Property of Melissa Snyder
“Dreamer’s Caste” (cont.)
Mercy. It was an ironic name, because this young woman was anything but. Mercy didn’t complement Affluence. Affluence demanded skill, cunning, and ruthlessness. Mercy had all of these in spades, just like her father did. She was skilled in trade, in investment, in acquisition. She was the very definition of Affluent. Her name was therefore a clever, shall we say, diversion.
Gown swishing and whispering over the marble floors, Mercy made her way through her father’s stately town mansion at the center of the Inner City, ordering about the morning household. She then took herself out to the balcony to break her fast. Morning fresh grapes, with the dew still on them, cheese aged for years until perfectly sharp, bread made from the finest wheat. As she sits there, eating daintily and savoring the flavors beneath the elegantly-embroidered cloth hangings to protect her pale skin from the morning sun. As she eats, a plain, wide-brimed hat passes beneath her sight and she pauses, threaded eyebrows knitting in consternation.
It was that damned Dreamer. Every other day she passed Mercy’s home on her way to the Grande Bazaar. She wasn’t the only one, to be sure, but this one annoyed her more than those other lowlifes because she was actually brazen enough to show her face in the Grande. And there were fools in the Grande who dared to purchase her dreamspun wares, giving her hard-minted money for nothing! Like common barterers! Traitors to Affluence! She wanted to lob the entire loaf at that dreadful hat, smack some sense into the Dreamer’s head to get back to the Outers where she belonged. Instead, Mercy determined to enjoy her very expensive breakfast to spite the Dream Girl’s face. She would not allow the nobody to ruin her day.
Finishing her food, Mercy rang for the servant girl to clear away and then rose from her seat to begin her day. Business and Affluence would not run themselves, after all.