Jatydid crossed their tentacles over their body, six of them anyway. The other two grew a little, stretching to bring them up the the height of the stall owner, Mawris. Their produce stall was one of the few to sell in bulk, behind them a big truck, the quantity they had hidden by the shadows.
Markets were back in full swing since the end of the famine. The square was full, and stall owners had erected podiums on which they sat, better angle to catch thieves they claimed, but it was just as effective at intimidating timid shoppers.
"Excuse me," Jatydid asked, "could you repeat that? I think I misheard you over the general noise of the crowd. How much do you want for a bushel of kwinebrrries?"
Mawris twisted their beak and lazily blinked at Jatydid. "I said three thousand scules."
"You can't be serious." Jatydid muttered while Mawris just started back at them. "For kwinebrrries? The little things grow by the bushel, and quickly, like weeds."
"Demand still outstrips my ability to provide them for the masses."
“Enough demand for three thousand scules? When everyone is just starting to get back on their tentacles.”
“Are you going to buy any or not?” Mawris sighed. “There are some who are willing to pay.”
“Well fine.” Jatydid waved their tentacles in the air. “Go ahead and hornswoggle some other poor Qwortarian, but you won’t be overcharging me for some kwineberries!” They yelled while staring Mawris directly in the eye.
“You know,” Mawris spun their eyestalk around, “you can thank your child for improving the popularity of your first mixed crop.”
“Maybe you should thank them for your ability to price gouge your fellow Qwortarians who have already suffered enough.”
Jatydid’s body jiggled as they hurried off using all their tentacles. When the grafting tests were over, Jatydid and Skylar could use a whole greenhouse to grow their own kwinberries for the juice bar. Until then, their other juices would have to do.
Word count: 336