Alexandra - New Business!

From Masq
Date: Setting:

IC:  09/19/2008
RL: 03/30/2011

Old Friends Antique Dealership


 A glass-frontaged store that looks like it forgot to notice the past few decades. A painted-gold logo on the main front window declares it the "Old Friends Antique Dealership" and a vase filled with flowers has been painted on the front door in bright, cheery colors. A simple awning keeps the weather off the area right in front of the store, and a small windchime has been hung from the frame to tinkle in the breeze.


 Walking into this shop is like stepping into another time. An old-fashioned, spring-mounted bell jingles over the door to warn of customers, and the warm lighting is reminiscent of candles, the air thick with the smell of dusty cloth and old books. Shelves and racks are somewhat haphazardly stocked with all manner of items, with the only commonality among them being that none are of modern make: toys from the days of the Great Depression, clothing from the Prohibition Era, a timeline of soda bottles along the back wall, and books that may not have seen the light of day in decades. An old record player frequently supplies quiet background music, and there are signs that at least one cat haunts the place. In addition, tucked away off to one side, is a small display with a sign proclaiming "Homemade Herbal Remedies" and inviting interested customers to inquire at the register.
 The counter across most of the back of the store supports a fittingly antique cash register, and must have come straight out of some old bar, being deeply varnished mahogany polished until it practically glows, with a sturdy brass foot-bar in place underneath, though no stools are in evidence. One end is clearly designed to flip up to allow access to the back area, and a door behind the counter is marked with a weather-beaten "Employees Only" sign, the former sporting a small pet door near the bottom, the latter a hand-drawn smiley-face in paint.
"I h-h-hadn't thought of that." Liane says, looking a bit bemused. "I w-w-wonder why I h-hadn't." There's a look over at Danny, who just stares back. Liane, wise to the whims of her people, sighs and says, "P-perhaps M-m-muffin will."

Joan blinks at Liane's last few words. "Muffin?" she asks, puzzled. She remains standing leaned against the wall for now, her gaze starting to wander the store. "I really should have come here sooner," she muses to herself. "I don't know where to start... I'm starting to think I should have brought a van!" Yes, she does tend to go on the occasional shopping spree.

Piotr is browsing through the store.. his eye searching for that rare gem that mysterious curio peice that lurks in all antique shops.. in search of something with a story.

It's about at this point that the current proprietor makes her appearance from where she was Doing Things In The Back, like must always happen in stores. However she pauses as the Staff Only door closes, perhaps surprised at the sound of voices. Was she that wrapped up that she didn't hear the door-bell? Oh well, no help for it. "Oh, hello! Can I help you find anything?" Alexandra calls cheerfully towards the pair she can see chatting near one wall.

"Oh, M-muffin is a n-nickname for one of m-my t-t-tribesmen. H-he has a f-fondness for doing little tasks. Q-quite helpful to have around the h-house, actually -- c-can't sit still. Inv-v-vite him over and he will c-c-clean your h-house without even r-realizing it." Another small twitch of her lips, but then there's someone approaching, and Liane sort of...shrinks a touch. Nothing blatantly obvious, just a sort of...quieting. Fading, even. "J-j-just l-l-looking." She murmurs to the ground. "H-have you s-s-spindles?"

Joan's gaze shifts over towards Alexandra when she comes into view, offering her a nod of her head. "Personally I was looking for Victorian-era furniture, mostly," she replies. "If you happen to have anything of the sort... chairs, tables, things of that nature." She hasn't had much time to look around yet, after all.

Piotr browse through the wares but doesn't really seem satisfied with anything he sees.. He heads toward the counter to see if any wonders lurk beneath not so dusty glass.

Alexandra blinks a little at Liane's reaction, but takes it in stride, not approaching too close and offering the pair of women a smile, "Spindles? Do you mean for wheels, or dropspindles?" Joan's query is less easily answered, drawing a thoughtful frown, "Victorian? I'm not sure if I have anything /that/ old at the moment." A mildly sheepish smile, "Most of what you'll find here is probably Edwardian at oldest, but you're certainly welcome to poke around. Let me know if anything catches your fancy." At which point she spots Piotr near the counter, and doubletakes. Not often you see someone in that kind of getup. "Uh..." Eh, a customer's a customer. "Can I help you find something, sir?" There's not much on the counter itself, which looks like some old bartop instead of the more modern glass-display versions you see around. But there's stuff behind it, mostly packaged or probably in need of repair.

"D-d-drops-s-spindles. A t-t-top s-s-spindle w-would be b-best." Liane says, still a little quiet, a little cautious. Alas, for shy characters! She doesn't make herself obtrusively needy, however - simply sort of stays near the dress she was looking at, the very lovely dress with torn embroidery stitches.

Piotr smiles over at Alexandra and says "Iz ok I can wait.. help ladies first pleaze.. Am in no hurry.." his rich voice deeply accented with his native Russian.

Joan gives Alexandra a kind of 'that's okay' smile, clearly not terribly surprised. "It's not exactly IKEA-level common, so that's fine. I'll see what I can find." She starts to wander a bit, poking about here and there, though she doesn't actually touch anything. After a little while, she starts to hum to herself as she goes along; she's clearly in a pleasant mood at the moment.

Alexandra nods to Joan, "We've only just opened back up, so I might be able to get some things in, depending on my sources." Piotr's dismissal is met with a nod and a smile, which then leaves Liane in probably the last place she wanted to me: the main focus of the shopkeeper's attention. "I'm sure we've got a few. Was there a particular size you were wanting?" The girl's attention to the dress is noted but not remarked upon. Poor thing's already stammering and trying to hide in her own shadow.

"S-s-something f-f-fairly l-l-lightw-w-weight." Liane murmurs to the ground, fingers lacing and unlacing against one another. It should be noted that Liane actually has an embroidery hoop peeking from out of her bag, with little colorful thread floating out. "P-p-portable, s-small. F-f-for when I've a f-f-free moment at w-w-work."

Joan's purse starts to buzz, and moments later one can hear God Save the Queen (the English national anthem, not the Sex Pistols song) coming from in there. She pulls her cellphone out; said phone is encased in brass, with clockwork bits, steam pressure meters and the like along the sides. Apparently it was just a text message, though. "Oh... oh dear," she murmurs, arching a brow at whatever's on the screen.

Alexandra nods again to Liane, "I'm pretty sure there's at least one that can fit in a purse, good for a small spool or so." She turns a little, pointing towards a basket kind of tucked out of the way near some old-style, floorstand size embroidery hoops, currently empty, "Why don't you go have a rummage, see if you find one you like?" Joan's wander through the store would easily show her that, while many of the items here are old, almost all have been very carefully restored to at least usable condition. Certainly, nothing looks /new/, but only a few of the items look in danger of being damaged by handling, and most of those are behind the counter. Leaving Liane to get herself collected for a moment, the shopowner turns back to Piotr, "Have you found anything that caught your interest, sir? Most of the stock here is from when Miss Harkness was still in business, I'm still finding things myself."

Piotr peers at the array of broken and packed away things behind the counter his finger tracing smooth circles over the old mahogany his gaze still drinking the place in, He decides to wander into the book section while he waits. Piotr looks over startled as Alexandra catchs his attention.. His expression catching up a moment latter though it seemed to say 'but books?' and then splits into a grin and says "Da, have you been finding something.. interesting? something.. special?" his thick Russian accent a pleasant purr.

Liane gives a quick nod of her head and wanders over to poke through the basket. Unlike Joan, Liane freely picks things up and prods them, though in safely gloved fingers - yes, Liane is wearing gloves. Is she ever not? Two or three catch her fancy, including a large drop spindle and a Turkish spindle -- apparently Liane is one of those people who, like her player, can never just buy what they came in for.

Joan taps away at her phone, composing and then sending off a reply message. "If you'll excuse me, I need to head home and fire my babysitter," she notes with a hint of a frown. "Possibly out of a cannon. Apparently she invited her boyfriend and got into my liquor cabinet..." She shakes her head in disapproval. "Miss Wiggins, it was good seeing you again," she adds to Liane, then pulls a card with her number on it out of her purse and slips it to Alexandra. "If you do come across any Victorian era furniture, would you let me know?"

"Miz." Liane corrects absently, still prodding through the things. Doesn't even look up!

About to reply to Piotr, Alexandra is distracted by Joan's little difficulty, and frowns in concern, "Oh dear." The card is accepted readily enough, and a nod is offered, "Certainly. And do feel free to drop by anytime." She grins, "Sometimes new old things turn up." At which point she turns back to figuring out how to answer Piotr, "Well... everything here, sir." She waves the hand holding Joan's card to indicate the store as a whole, "Everything here was once important to somebody, special to somebody. I'm simply keeping them until somebody else finds them to be as special for them."

Piotr studies Alexandra for a long while before smiling suddenly and says something in Russian and then "You realy do believe this?" there is pleasant surprise in his voice.

Liane is pretty uncreative. So much like Joan, she gets a little jingle on her own cell phone, pulling it out with a frown, one hand still holding three or four spindles. And an embroidery hoop she's pulled down! "B-b-bother." She mutters, then waves Danny over. Danny, by the way, is the tall, silent native American woman who was standing outside the door the entire time, acting like a statue, or furniture. Not the friendliest and most open of souls, but when Liane beckons, Danny straightens and walks over. Everything is dropped into Danny's arms along with a credit card, a quick murmur is exchanged, and Liane moves towards the door, fingers dialing a number.

Alexandra nods firmly to Piotr's question, "I do. Everything here has touched someone's life, and been touched by it. I don't attempt to interpret that meaning myself, because everyone will take something different with them." She waves vaguely towards the book section, "Even two people reading the same book can take entirely different messages from it. The same goes for everything else here, I think." The phonecall by the sewing supplies catches her attention, though, perhaps pre-empting a minor rant, and she gives the man an apologetic smile as she moves to duck back behind the counter, "Excuse me a moment, sir. Please, feel free to look about." She'll just ring up miss tall dark and frowny here.

Piotr reaches into the zen bag balanced on his hip and pulls something wrapped in alpaca fur and tied off with a leather chord beaded with hand carved beads of some sort of nut.. and lays it on the counter.

Danny, by the way, does not frown. That would imply some emotion besides bland apathy or stony irritation! Or disdain. Danny's good at disdain

Piotr has left something on the counter and is heading out.

The sale is made relatively quickly, even with the antique-looking cash register. Which may not be as antique as it looks, considering that it apparently has a credit-card reader hidden inside it, Liane's card being slid through a slot on the frame calm as you please, a reciept printing out, and the whole works being tucked into a paper(!) bag with carry-handles. Only once all that's done does Alexandra turn to peer quizzically at Piotr's little bundle, turning a mildly confused look at Piotr's retreating back. "Uhm, goodbye!" Man, this town certainly isn't boring...