The city wall protected them from the monsters outside, but it also isolated them from the rest of the world. Not that they needed intercity-trade. The city was perfectly self-sufficient.
The only problem with being so isolated though, was that it could be hard to get unique items worth giving as gifts. It wasn’t unusual to have a gift exchange and end up with the same gift with a different design.
And that was why he was here at Penelope’s Panoply, one of a handful of stores that specialised in items brought in by travelling traders. The catalogue was diverse and eclectic, and best of all, each product only had one to three copies in stock, so if he got something here, it was unlikely for anyone he knew to also have it.
After a few rounds around the store, he made his choice. He bought it, bagged it, and brought it to the party a few days later. The gift exchange happened near the end of the party. Everyone who brought a gift reshuffled the gifts amongst themselves at random. He passed his gift to the person next to him, then someone else’s gift, and another, and… his gift already? No, his gift was in someone else’s hands, which meant…
That was it. From now on, he was making his own gifts. Then he would finally have something unique to give.
I’ve never seen the word panoply before this prompt. According to Professor Google, it means ‘an extensive or impressive collection’.
Nah. No inspiration. But I did come up with the title because Penelope’s Panoply sounded interesting. The title had a name, so I couldn’t put it under the Drabble category, since my drabbles followed two rules: no names, and no longer than one A5 page (I started this when I was using this as a writing exercise into my notebook).
I have not actually created a category for my stories that don’t qualify as drabbles or fit into a larger narrative, so I didn’t want another story that would just get lost among all my other stories. In the end, this story got linked to Defenders of the Wall and the rest of the story pretty much wrote itself.