Kathy walked into TheCorkScrew. During the day it had masqueraded as a cafe with coffee, tea, hot chocolate, soft drinks, and any alcohol you felt like adding. At night the old place truly came alive as the beloved town bar where everyone met to have fun and catch up.
However, the building no longer met fire code regulations. It hadn’t when she started working here as a bartender when she was sixteen, having procured a fake ID. But twenty-five years later the place was so terrible it had to be torn down; even renovations couldn’t save The CorkScrew.
At the front of the bar were bottles from years gone by. For some reason one could still get an ancient bottle of 7Up to mix with lime juice and Vodka. There was original Coca Cola and original Pepsi, whatever you preferred to have with your Rye or Rum.
Kathy along with neighbors, patrons, and friends — some she’d known all her life — had come to the bar one last time to watch as The CorkScrew was boarded-up. Oddly enough, even the rats seemed to be leaving the building, which only made Kathy cry harder.
Tess held the torch in her dexterous hands, melting white-gold until it was workable. She shaped it until she formed a cuff for a woman’s wrist. Before the gold cooled, Tess placed in the center of the bracelet a pink diamond. Circling the pink diamond were tiny white diamonds.
Her buyer named Adrianne, had been specific about the quality and karat of raw materials used. She had been malicious to Tess as well, bruising her arm with a forceful grasp and spitting in Tessa’s face saying:
“This bracelet must be your most perfect design yet or else. I’m not paying you so much money for nothing.”
Fortunately, Tess knew Adrianne had a horrible allergy to nickel. Tess had procured the finest dust of nickel. When she packed up Adrienne’s bracelet she threw in silver and black glitter in the cuff’s box for decoration; the nickel dust hid well in the glitter.
“You’ve out done yourself,” Adrianne admitted giving Tess a surprised glance. She paid Tess for the remainder of the bracelet and walked out the shop door scowling at Tess on the way out.
She noticed Adrianne scratching her wrist and arm where she’d tried on the bracelet; Tess smiled.