For Friendly Anon’s prompt
Zenobia is just-after-the-US-Civil-War.
“It should not be nearly this difficult,” Zenobia muttered, staring at the glass furnace. “The principles are sound, the materials are pure…”
“And your hands are shaking.” She paid no heed to the voice; if she turned to look, the darn tomcat would be grooming himself or something. “The caster must be as strong as the casting.”
“You’re not helping,” she snarled. “You’re making me angry.”
“And what is it you are trying to make?” He sounded, today, like a man in his fifties. Sometimes he sounded like a child. He was always rather irritating.
“A tiny, delicate glass horse,” she snapped. “And a glass duck.”
“And why are you making those again?”
“Charms for my sisters’ blasted obnoxious sons,” she snarled.
“So perhaps,” the cat purred, “you could use some anger? Or if not anger, perhaps… steel?”
“Steel.” She reached behind her, grabbed the tom’s whiskers, and pulled out two with a quick yank. “Yes, thank you. Steel.”
The tom yowled and lept to a high rafter to watch her. “You are a cruel woman, Zenobia.”
She dropped the whiskers in the furnace. “I am, of course. I’m the Aunt. And thank you for reminding me of that.” Staring at the furnace, she began drawing out the glass again, twisting it into the shape of a horse. Steel, indeed. And guts. Her nephews could use some of that.
And, she was thinking, so could she. Perhaps she needed to make more than two figures.
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