October 20, 2012

Three: Blue

Mist blew in off the water and its gauzy veil curled around the dock, reaching for the floorboards of her stone workshop. She cupped her hands around her mug and let the cool morning tease along her cheeks, a wall of heat at her back.

She’s had the torch blasting since dawn. She turned away from the pearl grey of the morning and back to the flames that had driven her from her bed even earlier than normal. Pounded copper spiraled off her work table. Vices held each side of the snapping flames shape. She’d been at her annealing station for hours, but finally formed the bastard into the right shape.

She’d cut out keyholes shaped like tears at the center of the brightest flames. Originally she’d been happy with the oxidized sheets, but now she knew it was meant for glass. Blue glass in a million shades between grey and deep cobalt.

Like the stranger’s eyes.

She’d stopped and spoken to him. She never spoke to anyone. She’d made her home in Prince’s Bay for five years and had never spoken to a soul. One stranger with fire for eyes and she’d broken her rule.

Well known eyes.

But the fame didn’t matter to her, she wanted another look at his eyes. Crystalline and undefinable. The blue was as ever changing as the heart of a flame. And she couldn’t get the color right.

The glory hole of her fire sparked bright. She set her mug down and brought the pipe up to her mouth and turned with a steady lungful of breath. The glass was malleable with heat, the chemicals were at the right temperature. Maybe this time.

She dipped the glass into a water bath and the steam curled the baby fine hairs along her temple out of its tight band. That told her she’d hit the right heat. In the heart of her palm she rolled the glass over the pristine white cloth. Soot and streaks of ash revealed a diamond pattern of shadows and blue.

Not the right darkness and light.

Why couldn't she get this color?

Anger climbed up and crawled across her back muscles. It had been so long since she'd felt it, she had to resist the urge to tap it into the box of shards beside the water bath.

She simply had to see those eyes again.

She needed to process the color until it crawled in her brain like every other project she’d ever started. She’d finish this piece.

Reggie needed another show piece. And she was damn tired of listening to her phone calls. For the love of fuck she’d resorted to leaving video messages on her phone. She knew she needed another piece for the gallery. Even when she priced her work off the charts, they still bought it.

Still wanted more.

She couldn’t complain. It kept her in chemicals and paid for the groceries when she remembered to eat. And it kept the cases of Tyrconnell coming for her daily trips to The Bar. But there was only so much money a person needed.

And she had enough for eight generations.

She could tell Reggie to suck it. But there was a part of her that needed to make sure her work left the workshop. This was her only legacy. The only beauty she could offer to the world.

She put aside the glass. There would be time enough to find the stranger and his famous eyes tonight. For now she’d do a little light lampwork.