cilantro. It smelled delicious as always. I made my way back to the stage and sat down on faded red carpets laid out on the colourless grass in front of it. The audience was mostly children, eager to be entertained. Suddenly, the lights dimmed and the children cheered and clapped loudly.
“Good evening everyone! Welcome to the show!” shouted a man holding a silver sword in his right hand. He was dressed in blue and gold with a large golden hat and a long moustache curled at his cheeks. The children screamed even louder. I too felt a sudden rush as my heart beat faster. “Begin!” he shouted.
The show started with a woman dressed in a white saree searching for the princess. “Where are you, Sita?” she yelled dramatically as she ran back and forth across the stage.
Year after year, the show was a surprise. Sometimes the sword fights started at the beginning and sometimes not until the end. Sometimes they lit each other on fire, sometimes they didn’t. It was always different and wonderful. Perhaps this is why they continued to draw the crowds. Then suddenly, I felt sadness overwhelm me.
It would be the last time I would ever see this place, I thought.
© All rights reserved, 2013 – Tina Narang