[studies masonry intensely for three years] [apprentices under master bricklayer for seven more] [learns everything there is to know] [starts modest career crafting mortar-bound towers of art] [watches sadly as already-infrequent inquiries dry up] [weathers decades-long downturn] [perks up as clouds begin to part and commissions pour in like never before]

[runs into old friend] ashur, how is the chimney business?
[chokes back tears after waiting ages for this exact moment] thr— through the roof

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