[x] “Sure. I need the clothes anyway. Best to get it out of the way as quickly as possible.”
[x] This is a dream, right? If I can‘t control everything, I wonder what I can do. There must be something.
You hardly need to think about the offer. “Sure. I need the clothes anyway. As nice as this dress is…I’m much more comfortable in pants.” Much, much more comfortable. “Let’s get this out of the way.”
“Alright.” Wriggle says, flying towards a break in the trees, “Follow me!” The break turns out only to be on the edge of the clearing, and the trees thicken as you go deeper into the woods.
As you fly, staying a few feet behind her as you weave through trees, you mind wanders. Other than the need to watch out for trees in your flight path, there’s very little to occupy you on the way.
This is a dream, right?
Well, you don’t even need to wonder. You have wings, after all. And you can fly!
So. This is a dream, certainly. And so, you must have some sort of control over it. You aren’t as all-powerful as you might like to be, but dreams can be weird like that. Sometimes you can control them, and other times you can’t.
But there must be something you can do. After all, you know that you’re dreaming, and that gives you power, right?
…The only question now, is how do you find out what that is? Experimentation, maybe? Well, either that or being put in a position where you absolutely need it, but…yeah, that’s not really an option. So experimentation it will have to be. Maybe…
You reach deeply within yourself, seizing hold of a strand of stolen magic from the…the…you aren’t quite sure, actually. You feel as though you should know…and furthermore, stolen magic? Putting the matter firmly out of mind, you feel the strand with…well, whatever senses allow you to even perceive it, and manipulate it, examining it and getting a feel for it. It feels…controlling, maybe, would be the best word for it, as though it were meant for command. Not through domination, but rather, as a right granted it by its very existence. You ponder over it for a moment.
How did you even get this? It feels familiar…
And, you notice a separate reservoir hidden beneath it, much smaller, and with a definite feeling of, well, of redness, if you had to put a word to it. You reach towards it-
three sharp pains in your chest
And gasp, faltering in your flight for a brief moment, nearly falling out of the sky. Your eyes fill with tears from the sheer flood of emotion simply brushing it evoked, the terror and helplessness you had been trying to suppress, all flooding back for a second before dissipating back into the more diffused feeling that had remained after your encounter with Death…a sort of distant set of emotions, only loosely connected to you.
You abandon your experiments, for now, still trembling from the effect the red magic had on you. Best to just ignore it for now. You…you really don’t want to have to deal with it right now.
Setting aside your thoughts, you try to lose yourself once more in the sensation of flight, and, gradually, the trembling stops, and the euphoria from the morning returns, much more muted than it had been the first time you flew, but still present.
You sink into the feeling, and, with a smile on your face, follow Wriggle the rest of the way to the seamstress’s house.
The sound of hammers meets your arrival. As you draw nearer to the clearing the house is located in, you note some freshly cut stumps here and there, where previously trees stood. With a sudden sense of unease, you realize that this section of forest seems rather…familiar.
This feeling proves justified, as you emerge from the tree line to find yourself standing before a house you know quite well. A small army of dolls is hard at work repairing the gaping hole in the wall left by Alice’s pursuit of you, with Alice herself directing them, her stolen book in hand.
This gives you a brief moment of panic and worry for your compatriots in the theft, before you remembering discarding the book during the flight from the hunting army of dolls. It was almost as big as you were, after all, although it seems smaller now.
You take cover behind Wriggle as she glances in your direction. She shouldn’t know you, right? Right?
You tremble slightly as she walks over, a curious expression on her face. You clutch Wriggle’s cape tightly as you peer around her, watching this blonde-haired monster draw closer. If you had never been witness to her rage, you probably wouldn’t be so frightened, but…
“Oh? The firefly‘s come back here?” She notices you then, and you flinch, drawing back further behind your companion. “With a shy little fairy, at that. Why are you here?”
“Well, Cohen here,” she attempts to show you to Alice, but you manage to keep her between you and the blonde. She eventually settles for gesturing in your general direction. “Was attacked, and, well, she needs new clothes, because hers changed, I guess. I remembered how you helped me, and, well…”
“You thought I could help.” The line is delivered flatly, and Wriggle perks up a bit as she replies.
“Yeah! Can -” She doesn’t get to finish her request, however.
“No.” The answer comes without an ounce of hesitation. “I’m a bit busy, as you can see.” Alice gestures towards the gaping hole in her house. It seems she’s been working on it for awhile, but it’s still only half-repaired. “And until I finish repairing the damage to my home, I’m afraid that I will have no time to be sewing or anything of the sort.”
“What happened?” Wriggle asks, staring at the damaged wall.
“A thief. A thief came, and tried to steal some things. I managed to recover my Grimoire,” The capital letter is clearly audible, and you flinch again. The book was…rather more important than you had thought, apparently. “But the thief got away, and there’s all of this to deal with.” Her fist clenches, and her face darkens, betraying the slightest hint of that cold fury you’d seen in her face before, “If I ever find out who it was…”
Even Wriggle takes a step back in the face of her wrath, but it passes quickly, replaced by a much more pleasant expression as she looks from Wriggle down to you. A warm smile comes across her face as she bends down to place herself closer to your height.
“Nevermind that, though, little one. Come here, I’ll take your measurements so I can get started on your clothes once I’m done with my house, okay?” She makes a little ‘come on’ gesture to you with her free hand. You hesitate, keeping yourself on the other side of Wriggle. It’s an almost instinctive reaction, when everyone’s twice your size, or even bigger, but you must admit, it sort of hurts your pride as a man, cowering behind a small girl, hiding from ANOTHER small girl.
You steel your nerves, and step out from behind Wriggle.
“There we go! Come on into the house, now, alright? I won’t hurt you!” She smiles and straightens, and takes a few steps towards the front door before looking back. “Well? Are you coming?” This is suspicious.
“…Why do we need to go into the house? Can’t you just take the measurements here?” She smirks at you. You scowl.
“I’ll need you to take off that dress so I can get all the measurements I need. You want to do that out here?” It seems to be an honest question, but you aren’t fooled. You scowl more.
[x] Go with her. She doesn’t know it was you, and she seems like a fine person, otherwise.
[x] This is suspicious. Stay outside, and swallow your pride.
[x] You don’t trust her at all. You don’t really need new clothes.
[x] Were there any accessories you wanted? A hat, ribbon…?