1.7 First Day of Work

To Cordelia’s relief, the sprites had taken their leave overnight, and she found herself alone again in the morning. She reported in for her first day of work at the Hex Shop in much better spirits.

The place hadn’t opened yet, so she figured the woman in the bright yellow dress had to be her new co-worker.

“Hi, I’m not sure if they told you I’d be coming, but I’m due to start today,” she launched into an awkward introduction.

“You must be Cordelia,” The young woman put her out of her misery. “I’m Grace. Nice to meet you. Now let’s see what we could have you do for the day…”

Grace stepped behind the counter, searching through the shelves. “I’ve got a couple of potion orders to sort out today, so maybe you could work the till? Have you worked as a cashier before?”

Cordelia felt completely useless. She had briefly worked as a glass collector at Pepper’s Pub back in Gibbs Hill, but with the sprites around, it was only a matter of time till she ended up fired. After that, most of the people in the village didn’t want to be around her, let alone hire her.

“I can’t say that I have,” she admitted, embarrassed.

“You’ll be fine.” Grace reassured her. “Come over here, I’ll show you the basics.”

Cordelia came closer and observed anxiously.

“Don’t worry too much if you can’t get your head around it straight away. Most people don’t come in ready to buy anyway,” Grace told her encouragingly. “We get plenty of window-shoppers, as much as Darrel doesn’t like it.”

Cordelia nodded. The other woman smiled.

“Tell you what, have a look around at what’s in stock, and when customers start showing up, just greet them and ask them what they need.” She instructed Cordelia. “If you’re not sure if we have what they’re looking for, or if they’re ready to buy, I can take it from there.”

And with that, Grace pulled out a wooden spoon that was almost as tall as she was, and proceeded to mix some type of concussion in the large cauldron.

Cordelia was just grateful that her task for the day was easy. At least, it sounded easy in theory. As soon as the store opened up for the day, the room quickly filled with people. She hadn’t expected so many customers first thing in the morning.

Luckily, Grace seemed to singlehandedly greet most of them, even cracking inside jokes with some, all the while stirring… well, whatever she was brewing in there.

Not that Cordelia didn’t make her own attempts to assist the customers, but once they got past the initial ‘how may I help you’s, helping them find what they were looking for wasn’t as straightforward as she had hoped.

“So, you’re after, uh, valerian root and… baconite,” Cordelia repeating, scribbling on her pad. “Let me just write that down… baconite as in pork?”

Grace burst out laughing from across the room, quickly making her way over.

She finally managed to stop giggling. “Ah, that’s hilarious. My colleague is a bit of a goofball,” she leaned in towards the customer conspicuously. “Don’t you worry, I’ll get both of those for you right away…”

Eventually, Grace got Cordelia to take inventory instead of helping customers. Just take stock of what we’ve sold so that we can get a new order in, she’d told her.

There was only a small problem – Cordelia had no idea what most of the items that needed replacing there. She managed to identify some of the herbs, but that was about it. At one point, she could swear she found a magic wand.

Sure, the portal to the other realm was here in Glimmerbrook, but were spellcasters all over the village too? It sure seemed like it…

Either way, she managed to make it through the day. She went over to Grace over at the till.

“Here is the list of items that need restocking… but there were a few I wasn’t too sure about,” Cordelia admitted earnestly. “So you might want to double check… I’m sorry I’m such a disaster. I’ll learn what things are, I swear…”

“Hey, it’s only your first day,” Grace said brightly, closing the till. “And we’ve made a good profit today. The Charms will be pleased. Listen, before you go, there’s one last thing…”

To Cordelia’s horror, Grace reached inside the fish bowl sitting on the counter, grabbed the goldfish in it with her bare hand, and added it to the cauldron.

A cloud of black smoke emitted from the cauldron, and the concoction turned a golden hue. Grace looked pleased, scooping a large serving into a vial.

She walked back over to Cordelia. “In the interest of you getting familiar with the stock, can you just sample this potion for me?”

Cordelia gagged. She considered her options. She managed to mess up practically every task Grace had given her during the day. Could she really say no? She’d wind up getting herself fired, this time without the sprites’ interference.

“No problem.”

She took a deep breath, and downed the bottle.

It didn’t taste half as bad as she’d feared. It was actually almost kind of… pleasant.

Grace gave her an odd look. “Hmm. I guess I was wrong after all. I was starting to think Darrel hired a human, but I guess even he’s not out of his mind like that…”

“Um… I am a human.” Cordelia was confused.

“But that’s impossible!” Grace shook her head. “I just gave you the potion of magical aura, and you have… well, magical aura. That means you must be a spellcaster, like me.”

Of course Grace was a spellcaster. She might all but wear a wizard hat at this point… After the day in the store, Cordelia would be far more surprised if Grace had told her this was a completely ordinary shop.

Cordelia also realised what Grace was referencing. A yellow glow surrounded her face.

“Ah. Right. I think I might now why that is.” It dawned on her. “I… it’s sort of a long story, but I did travel to the magic realm recently, and um, one of the sages transferred some motes into me.”

“Well that makes more sense now,” Grace nodded. Cordelia almost laughed, what she’d just recounted made the least sense out of anything she’d ever said out loud in her life… but of course, to Grace, that cleared things up.

“I suppose as far as humans go, you’re no ordinary one.” To Cordelia’s relief, Grace was smiling. “I did have an inkling you don’t come from a magical background when I saw you struggle finding the simplest of ingredients…”

“Well, I now know baconite isn’t actually made out of bacon,” Cordelia said feebly.

Grace laughed softly. “Exactly. You don’t necessarily have to be a spellcaster to work in a spellcaster shop, it just means you have a lot more to learn than a spellcaster would. But I’ll teach you. Now, get yourself home and I’ll finish up with the restocking list.”

“I could help you… or watch, more likely,” Cordelia corrected herself. “To start learning, I mean.”

“That sounds like a plan.”

Grace walked Cordelia through the items they had sold. She didn’t go into explaining what each of them did, but perhaps Cordelia didn’t need to know. At least knowing what on earth the customer was requesting would be a good start…

When they were done, Grace even allowed Cordelia to help with bottling up the rest of the potion of magical aura.

As Cordelia filled the vial, she noticed a bright green flicker above the cauldron. She looked up.

It was a sprite.

They’d returned. They still seemed pleased, judging by their colour. Cordelia wasn’t sure if it was thanks to the motes inside her, Dandelion’s theory about being happy, or the simple fact that the store was filled with pretty crystals.

Either way, she decided against making a scene in the middle of the shop. Her and Grace were getting all so well, and she was determined not to make them ruin yet another job for her. At least they weren’t packing at her now that they seemed satisfied…

She said goodbye to Grace while she was in the other room – she wasn’t sure if much like Dandelion, grace as a spellcaster would see the sprites as well, but she did not feel like explaining what they were. She made her exit swiftly.

The sprites fluttered around her as she walked back to her tent through the woods. Now that she was out of the shop, she allowed herself to let out a deep sigh.

She was still stuck with them. At least for now.

20 thoughts on “1.7 First Day of Work

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  1. This is so cool! I always wanted to have a magic shop in the game, but haven’t gotten around to it, so it’s cool to see that you included one in the story.
    Grace was so nice and patient, and it sounds like Cordelia has a good teacher. Although, I was kind of worried when she drank that potion, but it turned out to be okay. I also wonder what will happen with Cordelia’s spellcasting abilities and if Grace will impart some of her knowledge onto Cordelia. Can’t wait to see what happens next! 🙂


    1. I figured she needed a job but it didn’t seem like there would be many employment opportunities in Glimmerbrook! Worked out well, I love the shop 😊

      I like Grace, not sure how big of a role I can give her, but we’ll see! Thank you for reading 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a relaxing read for me! Looks like Cordelia had a great first day. I’m glad Grace is a nice person. Though having Cordelia sample the potion seemed a little sneaky on her part. I’m glad Darrel wasn’t around on her first day of work. I imagine him to be a very abusive boss. Hope he doesn’t show himself too much. Will Grace be the one who unlock her spellcaster abilities? 😀

    Those sprites hmm… I still think they’re evil from DU. They’re being all green and placated for now, but I still don’t trust them. The magic shop is so cute though!


    1. Haha enjoy it while it lasts, it’s a slow and steady start but things may not stay so relaxing in the future 😈 (I mean nothing like the turmoil you unleash on your readers though! 😄)

      I could definitely see Darrel as a somewhat challenging employer. We’ll see!

      Think Cordelia would agree with your assessment of the sprites!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oof! DRAMA incoming! Eh? *innocent* What turmoil? I’m just the person who brings popcorn. 😆 Yeah Darrel’s first impressions are down in the dumps for me. He’s got a long way to go to redeeming himself.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Haha, poor Cordelia, being thrown into the deep on a job she has no experience with xD Luckily her colleague seems very patient and understanding. She may want to be a little more careful about drinking random potions handed to her without asking what they do, though. That could have been anything.

    I love how the magic shop looks. It’s such a cute little place, with magic all over ^^ very well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I know, first day on a new job is always tough haha!

      Oh definitely, I think in the spirit of her “new life” she’s probably being a tad bit too open to things (in general, not just in this instance) – she might need to learn to be a bit more cautious!

      Just for the record I didn’t build the shop – I have a Credits page here on the blog where I’ve listed all the gallery lots and their creators’ origin IDs – I have very little patience when it comes to building I must admit 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Alright, I feel like those sprites are trying to push her towards her destiny but I get why she doesn’t trust them. I do think it was good that she didn’t freak out about them and run out on her first day at work. Cordelia does manage to keep a cool head and I like that about her.

    I like that she is getting pushed out of her comfort zone in so many ways.

    Hmmm…now let’s see how things shake out when she starts learning a bit more magic…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh that’s an interesting take on the sprites! Haha, don’t think Cordelia is always above losing her head 😊 I’m curious what you’ll make of some of her actions now 😆 But you’re right, she’s definitely getting pushed way out of her comfort zone, and that’s not going to change any time soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s nice to see Cordelia relax a little. I feel as though she is often high strung and worried (rightfully so). Knowing that there’s magic running through her veins is exciting. I’m mostly betting that the motes aren’t what give her that magical glow. I’m interested to see her connect with that side of herself!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. uh okay Grace looks like she’s nice, but she gave her that stuff to drink and I’m not quite sure if it would be safe if Cordelia was a human.
    She’s such a trusting person I hope it won’t get her into trouble.
    Nvm, ofc I hope for some trouble 😏😈

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Strictly speaking Cordelia is still human, just with a few magical motes floating about her system 🙂 If there was no magic in her at all, the potion would simply do nothing. But you’re right, who’s to say what other potions Grace may have tried on Cordelia?

      Trouble? I’m sure Cordelia won’t get into any of that… *cough*

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh okay ! I thought it may have harmed her if she was “just” human.
        I guess I’m already conditioned to always expect the worst 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Haha—in better spirits! Haha. I see what you did there.

    And with that, Grace pulled out a wooden spoon that was almost as tall as she was, and proceeded to mix some type of concussion in the large cauldron.

    I love this. Accidental or not, it reminds me of a line my best friend wrote, “it smells like flowers and tastes like a concussion,” so I read it as Cordelia making an offhand snide remark about Grace’s cooking. And I like a heroine with a bit of a bite. Oh, oh! Coup contrecoup soup.

    I’m enjoying Cordelia’s total lack of knowledge about what’s going on at any given time. It makes perfect sense! They can’t look game guides up on the internet. They don’t have knowledge of or access to the GUI for spellcasting. They can’t even mouse over objects to see their names! She just got pumped full of motes and dumped into Glimmerbrook. I’m sure you’re going to throw in some dramatic irony for people familiar with Realm of Magic gameplay and lore, but I’ll be totally blindsided, in the same boat as her.

    That potion, for example, I have no idea what it actually does, but I am loving Grace’s whole look otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I mean, it may have been accidental, but I’m totally keeping it. Some pretty odd ingredients in that potion, after all!

      Yep, she has no idea what she’s doing 😁 You know, not knowing the RoM “lore” is probably a good thing, because I sort of base elements of the story on it, but heavily modify it – mostly in a way that makes everything more rare and difficult to achieve – so not knowing is probably beneficial. (Exhibit A – in standard gameplay the little mote hoopla alone should have made Cordelia a spellcaster. But in the story, there’s a different purpose to it, and she’s very much still a human, just with a few motes in her system. So not having preconceived expectations actually puts you in a better spot in a way 😊).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A+ for the woord “hoopla,” also, good; I like reading other people’s interpretations of the game mechanics ’cause they’re under fewer corporate restrictions than EA’s creative team, anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good approach, and definitely makes sense. If she somewhat managed to make peace with them, then potentially getting rid of them would be a nice bonus, but would not define her. As it is, her whole life is dedicated to the sprites, or rather, running away from the sprites.

      Liked by 1 person

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