The night is coming to a city wrapped in fear of war. The sirens scream, telling me it is time to hide. I hurriedly closed my shop and placed a small curse on the rune-lock. Thieves are prospering, using these blackouts as their cloak. If someone chooses to break the lock, he shall suffer from a sudden outburst of explosive diarrhea. That will deter the malevolent parties for the time being.
I watched for the wandering eyes and wink at the beggar sitting on the opposite side of this narrow Bazar Road. He keeps an eye on my shop in exchange for an anna or two, and I can sleep at night with relative peace. Despite the ersatz appearance, my shop has become a site of attraction, particularly to the troops from the faraway lands. Not because I sell ginseng at the cheapest rate in the entire Calcutta, not because I sell untraceable opium, but because