Friday, April 20, 2012

Callida by Irene Riot

Callida was a woman of ill repute. Orphaned as a child, she had no other living relatives after her parents died. She had no close friends. No one was willing to extend her any help thus she had to resort to immoral and often illegal activity to get by. Rumors were spread about her behavior but no one could ever bring about any concrete proof of her actions. She was as clever as she was savvy.

Callida was not proud of the way she lived her life. She had done many bad deeds but one thing she could say was that she never took the life of another. Every day she would wait for the tiny town church to empty so that she could enter and confess her sins. She begged for an opportunity to show she could do better.

Excordis was the nephew of a very wealthy merchant. He too was an orphan who was taken in by the merchant. The merchant pitied Excordis and provided him with a lavish life. He made Excordis manager of one of his businesses. Excordis was not very bright thus the merchant gave him a business that was small and not very successful.

Excordis never had to live on the streets but Callida knew he too was an orphan. She begged him for a job, any job that would provide her with an honest way of living. Excordis hired her to sweep the front of the shop and make sure everything inside was neat and orderly.

Callida was overjoyed. She made sure the shop was clean and that the front was pleasant to look at. The customers found this inviting. People were drawn to the store. Everything was neatly stacked and displayed properly so that the customers had no problems looking for what they needed. They were also able to discover other things they found useful. If there was something that could not be found, Callida gave proper direction. Because she knew where everything was in the store, she was promoted to sales girl.

Callida and Excordis became very close. They would often discuss business and Callida would give subtle hints on how things could be improved. Projects failed when Excordis did not follow Callida’s advice and business flourished when he went along with her ideas.

The merchant noticed business improved greatly since Callida started to work there. The merchant came to admire this hard working orphan who no longer lived off the streets. Because of Excordis, she was able to live a respectable life.

Excordis became very jealous of the attention the merchant gave Callida. When he and the merchant discussed business, he would blame Callida for any failures and claim any success as a result of his own ideas. The merchant was not convinced Excordis was responsible for the shop’s success.

Excordis feared the merchant would promote Callida and put her in charge of the shop. Excordis hid some money and claimed Callida had stolen from the shop. There was no direct evidence to link her to the crime. Despite that, the merchant dismissed her.

Business did not go as well when Callida left. Another sales girl was hired but she was not as efficient or as talented as Callida. Sales went down. The shop was not well kept. The goods were hap hazardly stacked and displayed in a disorganized fashion. Excordis missed his talks with Callida.

One day, Excordis went out in search of Callida. He was determined to make her to return to the shop. He found her in the marketplace exchanging her belongings for food. Callida saw him and looked away. Excordis stood directly in front of her, forcing her to face him. On bended knee, he offered her a ring. Callida accepted.

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