Ficlet set pre WiP Sorceress Apprentice. 353 words. Bryony sews a dress for a customer. No warnings apply.
Bryony stitched the seam of the dress with quick, efficient motions, her needle like a tiny silver sword piercing the dark velvet fabric. It reminded her of a painting she’d once seen, a school of dolphins dipping up from beneath the water’s surface before their graceful curved bodies disappeared beneath the waves once more.
She’d never seen the sea in person, let alone a dolphin, but she longed to. Yet the ocean was so very far away and she was just a seamstress without the means to pay for such a journey, let alone anywhere to stay to enjoy the scenery for a time.
The woman who would wear this dress could afford the journey. She’d made the order at the market Bryony and her sister, Kerine, had visited, their stalls set up side by side, the seamstress and the woodworker. These commissions were vital, the markets essential parts of finding customers.
The woman who’d chosen the design, picking the example dress Bryony had hanging from a rack showing the current popular styles, was taller and thinner than Bryony, her face and hair pale unlike Bryony’s dark looks, a noble beauty wearing jewels that sparkled in the sun. She’d handled the material samples with fingers that had never stitched or chopped wood or peeled vegetables, her skin as soft as the velvet she chose.
“I will wear it when we visit Greyville,” the woman said, naming a coastal town. “Lord Anders is holding a ball to celebrate the equinox.”
Bryony had said the right things, named her price and had it accepted without any haggling, taken measurements, and received a small deposit. This dress would be striking, low-cut, high-waisted, and flowing to mid-calf. The gold embroidery and seed pearls would draw attention to the cleavage. It would suit her client and hopefully impress the other guests at the ball.
What Bryony wouldn’t give to see the sea just once! But it was a ridiculous dream and so she poured her longing into her work, the needle threading its way through the material with ease and skill, the dress taking shape with every stitch.