RP Prompt: Dress Shopping

Lori walked into the dress shop. Dresses lined the shop, creating a sea of silky color. She sifted through dress after dress, not really knowing what she was looking for, and every once in a while plugged her nose long enough to look at the shoes. She did hate the stink of leather…

Finally summoning the courage, she walked up to a rather busy, heavyset woman and smiled brightly. “Hi, Anna. I need a dress.”

The woman stopped sewing and looked up at Lori, peering with a keen eye through her white bangs. “Why, slap me silly! Little Lori?” Anna rose quickly and enveloped the much smaller woman in a huge embrace. “I haven’t been seein’ ya in years, girl! What’s been goin’ on?!” She pulled Lori back to arm’s length, looking her in the eye. “You need a dress, now, d’ya? Ah, I have jus’ the thing.”

Lori smiled nervously as she watched Anna disappear into the back. She milled around for a bit, almost pacing. Anna finally emerged carrying a rather smooth and delicate dress, dyed the perfect hue to match Lori’s bright teal eyes. Those eyes began to widen in surprise and admiration. “Oh, Anna! It’s.. lovely.”

Anna grinned, wiping her hair to the side quickly. “Had t’ make it fer some other young missy like yerself, only she di’nt come t’ pick it up! C’mon now, go try it on! I’ll fix it on up fer ya t’day.” She very forcibly began to shove Lori toward the back room and privacy.

“But are you s–”

The large and quite jolly woman cut her off with a “Tut tut tut!” and a laugh. “Am I sure?! Lori doll, I havn’t been seein’ ya in years. ‘Course I’m sure!” She waved the young (to her eyes) strawberry blonde on further into the room.

Lori emerged minutes later, the hem dragging a bit. “This woman was tall, huh?” She looked down at the dress and ran her hands down her sides in awe as Anna smiled proudly. “It’s… absolutely amazing.” She looked up and blinked. “Anna, is this appropriate for a first dance?”

“First dance? Whatcha talkin’bout there, Lori?”

Lori looked back down at the dress, watching her hands. She tried (but failed) to hide a smile. “A dance, where people gather and I sit in the corner quietly, trying not to break anything.”

Anna blinked, watching the woman. “Yer goin’ to a dance? With who?”

The not-so-well-hidden smile blossomed on her face as Lori looked up to the kindly woman. “A really sweet man from Gondor. I… I asked him. It’s one of those dances, where the women ask the men to escort them.” Her face flushed and Lori ran her hands along the sleeves, admiring them.

“Well, it’s ’bout time, I say. Yer father always been worried sick ’bout you not findin’ a man one day, y’know.” She grinned and bopped Lori on the back, hugging her again. “He’d be right glad t’ see ya so happy. Y’ know that, right?”

Lori’s eyes filled up with tears as she hugged Anna back. “I hope so.”

“Whelp, then! You get yerself outta this, and I’ll be fixin’ that hem up fer ya.” Anna stepped back, faint tears in her own eyes.

She gazed at the woman briefly, her eyes sad. “I’m sorry my father never understood.”

Anna waved her hand dismissively, still some tears in her eyes. “Men will be men, ya hear me? Don’t be lettin’ yer man get away, now. If there’s goin’ to be one missy who deserves t’ be happy and loved, it’d be you. Now get!” She swatted at Lori as if she was a small animal.

Lori tripped on the way back in, but eventually emerged unscathed with the dress in hand. Anna quickly grabbed it from her, waving her off.

“At th’ end of th’ day! I don’ be carin’ what ya do, go see yer man and make sure he don’t be goin’ nowhere!”

Anna refused to respond further to Lori, so she eventually walked out with a sad smile on her face. She looked up to the bright morning sky and her smile turned happy as she saw a bird poke through a fluffy cloud. “I plan on it.”

((Originally posted here.))

RP Prompt: Memory Lane

Loriwen Snowberry pulled the bucket of water from her well with great effort. Holding it to her side with both hands, she awkwardly made her way toward her house. Putting it down briefly to open the door, she took a long glance at the waterfall, smiling at the water’s comforting roar. She made her way inside and began clearing her sturdy office table. The table always reminded her of her father: strong, sturdy, and practically immovable. It also helped a little bit that he carved it. Lori ran her fingertips along the tabletop, feeling the smoothed grains carefully, lost in thought. A few moments later, she snapped out of it and finished clearing off the desk.

The last item she reached for was her father’s whittling knife; now hers, to be specific. She held it in her hand, as she had done thousands of times before. She looked at it, holding it up to the light. The cherry-wood handle glistened, freshly waxed; the steel blade still shiny despite the numerous chips on it. She smiled softly, being brought back to the first time she was allowed to use it.

Lori walked along the stone wall toward her father, extra slow. She was clumsy, and she knew it. Always was, always would be. Giving up and hopping down into a soft pile of dirt, she ran over to her father. She was a bit big for him to lift up, but Rojer did it anyway (with a bit of effort). Safe in her father’s arms, Lori felt closer to a little kid than the whole eight years old that she was! Her father poked her on the nose, causing a quick swat and shake of the head.

“Hey, pumpkin-face. You want to learn some carving today?”

Lori’s face lit up, her bright teal eyes glowing with excitement. “Oh, yes! Please, pop; I’m old enough to use the knife!” She tumbled down out of her father’s arms, falling on the ground with an “oof!” Not to be deterred by falling down, she grabbed his hand and attempted to drag him along toward their farmhouse. He followed, laughing the whole while.

Her father sat her down upon his knee and handed her a large wood chip. “Now, Lori, this is important. When you carve wood, it isn’t about making the wood look the way you want it to. It’s about feeling the wood and understanding what it wants to be. Do you understand?”

The young girl’s head bobbed, strawberry blonde hair flying everywhere. She refused to keep it up or back, just like her mother. “I understand, pop!” She did as he had taught her: she held the wood with her eyes closed, running her fingers over it slowly. Lori looked up at her father’s dark green eyes—so unlike her own—and smiled brightly. “I think it wants t’ be a necklace!”

“Oh, ho! A necklace, do you think? What makes you say that?”

Lori looked down at the wood chip; it was no more than three inches in diameter. “Because it’ll make a sure pretty rose if you put it on a string!” She looked up at Rojer, searching for approval of her decision.

Rojer paused for a few moments of thought, looking from his daughter’s anxious gaze to the wood chip and back again. He nodded. “A fine choice, indeed! Let’s get started.” He wrapped his arms around his daughter, his only true possession in the world, and began to guide her hands in the carving of a rose pendant.

“First, you’ll want to hold the knife just like this…”

Loriwen blinked out of her reverie, realizing she had some tears in her eyes despite the smile on her face. She shook her head, as if the memory could be as easily shaken away. “Ah, that was so many years ago…”

She put the carving knife into a special pouch on her belt, which was clearly made just for it. Patting it quietly, she looked to the table her father carved before she was even born. It was a wedding gift to her mother, an intricately carved table upon which her mother could sew. Running her fingers over the table once again, she closed her eyes. “I understand, Dad.”

((Originally posted here.))

Letters to Gram: New Friends

May 30
Loriwen Snowberry, 6 Long Street, Wildore, Bree-land

Gram,

I’m sure this is a bit odd, writing letters to you. Not only could you not read when you were alive, you’re gone now. Well, I miss you something fierce and it’s comforting to write to you, as if you’re here. I have a few odd behaviors, and another private one won’t hurt anyone, now will it? Not really, I think.

I’ve finally come out of my shell after being sick for such a long time. That plague took a greater toll on me than I thought it would, it put me in bed for two whole weeks! You would have probably scolded me for heading off into the night the way I did, but it had to be done. That poor little girl and her brother wouldn’t have made it without that help, I just know it. It was worth getting sick, in order to help them. I’m sure you’d agree in the end…leastways, after I got better. My appetite was higher than normal for quite some time, guess I was regaining my strength. I’m all back to normal now. At least, as normal as I’ll ever get. I’ve been trying to get better about my footing.. managed to fall off a bridge a little while back, although that rightly wasn’t my fault. My horse stepped on a particularly sharp stone and lost her footing. I managed to fall off when she was stumbling.. and it just happened to be on a bridge. Fell right into the river, cut my face up but good. I’m a bit concerned this small scar will stay there. I hope not. But then again, me falling.. what’s new about that? Hah! Such a boring letter, even when I’m not going to send it. I’ve never been good at writing letters.

Being so sick really puts a damper on one’s spirits. I finally cleaned up Dad’s old farmhouse. It was pretty devastated by the floods. I thought long and hard on the decision, and I moved out. Sold the place. I’m surprised I got the funds I did from it, but then again.. farmland is the lifeblood of Bree. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised that old Wheatley wanted more land. Took the money and bought myself a quiet little house in a lovely town called Wildore. I have a small garden, enough to feed myself but good. Still don’t cook. Don’t trust myself to, I think. I’m clumsy enough without adding fire into the mix! Instead of cooking, I’ve gotten myself into brewing. It’s really quite basic, once you get used to the formula for good ale.

You’d be proud of me. As I said up a ways, I’ve been coming out of my shell. My brewing has turned out to be a surprisingly good tool to meet friends. I finished up a particularly interesting batch of ale, a basil blackberry ale, and invited my new neighbors to come along and try it. It got mostly good remarks, as well as a few unsure “interesting”s. I met a rather interesting man while out at the Pony one night, looking for friends to invite to my ale tasting. It’s a bit embarrassing how it happened, but I imagine you’d laugh and shake your head, given how like me it is. I was talking with an acquaintance of mine on the front stoop when someone else ran up to talk to him. I backed up, and managed to fall right off! It wasn’t too far a drop, I wasn’t hurt…just extremely embarrassed. This kind man hopped down and helped me stand up. Something about him struck me, I can’t rightly explain it. I had an overwhelming urge to invite him as well, stranger or not. So I did!

My tasting went off beautifully, everyone had a wonderful time. It was quite nice to meet my neighbors and create some new friendships. With dark talk from far away lands reaching our ears, everyone can use all the friends they can get, I think. But I’d rather not talk about such sad topics. My tasting was wonderful fun, but in truth, I can’t remember much of it. I spent most of my time talking with the man who helped me up at the Pony. His name is Tarlanc. Just Tarlanc. He’s from Gondor, they don’t much care for surnames down there. When you really look at it, he’s a rather uninteresting man at first glance, and even second glance. That said, it doesn’t stop me from being very interested in him for some reason. I can’t explain it. I wish you were here, I’m sure you would have some wonderful words for me, followed by your finger wagging. Is it normal to be involuntarily drawn to a person? I may be speaking out of turn here, since we’ve only truly spoken that one time, but I find something fascinating about him. I wonder if he feels anything similar to me. Ah, well. I’m used to being ignored or rejected by those I find interesting. I suppose this will be much the same. Leastways, it will be once he sees just how clumsy I am.

Ah, I do miss you, Grams. I miss you so. You’d no doubt be warming up some chamomile tea for me and scolding me about being a starry-eyed fool at my age. And you’re right, of course. I shouldn’t think of someone so much after one meeting, I really shouldn’t. I think I’ll go put on a kettle myself and pretend your harsh but well-meant words are flowing my way once again. I do love and miss you and Dad, Grams. A lot.
Your little pumpkin,
Lori