If you’re patient, if you’ve the contacts, if you’ve the money and if he can fit you in, Mr Smith might make you something. If he likes...
Bracelets of gold and starstones. Necklaces of black opal set in nacred platinum. Gem studded rings. All bespoke. Everything made for a client. Nothing accidental or by chance.
His workshop’s in a quiet place, above a store behind a main street and overlooking an alley. The rich who come to see him usually look out of place, their cars left perforce in the one hour parking zones on the streets at either end of the lane.
It’s not the sort of store or clientele that leave boxes and wrappers in the street, which was part of the reason Al picked up the little box from the pavement and took it back into the jeweller’s shop. When he explained why he was there and put the box on the counter, the shopgirl blanched and pushed a buzzer.
A few minutes later a middle-aged looking man came down the stairs at the back of the room. “What’s up Dolly?” he asked.
“This gentleman found one of our boxes on the footpath outside, Mr Smith,” the brunette with the chignon and pearls told her employer, indicating the box on the counter.
“Did he?” Mr Smith looked Al up and down, taking in the denim and tee shirt. “And brought it to us instead of the pawnbroker’s? Interesting.” He picked up the box and opened it. “Yes, this was just picked up.” He looked at Al and the shopgirl. “It’ll be the wife who ditched it. She didn’t care for it. I told her it didn’t mean that he wasn’t a good husband or father, but sometimes, what can you say?”
He turned the open box around, inviting Al to look. Inside was a tie pin, the face on its end large and chillingly real.
“Every piece with a touch of the owner’s soul,” said Mr Smith. “He’ll be back for it.”
Al was very, very glad the owner of that soul wasn’t coming to see him.