The day was clear as Madam Lohk entered the crowded marketplace. She pushed passed women haggling with vendors, children weaving around stalls and merchants who had long since stopped asking if “the pretty lady would like a necklace.” Instead, Madam Lohk quietly went about her shopping, squeezing a tomato to see if it was ripe, allowing the fishmonger to regale her with stories of sharks, storms and shipwrecks, and receiving a disappointment when she learned that the owner of her favorite cafe was ill and might not return for several days.
Having finished her shopping, she was wandering aimlessly around the square when a foreign looking man wearing dark glasses barreled into Madam Lohk, sending her sprawling. Without so much as an apology, he vanished into the crowd. Indignantly, Madam Lohk got to her knees as a young man bent down and helped her gather her groceries which had been scattered by the collision.
From behind them, there was a hiss, a scream, a thunderous roar, and darkness.