hand welted

Ein Jahr ist vergangen, ein ganzes Jahr, aber der Schmerz in meinem Herzen ist immer noch da. Vor einem Jahr wurde ich zur glücklichsten Frau dieser Welt, Hand in Hand mit dir wollte ich den Weg in die Zukunft gehen. Vor einem Jahr wurde mein Herz zu deinem und meine Luft dein Atem. Ich war glücklich bei Allah ich war so glücklich, du gabst mir pure Lebensfreude, du zeigtest mir das Paradies auf Erden. Du brachtest mir bei zu Lieben, mein Herz war ganz dein, genau wie meine Liebe für immer dein sein wird, denn trotz diesem Jahr, trotz all der Schmerzen liebe ich dich immer noch wie jeden Vers des Qurans. Und doch weiß ich nicht, wie mein Herz diese Schmerzen überleben soll, denn kein Tag verging ohne, dass eine Träne für dich geflossen ist. Denn obwohl deine Liebe mir Freude gab, brachte mir dein Abschied Schmerz, unbeschreiblichen Schmerz. Wie Dornenketten, die um mein Herz wachsen, schlimmer als Messerstiche, als würde mein gesamtes Herz Blut weinen. Und glaub mir, auch wenn mein Gesicht lacht, meine gesamte Seele weint. Denn jeder Tag ohne dich ist wie ein verlorenes Leben. Als hätte man mir meinen Atem weggenommen, als würde man mir meine Seele rausreißen. Als hätte man mir den Sinn meines Lebens genommen, denn um ehrlich zu sein bist du mein Sinn und der Grund, warum ich lebe. Siehst du den Schmerz, den ich spüre, fühlst du ihn? Es ist so hart ohne dich, denn jeder Tag vergeht so schwer, jede meiner Tränen erzählt ihre eigene Geschichte, auch wenn man mir sagt, ich soll nicht weinen, weil du weg bist, die Gefühle für dich sind zu stark. Die Sterne und der Mond sind nichts ohne dich, sie leuchten nicht mehr so stark wie vorher, als deine Arme meine Heimat waren. Ich vermisse dich so sehr, jeden Teil von dir, mein Schmerz wird jeden Tag größer. Das Einzige, was ich will ist neben dir liegen, um sicherzustellen, dass es dir gut geht, aber du bist nicht hier neben mir, deswegen brennt mein Inneres, wie ein Flammenmeer, das niemals erlischt und nichts kann diese Schmerzen von mir nehmen, nichts kann dieses Feuer löschen außer du.
6

Single monkstrap - Meccariello line

A customer wanted a particular model of a single monkstrap. Made with hand coloured calfskin.

A Ruthless Curse

There are things that never happen in our family. In others, yes. On the news, naturally. But until now, our family had been apart from tawdry displays. We come from old money. Old money does not demean, does not debase. It does not strike.

I raise my hand to the welt on the left side of my face. Stare at Father.

He does not lower his hand. There is a look on his face I’ve never seen. In others dealing with him, yes. In boardrooms, at private meetings. I’ve seen the fear others have of him, and even of myself. Until today I’d never seen my father afraid. He says something I lost in my shock.

“Emma.” His voice yanks me, cold and hard and furious. “What did you do last week?”

“Nothing. Nothing unusual. I swear it,” I manage. Father paces his second study. Angry, afraid. Like something in a cage. His size, his muscles, the presence of him all seems different as I step back. Beside me, Kev is rubbing his face in turn. He’s not Father; his size doesn’t include trips to the gym. You’d think him soft, if you didn’t look into his eyes. I take after mom. We keep quiet, try not to be seen. Do the work that doesn’t need a public face or the power that comes with a family that can trace it’s wealth back over six centuries.

Father turns to Kev. “One of you did something. Something unusual. Stupid. Small.”

Kev stirs. “I hit an old man. He was small, in my way going through Grant Gate Park. Is that the kind of small you mean?” he demands, his voice biting.

Father turns. “Describe him.”

Kev is taken aback for a second. “Old. Thin. Green and black clothing, balding. Red hair, I think?”

Father swears. Loudly, commonly, vulgarly. For the first time, it looks like Kev understands something is badly wrong. Father turns to the doorway and bellows. Mother enters. She is calm to his fear. Steady and grim. “I called in favours.” Mother’s face is thin and hard. “I had to go through the Bank.”

“Banks do what you –,” Kev begins.

“Shut up.” Father doesn’t move, but Kev falls silent. “He hurt one. Insulted honour, this close to St. Patrick’s Day.”

“One what?” I ask.

“A leprechaun.”

I’m too shocked to say anything. Kev laughs, but only the once before Father backhands him right to the ground. I didn’t know Father even knew how to backhand someone. We’re old money, and that means you don’t do such things. You simply don’t.

Kev gets up slowly. His eyes are wide, chins wobbling. “Explain?”

“We have wealth, but there are other wealths. Other powers. The world is large. There are rituals. Initiations. We were going to induct Emma into them this year. You, I was not certain about.”

Kev doesn’t move. I wonder if I’m the only one who sees the killing look he gives Father.  “Not certain?”

“There are many kinds of strength. Restraint is not yours, in certain matters.” The words are flat, inarguable. “The Bank is the bank that runs all other banks. Our account has been in good standing since the Bank existed. It is not. The stock of every company we are part of has tanked in the last week.”

“Pissing off a leprechaun does that.” The voice in the doorway is mild, and the man who enters younger than Kev and I. He looks ordinary, but Father actually bows to him. I didn’t think Father knew how to bow. Mom does as well, formally thanking him.

The ordinary-seeming man smiles slightly. “You don’t need to bow. The Bank and I have been at odd for some time.”

“We heard about Raven’s Bluff.” Father hesitates. “We could rebuild the town, ensure such a thing never happens again.” 

“It won’t, but the offer is accepted.” The man turns to Kev. “Leprechauns control currency, which includes stocks and markets. There aren’t many of them, but anger one and an entire nation can have a Great Depression. Focused, they can take down any company, any family, and wealth. Me? Normally I wouldn’t care, but if your family falls it means a lot of other people lose lives and livelihoods of their own. You’ll need to make a formal apology.”

“He was in my way,” Kev says. “All this silly –.”

“Lives will be lost if your family falls.” The stranger doesn’t raise his voice, but it contains echoes. Edges even Father’s cannot hold. Kev whimpers, unable to break the gaze trained on him. “You can help stop this from happening.”

“He doesn’t know.” Father’s voice is almost soft.

“He should have.” The stranger turns, and Father actually steps back.

“I know. I’m sorry.” I gasp. I didn’t think Father knew that word, not like other people do. “I can pay you,” father adds. “Wards, protections: you name your price.”

“You don’t want to know my price.”

“Magician. Please.”

The magician shakes his head. “There isn’t a ward or protection that can stop a leprechaun one has insulted. Slow it down for a time, yes, but not stop it.”

“You could stop it.”

“Oh, if I had to. There are few things I can’t do, if I really need to do them. For those, I have allies. But this is your error: that of your family, your son, the choices you all made. Which means it’s up to you to fix it.”

“And if we don’t?” Mother asks.

“Then I do. Your family falls, and those who might have feel with them. Everyone underneath: they survive and thrive. There are bindings that can arrange that, but the results of them would be – problematic. Quite likely it would involve your family being excised from history.”

“Magicians can’t do that,” Father says, and he almost sounds like himself.

The magician snorts. Nothing else. He doesn’t grow, his shadow doesn’t change, but a moment later I can’t shake the feeling he’s the only real person in the room. “Jeremy Dupree.” He says Father’s name like it doesn’t matter, as if the Family does not matter. “I am the wandering magician. Your son risks ruining thousands of lives: all the companies your family is part, every worker, entire businesses. I won’t let that happen.”

And he won’t. We all know it as surely as we know anything else.

“I could. If Kev won’t, I will,” I get out.

“This is nonsense! We’re too big to fail,” Kev snarls. “Father, you are –.”

The air opens up. The magician reaches up, as if peeling back the world, and an older man steps through. Green coat. Black jeans. Balding red hair: you wouldn’t pay attention to him, let alone give him the time of day as he limps through some other space to this one.

“I’m sorry. On behalf of my brother,” I say.

The old man stares at me. His eyes are green, bright despite the lines and wear etched into his face. He turns to the magician. “You got a Dupree to apologize and mean it without using Jay at all.”

“I did.” The magician doesn’t move. I have no idea what this Jay is, but I’m pretty certain I don’t want to know.

The old man snaps his fingers. There is an actual rainbow between them, and his teeth glitter gold for a moment. “Done. The curse is lifted. But it will return if they bring harm to those below them.”

The magician nods and walks out the door. Mother steps aside without even thinking. Deferring, as she doesn’t even to Father. Father pulls out his phone, looks at it. Makes a sound.

“All that, because my son pushed you?”

“All that, for many other reasons.” And the old man – the leprechaun – vanishes into thin air.

*

We never speak about that day. It doesn’t come up, but two weeks later is when Kev begins losing his hair. He spends most of his inheritance trying to stop that, despite knowing the family name will pass through me. This isn’t discussed either. I watch my brother fall apart, and my parents never notice. I get to meet other magicians in different cities. Other things as well. Our wealth is a hoard dragons fight over. Even for our Family, that takes some getting used to.

I spot the old man two months after that. I’m not looking for him: I just pay more attention to the world than I did before. He isn’t balding anymore: his hair is bright red, and he looks at least a decade younger.

“Emma Dupree.” He nods.

I nod back. I’d like to say something about my brother, but I think he knows everything already. “What happens now?”

“How do you mean?”

“Our family line has to continue, but through me. It means I have to marry, and we haven’t recovered from what you did to us. Do I call you Rumpelstiltskin?”

He laughs. The laugh is soft, and he bows to me. “Some have. I have been called many names. The marriage will be arranged with one of my children: what comes of it it will be up to the both of you.”

I wonder if all this was somehow for our Family, and for his own as well. I can’t bring myself to ask. I arrange for a meeting with Mother’s calm and head back home.

There is a rainbow in the sky over the house. I’m pretty certain it’s a warning as much as an omen. I wish I was brave enough not to care, or even to walk away.

But I’m not. If I’m lucky, it’s in other ways than these.

8

AURUM: Model Lucius

A new model for my Aurum line: a wholecut called ‘Lucius’ with broguing. Made on the chiselled Aurum last, in handcoloured calfskin

Kannst du mich bitte nicht ignorieren? Kannst du bitte herkommen, mich in den Arm nehmen, mir auf die Stirn küssen und mir sagen, dass alles gut wird? Ich will einfach wieder mit dir reden, dir erzählen was ich mache und mit dir lachen. Ich will dein Lächeln endlich wieder sehen und ich will dich küssen. Und dann will ich solange Sex mit dir haben, bis wir komplett platt und kuschelnd einschlafen. Und am nächsten Morgen will ich dich anschauen, bis du irgendwann aufwachst und mich wieder anlächelst. Und dann will ich mir eines deiner Hemden anziehen und uns Pancakes backen und Kaffee kochen. Ich will mit dir im Bett frühstücken und dich einfach die ganze Zeit ansehen. Ich will dein unglaublich süßes Lächeln genießen, bis wir uns schließlich fertig machen und unseren Alltag leben. Wir beide. Mit und gegen den Rest der Welt. Hand und in Hand. Verdammt, ich brauche dich.