Wordcount: 777 words
Summary: In which we introduce our second protagonist, Mira, who is only slightly less surly with just as good a reason.
Bound by Blood and Silver
Werewolves are dangerous creatures— the silverwitch sang the whispered truths into the metal as she worked it, her workbench tucked into a corner in the back of the forge where no one might overhear. Werewolves are sneaky and sly— her fingers drew out the silver, magic melting and melding into the metal, spinning the rough lump into an intricate chain. Her gloves and hammers lay untouched on the bench; she might use more mundane tools in her everyday artwork, but this was too important a task to risk to mere heat or flame. Werewolves cannot be trusted— for two hundred years she’d kept her children and their children’s children safe, tonight would be no different —But werewolves must obey.
Mirabelle, called Mira because her older sister Annabelle was already Belle, had spent her entire life in Rockfall. One of the few families who had survived the rocky transition from logging town to artists enclave, she could trace her name all the way back to the founders. Four of the eight founders, if she wanted to be exact. She even looked a bit like her father’s father’s etc., whose round face and bright smile beamed out like a beacon from every photo of those less hospitable times. Stubborn optimism was a Bennett trait, although she was a bit more stubborn than optimistic at times.
Like most of the townsfolk, she had red-brown hair that bleached tan in the sun and hazel eyes that tended towards green in the winter. She kept her hair bound neatly in a braid that would fall just shy of her waist, if she hadn’t kept it pinned up in a bun. Loose hair was a hazard in a forge, but she was too fond of the length to cut it. Most of the other townsfolk did the same, due to the lack of a proper hair cuttery in the immediate vicinity. Rockfall preferred to be as self-sufficient as possible, and the townsfolk were more apt to simply do without rather than drive to one of the larger towns.
There was a quiet rift between the folks who were born and bred Rockfall and those who had arrived in the last few decades. A peaceable rift, but a noticeable one. Townsfolk didn’t marry city folk as a general rule, no matter how many generations the ‘city folk’ were from the city. Although there was more leeway for the boys, the girls were lectured on who and what a ‘proper match’ would be. Which meant Mira’s dating options were slim, and in Rockfall there wasn’t much else to do if you weren’t working online or in the studios.
Mira preferred working with the physical as opposed to the virtual, so it didn’t take long for her to end up elbow-deep in the art studios. For a while she dabbled in the 2D world of paints, pastels, and charcoal, but eventually she worked her way over to the forge. She was a fair hand at making nails, twisting old metal into artistic lawn decorations, shaping molten glass into fish and vases, and late at night -when the town was all asleep except for two- apprentice to the silversmith.
It had been a voluntary apprenticeship, to a point. At fourteen it had seemed like a dream job helping the old woman design the delicate silver jewelry that crowned the displays in the gallery store. Her designs weren’t as good at first, but they had a unique flair that caught the eye of younger buyers. The old lady’s designs were intricate, Florentine, while Mira’s were a more organic flavor.
Two years later, when she first started to work with the silver itself, she got the first inklings that her bargain hadn’t been for mundane skills alone.
Mira had been working on a twisted wire necklace, when she’d seen a sudden spark of sky blue that danced between her fingertips and down along the wire. She’d startled, causing the fragile silver net to twist and warp beyond recovery. She’d been chewed out for that one, over the lost time, lost material, and that fact she’d startled at all.
Witches weren’t meant to jump at shadows, she’d been told as if that meant something. The woman had frowned at her confusion and then snapped her fingers, summoning the same blue light. It danced and sputtered like flames seen through a film of water, flowing down her fingers and up until her entire left arm was encased in a blue fire.
That was the night when she tried to take off the thin silver necklace Old Lady Smith had gifted her with two years before– and found she couldn’t.