By Wit & Whitby
[Complete] [CW] All That Pitters - Printable Version

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All That Pitters - Loretta Ward - 05-11-2022

[[CW: tons of familial fuckery, constant allusions to her job.]]

Lory was a free woman, now.

Free of the fear of her family finding out her worst secrets, for they already knew. Free of the humility she had so long balked under, traded for fancy dresses and heels.

She went to church more than she ever had as a fisherlass, these days. St. Mary’s, to be precise. One more reason for her family to be horrified – but was it not kinder to tempt from a less righteous flock? Not that their Methodist flock was any … less … tempted. If Uncle Ben ever found out how many times that nice, generous captain had kept them afloat beyond the fish and chips …

No one was biting at the church today. She’d had better luck on holidays, when even more Anglicans felt compelled to go church and had some steam to blow over it. There was a fellow she thought of the daughter of the entire time, and another who absolutely baffled her because he had a breathtaking wife. That one she hated most – he reminded her a bit of her father, though thankfully didn’t resemble him much.

Her dress was modest, if more flattering than the church appreciated. It had been a ‘good’ week, and thus she went this Sunday morning to the market. Her mother had begun rejecting her money, so she was determined to find something egregious to spite-spend it on instead. Alcohol, perhaps? Big earrings? Oh, she hated big earrings. Lory looked to and fro, eyes alight with a scheme.

RE: All That Pitters - Mable Reynolds - 05-11-2022

Though Mable could not afford to buy anything in the market, it was still a nice place to spend time.

It was nice to imagine all the things she could buy, at least.  Jewelry and embroidery and delicious looking fruits and things she didn't even know what.  Not to mention the people she'd see; fancy looking people, poor looking people, big people and small people and some she recognized and new faces completely.

She felt strangely at ease among the crowd.  It probably helped that she couldn't be the target of theft or robbery - her pockets were light as air.  Though anyone who saw her would not know it from the smile on her face and the bright look in her eyes.

No, they were more likely to know it from the state of her clothes, or even the careless way she flounced about the road.

Until something new caught the girl's eye.  Her head whipped around, doing a double take as if she could be mistaken, but no, she wasn't.  There was a woman down the street with the brightest hair Mable had ever seen - red, like fire.  She could not help but stare.

More than that, the woman was beautiful.  Mable was struck by the elegant shape of her face, her eyes, her everything.

Bold as brass and not thinking twice about it, Mable made her way through the crowd towards the woman with determination.

"Pardon me," she said once close enough to be heard, "I'm sorry to bother you, but I just had to let you know what your hair is the most gorgeously dazzling divine thing I've ever seen.  You are very beautiful, though I'm sure you already know that.  I wanted to tell you myself, though."

RE: All That Pitters - Loretta Ward - 05-15-2022

There was a young girl, flouncing, with dark hair. She immediately wondered if it was some poor Longbottom, oblivious to how the world viewed her, before she realized the ringlets were too curled.

When she turned from buying pork rinds at a stand, there the child was! Staring. At her. She was the same size as her, give or take, but her face and being suggested her much younger. Maybe around the age she’d started stepping one dainty toe over the line of propriety for extra food and coin. Prettier than she was at that age, too.

A bit like Ruth.

Oh, God. She made eye contact, and now the child was hurrying over.

“Thank you,” Lory said, touching a hand to her bosom like it was the most touching thing she’d ever been told.

“That’s how I get paid,”
she kept to herself.

“Sweetie, are you here alone?”

By God, let her parents be around somewhere near. Night always came too quickly, and the last thing she wanted to do with her day was spend it playing mother hen.

RE: All That Pitters - Mable Reynolds - 05-15-2022

"No, Miss, I'm not alone, my brother is around here somewhere."  It wasn't entirely a lie, her brother was definitely around.  It's just, Mable meant around as in, somewhere in Whitby, and while she couldn't be certain, she thought the woman must mean around as in, somewhere in the market.

"My older brother, I mean.  He's practically a man now, so - oh, my name is Mable by the way!  It's very nice to meet you, Miss.  What's your name?"

What must this woman do to keep her hair so vibrant?  Was it natural?  Mable didn't know hair could be unnatural, but she wouldn't be surprised if that was accurate for this woman's hair.  But then Mable would want to know how she did it, so she could do it herself, but - she might not look as good with red hair.  Perhaps her brother would, though?  Should Mable introduce the two?

RE: All That Pitters - Loretta Ward - 05-16-2022

Lory looked to and fro eagerly, too eagerly, for a man (or by God, even a boy would do) who looked anything like he could be this girl’s brother. Straight hair, straight hair, wavy hair, curly brown hair-- ugh, no luck.

“Ruby,” Lory smiled, mindful of every muscle in her face.

It felt more like a shop front than a name, but it was a name she had settled into before her discovery. Maybe she should start flaunting her real name and bringing shame on her family!

“But I was born Lory Ward,” she said with a dainty curtsy that had been learned at a brothel rather than a harbor.

She didn’t sound like a dockhand, or even like the rich bugger Uncle Ben had sold Alice out to.

“Where are you from, Mable?”

And how did she shake her so she could go get lost in an opium den?

RE: All That Pitters - Mable Reynolds - 05-17-2022

"Ruby!  What a beautiful name!  I think it suits you very well!" Mable was quick to say to the woman, but hesitated when she gave another name.  That made the girl so curious - why change her name, but give away her real one so quickly?  Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a fake name?  What was the name for?  "Lory is also very beautiful," she continued, her mind lingering on the Ward part of it, but only for a moment.  Mable made herself busy by also looking around the crowd of people, searching for - whatever Lory was searching for.  Which she didn't know, of course, but wanted to make the effort regardless.

"I'm from the states, ma'am, Pennsylvania!  But I live here for now.  What about you, where are you from?  What are you looking for?  Did you choose the name Ruby or did someone else for you?"

RE: All That Pitters - Loretta Ward - 05-17-2022

“You’re a very sweet child, Mable,” she smiled, and it hurt a bit.

She reminded her a bit of Anne, but more energetic and less crushed by life. Would she have to demonstrate a phylactery for this one, too?

God save her. She was too good for this world.

“So many questions,” she breathed with a smile, trying to keep her eyes from watering.

She was a lady of the night; a teacher no more. It paid better, at least, and she received about the same respect albeit in different ways. Instead of being a symbol of royal treachery to families that needed their kids working, she was instead just a temptress of a different kind. Now she filled men’s heads with sinful ideas instead of children’s with thoughts above their station.

“Um, one,” she rattled off, putting out three fingers and tapping each as she addressed them. “I’m from here,” she admitted with a sheepish smile. “Two, I’m looking for your brother.”

Not to tempt him to a life of sin … unless he looked like he was made of money. Sorry, Mable.

“Three … my employer chose the name,” she smiled, stiffly. “Some occupations come with new names.”

RE: All That Pitters - Mable Reynolds - 05-17-2022

All of Lory's answers just gave Mable more questions, but the one she vocalized first was, "my brother?"  With renewed purpose, the girl looked into the crowd of people again, though she was still confused.

"Do you know my brother?  Do you need him?"  What for?  "What for?"

Perhaps they were friends?  Though Mable had a hard time imagining her brother having a successful social interaction without her.  Especially with a woman as pretty as Lory.  And then -

She had an idea.

"Or maybe you'd like to meet him?  We can look for him together, if that's the case.  He's very nice, you know.  Very, um..."  How to describe him...  "Kind.  Protective!  And quiet.  I think a lot of young men should learn about that last one especially, don't you?"

RE: All That Pitters - Loretta Ward - 05-19-2022

Lory’s smile was more of a cringe. She had always been the youngest on her side … but Uncle Ben’s side had included some younger (and older) clingers-on. Mostly the boys.

“I’m sure he’s missing you,” she said.

She hoped it was true, anyway.

When Mable described him, Lory smiled genuinely this time. What would the world look like if Simon-- if Uncle Ben had learned when to shut his mouth? Be kind? Shut his mouth? Be protective, and shut his mouth? What if Luke had understood those virtues, too?

“You’re quite right, young miss. I think all men could learn from-” those traits “-… your brother’s example.”

She had no idea if this girl was even right about him, but it was a lovely thought. There weren’t enough of those.

RE: All That Pitters - Mable Reynolds - 05-20-2022

Her brother?  Missing her?  Well, of course he was, but that was just because he has attachment issues.  But how did Lory know that?

Maybe that was just how all older brothers worked.  Or maybe, Lory really did know her brother!

"He might be missing you too, Miss!  Come, let's find him."  With a wave of her hand, Mable turned and immersed herself back into the crowd of people at the market, only realizing a moment later that Lory was probably an adult, doing important things, like... working.  Or...

What did adults do all day besides work?  The question made Mable tired.

She stopped right then and turned back around to Lory, an apologetic hand on her cheek.

"Oh, Miss, I'm sorry if I took you away from your days plans.  Don't worry to follow me if you're busy, I know my way around!" Mostly.  "My brother is very good at finding me anyhow.  I didn't mean to assume you were free just now."