[Old Town] Finding the Right Fit

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Kokuten
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[Old Town] Finding the Right Fit

Post by Kokuten »

Old Town, Osaka
Nostra
A Week Prior to Disturbing the Dust


Mundane fashion had become a weakpoint of Eryl’s during the decade she had spent in Eastern Europe. In lingering in the presence of harsh, practical circumstances, she had paid attention only to the finery of her magely robes. Among the magical societies, she was illustrious and illuminating in appearance. In Osaka, among the mundane, she looked like and was often accused of being a cosplayer. The things that most people wore on the streets were alien in the most alluring of ways. Now that weakness was felt prominently as she found herself in crisis.

What drove this crisis was that it was at this time that Eryl had realized she possessed a deep infatuation for Jane Smith, the Gunslinger of Osaka. The triclops had been so unsettled by the realization that she had stopped making her weekly visits to the Farm.

It was again at this time, Mr. Caxton phoned her a week prior to inform Eryl that her presence had been requested to serve as security for a class. Now it was at a small island nation the Americans had conquered back in the late 1890s. It was called Hawai’i and it was supposedly a very beautiful place filled with beautiful opportunities. There were beaches and the people of this era used these beaches for many purposes. One of these purposes stood out prominently to Eryl’s romance-addled mind.

She stood in one of the aisles at Nostra, a clothier for mages in Osaka’s Old Town, avoiding the section of the store that she actually came for. The swim-suit section.

The goal of this day was to buy a swim-suit that would draw the eye of the Gunslinger, a proverbial set of plumage to strut in. It had been the most embarrassing conclusion she had ever drawn, but it was one of the weapons that women used to fight their battles in this age. A task of this importance required the right type of assistance. She had considered many people for the job.

Laoise? No, then Mr. Flynn would know, and she was vaguely suspecting competition from both of them.

Caoranach? The fae were tricky suspects, and she feared sabotage.

Miyuki? The triclops hadn’t quite apologized to her for what she had done to Percival.

Percival? It would have been like going underwear shopping with your brother.

Jane? Eryl was brave enough to plunge into dying realms, but she wasn’t that brave. Not yet.

There was only person who could be trusted with a task this important, with any amount of knowledge of Osaka’s famed gunslinger. Someone who wouldn’t take the meeting as an opportunity to hang her out to dry. Someone who Eryl had come to trust despite her wariness.

Riley Erin Alstad.
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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Old Town] Finding the Right Fit

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Riley Erin Alstad arrived behind Eryl wearing a plain black cap, a black button up with a thin, bright red tie slung around the collar, a pair of black slacks over a scuffed pair of boots and had topped everything off with a light grey, high-collared vest festooned with pockets that was left both unbuttoned and unzipped. The woman with short, clearly self cut hair looked like someone who had lost a battle between going fishing and joining a ska band.

Despite it all as Riley pulled down on the brim of her cap in greeting to Eryl it was obvious that the stage magician had nothing but confidence running through her veins.

"Eryl!" Riley sent a cat's grin the triclop's way as she looked at the racks of neatly displayed socks that the other woman was standing by. "What's the occasion? Going hiking?"
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Kokuten
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Re: [Old Town] Finding the Right Fit

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Eryl yelped, nearly leaping out of her skin as Riley announced herself from behind. She tiptoed forward in her stumbling, as if she were a thief in this place of business. Then she spun around, clearly distressed, but took a breath to steady herself. Riley had always been a bit different from the rest of the group. Perhaps that's why she had been one of the first of the Menagerie to welcome her. Even before Percival had come around to her presence.

However, even with Eryl's outdated sense of fashion, she could tell that Riley was not a promising candidate for clothes shopping. She had hoped, in her most secret heart of hearts, that Riley would turn out to be some closet fashionista. Instead it looks like the fashion attacked her when she had stumbled into the closet.

Even so, Eryl felt a bit better, knowing she had a friend here.

"Not so much, Riley," the triclops placed a hand on her chest, "I'm just a little embarrassed right now. I'm here to buy a set of strings and fabric that are supposed to equate to... swimwear."

Her hand came up to her lips as she stared over the sock rack at the women's section for bathing suits, "I'm trying to... do something, and I must have a set that is... good. I just don't know what good looks like to others."
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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Old Town] Finding the Right Fit

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"Hmmm. A swimsuit?" Riley cocked her head to the side as she crossed her arms. After a moment the magician righted her head and nodded to herself. "Yeah, I can think of a few things."

"But-" The short haired woman slammed a fist into her palm. "I'm not the important one here! Just good though, that's-" Riley cut herself off and made a dismissive wobbling motion with an extended hand. "Fashion is a character language - the clothes are the lines and how you are going to wear them the strokes and when you wear them that's the sentence."

Riley showed off a grin as she let out a short laugh. "Good is for goods and nobody is a thing when they're feelin' dressed alright. So! We're looking to do and we're looking to say and what's our sentence for all'a that good dame?"
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Kokuten
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Re: [Old Town] Finding the Right Fit

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"I-... I-... I-I-I don't think I can tell you."

Eryl clammed up so hard that she looked like she had gripped an electric wire. The words came out so quickly that she had been shocked that she said them. When her nerves got up, her thoughts fired off like rockets near kindling. Many wondered why the Witch of G'dansk would never talk at length with people, this was why.

But I am not the Witch of G'dansk here.

Keeping Riley in the dark would be counter-productive, but, moreover, unfair. The infamous stage magician had made time for her, and answered her electronic phone messages kindly.

"No," Eryl tossed a hand up before the conversation could continue, "Oh dear... Oh dear. Don't. I can do this."

She whipped her hands in front of herself in frustration as she tried to think of way to explain this that didn't feel like exposing herself. Then, a thought came to her, and she quickly leaped into an explanation. "Are you familiar with the Cockatrice? They mate in a very organized fashion. You see, the females will prowl among instinctual mating grounds, looking for prime candidates for procreation."

As this went on Eryl began to speak faster, her face becoming more red, "As is classical in avian driven societies, it is incumbent upon the male to attract the attention of a female. A male cockatrice, ones that live near human societies, will often adorn itself in trinkets. Where as, more wild versions will adorn themselves in vines or thrust themselves into fields of flowers to cover their feathers and scales in flower petals."

By this point she was speaking too quickly, to the point where she began to trip over herself, "A-n-and the male, when properly adorned, will present itself. Mor--more oft--t-ten th-stru--- than not, strutting! They will strut in their again --adornments to gain the att--parti---attention of a particular mate! And the-- the- wellest... the bes--... alluring male will atten-- win the attention of a female!"

And, at that, Eryl buried her very red face into her hands.
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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Old Town] Finding the Right Fit

Post by Gwathdraug »

"Hey, hey." Riley tugged gently at Eryl's sleeve. "C'mon, let's plop-" The stage magician's voice was confident as she fell down into a flat-footed squat. "Strategy meeting."

"Let's do this by the numbers, yeah?" Riley's grin covered her whole face as she theatrically grabbed at one of her shoulders and then rolled it. "Number 1: neither of us are birds. Number 2-" The short haired woman quickly dragged her index finger through the air drawing out a square that glowed a faint electric yellow. "-let's take this matrix; our first corner is excitement-" Riley's finger touched the upper left corner and it flared a bright red."-then fear-" The next corner shifted to white. "-courage-" Blue. "-and shame." The last juncture deepened until it was black.

"There is a lot going on and you are pushing yourself to find somewhere new that you think will be more comfortable for you - that's badass." Riley dropped her hands and gestured her head towards her construct. "We just need to work out how this all belongs to you and what of it is garbage and what of it is important to you. And it isn't all bad. There is fear of rejection, sure, but there is also fear of not being yourself anymore."

"Which-" The stage magician held up her hand with three fingers splayed out. "-brings us to Number 3: no matter what if you find yourself comfortable in something - if you think it looks awesome - then it is. If anyone brings you down off that high we'll toss them."
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Kokuten
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Re: [Old Town] Finding the Right Fit

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Obediently, Eryl sat on her heels as she listened to Riley talk her down. The triclops had a habit of shivering when she was upset, and her hands were shaking with nerves. As the stage magician went on, her body language seemed to speak of a cooler mind. Putting her emotions to a system made more sense, like a book, like chapters in a book.

“A barometer for my feelings…”

Fewer times than she liked to admit, she didn’t consider her feelings very often when deciding a course of action. It had been this way since she was thirteen; out of preference until fifteen, when it swiftly shifted to necessity all the way into her mid-twenties.

Where had her life gone? When she escaped Japan, she was going to reclaim her father’s money in Wales and buy a dress. Now she was in Osaka trying to buy a swimsuit with the meager earnings of a Lodge Witch.

“No, Eryl, you are spiraling again,” Eryl tersely cut herself off, and then took a few pacing breaths.

After considering Riley’s words again, she tried to pocket the vote of courage that had been given to her. She took another breath and said, “Certainly. I want to feel good in it. I don’t think I will at first, because I have never worn so little in my life, but–... The fact is– The fact is, the outfit is not the goal, but the feeling the outfit causes. I want Jane to notice me in that way.”

At the mention of the gunslinger’s name she slapped herself.

“DAMN IT."
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