Chapter 4- Ribbons, Ribbons Everywhere

Chapter 4- Ribbons, Ribbons Everywhere

A Chapter by LKBillips

Chapter 4- Ribbons, Ribbons Everywhere

 

Tell me the truth.  Does this poofy dress make me look fat?  Yes, yes it does.

 

 

            The morning started out with the most delicious scones I’ve ever tasted.  Jaimie left early to meet his employer and promised to dine with me in the afternoon.  Nathan and I set off on foot towards the shops Jaimie said would be most promising.  The weather was brisk and foggy, but still visible. The market was just setting up their stands as we passed by. Fresh vegetable stands edged up to wonderful trinket vendors. One such vendor stood out with a dashing studded leather eye patch and the most fetching leather belts and buckles strapped across his chest. His wares consisted of intricate timepieces, fluttering mechanical butterflies, and some rather ornate spring action daggers. I stopped and inquired on where he purchased his leather pieces.  He indicated that leather shop was located just next to the gear shop we were already intending to visit.  As we were headed off he grasped my hand.

            “Before you go miss, please take this. I donna why but you will need it,” he warned.  In my hand he placed a solid metal bracer with red jeweled pegs decorating it.  He placed it upon my wrist and pressed down on one of the pegs.  A secret compartment opened and a small thin dagger sprung to attention.

            “Oh no sir, I couldn’t possibly…” I stammered.

            “Trust me Miss.  There’s a feeling about you. I can not in good conscience let you go without.” He looked between me and Nathan with unease.

            “Well I must pay you for it then.” I pushed the dagger back in its hidey hole and began digging through my purse.  He halted my hand. He pointed to my brooch of moving flower petal gears. It took me quite a bit of rummaging to find the pieces to make it, but I found myself unpinning it and handing it to him without protest. Something strange and eerie was happening and I couldn’t quite shake the feeling that he was right. Nathan grabbed my elbow and pulled me back as I continued to stare at his one good eye.

            “Miss, are you all right? That’s One-eyed Whitmore and he’s said to be some sort of witch. I’ve ne’er seen him down here before.  He stays mostly in the Brass Borough. He’s a dangerous sort they say, telling tales of curses and missing folks.”  Nathan shuttered as he spoke. “I’m not sure you should have taken anything from the likes of him Miss.”

            “I can’t explain it Nate, but I feel like it was all predetermined. I’m not quite sure what it all means, but I hope this doesn’t bode ill for the near future.”  We continued to walk towards the first fabric shop on our list. Bethany’s Boutique had a wooden sign painted with rich purple and silver highlights. The bell chimed as we entered and I was surprised to see several other customers out this early.  A woman and her two daughters were what I can only describe as accosting a poor sales girl with bolts of fabric an ribbon.  They halted their efforts as our presence was noticed. 

            “I thought my daughters were the only appointment today. We will not be rushed in our fitting and you can assure Miss Bethany of that!” The woman turned and huffed and walked past us toward the back fitting area.  The sales girl trailed her with the heavy burden and gave me an apologetic smile.

            She returned moments later and with a curtsy explained that there were to be no other fittings available today.

            “That is is fine Miss Bethany?”

            “Ah, not the Miss, I’m Eleanor her apprentice,” she blushed.  “Miss Bethany is seeing to Mrs. Cosswald and her daughters now.  They can be quite…particular about their season fashions.”

            “I understand, and I will not detain you from the fitting, I only wish to glance over your fabrics and when I’ve found the ones I like can I summon you for their purchase Eleanor?”

            “Aye, but you don’t need a fitting yourself?  I’m sure if you came back we could make you a excellent set of dresses,” she said.

            “Actually I tend to my own attire so that service shall not be required.” I smiled as she lifted a brow.

            “Fine by me Miss?” she questioned.

            “I’m Miss Annabelle Sweeting and I am staying with my cousin Mr. Nethersby on Bread Street.  I will need the lengths purchase deliver there. Will that be a problem?”

            “Mr. Nethersby!  Oh I will let Miss Bethany know you are here and no, no that should not be a problem at all.”  She rushed out the room and I was left pondering why my cousin’s name should invoke such energy. Perhaps his status due to his employer is more than he conveyed.

            I set to the task of filtering through the lovely shades of silk and linen and wool, oh my!  Nathan trailed in my wake in utter awe at the magnitude of colors the fabrics came in.

            “What’s your favorite color Nathan?  You look like a dove gray to me,” I said.

            “I’ve never thought about it much miss, I wear what I can find,” he replied.

            “Well then, we shall have to guess for awhile and see what sticks. Here I will had the ones I like to you and you go stack them up on the counter,” I directed.  As we made our way through the color wheel I came out with several nice shades of lavender, reds, blues, browns and grays. I’ve found the darker hues worked well with my fair skin, dark chestnut hair and matching eyes.  Lavender was a guilty pleasure, and the grays, blues, and browns would suit Nathan as well.

 We were scanning through some ribbon accent pieces when a lovely woman emerged from the back.  She wore a rose colored dress with lace accents and floral brass buttons. Her warm smile greeted us as she walked over.

“Miss Sweeting.  I apologize for not coming out sooner, but my current client is very…particular and begs all of my attention on such days,” she started.

“Ah, Miss Bethany.  Your store is quite wonderful. I thought I might have to go to several fabric places but it seems my cousin was right to tell me to stop here first. It is no bother at all, I do not need such attention and was just about done with our selection.  You will find all the fabrics on the counter and a paper pinned to each one with the amount needed.  I presume that will suffice?” I asked.

“Oh my, well if you ever need a job I daresay look no further.  Such detailed notes. Yes this is perfect. I will have them delivered this week and put to your cousin’s account as directed,” she said.

            “My cousin’s account?  Oh, no!  I will pay the bill when it is ready.” 

            “I’m sorry Miss Sweeting, but your cousin specifically told me not to let you pay a pence.  I dare not get on his bad side.  You wouldn’t wish that would you?” she said with a mock pout.  I did not want to get her in trouble, so I would have to find some other way to pay Jaimie back. I shook my head at her questioning expression.

            “Thank you for your help Miss Bethany and good luck…” I was cut off by the entrance of the two daughters from the back in poofy massively ill functioning dresses in matching shades of pea green. I heard Nathan audibly gasp at the vision before us and then snicker.

            “Miss Cara, Miss Whitney how do you like the dresses your mother has commissioned for you?” Miss Bethany said starting towards them.

            “Miss Bethany they are spectacular!  Can you add a bow to mine and a flower to Whitney’s so they are just a tad different?” Miss Cara requested.

Miss Whitney started to strut through the store, or at least waddle with pizazz. She gave me a haughty look as she passed and said, “We will be all the rage this season, no one will touch the elegance of our attire for sure sister.  These will surely get Mr. Nethersby’s attention. Ooh can I get a matching feather hat?”

Nathan and I looked at each other is disbelief. I then indicated with a shake of my head to Miss Bethany that revealing my relation was not needed. The two girls continued to twirl and flounce about the front room as we took our leave.  We headed out the door swiftly and made our way down to the lane. I chuckled to myself thinking that the dagger One-eyed Whitmore gave me was to fend off the acquaintance of the Cosswald sisters.




© 2018 LKBillips


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I like the one eyed vendor with the eye patch. And the hidden dagger. I'm curious to see what becomes of that.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

LKBillips

2 Years Ago

Me too, I am just letting the story take me where it will. :)

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Added on July 18, 2018
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