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Books Against Boredom
Member

54 Posts
5 Threads

Age: 18
Height: 5'3''
Registered: Apr 2021

#1
Autumn was on its way and Catherine Ennington still wasn't as much as engaged. Now all interesting men, the ones with titles and land, had left Whitby to go back to doing whatever they did outside of summer, and Cathy was faced with the prospect of being stuck in this town the entire winter with nothing to do except charity work, calling on their small circle of equals, and shop. (She wouldn't be caught dead in anything sold in Whitby.) The doctor did not deem her well enough to go back to school, or, which was worse, to travel far. 

Some books might bring some relief from boredom, though she could not read long without developing migraines. At least browsing for books filled some time. And so on a sunny afternoon, the carriage drew up in front of the book shop and Catherine stepped out, dressed in a fine blue dress with fashionably puffed sleeves. She told the footman to wait in the carriage and not to disturb her until she was done. 

The bell rang overhead as she stepped in.
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Member

164 Posts
5 Threads

Pronouns: She, Her
Age: 15
Occupation: Maid
Alias: BlackAck
Registered: Nov 2021

#2
The tolling of the shop bell was a well trained signal to young Ellie to stop whatever task she was doing and answer whoever had entered. She did enjoy greeting the customers, especially the regulars, but even those who did not purchase anything, it was still nice to chat.

"Good morning Miss, welcome to Pennyweather's Books. Are yuw looking for something special?" She asked. Ellie was no longer just the maid that Miss Pennyweather had hired out of pity. Her efforts to elevate were showing slowly in the softness of the Ellie's accent and crispness of her letters.

Regardless Ellie's attention in the moment was captivated by the new arrival's clothes. What puffy sleeves this girl had, Ellie pondered silently, her eyes darting to the puff-less sleeves of her lilac work dress.
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Member

54 Posts
5 Threads

Age: 18
Height: 5'3''
Registered: Apr 2021

#3
It always annoyed Catherine when she couldn't browse in peace, which was every single time. Evidently, she was dressed like money. But young shop assistant who greeted her didn't seem too pushy, and had a sweet face, and so Catherine graced her with a smile.

"Nothing in particular. Just some novels for myself. Have you anything recent?"
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Member

164 Posts
5 Threads

Pronouns: She, Her
Age: 15
Occupation: Maid
Alias: BlackAck
Registered: Nov 2021

#4
Ellie pouted for moment, scrunching her attractive features together as she considered the customer's desire. Novels, novels, that meant stories, in the bookshop world, that meant fiction which was a good third of the shop.

"Well Miss, recently we just got two whole shelves in from a shop in York that was closing. I can't say if their any good.. but if you mean recent as in modern, try this one." She pulled a thin light blue book from a shelf near the bottom "I popped a look and it reads that a woman rides one of them new bicycles. That's recent and different, isn't it?"
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Member

54 Posts
5 Threads

Age: 18
Height: 5'3''
Registered: Apr 2021

#5
"A woman?" Catherine said amused, but with more interest than she was willing to admit to. She had seen a woman on a bicycle before in those awful trousers that the circle she moved in frowned upon. She and her friends had ridiculed the idea. But it was the very scandalous nature of the notion that tickled her interest.

She took the book casually and opened it. "It wasn't quite what I meant..." she said, skimming the pages. "I rather meant recent publications. Anything that's popular at the..." There were drawings to accompany the book. The woman riding the bicycle was chased by a policeman. This book really did seem rather interesting. "at the moment... My, this lady does seem quite a rebel..." She lowered the book for the other girl to see. A blush appeared on her pale cheeks.
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Member

164 Posts
5 Threads

Pronouns: She, Her
Age: 15
Occupation: Maid
Alias: BlackAck
Registered: Nov 2021

#6
Ellie giggled in that way that young people when seeing things they might not be supposed to see. "I didn't think ladies were allowed to do that. Us fishergirls might get away with it, just.." the assistant added, inferring the different moral code she lived under. The poor generally policed themselves.
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Member

54 Posts
5 Threads

Age: 18
Height: 5'3''
Registered: Apr 2021

#7
"You're a fishergirl?" Catherine couldn't help but wonder. She had seen fishergirls at work, even brought friends to see the herring lasses gut herring last month, watched them with the same fascination with which she watched exotic animal in the zoo. The girl before her looked so different from the other girls. Perhaps it was the dress. Perhaps the fact that she was a shop girl.

Catherine realized that her astonishment could be seen as rude, and she quickly sought to smooth it over: "How interesting. I've watched your people work before. I greatly admired the skill and cooperation."
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Member

164 Posts
5 Threads

Pronouns: She, Her
Age: 15
Occupation: Maid
Alias: BlackAck
Registered: Nov 2021

#8
"I used to be. I didn't like the smell, so I got a domestic job as a maid instead. That's what I help Miss Christine with, and in the shop too. I like it much better." She announced proudly, smoothing her dress as she did so.

"And the best part is I don't 'ave to wear black."
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Member

54 Posts
5 Threads

Age: 18
Height: 5'3''
Registered: Apr 2021

#9
Catherine closed the book and gave the younger girl an encouraging smile. She had noticed how the maid spoke of her employer by her Christian name. But it was hard to feel strong disapproval. There was something endearing about the child.

"Well done. That's a lovely dress." She wouldn't be caught dead in it. She looked around. "Do you like books? Have you read any of the ones in the shop?"
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Member

164 Posts
5 Threads

Pronouns: She, Her
Age: 15
Occupation: Maid
Alias: BlackAck
Registered: Nov 2021

#10
Ellie's eyes sparkled at the compliment; her hands once again smoothing out wrinkles. Being one of so many girls at home it felt hard to get noticed among her sisters. Here at the shop, Ellie could hog most of the limelight.

"A few, Miss. Miss Christine insisted if I was to help in a booksellers, I 'ad to practise my reading. Let's see, I've read Hans Anderson's stories, I loved those. I'm reading Tom Brown's School Days at the moment; that poor boy Tom. Oh and I do read the bible, but it's everso long and 'ard."
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