Though several great magicians hailed from the village in years past, Sylvia had long accepted her family’s lack of support regarding any inclination she might one day join the ranks of those legends. At most, she received simple platitudes such as “that was interesting” or “Sylvia, please turn the walking pumpkin back into a pie.” Today would not likely provide much opportunity to advance her magician skills for she had been given the ever exhilarating chore of selling her mother’s dresses in the marketplace.
“And don’t forget to purchase more of that indigo thread from the fabric shop before you head home today,” Sylvia’s mother reminded her for what seemed like the fifth time this morning while placing one last bundle of clothing on the family’s rickety cart. The fact Sylvia had forgotten to do so the past two times she was entrusted with such an assignment was likely the cause for her mother’s lack of confidence.
“I know, Mother.” Sylvia made sure the mule’s harness was strapped firmly to the cart and made her way around to stand by one of the front wheels. “Maybe one day, my magic will be good enough that I can just make all the thread we need out of thin air!”
“Yes, dear.” Her mother nodded but the tone suggested she was not going to hold her breath before such a success occurred.
“I wish you could go with me,” whined Sylvia, climbing onto the driver’s seat like she was a small child making her way up a tree. “It gets so lonely standing by that booth for hours.”
Her mother gave a scolding look. “You’re not a baby anymore, Sylvia, you need to be doing what you can to help the family. Your father and brother farm the land, I tend the house and your little sister. Even she’s going to be learning how to sew today so everyone does their share.” Sylvia remembered the days when her mother had tried to teach her how to sew; it was soon accepted after many mishaps and ruined garments that her aspirations regarding magic may prove more triumphant than learning to sew a button.
“And please don’t forget the thread,” her mother managed to shake a finger even while handing Sylvia the reins. “I need it for a wedding gown someone asked me to make and I want to get started on that tomorrow.”
“Yes, Mother.” Sylvia scooted over in the seat slightly as Obmuj scampered beside her. “I’ll remember this time, I promise.”
“You’re taking that monkey with you?” Her mother raised a brow at the cart’s additional passenger. “I told your father not to get you that blasted thing.”
“Obmuj travels with me every time I go to the marketplace.” Sylvia looked down and patted the top of his head, issuing chirps and coos from the animal. “Sometimes he even helps me by handing out dresses to the customers.”
“No wonder sales have been down lately,” her mother muttered, shaking her head and making her way toward the house.
Sylvia gave the reins a few quick tugs to get the old mule and much older cart in motion. “See you at dinnertime!” she called out, suddenly feeling quite responsible as she headed down the dirt road.
“Don’t forget the thread!” her mother’s voice shouted behind them.
Sylvia rolled her eyes and glanced down at her pet. “Obmuj, if we make enough money today, I swear I’m going to buy three rolls of indigo thread before coming home.”
Obmuj’s only response was to hop up and down briefly before sticking his tongue out to make a “Pbbbbbtttt” noise. For now, Sylvia was willing to take that as a vote of confidence.