Completed She Paid a Call to Mr. Deu

Where Anna gets a job at Mr. Deu's vestments

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She Paid a Call to Mr. Deu

Postby Anna Cook on March 3rd, 2018, 7:05 am

1 and 2, Spring, 518

Later that day, after laying down the few clothes she had along with her other meagre possessions at her rather empty apartment house, she managed to ascertain the whereabouts of the local tailoring shop, Deu’s Vestments, taking great care to keep her sewing kits near her person and securely tied lest anyone should attempt to rob her.

She had drawn a crude map of the city with the help of one of her friendlier neighbours, though misshapen and rather out of order. Nevertheless, using this guide, she was able to make her way north-west from her location. She took the time as she went along, going slowly, taking great care to memorise her way. She looked behind her as well, trying to get a feel for what things would look like when she came back home the other way.

Her memory wasn’t all that great, and owing to that, she took great care to redraw the map, shaping it nearer to its actual form. As she did so, she made note of buildings and counted them off in squares that would make it easier for her to count if ever she needed to retrace her steps.

The walk wasn’t too bad, having expected her legs to feel sore. She was pleasantly surprised to find, however, that the distraction of all the sights and sounds of the city had led to her walk being a rather engaging one.

She saw the shop ahead of her and she gave an internal sigh of relief as she stepped toward it, careful not to tread on the hem of her woollen dress as she came up to the shop.

She stepped inside, feeling a hint of anxiety and nervousness as she peered around the lobby.

“Hello!” she called out tentatively.

She could hear someone muttering in the back of the room.

“Hello?” she called again.
“Hello!” returned a voice, “I’ll be right with you!”

Not a moment later, a rather pleasant looking older man came around the corner to greet her. She smiled and lightly curtsied in acknowledgement of his presence.

“What can I do for you Ms.-ah . . . ?” he trailed as he invited her answer.

“Ah, Cook!” she returned. “Ms. Cook.”

“Ms. Cook . . .” he said slowly, “I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of seeing you around here before. Are you new?”

“Indeed!” she said, nodding to him gently. “Brand new. Seeking a new life!” she said with a tad more excitement than perhaps she should have.

“Something I can offer you then?” he said with a smile. “Perhaps a bonnet for that bun of yours?” he said, gesturing to her hair.

She could use a bonnet, she thought, but ticked her head, deciding that that luxury could wait.

“Perhaps,” she said, hedging a bit, “but, sir,” she said, slightly turning on her charm, “right now, I was rather hoping that instead, I might contract for a job,” she finished.
Last edited by Anna Cook on March 3rd, 2018, 8:55 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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She Paid a Call to Mr. Deu

Postby Anna Cook on March 3rd, 2018, 7:06 am

“A job?” he said, looking her up and down. “It seems like you’re fit for a job already, and seamstressing isn’t it. You might better look someplace up by Robern’s Reaches.”

She mentally made a note to herself to investigate her new city more, but she had an idea of what he had in mind.

“Wh-while that may have been a profession of mine in the past, it’s neither here nor there. I’m good at what I do.”

“You’re charming, young lady,” he said, “I’m just not sure you have what it takes.”

“There are many skills you learn in the profession I had. Before I was sold into my profession, I was a slave. That takes more know-how that whoring—though even that requires skill.”

“None of which I need here. Go back home and see if you can find something more . . . suitable.”

She couldn’t help the internal smile at his pun, but at the same time, she was unwilling to give up!

“I’m a competent seamstress!” she said, not willing to let it go. “I can patch a hole in common fabrics—give me cotton, wool, or linen and I can do the job. I can spin too, and weave some.”


You know how to work a loom?” he asked.

She shook her head. “No,” she said, “Only by hand. But I’ve seen loomers before, and I’m sure that I could get the job done. Might take me longer than most, but I can do it.”

“You said you could spin, too?”

“A little bit. Mostly wool.”

“What about flax? What about cotton?”

“Once I tried spinning cotton. It was much the same as wool but the fibres are softer. They kept breaking in my hand.”

“It takes practice to get it right,” he said. “Did you ever pick it up?”

“I got the knack for cotton, but just as soon as I got the hang of it for my masters, I was sold. I never had the opportunity since.”

“Did you spin by hand or do you know how to use a wheel?”

“I can do both, but I’m more used to using the spinning wheel. I only learned to spin by hand because when I was a—well, when I was a whore, I didn’t have access to a wheel,” she said. “I never got really good at spinning by hand, but if you need me to do both, I can.”

He looked at her slightly doubtfully before nodding to himself. “Show me,” he said as he waved his arm in a gesture for her to go into the back.

Suddenly unsure of herself, she said, “You mean . . . .”

“I need you to show me what you can do.”

Nodding to herself, she went into the back but stopped at a corridor, waiting for him to go first so that she could follow.

He led her to a room with a spinning wheel and found the spindle full of spun flax.
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She Paid a Call to Mr. Deu

Postby Anna Cook on March 3rd, 2018, 7:09 am

“You’ll be using wool,” he said as he motioned her toward an empty spinning wheel.

“Do you know how to set it up?” Deu asked as she walked toward it.

She examined it carefully. The set up looked to be somewhat different than what she had used before, but she saw the hooks on the flyer were all where she expected them to be and instead of using a spindle as she was used to she saw bobbin for holding the spun yarn or thread.

She also saw a pedal at the base of the wheel but didn’t quite know what it was for.

“Right . . .” she said to herself, “I can work with this.” Her confidence had left her a bit. It had been years since she had spun but she was certain the basics would come back to her.

“Are you ready to try?” he said, as he came toward her, holding a distaff with a large hunk of unspun fleece.

She nodded carefully. “How much do you want me to spin?” she asked.

All of it.”

“All?” she asked with surprise.

“Not up to the challenge?”

Taking a deep breath, she reached out her hand. “I’ll stay all night if I have to.”

“And once you’ve done that, I may have some shirts for you to mend.”

She returned her gaze to him.

“I still need to see how good you are at doing the job you’re applying for, but I want to see how useful you might be to me. Spin this for me,” he said.

She nodded again, more forcefully this time and mounted the distaff on the other side of the wheel.

She sat down on the stool in front of the wheel and checked to ensure the flyer and the bobbin were securely in place.

She found the tensioner with the spring at the end and pulled it around the bobbin to the other side where she carefully hooked it into place.

“How do you adjust the tension?” she asked as she looked at Deu.

“You don’t know how to do that?” he asked.

She slowly rose and went over to the spinning wheel with the spindle.

“On this setup,” she pointed, “the adjuster is here,” she pointed to a tiny lever. “This set up is slightly different.”

He merely pointed to her own spinning wheel to a tiny knob. “This adjusts the tension,” he said, “this way for tightening, this way for loosening,” he said.

She nodded gratefully as she went back over to the wheel and sat down again. She adjusted the tension, making sure that it was in a somewhat neutral setting until she got used to it, testing things with the tensioner till she could feel by intuition how tight it needed to be.

There was a bit of yarn on the bobbin already. She took it and quickly spun it around the hooks on the flyer and passed it around to the other side.
Last edited by Anna Cook on March 4th, 2018, 4:38 am, edited 4 times in total.
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She Paid a Call to Mr. Deu

Postby Anna Cook on March 3rd, 2018, 7:11 am

“Do you have the hook?” she asked.

Deu handed her a hook, which she then carefully passed through the side of the flyer and threaded the yarn through it, pulling the yarn out through the orifice. She ran a few tests, spinning the wheel by hand and watching as the yarn took up onto the bobbin, making sure the yarn would take up properly. She adjusted the tension on the knob as Deu had indicated until she was satisfied.

She pulled off a piece of fleece from the distaff and predrafted some by pulling out the fibres, making it easier to feed into the spinner.

“If you want to make the wheel go,” sighed Deu, “you can just pedal it with your foot,” he motioned.

She nodded to herself. She gave the wheel a little push with her hand and with her foot pedalled the wheel, watching as the roving easily spun unto the yarn, twisting as it made its way quickly onto the bobbin.

“How thin do you need it?” she asked.

“As thin as you can make it without breaking. I’m looking to see how evenly you spin it.”

Nodding absently as she concentrated on her work, holding the fleece in her hands as it spun into thread on the bobbin.

“Thinner?” she asked as she spun.

Deu looked down at her work, inspecting it closely, and nodded to himself slightly. “Thinner, yes, but it’s wool, so don’t push it.”

She nodded again and continued on with her work, short-drawing the roving with her right hand, drawing tiny snippets of wool forward with her left, as she fed it onto the starter yarn, watching it spin into course woollen thread.

She drew out a long strand with her right hand, adjusting the twist with her left hand and fingers, before continuing on.

After watching her a few minutes, he nodded to himself and went back to his own work.

After nearly forty-five minutes of work, she once again returned to the distaff and pulled off another large chunk of roving before repeating the process.

She sighed to herself as she looked at the amount of wool on the distaff. It really was going to be an allnighter, but she needed to prove herself, and she swore to herself silently that she was going to make something of herself, even if it meant dying the wool with her blood.

She smiled to herself and shook her head at her melodramatic thought, but remained firm in her desire to finish.

When she finished with the fourth roving some two hours or so later, she stopped and stretched, popping her back and yawning.

It was getting dark out and the sun had long since set.

“Mr. Deu!” she called somewhat hoarsely.

“Don’t tell me you’ve finished already?!”

She let out a laugh as she looked at the large amount of wool still left. “Not even the half of it!” she said, “but I need some more bobbins, this one is filling up already.”
Last edited by Anna Cook on March 3rd, 2018, 1:02 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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She Paid a Call to Mr. Deu

Postby Anna Cook on March 3rd, 2018, 7:12 am

“They should be in a chest behind you!”

She turned and saw a chest. Opening it she found several bobbins and removed a few in anticipation of continuing her work and left them at her feet as she sat back down to continue her night's work.

Several times during the course of the evening and the wee hours of the next morning, she forced herself to carry on. She’d learned as a whore that sometimes sleep never came no matter how much she may want to sleep. She forced herself to go on in spite of the monotony of her work and chose instead to use it as a form of meditation.

She switched out bobbins wherever needed, rethreading the machine and continuing on as she did her work. At last, she finished, the day was nearly dawning.

Rubbing her tired eyes, she removed the last bobbin and set it with the others next to her wheel and stood up.

She went around to the front of the shop. She didn’t expect to see Deu there but was surprised to find a pile of clothes in the middle of the floor in a pile, blocking her way to the front of the store.

She was all but certain that she had been locked in, but paid it no mind, certain that she wouldn’t have to wait long.

She noticed a note from the clothes as she came nearer, crinkling her nose at the stench that came from them.

The note, she saw as she picked it up, was addressed to her.

My dear, I see you’re still here. Since your industry seems to know no bounds, I’m sure you’ll have no problem mending some of these garments. Do them as quickly as you can, of course. If necessary, you may use some of the thread you spun, though I suspect you came prepared.

All best,

Deu


She nodded to herself as she looked the pile, picking up a stack of the reeking clothes and carrying it into the back with her, piling it onto a table. She drew up her workbench and pulled out her sewing kit.

The first thing she picked up was a pair of socks that looked like they had never been washed and were in dire need of darning.

She hummed to herself, pulling out a darning needle and thread, matching the coarseness of the thread to the fabric as she could before drawing out a length.

She turned the sock inside out and began the cross pattern of the patch she was making. She carefully pulled the stitched in a horizontal grid, her work taking her about ten minutes before she began the patch in the opposite direction, careful to match the colour of the thread to the colour of the fabric, though she had a sense that even she hadn’t been able to match it that the wearer wouldn’t have cared.

She finished that sock before beginning on a shirt whose long seem had come undone.
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She Paid a Call to Mr. Deu

Postby Anna Cook on March 3rd, 2018, 7:13 am

Rather easily, she managed to tie off the original thread to prevent further damage before sewing by hand over the original seam and then down along the side.

Hours passed while she mended tears, darned socks, and even needed to pull out her hooked needle to mend what appeared to be nice-looking decorative carpet. Fortunately, the repairs needed didn’t have to be done with any except the fabrics and threads she was already used to working with.

She found this work going much faster for her than the work with spinning as she most certainly had more practice with it. Nevertheless, it was taking her some time to get through the pile. So many things required individual care. Darning and patching took much more time than sewing loose seams. She found the work rather pleasant, however, as she pressed on, needing to prove her worthiness. If she made a good impression and became a valuable employee . . . she didn’t know how to finish that thought. If nothing else, it would prove if to no one but herself that she could do more with her life than what she would have thought.

She heard the door open behind her as she continued her work and almost didn’t acknowledge Deu as he came in behind her.

He walked over to where the full bobbins sat in a pile next to her spinning wheel.

“This is yours?” he asked for clarity.

She blinked hard and put down her work as she turned to look at him, nodding. “Yeah, it is,” she nodded slightly.

He turned to her work again, examining the thread, finding it passable. He found that her work was a tad more yarn-like at the beginning of her work but found that by about the halfway point during her work, she had managed to get it thinner—enough to where he was satisfied with her progress.

He came over to her workbench and found the work she was doing sitting in neat folds. She seemed to be ignoring the obviously funny smell.

Her darning was good, her patching was good, though she didn’t seem to have the keenest of eyes when it came to matching threads, though no one but the most experienced of hands would have noticed something like that. She knew the feel of different fabrics well enough that she knew to switch between cotton, woollen, and flaxen threads without too much trouble. Her work was nearly impeccable where in some cases the only telltale sign that an article of clothing had been worked on was the fact that the thread that she had used was clean and some of the garments she had used were not.

“You’re doing really very well,” he smiled. “Finish that pile and then go home. You’ve got yourself a job.”

She smiled to herself, her giddiness at having earned a job when she arrived giving her the burst of energy she needed to work through the rest of the pile.
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She Paid a Call to Mr. Deu

Postby Anna Cook on March 3rd, 2018, 7:14 am

It was nearly eleven-thirty in the morning before she finished the last stitch on a shirt she was working on. Folding it neatly, she set it to the side and quickly packed up her sewing kit.

Her head was feeling loopy, but that was to be expected.

Taking a deep breath, she rose up and made her farewells to Deu as she headed toward the door.

She felt better, more lively, after going the experience and was looking forward to her bed and the prospect of sleeping for the rest of the day.

As she made her way to her cottage, she was careful to make note of her surroundings and landmarks. As tired as she was she was eager to make sure to learn about her new home.

As she stepped inside and closed the door behind her, locking it, she let out a sigh as she removed her sewing kits and her clothes and flopping down on her mattress, her mind still buzzing with the events of yesterday evening and this morning.

It wasn’t long, however, before sleep claimed her. And she smiled, feeling that she was, at last, performing a skill that gave her a true internal sense of accomplishment.
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Anna Cook
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She Paid a Call to Mr. Deu

Postby Allassanachassanya on April 21st, 2018, 2:58 pm

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Grade Rewardsss
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Anna

Skills

Cartography: +1
Land Navigation: +2
Observation: +3
Persuasion: +1
Weaving: +3
Sewing: +2

Lores

Land Navigation: Using observation to become accustomed to the environs
Cartography: Representing buildings as squares
Persuasion: Requires persistence
Sunberth: Location of Deu’s Vestments
Sunberth: A place named Robern’s Reaches
Weaving: How to use the adjuster on a spinning wheel
Weaving: Using the spinning wheel at Deu’s Vestments
Weaving: Using the pedal on a spinning wheel
Weaving: Simple woollen thread
Sewing: Matching colours when repairing
Sewing: Tying off
Sewing: Basic usage of a hooked needle
Self: A need to prove oneself
Self: Employed by Deu in Spring 518

Notes

I really enjoyed this read, Anna! I look forward to seeing more of your writing, if/when you return. :)
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