An Old Maker Story
Lander McFall Kerbey
Copyright 2011 by Lander McFall Kerbey
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Hilam grumbled as he trundled through the market's morning crowds, his reddened eyes narrowed against the high sun. The cool of early Spring kept him on his feet but little more, his face listless, searching the shopfronts with the only presence of mind he could spare. The presence of a tall, wide smokestack atop a nearby building drew him to his goal, a large workshop without so much as a sign.
Stepping through the open door, he soon found himself pressed up against a cedar counter, the majority of the shop space behind it and laden with rack upon rack of tools and furniture items in varying states of completion. Amidst the clutter, he could make out three shapes: a tall, muscular man, a shorter figure, slight enough to be a girl, and a stocky old man who was moving toward the counter.
“Welcome,” the old man spoke, voice deep and raspy. Hilam studied his rough face, wrinkled and scarred as it was. Though he was old himself, pushing his forty-eighth year, he guessed this man to be of his father's time. In spite of the wear of his face, he stood erect and was sturdily built.