The nights were getting cooler as the leaves shed their greens. Soon it would be too chill to work outside, Pathmark thought to himself as he dropped from the dentrees. He wasn’t too surprised to see another elf already sitting in the comfortable clearing between the river and the home trees. The area was often host to the tribesmates that happened to be around, and Pathmark loved the company.
There was already a wide smile on his face when Pathmark settled in beside Thornbow. “Another one?” the younger elf asked in surprise when he saw the long length of wood balanced on Thornbow’s knees.
Thornbow gave a laugh, used to getting some comments for his obsessive bow carving. He nodded, and went back to studying the wood, absently flipping his knife over in his hand.
“Wasn’t the last one you made the best?” Pathmark couldn’t help but pry.
“Oh, it was good. It’s the best one yet-- but there’s still a perfect one that’s begging to be made.” Thornbow ran his hand tenderly along the seasoned wood, tracing the bends already in the shaft.
The younger elf nodded, and emptied his carrying pouch in front of him. Peeking into the smaller bag of stones and sand, he saw that they still weren’t smoothed enough for him to work with. Oh well. He traded the stones for the rough chunks of wood that would become beads. His hazel eyes rose once, but Thornbow’s attention was focused completely on the wood in front of him.
The rasp of Pathmark’s knife joined the dry rustle of the leaves overhead as he worked the wood down to a bead shape, haphazardly adding in deeper designs to hold the paint. He almost had a full hand of the beads roughly marked out when movement made him look up.
Thornbow slowly drew his knife over the top half of the wooden sapling, removing a leaf thin layer that curled and fell onto the ground below. He sat back, looking content with the meticulous work. “Perfection takes time,” he commented lightly, studying the new shape to the wood. For a long while after, the only movement in the clearing was the pale fog of the two carvers’ breath in the crisp night air.