"Felix, that metal rod turned out amazing. Great job son," My father patted my back as he finished examining the metal rod I had just furnaced.
My dad is one of the best blacksmiths in town and I've been helping him out since I was ten. Ten years later and now I'm pretty good at it. Although not as good as my dad but I'm getting there.
"How about we celebrate a successful week by visiting Ms. Woolworth's bakery?" Dad asked.
"I'm in," I smiled. Dad and I walked to the bakery a few blocks away from our house. The town looked as cheerful as ever. Children ran up the streets, people shopped in the markets and the smell of fresh bread lingered in the air.
Ms. Woolworth owns a lovely bakery with the most delicious bread. Her shop is small but works wonders in the oven.
"Mr. Grey! It's such an honor to see you," Ms. Woolworth appeared behind the counter with a bright smile. She's a little older now and is short and plump but she is as strong as my dad.
"And you brought Felix!" She looked at me and smiled brightly. "You are becoming a fine young man. I should introduce you to my niece," She winked.
"Funny Ms. Woolworth," I said out of embarrassment.
"That's actually not a bad idea. My son is old enough to have a lady by his side," Das said.
"Touche," Ms. Woolworth said. "Dad!" I nudged him with my shoulder feeling embarrassed.
"Could we get some milk bread and lemon custard buns?" My dad asked.
Finally the attention is turned somewhere else.
"Absolutely!" Ms. Woolworth went back to the kitchen.
Dad studied me for a few seconds. "You know Son, your mother would be really proud of you if she were here to see what a hard working young man you've become," He said.
I was shocked by my dad's words. I'm hardworking and respectful towards my elders, but I wasn't always like this… When I was in highschool I would get in a lot of trouble around town.
My friends and I liked to prank people and steal things from the market. We also liked to gamble and tried beer at some point.
I got a tattoo on my back. It's not big and outrageous but I remember the day my dad found out and got mad.
From the outside I don't appear like your typical "good guy". I looked at my reflection on the glass window.
I'm tall, lean with some muscles, my hair is black and wavy, and I have a small metal piercing on my left eyebrow.
But the truth is… I've changed. I left my bad influence friends after highschool and started working harder than ever. Sometimes I even help deliver stuff to the people in town when I'm done in the blacksmith.
"Milk bread and lemon custard buns coming right up!" Ms. Woolworth appeared back from the kitchen and gave us some brown paper bags. They were warm and smelled amazing. I liked my lips.
"Enjoy! And if you ever want to meet a nice girl I'll introduce you to my niece," She winked at me.
I'm not sure I want to meet her niece…
Ms. Woolworth is awesome but I've heard her family members are beyond insane.
"Thank you Ms. Woolworth and I'll remind him of that offer," Dad laughed. I felt my ears go warm.
After we left the shop I turned to look at dad. "Why did you say you'll remind me of that offer?" I asked.
"I was joking… Well, half joking. I would love to have a daughter in-law," Dad said.
"Okay I get it, but maybe not one of Ms. Woolworth's relatives, please," I said.
Dad laughed. "Deal," He said. "Do you want to go to the market after taking the bread back home?" He asked. "Sure," I answered.
We walked back home to leave the bread in the pantry. Our house is spacious for the both of us. It's next to our blacksmith shop. We have two rooms, an office we never use, a living room, kitchen, and a bathroom.
The market is further from Ms. Woolworth's bakery but the distance isn't terribly far from our place.
People were lined up at some stands while others walked around. "Today looks busier than usual," Dad said.
"I agree, is there anything you're looking for, dad?" I asked.
"Yeah, I'm looking for some new gloves for work," He answered. "Maybe I should get some too," I said.
"Certainly, but you should look around the place too," Dad said.
My dad ended up doing his own thing in search of the new gloves. Meanwhile, I walked around trying to find anything new that would catch my eye.
Just when I was about to turn back I noticed a new store at the corner of the market. The stall was made of wood with long purple curtains.
Faint flute sounds seemed to come out of it but it wasn't too clear.
I walked closer to inspect if it had a sign somewhere.
"Come in, Felix," Said a woman's voice. I felt goosebumps on my arms. How did she know my name?!
I punched the curtains aside and entered the stall. My curiosity got the better of me. The inside was made up of purple curtains, there was a small black table in the middle of the room with a crystal sphere on top of it.
A lady with a purple hood sat on a pillow behind the table. "Take a seat," She motioned to the pillow on the opposite side of the table.
I sat on the pillow and looked at her. She wore a black eye mask and her hair was well hidden. The only visible things about her were her pale skin and green eyes.
"How do you know my name?" I asked. "Shh, you must listen first. I have important things to tell you," She said.
I looked at her confused. "Oh please, boy! Just look at the sphere. I'm not planning to hurt you," She said.
I looked at the sphere. Purple stars appeared inside it. "Felix Grey, you are a special young man," She said. I arched my eyebrow.
"You are the Destined One," She said. This lady is speaking gibberish.
"This is not gibberish, mind your manners," She said.
Okay now she's got me. I paid attention to her words.
"You must go to the Treasures Forest and pick the first thing that makes your heart flutter," She said.
"What?" I said. "You heard me boy, don't make this more complicated," She said.
Treasure Forest is known to have rare hidden artifacts. Nobody knows where they came from. Some people say the artifacts were there for decades, others say they were brought in by someone, and others think they magically appear in the forest.
"That's all for today. I'm hungry," She stood and disappeared through the curtain.
I walked out of the stall feeling confused. I have to find an artifact in the forest? This sounds weird.
I looked for my dad. He was talking to the woodsman.
"Thank you Mr. Henry, hope your family does well," My dad said. "Yours too," Mr. Henry replied.
Dad turned to look at me. "I got the gloves, son," He motioned to his leather tools belt. That's usually where he carries his tools.
"Did you find anything interesting?" He asked.
"Not really," I said.
"That's fine. I need to see if I can find any interesting tools, so I'm thinking we should pop into Treasures Forest tomorrow. Hopefully we find some interesting treasure for blacksmithing," He said.
Treasures Forest… huh.
"Alright, I guess we can go and look around," I said.
"Perfect! Let's go home now, I'm hungry and there's bread waiting to be eaten," He said.
We went back home and enjoyed the bread. Milk bread has always been my favorite.
As I looked out our back window to the forest and meadows I wondered… What's the big deal with Treasures Forest?