Jewelry set by sofiaviolet (Etsy shop here).
Necklace: a big chandelier crystal and vitrail/aurora borealis/crystal fire polished glass, on silver-plated chain.
Earrings: chandelier crystals and vitrail/aurora borealis/crystal fire polished glass on silver-plated earwires (which can be swapped for sterling if desired).
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Key pendant by arianhwyvar of Silver Owl Creations.
Antique key, vintage bronze enameled copper wire, faceted crystal, glass teardrop beads. 3 1/4" long including the bail, just over 7/8" across. Comes with an antiqued bronze steel cable chain with an antiqued brass lobster clasp, 20" long, fully adjustable; if the bidding goes over $50, the pendant will instead come with a nicer antique brass rollo chain, adjustable between 15" and 20", like this one. The extender part of the rollo chain is basically what the entire antiqued bronze steel cable chain looks like.
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David gave the bell on the counter another peremptory tap. "Where the hell is this guy? Does he not want our business?"
Anna winced inwardly. Another Saturday squandered in the idea shops. They'd planned to go to her sister's potluck; at the last minute (as usual), David had emerged from his study seething (as usual) that he was out of ideas. So. Off to the little shops that lined the side streets in the next town over, the ones that were only sometimes there (and oh, was David furious when they weren't!). Off to a day of badgering and haggling in dark little storefronts full of stoppered glass bottles full of writhing mists. It always made her dizzy and a little ill, watching the way the ideas moved. It was making her a bit queasy at the moment, matter of fact. She set her hand down on a nearby table to steady herself.
Hello - what's this?
She picked up the small, surprisingly solid object. It looked like a prism from an old chandelier - a teardrop-shaped faceted crystal that fit comfortably in her palm. She peered at it, looking for the familiar swirl of idea-fog.
"Ah. An excellent choice."
She started, nearly dropping the crystal. "Oh! I'm sorry, sir - I didn't see you there." The man was typical of idea-shop proprietors - small and stooped, elderly, with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.
"I wasn't there."
Anna pondered this for a moment, then helplessly gestured toward the counter, where David was striking the bell yet again - this time with a bit more force than necessary. "My husband - he needs ideas."
The man chortled. "He certainly does. But he isn't the customer."
She realized she was still holding the crystal, running her thumb absently along its edge. It had warmed in her hand. "Oh, no - I'm not a writer, I don't need ideas! I just bumped into this."
"Ideas, dear girl, are a bit of a sideline for me. What I primarily deal in is possibility." He grinned. "And no one 'just bumps into' anything in this shop. If it leapt into your hand, you're meant to have it."
She held it to the light. "What is it?"
"Turn it," he said quietly.
She did - and gasped. Through the crystal, she saw herself having tea with Carol - Carol, who she'd lost touch with years ago. The crystal-self laughed, looking ten years younger. Looking... happy. "What...?"
"Turn it," he repeated.
She did - and saw herself very pregnant, and smiling. Turned it again - saw herself by her mother's side. "My mother is dead," she whispered.
"In this world."
"This crystal... shows different worlds?"
"Worlds where things happened just a little bit differently."
She looked over the crystal at her seething husband. "Where I didn't marry David?"
"Where you married someone else. Where you never married at all."
She clutched the crystal tighter, edges digging into her palm. "But how?"
"That doesn't matter. What matters is that it does more than just show you."
She looked at David again. She'd made that choice long ago, and knew where it led - the loss of her friends, isolation, David's black moods, his drinking. She looked back down at the crystal. "Does it...reverse time?"
"It gives you one-time access to an alternate universe."
She looked at the man sharply. "One-time?"
"Pick the one you want. Close your eyes. And you're there." The twinkle had left the little man's eyes. He was solemn. All business. "But you only get this chance once. So choose well."
"What do you want for it?" Surely it must be more than what she had, surely...
But the man smiled gently. "Your sadness."
She looked at her husband, eyes brimming with tears. Looked at the somber little man. Looked at the crystal - watched her reflection smile.
"It's a deal."
Closed her eyes.
SPONSOR ME! We're up to $1,107.24 - keep it coming!
As you can tell by this and "And to my wife...", I have a fondness for old-fashioned scientifiction.
mgrasso: "I gotta tweet that I'm here."
Your questions, um, not answered yet: I got two very interesting questions that I don't have the resources to provide a good answer for yet.
Have you seen statistics about whether legalizing prostitution in an area decreases the incidence of sexual assault?
how many victims fight back? how many rapists are seriously damaged by their victims (scars, missing body parts, compound fractures)? how many victims go on to learn self-defense techniques?
So this is just to let you two know: Your questions are fascinating, and I am not ignoring you! I asked my BARCC supervisor for stats on this, but she took a long weekend and hasn't gotten back to me on it yet. I'll post answers as soon as I have them.