Claudette La Croix
Surveying the cramped interior of the Emporium, Claudette decided that it looked decidedly less like a shambles than usual. Perfect. She wouldn?t want her new apprentice to get the wrong idea. True, the girl had seen the inside of the shop at least once before, but maybe she could make it look like the whole disaster area d?cor was just a fluke. It wasn?t quite neat at the moment, but at least everything was in its proper place today. After a particularly large influx of customers, she didn?t often have the energy necessary to put the place back together again. They tended to blow through like a cyclone, unshelving bits and bobs, messing things about, and generally exacerbating the chaos. Of course it was only eight o?clock, and the shop wasn?t even open yet. Maybe with someone to help out around the place it would be easier to do some damage control throughout the day instead of having to deal with a big jumble at closing time. Anyway, the point was that the shop looked organized this morning. Claudette had even dusted a bit.
The Haitian waited silently at a table in the back room, a cup of tea in one hand and a fashion magazine in front of her. The apprentice was due in any minute now, and Claudette was just a tad nervous about the whole situation. The girl seemed to be sane and capable, but one just never knew with these things. She gazed down at an editorial photograph of a witch wrapped in badger furs riding on a pink horse and began to wonder what exactly the symbolism behind it was, but the thought was interrupted by the telltale creak of the front door. She didn?t believe in hanging bells over the door, but, thankfully, the building was old enough that it could alert her to the presence of customers. Or apprentices in this case. Her stomach jolted momentarily, and she was surprised to realize just how anxious she really was. The shop was her baby and trusting its well-being to a stranger was no easy task.
She rose from the table and pushed back the tattered curtain that hung in the doorway between the back room and the shop itself. The girl stood just inside of the door, looking around uneasily, clearly just as unsure of things as Claudette. The shopkeeper took this as a good sign. She didn?t want just any careless idiot working here. Voudon was not something to be taken lightly, and it heartened her a little to see that the girl took it seriously enough to be nervous on her first day. ?Hello there, darling,? she said, her usual warm smile blossoming over her face. ?I?m so glad you made it.? She made her way around the counter to shake the girl?s hand. Normally she would have hugged her, but people here tended to be a bit put off by such familiarity. The girl would have to get over that quickly.
?You want some tea? Come, you can drink it while I give you a tour and explain things to you,? she said, retracing her steps back toward the back room. She glanced behind her and signaled to the girl to follow her. ?I hope you?ve got some space reserved in that brain because there?s a lot to learn here.? Her melodious Haitian accent did not disguise the fact that this was no understatement. Claudette had big plans for both the shop and her new apprentice. She only hoped the girl was ready to take it all on.