Xanadu Weyr - Petals and Pots Garden Shop
Upon entering this rustic shop, the smell of flowers is the first thing that one notices as well as the subtle musty scent of fertilizer. Selling everything for your garden needs from flowers and plants to pots and tools, the whole shop is lined with shelving filled with various things, arranged neatly by type. On the back wall trowels, rakes, shovels and clippers hang from nails, while underneath them clay pots, glass vases and bowls are stacked on the floor. In the middle of the shop is a small table that is filled with tiny glass perfume bottles with glass stoppers, each bearing a label that reads, 'Handcrafted Parfum' and an Iernian seal. These contain different fragrances, depending on the shape of the bottle. A variety of hanging baskets dangle from the ceiling, tumbles of lush vibrant flowers or vine-type plants trailing from them with price tags on the pots.

A sign can be seen near the entrance that simply states "Woo your significant other, send a hint to your brother or say hello to your mother with a surprise delivery!"

It's not so busy in the garden shop today, though a clattering noise drifts from somewhere out of sight, the distant sound of pots being stacked. A delivery? On the main shop floor, there's nobody to be seen but Marel, who is steadily refilling the flower stock, carrying bunches of various freshly-cut blooms from their resting point on the counter to their individual pots and buckets from which they can be selected. It looks like watering something - the flowers or the hanging baskets? - is next on the list, a full watering can set down near the counter, a splash of water slopped out onto the floor where it's been overfilled.

Into the current trough of activity, a disturbance is added. The door swings open, and in steps Jethaniel. He looks around with an expression of curiosity, his brows slightly lifted as he takes in plants, pots, petals, perfumes, and other things which may or may not begin with P depending on how deeply one delves into the thesaurus. There's a slightly bemused smile on his face, and the door swings shut behind him as he looks about.

Marel looks up from threading a pale orange blossom through one of the holes meant to support it, staring a tad longer than strictly necessary as her vision switches from short to long and her focus fixes upon Jethaniel. "Can I help you?" she asks, drifting back into motion not to walk towards him, but back to the counter to retrieve another bunch of flowers to set out, these a slim white-gold affair that look almost too delicate to survive long.

The rotational symmetry on display here is simply fascinating, and Jethaniel regards a few of the samples of it before the voice draws his attention and he looks down to Marel. "Ah," he says. She is simply symmetric, not rotationally so. He pauses a moment, considering as she walks across the floor. "Perhaps you can, though I suspect I may be difficult in that regard, as I'm not entirely certain what I'm looking for."

"Are you looking for something for yourself or someone else?" Marel enquires over one shoulder, the white-gold blooms surrendered to their display container and arranged to her satisfaction with a few tweaks to petals and the odd rogue leaf here and there. "And practical or decorative?" Padding back the way she came, she stoops to picks up the watering can and begins to slosh some of its contents into one of the lower buckets of flowers, her gaze lifting back to her current (potential) customer.

Jethaniel puts his hands behind his back, walking along a row of flowers to peruse them. "Someone else," he says, and leans in to regard the properties of light through one of the blooms, tilting his head to the side. The other question seems to require some consideration. "Perhaps it's not quite a dichotomy," he ventures after a moment. "I should like…" He pauses. "I am, it seems, difficult even to myself. Well. It is to be a gift."

"To a man or woman?" It's asked a little too quickly, like Marel is trying to get as much information as possible as soon as she can, her next question on the tip of her tongue before she hesitates, frozen, and lets more water than she means spill out into the bucket. Belatedly, she yanks the watering can away, and, with a faint blush to her cheeks, adds, "If that's not too much of a personal question." But, whilst she's at it, she can't help herself: "And do you mean it to be something permanent or temporary?" Wait, hang on. "The gift! I mean. The gift."

"A woman," answers Jethaniel, and his gaze lifts from the flowers to regard Marel instead. There's a slight smile, and then his head tilts to the side and his gaze lifts, considering those hanging baskets - or perhaps the question. "If there is to be a thing at all," he says with a quirk of his lips, then looks back. "However, as for the gift… I should like something more than ephemeral. Something subtle; something… with depth. Whose beauty is in its secrecy."

"I'm not sure that I'd call flowers or plants subtle," Marel has to admit, setting the watering can down. She absently wipes damp hands on the skirts of her dress as she straightens, planting them on her hips the moment after while she casts a distant look around the shop. "Unless perhaps you bought a plant that blooms only briefly, once a turn," she considers. "Something with depth, long-lasting, with a secret. You'd have to be careful what you meant to say with it though. It could be taken the wrong way."

"No?" says Jethaniel. He returns his gaze to Marel, seeming to give her his full attention. That suggestion is considered, and then he shakes his head. "No, I don't believe that's what I intend to say. It's not a rare thing, simply… a thing always present, but seldom noticed. The words spoken underneath fireworks, when all attention is on the sky." His tone sounds of one reminiscing, the smile lingering. "That sort of subtle."

"Well, in that they always seem to say /something/, even if it's different things to different people," Marel replies with the light shrug of one shoulder. "I guess you don't want something loud then…" she murmurs, faint smile of her own surfacing. Teasing? "Something scented?" she suggests. "A light fragrance that becomes familiar, but not overpowering. Or one of the baskets? With vines? Pale colours. Something that grows and changes just out of sight, but always there." Stepping back, she leans against the counter and glances briefly at the ceiling. "Or something just beginning to grow?"

"I suppose so. It is a remarkably dense symbol set, and one that is lacking in strongly established interpersonal associations for those symbols." Jethaniel frowns, considering on that problem for a moment, then dismisses it as not the one he's going to attempt to solve today. The smile returns as he shakes his head to loud, and then turns more neutral as he gives the other suggestions consideration. "A scent might be suitable," he says, then pauses. "Ah. But scents intercombine. She wears perfume. It might impose." He frowns slightly, and turns his gaze to one of those viney baskets. "Perhaps." He considers a moment. "But would a hanging basket fit her decor?"

Marel does little but wait to see if he will answer his own question or to discover if it is meant to be rhetorical, her focus straying back to Jethaniel until she feels compelled to say, "Not knowing the /her/ or her decor, that much must be your decision." She bites down on her lip, debating whether to voice her opinion and be seen to argue, and in the end she must decide to, her posture straightening slightly. "I don't think a lightly-fragranced flowering plant would interfere with perfume. Not enough to linger on a person, at least." Back to the baskets, she eyes the closest one, suggesting, "There are different types for indoors and outdoors. Decor might not be a factor."

If Jethaniel has an answer to his own question, he doesn't voice it out loud, and when Marel voices hers, he nods gravely. "It must indeed, but in that domain, her mastery sufficiently exceeds mine I fear I am incapable of making the right decision." He gives his head a rueful little shake, his gaze sweeping the shop once more before returning to her. "No?" he says, then nods. "In this domain, your mastery doubtless exceeds mine." He smiles slightly. "What might you suggest in subtle and scented?"

Green eyes roam beyond the collections of single stems available for purchase to be made into bouquets, to the more permanent offers sat atop a unit against one of the far walls. Pushing away from the counter, Marel crosses the room and stops beside a simple terracotta pot, its only decoration a thin white ribbon, containing a reasonably tall, understated plant. At present, it looks to support a single, delicate, pale-pink flower with curved petals and sooty-black centre, though the promise of more lies at the tips of its converged trio of slim, sturdy stems, six or more buds sealed tight and yet to open. "Here," she proposes. "Subtle in colour and fragrance, and not likely to dominate a room. Nice in a corner or on a sturdy windowsill."

Jethaniel follows Marel across the room with long strides, and considers the plant before him. A smile tugs at his lips. He lifts a hand, waving it slowly over the top of the plant before leaning in enough to have a whiff. He straightens up again, and considers a moment before nodding. "Yes, I believe this will do nicely. I'll take it." He reaches for the pot, only afterward asking, "How much will that be?"

Wide-eyed, Marel stares in surprise when she hears his response, but manners first, and more manners, and so she tries to swallow down any triumph that fights to be free and be heard. She instinctively glances back towards the counter, yet the price obviously isn't to be found there, and so she hesitates a further moment or two, trying to recall the plant's exact price. When she remembers and states it, it's not so much, but it's not so cheap either. "I'd ask if you wanted it gift-wrapped, but I think that would make it… loud," she adds. Is that a grin?

Jethaniel's gaze remains on the flowerpot for a moment, taking in the details of the flowers instead of the emotions of her face. The radial symmetry of the flowers, combined with the asymmetry of the cluster of buds… and pink. Yes, the pink of it certainly makes him smile. "Appropriate," he murmurs to himself, then finally brings his gaze to Marel, remembering he's still waiting for that price. When it's stated, he betrays no specific emotion, simply nods. "Very well." The pot is set back on the shelf, and he reaches for his pouch of marks. "No, no wrapping," he agrees. A single journeyman with no expensive habits can do rather well for himself (as can the Steward for a Weyr), and so he has no trouble fishing out the price stated, plus an extra eighth mark. "Thank you for your help," he says as he hands them to Marel.

Marel closes careful fingers around the marks, politely inclining her head. "Thank you," she answers sincerely. "I hope that she likes it." Maybe that would be all, but another (last) look at the plant stirs some memory or another, and she blurts out, "Oh! Tell her not to water it too often. Its roots need to be anchored to support those stems, so they mustn't be flooded." Recalled just in time, the relief plain to be read on her features for the split-second before calm reclaims her.

"As do I," replies Jethaniel with a nod of his head in return. He picks up the pot, and he's just starting to turn away with it held carefully in both hands when Marel's voice makes him stop again. "Ah. Very well. I shall inform her of such." He takes a step away, then pauses, turning his head back to her. "Thank you again." He hesitates a moment, as if there's more he's considering saying, but it falls back down into silence instead of spilling off his tongue, and he simply nods once more before striding out.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License