House of Thieves

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  • Publiceret: 12 apr. 2019
  • Opdateret: 15 apr. 2019
  • Status: Igang
One for love
Two for joy
Three for poison
Four to destroy


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2. The Workshop

The Workshop

 

Unlike the graveyard, the workshop was bright and airy. 

It was Cadence's favourite place in the city, one that she had bought only a year ago but loved as if she'd had it forever. Her shop resided above the workshop, but she always closed it the day before a show. The people understood, though. The people wanted her to work on her shows. After all, some travelled across oceans to see her perform. 

She'd tied her berry-red apron around her waist, frowning at the muck that covered the front. It was not a tidy job, and with the addition of cosmetics and powders, Cadence couldn't hope to come away from it clean. 

In front of her sat Erik and the man from the graveyard whom she now called Christoff. She always gave the dead a new name when they became a puppet. Given the time she had before her performance, Cadence would have to work on both at the same time in order for it to work. She didn't particularly like doing this; it was much better to focus on one puppet, giving them the detail that the audience loved and she knew they deserved. 

She began by pulling up a wooden stall in front of the two of them. Erik looked at her solemnly; he always hated this. She tried to make it enjoyable for him, planting kisses on his neck every so often and whispering sweet nothings in his ear. But something told Cadence that Erik didn't like being dead. The way he hung his head when she drew out her cosmetics tray said it all. But what was a girl meant to do? 
 

Cadence placed a warm hand against his cold cheek. Even in death, his skin was still stubbly and rough, just as it had been when he was alive. She stroked his cheek with her thumb, and his eyes looked up through heavy lids at her. 

"Why so glum?" She questioned. 

He pursed his lips, and then said, "I'm not sure I should come to the performance." 

Cadence nearly pushed back in her chair, but refrained and instead dropped her hand and began mixing colours. Erik reached out a hand and placed it on her wrist. 

"It's not because I don't want to see you," he said with a small smile, "but I'm getting worse everyday." 

She fought back the tears that pricked at the corners of her eyes. Of course he was getting worse. Bodies didn't last forever, but she could certainly try. 

Christoff slumped slightly in his chair, and Cadence pushed him back upright with a heave. His empty eyes stared at her just as Erik did, and she wondered for a moment what it would be like to be dead. 

She shook the thought immediately, and returned to face Erik. She tapped her brush into one of the powders and began applying it across his cheeks, giving him a faint blush. 

"I want you to be there," Cadence told him, her lower lip wobbling, "I've been working on something new." 

That was a lie, but she knew it would work. 

"Fine," Erik sighed, but it sounded laboured. She didn't want him to leave her side, not until the end. She'd already had to live through that once. 

"Stop," said Erik, as if reading her thoughts, "thinking about the past won't change it. You have me here now, if only for a little while. Make the most of it." 

She smiled ever so slightly and admired his face. His eyes would need a bit of work, as would his hairline, but in the dim light of the workshop Erik almost looked alive again. 

*** 

Christoff took a lot longer to work on than Erik did. Sometimes Erik would help her with a puppet, but a lot of the time Cadence worked alone. She had a vision, one that Erik couldn't possibly see, and it required time and effort and most of all, a loosened grip on Erik. 

Erik was different to her puppets. With Erik, she didn't exactly have control over his body. She kept his body working, stopped muscles degrading and kept bones from becoming too brittle. But somehow, Erik's consciousness had remained in death. Maybe it was because she had resurrected him only minutes after his passing, unlike with her puppets who were usually dead a few weeks or months before she found them. But every now and then, Cadence would feel the pull of her magic, begging her to let go of Erik. It was hard work to constantly keep her magic flowing through his body, but it worked for now. Though having said that, it was not as hard as keeping her puppets upright throughout the shows. 

Currently, Cadence was not controlling Christoff's body. She was simply revitalising his skin, making sure bones and muscles worked in tandem, and made sure he didn't look so...dead. Then came the cosmetics. Christoff required a lot more than Erik had; blush, white powder, hair follicles, lip paint and much more. By the time she was finished, her hand was cramping and she felt drained. 

But a masterpiece sat before her. 

She smiled to herself, and wheeled the chair over to the corner of the workshop where her other puppets were. She didn't like to call them that. After all, they were once people, with lives and families and maybe even workshops of their own. But that's all they were now. For the show, she had give puppets. This was the most she had ever worked with before, and she could feel her magic bubbling in excitement at the thought of working with five. Cadence took a step back and admired them, when she felt a cold hand brush against her shoulder.

She looked up at Erik, who slid his arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him. 

"I'm so proud of you," he whispered in her ear.

Cadence smiled. 

It was time to prepare for the show. 

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