People are Strange

Spellbound Books - Westminster - London

Built-in wooden shelves filled with books on various metaphysical and occult topics, as well as mythology, line the royal blue walls. The shelves are divided by openings to the left and right, and of course directly across from the entrance where the counter is.
To the right of the entrance is an area that is separated from the shop with a blue and white beaded curtain. Behind the curtain is a seating area, focused around a large round table that is covered with a white crocheted cloth. Atop the table is a small crystal ball, around which a pattern of tarot cards can typically be found. Surrounding the table are several antique armchairs, and a deep blue Victorian style couch. Against the wall are a few shorter bookshelves with various crystals and items.
To the left of the entrance is a vastly open area. Several glass counters can be found, housing silver and pewter jewelry, decorated with a variety of stones and crystals. The window display for the shop can also be found here, a more traditional "occult" set up, with pewter chalices, glass skulls, and crystal balls.
Directly across from the entrance is a wooden counter that holds an old fashioned, non-digital cash register. The wall behind the counter is a small shelf filled with jars of odd-colored powders, and tinctures, as well as clear, labeled jars stuffed with every herb imaginable, as well as contorted roots. The front of the counter is typically strewn with fliers for events going on in London, as well as events and sales going on in the shop.


Characters

Wade.jpg vm01.jpg nopic-f.png
Wade Carys Kendrin

It's evening, sun sunken down over the horizon, only a few pale streams of light left in the sky. Outside cars rattle by, headlights flashing by the windows, the occasional clatter of metal heard. Inside is a little more peaceful. Just a little. Probably more if there wasn't someone making a mess inside.

Wade Sumter is about, and seems to be working on finding something in the shelves. Fingers are prying books out, examining, flipping through a few pages before he shoves them back into place. He's got a few in his arms, a few discarded, but he's not trying very hard to keep things organized. The technician moves with purpose, faster than his usually placid demeanor is used to.

Flip, flip, clack, clack, all down the rows.

-

"Cor! Bloody cat!" Carys' voice carries from the backroom immediately after a loud crash.

Suddenly a large cat rushes out into the shop, trying to hide within the stacks. Followed swiftly after by a girl with a broom. "Leaving dead mice atop the new books. Glynis ain't gonna be real 'appy with that."

When she realizes that there's a customer in the shop, she stores the broom behind the counter and perches atop her stool. There's something besides the man in the shop and it's got her a bit on edge.

-

Deep in the back of Glynis' shop is a narrow staircase that leads to the basement… and from there a hatch into a passage that leads to Undercity. Once the thumping of the girl and the cat recede, the hatch squeaks as it's pushed open. A brown head peers over the lip before splayed hands lever the young woman up out of the darkness and into the incandescent light.

She hears the swearing out beyond the stock room and proceeds slowly toward the cracked door, peering cautiously around shelving units as she goes.

-

Cat attack is something that Wade was entirely unprepared for. The streak of fur rushing past in the middle of his hurried motions sends the man almost tumbling, hand reaching to steady on one of the nearby shelves. Methodical searching comes to a halt, and the texts he had gathered fall to the floor with several light thuds.

Eyes follow after the cat when it goes, the man's hand lowering, the fist he'd balled at the creature sinking to the floor. It takes a second before he begins to right himself, the shock of the creature's appearance wearing off soon enough.

Then he notices at least one other person in the room. "Ah-" A small pause. "Hello." And then eyes go to books again.

-

"'ello," she replies cordially enough. "Don't let Miss Priss bother ya too much, sir. Just 'er way of greetin' new customers as it were." Carys reaches up to reattach a barrette in her hair rather than keep it dangling. It's on the very tip of her tongue to ask the man if he can see the woman that keeps wandering the aisles but she's pretty sure that the woman isn't there.

Maybe it's time to get her medication upped a bit.

"Don't s'pose I can 'elp ya with anythin'?"

-

Kendrin draws near to the shop door. She pauses, listening. The sounds of the conversation carry. She glances at the shelves, finger running over the spines of the books on the shelves briefly. She even scoops up a handful of scented candles, coughs at the overwhelming odour, and drops them back in the stock basket with a grimace. She then wipes her hand fastidiously on the back of her long coat. Slipping quiet out the stock room door, she moves now towards one of the shop aisles, looking around carefully.

-

"You could." Wade seems to remember what he was doing now that the cat is gone, scooping everything up, slotting a few books back into place in the meantime. If he notices something wrong, he doesn't show it. Besides his own problem, of course.

"Naturalis Historiæ, Pliny. Or anything close to it." A few more books are pulled in passing. "Or anything like it. Especially birds, birds would be very good." His tone is even, but it's fairly clear he's in a hurry about it all. So much that he misses the next physical body that sneaks into the room.

-

"I'd 'ave to check the catalog for that'en." Carys reaches under the register for a rather large binder and begins to flip through it. Chances are that it may not be here, or may need to be ordered special stock.

"Birds? In what sense? If you're one'a those avid avian types you'd be better at the library, I'd think. Unless you're looking for rituals birds are used in, or bird magic." Another page is flipped, and then there's a cat there atop the binder and she's left glaring at it.

"Really, Miss Priss. I'm trying to work 'ere and you're making it rather difficult. Go bother the nice lady in the corner, or run upstairs and 'arass Andy for a bit, would you?"

Carys hardly expects the cat to respond, or even understand. So she continues to stare it down.

-

Kendrin arches a brow at Carys' comments to the cat. She moves along the shelves toward the counter. The cat looks up at her. Kendrin meets its gaze for moment. It pulls back. Slowly, Kendrin blinks at it. Disdainfully, it leaps off the counter and prowls around the edge of the counter to sniff carefully at the stranger's boots.

She glances between the man with the books at the shop girl.

"Forgive my intrusion," she says evenly. "I am seeking someone. Perhaps you have seen him? He is… small, but difficult to miss." She punctuates the word 'small' with a gesture that puts his height some where around waist height to her. "His hair is white, his clothing… flamoyant."

Not, mind, that her rustic hunt leathers are exactly the sort of outfit that would blend in to a modern urban environment.

-

"Not precisely either of those, but they might be closer to what I need." Wade's reached the end of his shelf, seems to have finished everything in that area. He's taking a break at least, hands setting against the wood, head craning back. "I don't think a library will quite do it."

When he does spot Kendrin there's a pause, a flicker of eyes over the woman. Her mode of dress make it hard not to stare, but Wade doesn't devote attention to it for long. "No hobbits." It's a joke, but geniality gets sort of lost in his distraction.

-

"What? It ain't like she's gonna listen to me one way or another…" When Miss Priss actually hops off the counter, she blinks. "She ain't ne'er done that before." Able to flip through the binder again, she wrinkles her nose at Wade.

"Sorry. Ain't tryin' to be difficult 'ere, but we're a New Age shop. Don't generally carry books on birds. Got the Pliny one though. One copy in the back. If ya don't mind waiting, I'll go wrap it for ya."

Carys grins at Kendrin. "About yea high, with a pocketwatch?" All she can think of is the White Rabbit. "Ain't seen nothin' short with white 'air in the shop but for Miss Priss. Unless you mean 'im," she says pointing to a shelf with a bench, only no one visible to a non-Ghost Whisperer can see it. "That bloke's been sittin' there forever, but 'e obviously ain't really there."

Could be the shop girl is a bit of a nutter.

-

Kendrin gives a faint smile, slightly indulgent, as she regards Wade. "He's a gnome, actually."

Yes. She's serious.

She glances down at the cat and crouches, extending a couple of fingers. The cat sniffs them and rubs its whiskers over Kendrin's fingertips. "Felines like me," she says simply, before rising.

She glances then, to the bench Carys mentioned. No. There's no one there. She glances back to Carys. "Obviously…" she says slowly.

-

"That'll do," Wade decides. "Can you get it for me?"

Eyebrows arch at Kendrin's comment, arch higher when Cary's points out an individual that isn't there. To be fair, he gives both of those things more consideration than any sane person rightly would. "Who's sitting there?" That's the one he decides to go with. Maybe it makes more sense to him, somehow.

And as he turns to look again there's a sound. Somewhere outside, close, wings. A lot of wings, a chorus of clacking and chirping that one might expect to hear when waking, not the deepening hours of the night. Just for a moment, and then it stops.

-

"She 'ates me," Carys replies to Kendrin about that cat. "She once dropped a mouse into me tea." Good thing Glynis loves the cat, or Carys might have chased her out or offered her to some unsuspecting person for free.

"The man who ain't there." That's what she calls him. That's what she's always called him. Because he's not there. If he were, others would see him.

"Right. I'll be back in a moment." She pauses to glance outside, then blinks. "Sounds like a bleeding Alfred 'itchcock movie out there."

-

The name of the movie director means nothing to the stranger, who blinks mildly. She glances around the shop again. "Another question," she says, moving to follow Wade, perhaps deciding the shop girl is a nutter — seeing things. "Do you know where I might find short term lodging at a reasonable rate?"

-

Wade's head cranes, ear outstretched toward the front of the building. Nothing, though. When the man that isn't there proves similarly silent the technician seems to loosen, relaxing into a slow lean against bookshelves. "Thank you." That for Carys.

"Lodging?" Pale eyes focus on Kendrin again. "There's a Holiday Inn a little down the ways. A few other places. That's about the best you could do." A small pause. "May want to hold off on that for now."

-

"'oliday Inn? Reasonable rates? Hah!" Carys shakes her head, then points toward the front of the shop. "'ead outta 'ere, turn right, then go up a block. Turn left. It's the blue 'ouse on the left. Mrs. Culdicott's Bed and Breakfast. Sweet old woman. Includes breakfast and tea, and plenty of cats." At least now the woman has options.

"I'll go get your books." Closing the binder and tucking it under the counter, she heads to the store room to gather the requested items and wrap them up.

-

Kendrin purses her lips slightly. "Thank you…" she says slowly. She steps back now. Perhaps lingering isn't in her best interests, any more. She's in a strange city, among strangers, and she's got to figure out the lay of the land before the gnome sets off fireworks. "Thank you for the aid," she adds. "A good day to you both." She moves now for the door.

-

Wade's eyes follow the departing woman, lips twisting into something indecisive. He doesn't say anything though, just waits with eyes to the door. When Cary's returns he'll take the book, paying with a few quick motions.

"Much appreciated." And he'll wait until Kendrin is out if she's going, and then a little longer. But the coast is clear, so off he goes, hurrying out into the street and away.

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