The Birth of Èrainn
Alev learned to be quick on the streets Constantinople, but not quick enough. Estevam Nunez found him hanging in a gibbet in the Grand Bazaar, three years into the first half-hearted Ottoman siege. It was not a coincidence that the gibbet was on Kalpakcilarbasi Street, where the gold-sellers kept their stalls, but his light hands weren’t the issue. No one had actually ever caught him. It was the other problem. To a point the neighbors had been understanding…his parents were respectable people, hardworking, with an interest in the salt trade…it’s just that there was something creepy about the boy. His family clothed him in voluminous kaftans to cloak the worst part of his deformity. Yet even swaddled in yards of the cotton they could afford, there was something about the boy’s mere presence that was as discomfiting as it would have been to see him walk down the street with his twitching tail draped over his shoulder. He was unwelcome wherever he appeared. When, as they will, his secrets made their way out, the paranoia of the siege turned his neighbors against him. The price Estevam Nunez paid to take him from the gibbet was two small sacks of bulgar wheat.