Reo’ris’ crafting had not gone well. It had been a long few days—many more than he had expected or hoped. He was feeling a little hungover but not sure if it was the wine last night or the effort. Now it was time for the final push.
Local socialite Artemisia DeRose had commissioned him to craft a jewellery box that would produce a new piece of costume jewellery each time she used it. Not a real piece of jewellery, just a full sense illusion that would last the evening so she had something new to show off at each of her events.
He had been working for two weeks to make the box but kept finding flaws in the process. With so many side effects accumulating he nearly gave up but, so close to the end, he decided to push on through. He’d already used up most of the ingredients Artemisia had supplied and then some from his own stores. If he was lucky, he’d just cover his costs.
With the box ready, he prepared the Qaat Leaf solution to power it. Making sure he painted every exposed wooden surface completely, the box began to quiver and hum. This was all going to work out, he thought.
The sound of an approaching glass storm outside registered in his consciousness but he paid little attention as he added the final touches of the Qaat Leaf to the box. And then the storm shifted, jumping from outside the house to inside the box with a loud tinkling. The box started to spin on its fourth axis faster and faster until it was an echidna-like ball of glass slivers.
Reo’ris ducked behind his safety shield just in time as the shards exploded outward, small missiles of sharp glass filling the room.
The Neverending Bottle on the corner of the bench, the one that had both fueled and confounded his late night crafting, exploded into a fine spray of glass and wine, coating most of his studio with a red wine that he was pretty sure wouldn’t be coming out. Not without a good Kassonut scrub and a lot of effort anyway.
He leaned back against his bench and took a deep breath. This wasn’t good. He wished he had remembered to take the bottle out of the studio before he resumed as he could do with a drink right now.
His house knew he was done with crafting for now and his studio began to fold itself up out of the way. Reo’ris hurried out the door, not wanting to be booted out on the street like the last time he didn’t make it out before the folding was complete. He needed to have the timing on that looked at. Again.
As he caught his breath in his parlour a butterfly, much like any other except that it was about half a metre across its wingspan, flew in the window. It unfolded itself into a cloud of rose petals in the air, which hovered long enough to form a readable message: “I will receive delivery of the item at Cafe/Bar at 2100 tomorrow. Artemisia.” As he read, the petals fell to the floor, recombining to butterfly form and flying off.
He had spent longer than anticipated on the crafting and now he was out of time.
This is continued in The Tale of a Flowery Tribute.Related Locations
Written by David Harris and Reo'ris