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Music swirled around us, somehow blasting over the noise of the crowd. Colours exploded, multicoloured flags hanging above the stalls that stretched out in front of us.
"Hey, ice cream!" I blinked, turning to my red headed best friend as she grabbed my hand and dragged me over to a stall beside us.
"Seriously, Rach? It's like negative a hundred degrees!" Rachel smirked, leaning over the ice cream stall. The refrigerator was full of weird flavours, like pistachio and coffee.
"Who eats coffee ice cream?" I exclaimed and she chuckled.
"People who don't spend eight hours a day surrounded by the smell of coffee grains! Also, it is not that cold, you just have the tolerance of a wombat. Can I have one of the triple choc cones please?" Rachel asked, handing the vendor some coins.
"Why am I suddenly a four legged mammal?" I asked, wrapping my jumper closer to my body. I smiled at my bests friends logic as the white snow crunched beneath our feet.
"Marsupial." Biting into her ice cream, Rachel's face instantly scrunched up.
"Hah, brain freeze! And what in the hell is a marsupial?" The red head was silent for a second as the brain freeze passed before turning to me.
"A wombat is a marsupial!" She laughed, dragging me along in the crowd. "We need to find Mr Durvis' stall, I want some new books."
"That explains nothing, woman." Rachel grinned at me and I stuck my tongue out at her. "It shouldn't be hard to find Mr Durvis' stall." I said, ducking under a low hanging string of flags.
"Why's that?" Rachel asked, looking around at the surrounding stalls whilst licking her ice cream.
"Because all we have to do is walk in a straight line." I announced, pointing down the incredibly organised line of stalls.
""Are we really questioning the layout of the stalls?" Rachel groaned, glaring at me. I smiled and shrugged.
"You don't think it's weird? They have the entire town to spread out their stalls but they all organise it so the stalls go right through the middle of town." Rachel frowned, shoving the rest of her ice cream into her mouth as she side stepped a group of children running through the crowd.
"It's tradition." She eventually answered.
"It's a weird tradition!" We were silent for a moment, navigating our way through the crowd before I frowned.
"You and your damned ice cream. Now I want chocolate!" Rachel smirked at me, pausing in the middle of the crowd.
"You can get your own ice cream."
"I am not having anything cold! Let's go to the Cafe and get a hot chocolate." Rachel was silent for a moment as we continued working our way through the crowd.
"Can we find Mr Durvis first? The markets the only time I'm allowed to buy books." She spoke quietly, her fingers tightening in my hand. I scowled, running my thumb over her hand in an attempt to comfort her.
"You know you can ask me to buy you books whenever you want, right?" The red head was silent for a moment as she chewed on her lip. I sighed, watching as she triple checked every choice she could make.
"I know but I can't tell you what books I want if I can't see them..." I pursed my lips, noting how she seemed intently focused on a painting of a poodle leaning against one of the stalls.
"Okay, let's go find your books then. It'll be good to sit down and have a read whilst we're at the cafe anyway." Rachel lit up, her bright green eyes shining as she turned to look at me.
"You can get a new fantasy book!" She cried, dragging me through the crowd again.
"You know, I'd like to keep my hand!" I joked, shaking my head at her. "I think the thirty or so books I haven't read yet might contest that." Rachel chuckled as we raced past the stalls.
"There's no such thing as too many books!" She yelled back at me. I frowned, noticing that she hadn't let go of my hand.
"There is such thing as too little storage space though." As soon as the words left my mouth, Rachel halted, almost making me crash into her.
"Hey! Heads up next time." I cried, throwing my arms around her neck and leaning my chin on her shoulder so I could see why she stopped.
"Oh. Hi Mr Durvis!" I cried, trying not to laugh as Rachel lost herself in the hundreds of books set out along the counter.
"Good afternoon, Teranika, how are you today?" The man sitting behind the stall had a greying beard, his hair shaved short and large glasses sitting on his crooked nose. He moved forward, glaring up at me.
"I'm good, just enjoying the market day." I smiled at the man but he just leaned back in his chair and nodded.
"Good." Rachel took a bag from a pile next to the stall and began to stack it full of books, so fast I was wondering if she was actually looking at the content of them.
"Hey Mr Durvis, you've been living in Quelia for longer then Rach and I, what's with the market stalls being arranged in a straight line?" Mr Durvis narrowed his eyes at me, his lips pulling into a line as he looked at me disapprovingly.
"Tera, why are you asking him that!" Rachel cried, her eyes wide.
"I want to know!" I exclaimed, shrugging.
"It's tradition, Tera. Makes it easier to see everyone's wares." I frowned as Rachel pulled out her wallet and started counting coins. When her shoulders slumped, I pulled out my wallet and handed her a ten dollar note.