(this is a sequel to this story of mine, Masks manymasksmanyfaces.deviantart.…
Dark clouds started to fill the sky. Ciara and Alexa walked down the street umbrellas slung under their arms in case rain fell. Alexa wore a white blouse with tie strings out front and a purple felt skirt that reached to her ankles that matched her master’s colors. She also wore brown boots that she wore in the shop to help protect her feet and they were more comfortable on the cobblestone than bare feet by a long shot. They covered her ankles which Ciara insisted she would explain when Alexa was older. It was far more feminine than she ever imagined wearing in her past life, but that was then this is now.
The mask maker apprentice wore her first mask she made. Well, technically she helped t make it but her master Ciara let her keep it. Her first mask, a oval mask that Ciara helped design and paint, with a design of a smiling yellow sun design with the rest a pristine blue sky. While she did not want to say it aloud, the mask filled Alexa with pride. She made something for once instead of taking it. Sure, she had help, but it’s the principle of the matter.
Ciara herself wore a lavender robe with a long sash. She also wore a mask of her own design. Presently, it was a purple cap on her head with floppy bunny ears, but if she were to pull it forward it was a hood that covered her face to just above her mouth and had cute eyes to go with the ears. An entertainer commissioned it, and Ciara wanted to test it out first.
The pair avoided the crowded streets and took a side street laden with shops which raised Alexa’s curiosity. She asked, “Where are we going?”
“A blacksmith whose metal works I prefer.” Ciara replied. “I need new tools to bring my masks to life and I will share with you so you can make more. We can go twice as fast! And we don’t need to alternate.”
“Ah, alright.” Alexa grinned softly.
As they walked down the string of shops stacked together like books on a shelf, Ciara’s energy deflated. The normally exuberant mask maker became more reserved which confused Alexa. As they approached the blacksmith shop at the end of the street, she heard voices through the open door. She heard one person with lively chatting, a familiar voice from an urchin from her past life. She recognized the voice and the face, but not the urchin’s name. The urchin was by a shopkeeper who had a large forge hammer in one hand resting on her its handle like a cane. The urchin talked her ear off until finally, the blacksmith, tired of hearing the urchin talk, bashed him with her hammer, “Git out o’ here! I need to concentrate ‘er somethin’. Tired of hearin’ ya talk.”
The urchin tumbled off less hurt and more dizzy. Ciara leaned close to Alexa “Emily is a bit of a shy one. The slightest tap on her shoulder and she smashes it with a hammer whether it’s a cockroach or an elephant! Not terribly diplomatic, but she has great talent at metallurgy assuming she goes a day without getting blasted off by her cannons.”
Ciara knocked on the open door t polity announce their presence "Emily, may I come in."
Emily patted a freshly forged cannon barrel ready for its wooden furnishings from the carpenters. The shop was full of metallurgy equipment, particularly the lit furnace, and forged metal laying or hanging around. Even the work desk was forged metal.
She looked up and took off her visor. Her fiery orange hair framed her young face. "Aye, come on in."
She took off her thick, metallurgy glove and pulled out a small box from a nearby desk. she produced a big, fat cigar from it. She used the fire from her furnace to lit it taking a few puffs before taking it out of her mouth
She groaned in pleasure, “Ah, that’s the ticket. Fucando didn’t cheat me o’ that one. Top o’ the mornin’ to ya’ Ciara! Been a wee bit since our last chat.”
“Greetings Emily." Ciara bows. "I need a new wood carving tools, you know like the last one. Sorry I’m not good with my vernacular with your trade.”
Emily took a long puff and waved dismissively. “Oh, no worries hun, tis a simple task compared to what these Johnny Soldiers want from me.” She tapped the ashes off her cigar. "Army has the guilds working overtime. Be a nice change of pace to make things that make masks.”
Ciara gave her a bright smile. "Indeed. Same for me. I need them for my new apprentice, Alexa."
Emily took a long puff form her cigar as she accessed Alexa silently. Alexa did the same.
Ciara laughed, “Oh you two will get along just fine!”
Emily shrugged, “I can get it done for you.”
Ciara grinned “Many thanks. I will have your mask and your payment for sure by then.”
Ciara bowed and departed. Alexa realized what she did and copied her half heartedly
Emily puffed on her cigar as they left bowing a smoke ring.
Once they were a considerable distance away and Alexa was certain Emily was hammering on her forge she looked to her master “That’s a strange character, where is she from?”
“She’s from an island, a bit of a ways away by sea. What did you think of Emily?” Ciara answered with a wizened voice.
Alexa mused. “She reminds me a bit of me. Soft spoken and shy.”
Ciara clapped as they turned onto the main street with more hustle and bustle at the food market. “I knew you would click! Despite her bravado, she is a shy bird like you. Now, let’s get some warm bread! And some lettuce, I want some salad.”
Alexa nodded as she looked from stall t stall for the best food. “I would too. And an apple, I love apples.”
And thus the pair went off and bought themselves a lovely dinner.