Guess what. I lied.
*shock and surprise from the audience* You thought you could trust me? HA!
So I said the next episode would be ready in a couple weeks, yet *dramatic cape swish* here we are. I was originally going to write another episode, the same length as the first one, but it turned out that the logical thing to come next is a part 2 of episode 1, which is much shorter but ties up some loose ends so we can cleanly transition to episode 2.
So here we go: Episode 1 part 2!
On that same thread, next week, it is highly possible that my weekly post will be super short/late/completely nonexistent. Why, you ask?! Excellent question.
I’m giving up the blogging business permanently and moving to Antarctica.
Just kidding. Wanted to make sure everyone was still awake.
Longish story made shortish, I’m taking a theatre workshop in which we are writing one-act plays. Next Monday, we’re presenting a scene from each of our plays as a “pilot,” so we can vote on whose plays we will produce. (Like, we’ll preform them and everything! This is really exciting! Get excited!) Which means… this week I have to write a pilot-worthy scene.
So, between the writing and the internal screaming, I may not have time to write/post something interesting/something at all. If I disappear next week, worry not! I’ll be back the week after that with episode 2, and all will be right in the world again.
Okay, for realsies this time: Episode 1 part 2!
The sailor draws his pistol in one swift, practiced motion. I, maybe finally getting back my senses, duck behind the table. He gives whatever is under the table a kick, and I hear my jars rattling and shattering. But no yelp of pain from the well-dressed source of my problems.
“Oy!” and there he is now. He’s standing at the open back door, waving. Does he want to die? He ducks back right as the angry half-blood takes off after him. I wait till the sound of boots on the stone floor fades before I move. Before I breathe, I realize, exhaling.
I can’t feel my legs, I note, so that’s something. The warehouse is empty. Dust is already settling on the tables, oil lamps are going out. It’s uncomfortably quiet, unnaturally still. The warmth of a hundred bodies sharing heat is escaping almost as fast as the people themselves, and a wind off the ocean raises goose bumps on my bare arms.
Wait, what time is it?
Somewhere in the city, a clock strikes. Then another, as if reminded of its job. I count the chimes. Two, four, six…
I’m grabbing as many jars and bottles as I can, rushing them to the floor, grabbing more, faster than I would handle a bunch of glassware at any other time. But not fast enough, apparently.
The vanishing potion, rubbed into the wood like oil, gets to work. It’s an odd sight, like fog evaporating when the sun comes out, except it’s wood. It creeps up the legs, one at a time, then claims the tabletop. The tablecloth, my own and not affected, hovers in the air for just a fraction of a second, like a magic trick. Then-
I didn’t have to time grab a couple bottles. As soon as the glass breaks, the Wishes vaporize, floating away like smoke. Two perfectly good Wishes wasted. Argh.
At least there’s no mess to clean up, besides the broken glass of course. I wrap it all up in the tablecloth, sighing. I pull out my carpet bag, and proceed to organize my unsold Wishes and empty glasses into it. Stacking jars into each other, wrapping vials in newspaper. Reaching for my ingredient jars-
Wait. Where are they? I know I brought them, there’s always one costumer who wants a Wish I didn’t mix up beforehand. I know enough recipes to be able to mix them on site, no problem. I remember neatly putting them in my bag before leaving home, then getting here, hiding them under the table.
Under the table where that fairy hid. That fairy who apparently knows a lot about potion ingredients. Who would recognize that many of mine were worth a lot more than 20 crowns.
I don’t even feel bad for suspecting him so easily.
I shove the glass-filled tablecloth into my bag with more force than needed. I’m already calculating what this means: I need those ingredients to do my job. No job, no food or rent. More importantly, nothing to do all day but sit and be angry at… did he ever tell me his name? I close my bag with an angry snap. It pinches my finger.
So what other course do I have but follow him? I mean, I could try to find all new ingredients, but those aren’t the kind of thing I could pop off to Market Street and get replacements. Some of those were handed down to me from my father.
He’s not going to get away with this. I sling my bag over my shoulder, straighten my dress, and half-run out the door, jars clinking all the way. The rest of the tables have vanished, followed by the oil lamps, and now the warehouse is black as a cave. My feet hit the gravel outside, just as a shout echoes from the docks.
It’s probably not him.
More shouting. A splash.