By Wit & Whitby
How to bloom in Whitby - Printable Version

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+---- Thread: How to bloom in Whitby (/showthread.php?tid=786)

How to bloom in Whitby - Chéri - 06-05-2022

A flower shop. The word was similar enough for Chéri to guess. Their english had improved sufficiently for them to give it a go, though they weren’t sure their looks wasn’t going to get them some odd form of treatment. It had happened before. Now they dressed more like the locals - which was to say “sadly”- but their face was their face and what they wanted to ask could come across as odd. Would. Granted, they needed to explain that first.
Chéri took a long breath and then entered the shop.

RE: How to bloom in Whitby - Mehmet Gardinier - 06-05-2022

The door opened, and with it a current of air. With the current of air came the lackadaisical lifting of already sitting pollen. With the pollen … a sneeze.

A stocky fellow was rubbing his face with a handkerchief, looking up with bored, red-streaked eyes. He sat in a chair a ways away from the actual desk, because the desk was closer to the neighbor’s rapeseed patches. He had pulled them one year, only to find the neighbor watching them and the neighbors across with binoculars.

He settled for urinating off-season where he knew they grew a couple years later, fingers crossed that it would make the soil less habitable for the vengeful plant.

The only effect was disappointment.

“Hello,” he said, then cleared his throat. “How can I help you?”

The person entering might catch a lingering French accent to his English.

RE: How to bloom in Whitby - Chéri - 06-10-2022

Big, burly, and with a red eye. Someone else might have been intimidated. Chéri wasn’t, though they weren’t sure what to make of the red eyes.

Chéri nodded “‘ello,” Hs were for the weak ones that tried to fit in.

“Flowers. Pretty. Live long,” they tried to describe what they were hoping to obtain from Mehmet in their best english, which was to say mostly a collection of vocabulary. In the meantime, they stood up with their back straight (about the only straight thing about them, aside their bitchiness) and to look like a respectable client. Their french accent was evident.

RE: How to bloom in Whitby - Mehmet Gardinier - 06-23-2022

Mehmet smiled. Then, the smile shook. Wobbled. Trembled and shuddered, and then-- his arm flew up to his face.

He sneezed, loud and hard.

“Excusez moi,” he answered in Parisian French.

He cleared his throat, and then set his hands on the counter.

“Dedans ou dehors?”


RE: How to bloom in Whitby - Chéri - 07-02-2022

The imposing man seemed to be quite inviting. Then he didn’t look like that anymore. Chéri took a step back, feeling maybe a little worried. Then the man sneezed and Chéri made a gesture.

No problem.

But a word was not enough to let them know that the man did speak french.

Now, the following question was a better hint, so they asked properly “I want flowers that can go on a dress or a hat. I can get a small green space for them and I can get help to take care of them, but I want them to live and stay pretty once I put them on a dress.” To someone who was a native french speaker, Chéri sounded like a curious mix of low Parisian french, the sort spoken by shoemakers and carpenters, and something else, something southern, almost foreign but not entirely. And they were a little harsher than necessary.

RE: How to bloom in Whitby - Mehmet Gardinier - 07-06-2022

In Paris, it had been drilled by Mehmet’s parents that they needed to perfect the local accent. But by the time they reached Whitby, such were notions of a past life.

He wasn’t sure what to make of the … boy? Before him. His accent, specifically. As he spoke full sentences, it brought him back to past times, past standards. Not quite Parisian, and not especially trying to be.

It galled Mehmet at first, but the feeling dampened quick as London sun’s retreat to clouds. Something for a hat, or a lady’s dress – that this fellow wanted to keep alive once they were cut for it?

Mehmet laid thick, calloused hands down on the counter as he looked down in thought. How did he break it to him …? It was harder when he looked so excitable.

“Here’s the thing,” he launched in, with rapid French. “I can sell you flowers. I could even pot a plant for you. But once you—” habitually, he made a scissor motion with his fingers, “– cut the flower for the dress or the hat, it no longer has its roots to stay alive.” He laid his hands back down on the counter. “Sometimes, a cutting can create new roots, but most are as good as dead at this point. Beauty is a risky business.”

He would know. He sold women the poison they put in their eyes for that perfect, wanton gaze.

Faced with the mortal coil of flowers, Mehmet stroked his goatee.

“Have you considered cloth flowers?”

RE: How to bloom in Whitby - Chéri - 07-24-2022

Chéri had met a few people who could handle french in Whitby, but none had come across as skilfull at it as Mehmet. The others used the language, as a tool, while the gardener seemed to handle it more like a limb, better than Chéri themselves, perhaps, who too had learnt French. Of course, over ten years of practice made them proficient, but they still recognised a form of uncertainty. Whatever was happening there, it wasn’t uncertainty.

“That is the thing though: I want to try to have a dress that lives on a dress, keep it alive through it,” the idea was bizzarre, Chéri knew, but they figured that just shoving it into the gardner’s face was the bast chance they had at getting what they wanted.

Chéri nodded “But that is a different thing,” they explained. Nothing had the delicacy of real plants and Chéri had a creativity for clothes that almost touched inventiveness. They were directing their energy there, now that dance had abandoned them.

RE: How to bloom in Whitby - Mehmet Gardinier - 08-01-2022

The kid’s enthusiasm was … it was like pollen. The product of something beautiful, of something lively and vibrant that called attention to its form, half-natural and half posed to look ‘natural’ in vases they hardly belonged in. But here’s the thing--


Mehmet put his hand over his face as another sneeze violently forced its way out of him.

This wasn’t gonna work.

“So let’s say you have this, this … dress on a dress,” he humored. “So, what, a dress filled with dirt and stitched around live plants? For one, that’s gonna weigh your lady down. For two, she’s gonna leave a big patch of dirt wherever she goes and get kicked out of all her nice dress parties. For three – the motion of going to and fro is going to damage the delicate plants and kill them. And five? Even if she decided to spend the rest of her days perched in one spot, never moving – the flowers are going to need new soil eventually.”

He paused, then remembered.

“And a dirt hat? That lady’s neck is never gonna be the same.”

He stroked his goatee in thought.

“Say. You ever seen a bonsai tree?”

RE: How to bloom in Whitby - Chéri - 08-08-2022

Chéri found the easiness they could use to communicate with Mehmet incredibly soothing and talking about that sort of practical matter did them good in more ways than one, but they also ended up feeling sorry for the poor man. Allergy was not a widely known concept at the time and Chéri took the chance to make a joke “Am I making you sick, sir?” It was not mean-spirited. It actually meant they were feeling better.

There was a chat about a hypothetical lady. Yes, of course, that was for a lady. Chéri found themselves pushing their lower lip out a little, in some form of a letdown. It just wouldn’t do. “So it doesn’t work. It can’t.” Chéri concluded.

The joke about the hat coaxed a giggle out of them though. They sighed and then bent their head to the side.