It is a cold and dreary day when Trixie Farfield sets off to go to her shop. A day much like any other, the journey proved to be uneventful.
Now Trixie is an unusual character compared to usual folk. She is an unconventional dresser, in fact her personal taste in clothing could be considered to be rather eccentric. She prefers her dresses to be long and flowing in a dark midnight blue, purple or black. Upon her head what could only be described as a tangled cobweb of long dark black curly hair festooned in whatever outlandish or interesting decoration she has previously found, bought or been gifted to her by grateful customers. Her boots in a matt black with purple laces have a small heel, and the tops of her boots resting just above the ankle are equally decorated with embroidered purple flowers.
Her face unlike her rainbow of decorations is moonlight pale with just a tiny blush at the cheekbones and subtle deep pink lips. Her eyes shine a china blue that sparkles in the morning light.
She arrives at her shop which is cheekily called Disenchanted Emp’ (short for emporium). It isn’t an extravagant establishment, it would probably be best described as comfortable but cosy. The outside woodwork is painted in amethyst purple and the shop sign is painted in swirling gold lettering. The shop window itself is divided into four smaller squares, and the door is to the right-hand side of the window. Shining out from the dark purple paintwork of the door is a large silver door knocker in the shape of a mortar and pestle and an intricately patterned silver letterbox. The number on the door is a silver 7.
The inside of the shop is very much different to the somber looking outside. Every single wall has shelf upon shelf of gloriously coloured and/or unusually shaped containers of differing sizes. Each container is clearly labelled with the name of its contents. In the space that is left below the shelves there are chests of drawers, some have small drawers and some are large. Just like the containers, the drawers are neatly labelled to show what lies within. Hanging from the ceiling are bunches of herbs and plants, all in various stages of dryness.
The floor of the shop had once been polished wood in a beautiful, grand pattern, but now it was faded with scuff marks of the many shoes that had walked across it.
Beyond the shelves and drawers through a small arch shaped doorway is a back room. This room is also almost crammed full of containers on shelves. There is just enough room for a sturdy wooden bench which has storage drawers underneath and a big double belfast sink. In the drawers are tools for cutting, tools for measuring, and tools for a whole host of other uses. The sink is an off-white colour and very deep. It has two large silver taps and a copper coloured plug on a similarly coloured chain.
Trixie arrives at her shop and proceeds to go through her normal morning routine, which consists of cleaning the door knocker and letterbox. She then moves inside to dust the shelves and drawers with her telescopic feather duster. She then sweeps the wooden floor and turns the closed sign to open.
The nature of the business of the shop is an apothecary/ herbal dispensary with a magical undertone. Most of her customers just think she is a very good herbalist, the rest suspect that there is an air of mysticism involved but keep it to themselves. But overall, she is considered quite good at what she does.
But, she does not work alone. She has two cats who help her, one living and one in the spirit world.
Now the living cat is a male, he is dark midnight black from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail except for one small wispy patch of white fur on his upper chest. His eyes are bright sparkling blue, and he has a soft, comforting purr. His meow is a little bit ethereal, a soft, delicate melodic sound that seems not to be in this world or the next but hovering somewhere in between.
His name is Shade Walker ( Shade for short) for two reasons…. he likes to stay out all night, and he is able to cross between this world and the spirit world.
He does this with the help of Trixie’s other cat, who lives in the spirit world. Now this cat is a Siamese/Birman cross, she is mainly a deep warm cream colour with dark brown on her paws, tip of her tail, face and her ears. Her eyes are bright emerald green, and they look like they could see right into your soul which they probably could.
Her name is Willow and she is now in the spirit world, but previously she had been Trixie’s cat who had lived a very full life. She passed to the spirit world when in her elder years. The only ones who can see Willow are Trixie and Shade Walker. They make sure to talk to her only when no one else is around.
As Shade likes to stay out all night he comes to the shop for his breakfast and proceeds to stay there all day, usually asleep. Now because Willow doesn’t need feeding, she usually stays in the spirit world until she is needed. When she is needed, Shade walks into the spirit world and calls her to him, and they walk back into this world together.
So today being an uneventful day, Shade arrives at the shop doorway and meows to be let in. Trixie lets him in, and he walks through to the back room where his comfy basket lays, climbs into it, lays down and is immediately asleep.
“Good morning Shade, don’t you want your breakfast “ Trixie says but receives no reply.
“Ok lots to do, it’s there in your bowl if you want it “ She says.
Shade merely twitches his ears and doesn’t wake up. So Trixie leaves him be and carries on with her usual morning tasks.
Trixie is extremely capable of keeping herself occupied until the first customer arrives. And funnily enough, she always knows when that will be. Indeed, there are a multitude of things to keep her busy. There are always herbs to store and potions to make.
She sets about collecting all the bunches of herbs that are completely dried and proceeds to crush the parts she needs in a mortar and pestle. She then gets an empty jar, labels it with the correct herb name, fills it up with the newly dried herbs and places it on the shelf with jars of the same herb. When all of the herbs are stored, she makes the potions that are to be collected by her customers today.
Her customers come to her shop for all different reasons, usually it is concerning an illness or ailment that they would like cured, but sometimes they come because they have a problem that needs sorting out. Trixie knows exactly what potion, lotion or concoction to give them everytime.
She is kind of heart and never ever serves a customer whose request is harmful to someone else. She always tries to talk them into a different way of handling the situation no matter what it is.
It is ten past nine and Trixie readies herself for her first customer. In through the door walks Mrs Atkinson, she is an elderly lady and her hair is a combination of nut brown, silver and white. She walks slowly towards Trixie with a bit of a limp in her right foot.
"Hello Mrs Atkinson, how are you this morning" Trixie asks.
"Oh I'd be fine if it wasn't for this big toe of mine. I stubbed it badly on a chair this morning. It's all bruised and painful, is there anything you can give me ? She inquires.
"Of course there is. I will go make you a jar of calendula and arnica infused cream. The calendula will get rid of the pain and the arnica will get rid of the bruising. We will have you skipping down the street in no time" replies Trixie.
"I don't know about skipping, I'd be glad just to walk comfortably again" Mrs Atkinson replies.
"It'll only take me a few moments to get that cream ready for you" Trixie says as she goes into her back room.
She gets a glass jar from the shelf and puts a label on it. She writes 'Calendula and Arnica cream - for stubbed toe relief' on the label. She puts the jar on the bench and goes back into the shop, bring a small bowl with her. She goes to the jar marked bee's wax and puts some of it in the bowl, she then adds some calendula oil and some arnica oil to the bowl. She puts the glass oil bottles back on the shelf and takes the bowl to the back room. She stirs the mixture thoroughly and then spoons it into the jar and closes the lid.
"Here you go. This should do the trick. You can put some on now if you want" Trixie says as she walks back into the shop.
Mrs Atkinson pays for the cream and puts some on her sore toe.
"Oh my, its beginning to feel better already, thank you" She says with a big beaming smile on her face.
"Your welcome, couldn't have you limping around like that could we" Says Trixie.
After saying their goodbyes Mrs Atkinson leaves the shop. Trixie goes into the back room to see Shade.
"Still not moving eh, must have been a busy night" Trixie asks the cat.
"Not really, I'm just my usual tired" replied Shade.
Trixie has been able to understand animal talk for as long as she can remember.
"Ok, your breakfast is out if your interested in having something to eat" Trixie points towards the bowl.
"Not just now, I'll have some more sleep and build up my appetite" Shade yawns loudly.
Trixie leaves him to it and carries on with her day.
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