Gavin stared at the plate, then glanced at the mug of coffee in his hands. Barely awake, he blinked against the soft glow of the etched silver and wondered if he’d indeed risen from bed or was in a dream state.
“Terry?” he called.
His paramour wasn’t inclined to wake early, and he waited for what seemed like an age for Terry to stumble into the workshop bleary eyed. He wasn’t looking at Gavin though, and gaped at what Gavin thought mustn’t be an apparition after all.
“But how’d you…” Terry rubbed his eyes. “Did Gretchen..?”
“She might be a trickster, but this hardly seems like a joke.” Gavin set his mug aside and picked up the plate tentatively. It was cool to the touch, no cooler than usual on a frigid morning, and Terry commandeered his mug to take a swig of coffee.
“Then what?” He gave an appreciative murmur and leaned against Gavin’s shoulder. “Your work is beautiful, but a glowing plate is something else altogether. That looks like it belongs in a palace.”
And not hanging on the wall at Farmer McBride’s humble homestead, Gavin reckoned. He turned the plate slowly, lest the enchantment slip away, but the etchings only caught the dim light of coals on the hearth, sending a glittering reflection off the walls.
“I could sell this for a small fortune.” Gavin’s mind turned with the need to understand how it was done.
He’d left the plate out on the bench after perhaps one too many brandies the night before. Nothing looked out of place – perhaps a little untidier than he normally kept his tools – but nothing that stood out. As he was mentally retracing his steps, a flash of movement in a dark corner caught his notice, and he grimaced when he recognized the leaping motion of a krampus toad. There was no keeping them out, it seemed, but keeping his silver in a stout lockbox kept them from making off with his wares… except.
“The toads.” Gavin blinked. “I’ve worked on nothing bigger than buckles since Christmas. I figured the plate was too heavy for them to cart away.”
Terry scratched his head and craned his head to look for the intermittent movement of their new infestation. “You think they did this?”
“They like silver,” Gavin ventured. “And booze.”
Terry picked up the overturned bottle of brandy, with only dregs remaining in the bottom. “If that’s all it takes-“
“We could be rich.” Gavin’s stomach fizzed with excitement. “This is exactly the kind of thing the nobility would drool over.”
I’m glad the Krampus Toads are working out for some…
Though I’m sure the innkeeper at The Seedy Apple is having a harder time of it. It’s been nice in the past few episodes to re-visit some older characters, and I was glad to bring Gavin back on set.
Haven’t read An Elvish Sweatshop? No problem, you can check it out here.
Or for more bonus content, head back to the episode page where I keep it curated for each title.