Log:Arts And Crafts

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Arts And Crafts

Jack Fry, Zephyr McTaggert

1 May, 2018

Jack and Zephyr run into each other at the arts and crafts supply store and discuss grandfather clocks, woodcarvings and horses.


Dressed in jeans, black T-shirt and an old weathered black leather jacket of a bomber-style, Jack's browsing wood-carving tools inside the little crafter shop at the corner of a street. Shelves here are packed so tightly together to make the best use of space, that if you turn too hastily, you threaten to knock things over on the shelf behind you. So, he sidles carefully along, picking up various sharp instruments and pondering his purchases. Or wondering if he's got the cash for it, perhaps.

And Jack's not alone in this shop, either. Zephyr squeezes her way between shelves, murmuring a, "Behind you," as she tries to get past Jack. There's a re-usable shopping bag clutched in one hand, a number of small screws, some soldering wire, and small tank of propane already weight down the container. Zeph, herself, has a sage-green knit hat on her head, pulled down just over the top of her ears and left somewhat floppy on top, with the white-blonde hair flowing out from beneath it. A black t-shirt with a faded ATARI logo on the front is worn over a burgundy thermal shirt, and her jeans are black with so many rips and tears down the front of the thighs it had to be done for looks rather than just old jeans.

Jack snaps out of whatever reverie he was in - perhaps imagining what carvings he will be doing - and turns his head to look at Zephyr. "Oh right." He turns his back to the shelf he's examining and presses himself back at it, to let her past - shooting her a wry grin. "They should have a queue system and force people to move along in a snake-like formation," he says. "But, least they carry a lot of stuff."

"Thanks," Zephyr speaks up, reaching out to give a quick scritch to his shoulder in her passing. "It's these old buildings; they were never built to give a lot of space, so all the shops cram what they can in. But yeah, I'd still rather come here than a fuckin' Michael's or some shit, you know? Give back to the locals." Which, it's easy to note, Zephyr absolutely does not sound like one of said locals.

Surprised by her touch, and perhaps a bit more wide-eyed by her appearance, Jack finds his bearings quickly enough. His accent suggests he's local but it's diluted, like he's been away somewhere else. "Yeah, same for me," he agrees. He finally decides, picks out two of the sharp tools and just holds on to them - he has no basket. "What're you making?" he wonders curiously, gesturing at her items. Now the two are entirely blocking that isle, but nobody else wants to come that way - yet.

Standing at the end of the narrow aisle, Zeph turns back to face the man and tips her head just enough to look up and meet his eyes. "I'm trying to fix this old grandfather clock I picked up at the junk store - the one on Main street...uh...what's it called? Pop-pop's Attic? And I'm pretty sure I'll have to redo the entire pendulum mechanism. Maybe something celestial. Dual sun and moon pendulums to counterbalance each other?" She twists the corner of her mouth into a thoughtful expression, lost in her own words for just a moment. "You're a..." she looks down at the sharp tools. "Carver?" is guessed.

"You should put out posters. There must be hundreds of old not working clocks in the family homes around here," Jack says, lips tugging up in a little appreciative smile. "And that sounds great, do it." He holds the wood-carving tools up, nodding a curt and affirmative nod. "Hobbyist. I sell some stuff at the tourist shops, but I don't make a living on it." Deciding that they've talked long enough for introductions, he holds a calloused hand out. "I'm Jack Fry, nice to meet you."

"Hmm. Maybe I will!" Zephyr pipes up about the posters. She holds out a hand and puts it in his own. "Zephyrine McTaggert," she supplies her name with a smile from pale pink, glossy lips. "Zeph, or Zephyr's fine for friends, though." Her shake is firm but not too strong, skin soft rather than callused from hard work. "What do you do to make a living?"

Jack's handshake is firm and friendly and just long enough. "I'm a park ranger," he explains. He squints at her, considering something. "Maybe I should surprise my uncle - they got an old grandfather clock back at the farm, that's basically fallen apart inside. Looks pretty decent on the outside though. If I bring it over, you could take a look?"

"Recovering from the winter slowdowns, I'm not going to say no," Zephyr answers after taking her hand back from the ranger. "Artist to artist, though, you'll at least tell me which shops have some of your work in them? I've never had an eye for wood carving. Never could look at a knot and say, 'That looks like a wolf waiting to come out' or whatever" She shifts the bag to her other hand and reaches behind herself, pulling a smartphone in a wallet case from her back pocket and flicking the case open to unlock the screen. "Well, Mr. Fry, what's your number and I'll text you the address to the shop?"

"Great, I'll bring it over this week sometime. And, you know that little tourist shop in the business district, right smack in the center of the street? I got a few things there. I always sign them underneath with JF, so easy to find." He looks quite pleased with her interest, and makes an amused snort at her description. "I'm afraid I'm not that sort of wood-carver either. I just take blocks of already cut wood and try to make something out of that. Mostly animals." He then recites his number to her, so she can send that text. "So, my guess is - you're new in town."

"The shop with the landscapes painted on the old lumber mill saw blades in the front window?" Zephyr asks. She starts tapping out the number he gives and a quick message that has her shop name and address and ends in a quick 'XOXO ZEPH!' at the end. The bag is placed in the floor and she beckons Jack closer. "Gotta have a picture to go with the contact," she tells him, prepping to smoosh her cheek in against his and snap a selfie before saving the number. "I moved here right at the start of winter. Horrible decision on my part. The season, that is. You're local?"

"Yep, that's the one." Jack blinks rapidly and looks into the phone with grim and stiff sort of expression, but he does lean closer so she can take that picture. Sufferingly. Like that one that grew up in the 80s, in the country, with at most a TV and no computer and definitely no cellphones until he was in his thirties. "Yes, local. But lived in New York for 14 years, just moved back home."

Poor Jack! His suffering is ignored entirely while Zeph gets what she wants. At least he gets a copy sent to him while she saves his number to her phone? The phone then goes back into her pocket and she picks up the shopping bag again. "Oh, I've been there!" Zephyr says of New York. "I can see why you might wanna move back. I mean, this place is a bit sleepy for me, but New York was almost overwhelming."

"I was young and dumb and wanted to be where the action was. Now, action for me is a ride in the forest and a pot of coffee over open fire," Jack admits with a wry grin. "And the occasional festival. Beltane tonight - you should come. Meet the locals. The Lefevres throw a good party. And if you can't, there's going to be more of them. Honestly, it's just another reason for everyone to get really drunk and do outrageous things." He looks outside, where the streets are just recovering from the snow - in fact, just a week ago, it /was/ snowing. "Spring took its time this year, but it's here now. You'll probably enjoy the summers around here."

Zephyr laughs. "Do you need to be drunk to be outrageous, Jack?" she asks with a devilish quirk to her lips. "I don't know if I'll make the party today; I have to get this commission finished. But I wouldn't mind hearing about the next one if you decide you need company." She gives him a questioning upnod to go with, "What do you ride? Not a Harley surely! Seems too mainstream for you." Horses probably never cross her mind.

"It sure helps." Jack straightens up and quirks an eyebrow at her, eyes glittering with some humor. He scratches the side of his neck, and his expression turns a bit puzzled - like he's not sure what she means, with that. "Uh... sure. I'll keep you up to date. In fact, the Pink Cow Run is up in late May or early June, we haven't decided on a date yet. Don't ask me - just google it," he suggests. "And no, I ride a one horse-power horse." He feels old, staring at her with that squint - maybe he needs glasses, too.

"Pink Co-" Zephyr is already starting to question the words she heard him say, then cuts off when she's told to Google it. "I will," is promised. Someone behind Jack clears their throat to try to get through and Zeph steps around the backside of the shelves, giving a quick 'c'mon' motion with her free hand to show she's not trying to run away from the man, just making room. "You ride like... a horse?" she asks to make sure she got it. "A legitimate, real, live horse?" Her eyes have grown wide with that.

Jack politely moves to the side with Zephyr, nodding at the other customer. He tucks a hand in a pocket of his jeans and lazes a bit, relaxed and in no hurry to go anywwhere - clearly not a work day for him. "Get used to it - go outside town and you'll find horses everywhere. Still the best way to move around in the mountains. I need to in my work, even. Some trails, you just can't drive up them, and tourists insist on getting lost, fall down ravines or break their feet up there." He seems to have little regard for tourists, this guy. Even if they're the bread and butter for many in the area. Perhaps this is due to having to herd them around and rescue them, like he just explained. "Family farm is in Tamarack Falls, but I live between Brunsett and the Falls."

"Do you give lessons?" Zephyr asks, hope shining brightly in her eyes. "I've never ridden a horse. So if you'll keep it from breaking my feet - I'm pretty fond of them after all - then I'd be willing to pay for some lessons." The younger-looking woman all but leans up on tip toes and beg with a pleaaaaaaaase. She just tries to convey that all with a wide-eyed and fluttered-lashes look.

Jack looks almost startled by the request - like he didn't expect it, at all. He might've stereotyped her, despite himself, and he looks almost abashed for a second or two. "Funny you should ask. I'm looking for people to keep an eye on Troll, for when I'm not home, and for when I can't take him with me. I'm gone long stretches of time sometimes. If I teach you to ride, the only payment I'd want in return is you going over and spend some time with him and groom him every now and then. Assuming you're not a total nutcase." The latter said with dry humor and an eyebrow-waggle.

"I'm a total nutcase," Zephyr says with the straightest face she can muster. She's a Changeling, so that's probably not an entire lie, all things considered. "Buuuuut, I think I'm the kind of nutcase you enjoy, if not just tolerate. So, uh, yeah! Deal!" she gladly accepts the barter. "But you have to keep me from getting too hurt while I learn. Like, when you're there. I'm on my own when you're not, I know."

"How bad can you be? Will you destroy my clocks?" Jack does have a sense of humor, apparently. Sarcastic and cynical, or at least very dry, but it's there. And of course, he has obviously no idea he's talking with One Of Them. "Don't worry, Troll is the kindest most patient horse. At the worst, he might ruin your hair by trying to eat it. He's weird like that." He points at her, adding: "No riding when I'm no there. Not until you're really good at it."

Zephyr holds up a hand, making something approximating a Girl Scout Pledge pose. "I promise," she agrees. "Man, best trip to the craft store to date," the Changeling says. "You'll have to give me your address, when you're ready for me to come down. Unless you just wanna pick me up when you drop off the clock? Promise I won't hurt your clocks."

"I can come with the clock tomorrow or Thursday, right before you close up shop, and I can give you a lift there," Jack promises. "It's a bit hard to explain where it is if you're not used to the area." He eyes his wrist watch - look, he has one, he doesn't take his phone out to check the time! - and grimaces. "Alright, I got to get going. This was a very good shopping trip, I agree."

"At close? Well, if you're picking me up that late, you better plan for a dinner." Zephyr flashes a grin and a wink. She heads to the counter to pay for the stuff in her back since he's noting it's almost time for the Beltane festivities. "Have a good day, Jack. I'll see ya tomorrow or Thursday!"

Jack's expression looks a bit panicky, at that. Dinner? He fidgets with his wallet, taking it out and moving to pay for his items too. "I'll, uh, pick up some pizzas. Or something. You don't want me cooking, trust me." Paying, getting a small bag for the items, he gives Zephyr a curt nod. "See you." And out he goes.