Thumbing Pricks

Title: Thumbing Pricks
Time Period: May 17, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Retail therapy turns into something a bit more meaningful.

For at least another month, no one will be getting clothes made from Sorcha's machine. She could pedal it with her left foot, but it feels too strange to the woman who is perched on a chair, plastered leg up on a stool, poking out from under her skirt as she flips through a sketchbook filled with her designs. There's other books, designs drawn up by her mother, and her mothers mother, sketches that date back to the turn of the magical apocalypse.

nope, these days, she's going a little lighter on churning out creations for lack of an apprentice and therefore, it's a little bit more to get clothes that aren't from her stockpile of pre-made non-tailored clothing. She licks a finger, reaching to flip a page again, looking over to Mariah to see if she's found anything she's interested in in the one she's got. A pot of tea - spiked for both their nerves - biscuits that are perhaps a day old and payment for something created, with some fresh butter. The canary's chirp in thier spacious cage.

"Want to talk about what's got you in a tizzy that you've come back for some retail therapy?" Flick goes another page. Menswear, not for Mariah.

It isn't usual for Mariah to be visibly depressed. She's pretty flawless about keeping that pesky emotion things deep below the surface. Her retail therapy is usually done with a grin and the kind of excitement only a new, perfectly fitted dress can bring. But today, there hasn't been a smile, even when she's found designs she loves, it's met with the same sullen expression as every other page. Never still, she's left a few marked in her path through the sketchbook in front of her.

At first, she answers with a shake of her head and a soft sigh. But sharing her thoughts has never been easy for her. "It's just— " she says after a moment, "A client is making my life difficult." Sorcha should have a hint of that already, though, as Mariah has been in to buy mens clothes recently. She doesn't do that for her customers, generally.

"Men, bastards the lot of them" Her own still absent, and late enough into the season that has her fearing that quite possibly, something bad has befallen her man over the winter in far off lands. 'Can't live with them, can't live without them" She shakes her head, pausing to mark down a particularly nice cut of shirt that she plans to make for Patrick, should he haul his ass home.

"Please tell me, that you haven't fallen in love with a client have you? It can only bode bad, for a lady of the night."

"That's too right," Mariah says, flipping a page for emphasis, "Mostly, anyway." Uh oh. She looks down at the new page, but it's a design that's far too modest for her usual tastes and she flips past it fairly quickly.

"Love… is— Yes, bad for someone in my profession. Everything turns so very… complex." Which is to say, she's going to step around that question via the path of generalities. "One of my regulars… he was…" She pauses there, swallowing a moment before she looks up at Sorcha. "These attacks that have been happening? He was taken. They… dragged him off and I— I couldn't stop them," she says, her expression shifting to fight away tears, but in the end, she just looks down at the book again to cover instead.

Slim fingers falter in their page turning at the confession of the loss of a client to the attacks. "Have you told the Militia?" Whether they'll do something or write him off, she doesn't quite know. But she does know about the various attacks having been a victim of two of them at least and a participant in a third.

Sorcha wriggles the toes that peek out from beneath plaster, though it's covered by a knit sock and she tilts her head at one of her best customers and someone she considers at least to be a friend. "You'd rather be out there looking for him wouldn't you?"

"I have. I told Algernon Fogg. Well, and Jorn as well. They went to have a look where it happened. I'm hoping that means someone will… do something." Mariah looks up again, sitting back in her chair and letting the book lay there for a few moments without her. "I would. I feel like it's my fault they got him. And gone and I feel so— "

Maybe she doesn't know, exactly. But then, she did say things were difficult. Mariah stands up, because pacing at least is doing something. "A few months ago, my life made complete sense. I was happy doing my job. I liked it, even. And then a woman I respected and cared about died. She died doing this. A Dove to the very end." She turns to look at Sorcha there, her hands spreading, "I'm not even sure why that upsets me. Except that surely she deserved more. And now everything's cockeyed. And Luna's left the house and Cas is missing and maybe he's… I mean what if he's…"

Perhaps it only just occurred to her that he might have been killed instead of just taken, but she steps over to lower herself back into her chair again.

"He's not" Sorcha levers herself out of the chair, broken leg coming to the floor as she hobbles the few steps to the other woman, reaching out to lay a hand on Mariah's shoulder.

'I'll hear none of that flapping loose from between your lips. None of that you hear? The militia'll find him. Wartooth's a might fine man and Mr. fogg…" Well, she has only had those few run ins with him. "Is Mr. fogg"

Mariah reaches up to grip onto the hand on her shoulder, and she nods to her words. But a moment later, she stands up, because she can't sit while the woman with a broken leg stands. "He's a good man, too. I wouldn't have gone to them if I didn't think they'd be right for the job." After all, she knows plenty of militia men. She could have picked any one of them.

There's a glance around the shop, just making sure no ears are listening before she turns back to Sorcha to make one small addition. "He told me… just before the attack, he told me he thinks— He thinks he loves me." Women aren't usually friends with Mariah, not outside the Dovetail, and within, they're gossips who couldn't keep a secret if their lives depended on it. But she seems to give Sorcha a bit more credit.

"It's a special man who can love a woman in your line of work. Same as it take a special woman to love a man who is forever away on a boat" There's no ears, her mother a story above and on the other side, oblivious to the world at the moment. Sorcha's not prone to gossiping about things so personal like this. How short someone asked for their skirt, yes. "Do you know if you love him back?" Forget that Hobs carried him off.

"Aye," Mariah says to her first comment. "I mean, I don't really… understand. Maybe he just doesn't think about it. Or maybe he was just sort of swept away in the moment. Or."

She goes quiet, though, because that's a hard question. Her brow furrows, and her hands fall to either side of that sketchbook. "I'm not supposed to. Not the clients. Not… anyone, probably. But lately… I haven't been very… satisfied with my job. And I find that I'm… happiest when he's there." Given that her entire life is about illusion and crafting a careful lie for her job, actually getting to what she really feels is something of a challenge.

"sounds like, when they get him back, that perhaps, you might take a leave from the dove, see if you can't find something else that might support you. Keep you fed while you see whether it was just a moment, or whether it was something more" Sorcha offers up quietly, easing her way back to her seat, pouring some tea for the both of them, a tipple of something alcoholic into hers and an offer to tipple a little into Mariah's.

"I admit that I've been thinking about it. Although, I'm not entirely sure what I would do with myself outside of the Dovetail. But once upon a time, I wanted to be something. I got so stuck on the idea of just making it from day to day." Which might be understandable, for someone with her history.

Mariah holds her cup out for that special addition, too, because she is definitely needing alcohol to get her through this whole mess. "And when Slainte died, it sort of made me step back and think about days beyond tomorrow. And Luna has been talking about wanting to be a proper lady recently and I just think… not that my job is a bad one, but is this what I want to be in another five years?" By the way her lip curls… maybe not.

"Mayhap you are meant to take Edme's place at some time, but at some point, no, your beauty fades and you either become the madame, someone's kept woman, or you find some place to work, that isn't on your back" Sorcha points out. "That, is the future for those who work the dovetail when they no longer have the fair color of youth on their face" Not that Mariah is near that stage anytime soon.

She tilts in a splash and a half of the bottle before settling it back down. 'What do you want to be, in a few years."

"I won't be someone's kept woman," Mariah says, a bit of pride straightening her shoulders, "What I like about my job is the freedom to choose. And to change my mind. I'm not fit for… that. I like being an independent contractor." How she does love the world that was and it's unique brand of language.

"But that is the rub. I don't think I want to stay long enough to be in the running if Edme decides to retire. And if I'm not staying, then I'd like to leave while I'm in a high point and not when I've become… undesirable." The choice to leave, rather than having no choice but. "I wish I knew what I wanted to be. It would make things simpler."

"Come learn my trade" Sorcha says with a straight face. A gesture with her free hand to the back of the shop where they are seated. With it's hidden away mirror, folding partition and the doors that lead to the upstairs and the back room. "No lack of work, everyone always needs clothes and don't much like to make them themselves. I don't recall a day when I didn't have something to eat. It's a respectable trade and at the rate at which I am going, I'm not likely to be having a babe of my own to teach like my mother did and her mother before her"

Mariah blinks through a moment of puzzlement, not having expected the offer. There's just a moment before she lets out a breath and puts a hand on her hip, "You want a whore to come work in your shop, are you sure?" Obviously, she's a bit worried about what damage her reputation can do to the more upstanding trades around Dornie. Her brow furrows a bit, not sure how to react to an act of kindness like this one.

"You wouldn't be a whore if you worked here" Sorcha points out. "You'd be an apprentice, and if anyone didn't like it, they can take their business elsewhere and learn to make their own clothes. Beside, you're a walking advertisement for my skills and it's not like half the ladies at the Dovetail don't already come here to get half their bedroom things made. You'd still get to see them all and get the gossip" She points out.

"The offer's serious one Mariah."

There's a glance back toward the door, where her familiar stands outside currently masquerading (harhar) as a horse, but staying in sight of the seamstress shop while Mariah is within. As if needing some guidance from the sight of him. Or comfort, perhaps.

But she looks back to Sorcha a moment later. "I suppose I have been promoting your work for some time now. And I am a decent saleswoman, if I say so." She presses her lips together for a moment, gaze sinking toward the floor in thought. There's a lingering silence, but it breaks when she looks back up again. "Can I think about it?"

"Of course you can think on it. The offer doesn't quite have an expiration date and you've better things to worry about than whether I can give you a wonderful life of pricking your thumbs, instead of thumbing pricks" There's a smirk by sorcha into her tea.

While Mariah hasn't cracked a smile since she got here, that last bit gets not just a smile, but a laugh as well, brief as it may be. In her somewhat frazzled emotional state, the small burst seems to push tears out as well, just a couple which she wipes away with the back of her hand.

"New experiences, aye?" She sniffs a little, before taking a long drink from her cup. The liquor within causes her to make a face, as liquor tends to, but that's never stopped her drinking. "I will let you know as soon as… as soon as I know what I'm doing."