Things We Fear

Title: Things We Fear
Time Period: March 3, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: They make us so curious sometimes.

"Did they like the skirt?" Sorcha is on the floor, kneeling at mariah's feet, pins stuck in a pincushion strapped to her wrist as she's working on a new dress for the prostitute that's needing some fitting for her. "Are they able to get it off you fast enough?" If there's someone in the village who doesn't look down on the women who work the brothel, it's Sorcha.

Some are surprised she doesn't visit herself when her husbands been away as long as he's been at time.

"Tried to make sure it's be easy off. But not too easy. Gotta make them work for it. Earn e very button" Every button. Sorcha looks up, a wicked grin on her face.

"It's been… satisfactory thus far," Mariah says with a crooked smile aimed toward Sorcha's reflection in the mirror in front of her. She knows better than to move enough to look at her on the floor. For the pins and the seamstress' ire both.

She looks to the dress itself, her head canting to the side as she regards her own reflection. It's been a while since she indulged in a completely new dress. In fact, last time she had something made, it was for a man instead. But she's enjoying the indulgence now. "I like it when it's just difficult enough to frustrate them." It's a compliment to Sorcha's instincts.

"Better for me. then they rip buttons off, tears fabric. More work. Vicious vicious lovely circle. I don't know how many a time it is that Patricks ripped off my buttons" Too many times. Not enough times if the state of her quiet abode above and behind the store and lack of crying babies indicates anything.

"So grateful half of you out there don't know how to sew a button from your thumb!" Or sew buttons to their thumbs. "You need more chest showing? There's indecent and then there's daring. Daring leaves some to the imagination if you should ask me" Makes things more enticing. Mariah is a prostitute, in a fairly reputable house and not some flip skirt in the streets.

"Have you been out to see Constance Rowentree?"

Mariah laughs at that comment, nodding, "It's a wonderful boost to the sewing economy. Speaking of, I have some things needing fixing. Or repurposing." It's hardly the first time Mariah's brought in torn clothes. At least most can be mended. "Every woman deserves a pile of popped buttons now and then. Especially one with a sailor for a husband.

"I'd be afraid of how often I'd stab my thumbs. I'm no good without my hands, you know," she adds, teasing just a bit before her fingers move to fiddle with the neckline some. "Daring. Just enough to make the women in this town blush. But you know my stance on giving away too much for free." And that includes the chest. It's more about business than reputation for her. She makes sure to give them reason to come pay her to have nothing at all on. When Constance is brought up, though, her hands drop. As does her expression.

"Not since it happened. She hasn't done something stupid like dying or something, has she?"

"I'd imagine that we would have heard much hullabaloo happening if she had slipped and passed away. Only thing I have heard is how quiet the Ross's are. I've half a mind to make something for the girl and take it up there as an excuse to see how she fares" One last pin in place, one last adjustment and she's unfolding from the floor, gesturing to the mirror.

"That's funny. I've never known the Rosses to be quiet." These are the jokes. Mariah looks to Sorcha when she stands up, though, and her joking demeanor dims to a more serious one. "Truth be told… I'm a little worried. Too many odd things are happening around this town lately. I liked things better when they were quiet."

She does look to the mirror, twisting a little there on her footstool to have a look at what will eventually be the finished product. "I think that's a good idea, actually. I'm afraid my profession doesn't lend itself to such excuses, but let me know how she is, if you do see her? This dress is going to be my new favorite, by the way. I can tell already." She says that every time.

'Really? What odd things? I've been nose deep in getting thsi town fitted for the rest of winter" Sorcha confesses, letting her hand trail across a fold of fabric, making sure it drapes the way she wants it to, mentally agreeing that this might be her finest work. until her next dress is made.

"You can always walk with me, like you did before" you know, the day they found the bloody body of the Rowantree girl.

"Constance's wasn't the first attack. And we had Cordelia's kidnapping, this wolf about, the Rosses deciding to become a family of hermit and I've… heard rumors of death omens about." Rumors. And yet that seem to be the one bothering her the most. It might explain why her usual jewelry has been exchanged for one of a more religious variety, at least. Her fingers come up to touch the delicate cross that sits where her mother's bee once was and she looks away from the mirror to the woman herself.

"I suppose I could, at that. We can't have that terrible of luck twice in a row, aye?"

'We surely can't" but that doesn't stop the seamstress from reaching over and knocking on the adjacent wall of wood. A superstitious woman by her own rights. "Who's heard of the death omens. This serves me right for not getting out to the bar and having a pint for my heart" A shake of her head, she's working now to help the hooker out of her new outfit so that she can start in on it. The machine that sits quietly in the corner will be used for this, that's for sure.

"You really ought to get 'round to the pub now and then, you'd get an earful about all sorts of goings on." Mariah lets Sorcha deal with getting her unpinned, only sliding herself out when she's not in danger of screwing anything up. The dress is handed carefully over before Mariah bothers getting into her own clothes. Which Sorcha also made.

"I just heard, you know. Sort of an occupational hazard, you hear about everything." There's a quiet moment as she buttons her dress, but she looks over to the seamstress with a smile, "Perhaps we're all just bored this seasons, ey? Letting our minds wander too often."

"Pillow talk. Ahh I fond fair remember what that is" The dress is taken, brought over to the old fashioned foot pedal machine, setting it carefully on the table it's attached to, ready to be worked on when Mariah actually leaves. 'Winter does that aye. Makes the mind play tricks like not enough water in you in the summer when it's not raining" heatstroke. "Though I thinks that the wolf thing might not be all that… far fetched" The pin cushion is put up, away from where pins might fall and pierce slippers.

"Maybe some people got a bad batch o'rye bread from the baker?" Or maybe something else from the baker. Long cold nights, means taht one might look to more recreational forms of entertainment that don't preclude hallucinogenic's.

Mariah's smile tips crooked at the mention of pillow talk. Ah, the things a man will say to a woman he shares a bed with. "I suppose it does," she says, picking up the stool to put it back where it goes when not in use. "I dare say enough of it is based in truth, though. Not like we don't have reasons to be afraid. Constance's bad luck would be enough. The first body was more than enough for me, anyway."

She turns back, leaning against an empty dressform with her arm over it's headless shoulders. "I find myself wondering what it was people had to fear before there was magic in the world again," she says, only half serious.

"I think that I might like such a world truth be told." mariah knows, she's not a fan of magic, nor of familiars, despite having grown up in a world where such things are common and magic has ruined the lives and the world. She offers up help to get the other woman dressed, no other customers coming through the door at the moment and the birds in their cage remaining quiet.

"It's make me a sight more comfortable. Less of those familiars fluttering around like birds" She shudders at the thought. She likes her three birds well enough, tiny, in their cage. It's birds in the open that she fears. The more… sentient ones.

"I used to try to imagine it, when I was young. We used to cut through the cities sometimes, or near enough to them, when we were traveling and I remember trying to imagine what they must have looked like back then." The chuckle Mariah gives at the memory is a nostalgic one, and perhaps a little sad, too. But then, nostalgia does that to her.

"Honestly, I find the familiars something of a comfort. It's people that tend to be less savory," she says dryly, a hand going to her hip as she regards the mostly empty shop for a moment. "In my experience."

"What is it that you do do anyways?" She's never quite straight up asked the other woman, tending to shy away from the topic. "You've never brought it in here, and I don't recall ever having seen you flash anything about" Sorcha confesses, moving to her wall of fabrics, wrigglign her fingers as she searches for what she wants, and when she finds it, holds it up, a nice bright shade of red for approval from the other woman. Jsut hte color. She's not saying what she needs the approval for.

The question takes Mariah by surprise, at first. She blinks and then moves away from the dressform to slide onto a taller stool instead. "It… I suppose what I do depends on the customer." She isn't offended by the question, and she nods her approval to the fabric. "I always love a good red," she offers before she straightens up some to continue. "Some men want to be seduced, to feel wanted. Some want to do the seducing and feel as if they've won something. Or caught something. Some just want a quick encounter and then go on their way. But you'd be surprised at how many just really want… someone to talk to. Sometimes they'll buy hours to just talk and save the sex for the last fifteen minutes."

Mariah doesn't seem judgmental of them, but then, she wouldn't. She's a saleswoman. "Mostly I figure out what they want, then I… am that. For a night. Or an hour, whatever. It's not so different from any other merchant, I suppose. Read the customer, sell them what they need and a little that they don't, everyone goes home happy."

Sorcha stills some, suddenly maybe just a fraction uncomfortable. "Do they… know you do it?" A quiet enough question.

"My customers?" Mariah sits on that question for a moment, her head tilted just a touch.

"Yes. But some of them like the illusion. Pay for the illusion. So we all pretend together and pretend that we aren't pretending. But even those know what it is they're getting. That none of it's real. Deep down." She glances away for a moment, as if she, too, were suddenly uncomfortable. But she swings her attention back with a gentle smile. "Does it bother you?"

'Some. But it it of my own fault. I don't understand it. The allure, the want, the coveting. It scares me and… people are not usually of a liking that which they are afeared of" Sorcha points out. "It's why I ask that none let their beasts in with them. I prefer them outside" Except those that come in on pockets or snuck in, brought in unknowingly. "Does it bother you, that it bothers me a touch?"

"It's alright. I didn't understand it at first, either. I didn't understand it until I was knee deep in it. And it can be… frightening." Mariah admits that part reluctantly, a hand reaching up to straighten her hair unnecessarily.

The question brings her back to the moment, though, and she laughs lightly, breathily. "Not at all. You're unendingly kind to me all the same, which is more than I can say for most of those it bothers."

"i think it bothers them that you barter your body for your needs, instead of a more practical skill. Though if they were smart, they'd know that such a thing is indeed, a skill. Anyone can please a man, it takes a woman to with skill to bring them back to you time and time again" She's sure that her own husband is off in ports foreign where it is safe to go, likely visiting such a place.

He's a sailor after all.

"I suppose I've seen the bad end of it on an occasion or two" Sorcha confesses. "And none of my kin have come about been born with such" She takes up at hte table,s tarting to measure out fabric by the arm lengths.

"I like to think of it as a skill, aye," Mariah says with a mirthless chuckle, "but I also know it makes us Dovetail girls a bit of a danger. An uncertainty in their lives. And it gives them something to gossip about. Part of the service." That's a joke, too. Mostly.

"None of my family was born with it, either. Not that I know of. But even before Dornie, I'd met up with enough people and creatures touched by magic. I'm not going to say there's nothing to be feared," not with dragons and such about, "In fact, I think it'll be some time before we all can accept it as a normal thing, even. Too much of our forefathers' blood in our veins, still. The ones that depended on automobiles and telephones and lived in homes of metal and glass."

"And of sewing machines that ran on electricity and were not made of the iron and steel and wood." A gesture to the machine near the hooker. "Remind me to never take up the service of one of yours" Sorcha laughs softly. "Should I ever pine for more than my husband.

"Exactly," Mariah says with a nod to the machine and a crooked smile. But when Sorcha goes on, she laughs warmly with a shake of her head. "I can't promise I'd be able to turn you away if you came to my door, Sorcha, but I can promise to try," she says with a quick wink.

"Get off with you, lady of the night. I have work to do on your dress so that I can have it to you before the week is out" A roll of her eyes at Mariah's words. Odds are should Sorcha ever deign to cross the threshhold of the brothel, it won't be for the arms of a woman. "I'll let yous ee what you can wheedle outta your clients to pay for this all. Something useful would be nice, but I'd not object to something pretty"

"Alright, alright," Mariah says with a fuller laugh, hopping off her stool to come over to give the other woman a hug. "I'll see if I can't get something useful and pretty. Or at least something delicious. Send word when you're ready for me to come pick it up, I'll be as fleet of foot as I can manage." And with a wave, she moves to slip out of the shop.

'Delicious would be good. My Mam'd enjoy something delicious" Sorcha returns the hug, full bodied that it is, easing back onto her chair to watch the hooker take off. A crooked cant of her lips before she shifts in her seat and looks at the work ahead of her for the day, plotting out the time, factoring in food breaks and a run to the tavern later in the evening.