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The Forgotten Child: Reflections

  The bath was a welcome moment of clarity and silence to the rushed events of the morning.  Beryl grit their teeth as the initial discomfort from the bath receded and they got used to being submerged.  They let out a long sigh as the feeling passed and tried to relax and reflect on their thoughts.  

   Tepic and Myrtil had proven themselves under qualified to show Beryl how a woman of the night must present themselves.  It was also clear that Myrtil was trying to push them into acting rashly before they could refuse.  Her behavior and actions seemed more invested than it would have been in any other urchin.  Could she possess feelings or some connection with Fly?  Perhaps she saw him as the brother she never had?

  That would be between her and Fly, Beryl supposed as they scrubbed their paws.  They took their time in the bath to sort through their own thoughts and feelings about this uncomfortable situation.  Their friends, except Maddox, would be confused seeing them in a dress in New Babbage.  The cat they were would have only worn a dress, only had worn a dress, to win a silly bet.

  That had been someone else.  Beryl was uncertain just how much their tastes changed or what they would enjoy.  One thing was certain, no matter what happened they wouldn’t be doing the actual work of a lady of the evening. That meant finishing this quickly before Nicholas caught on to the game.  If he was even interested in hiring a Moreau.

  The familiar eventually removed the caked on grime using the soap designed for fur, and dried off with several towels.  When they got out Myrtil was waiting with a lovely red gown no doubt pilfered from some unsuspecting womans closet.  There were also stockings, a silk overcoat, ribbons, and several other pieces of the outfit. Or more likely several other outfits that did not match. 

  Beryl decided not to question it and tried it on for fitting. They attempted the stockings first but their claws ripped through in a matter of seconds.  Beryl resigned themselves to being more careful and turned to the under garments.  They paused when they realized that these were stolen from and worn by a previous owner. Beryl stuck with their own for now.  

  The dress took them time to fit into, and it had been designed for someone considerably bigger and taller than Beryl themselves.  Even their unbound chest did little to fill out everything, but it was certainly more comfortable.  Eventually Beryl emerged and Myrtil looked her over judgingly.  

  “It’s not quite sitting right,” Myrtil mumbled to herself as she appraised Beryl’s appearance.   Beryl turned to find themselves in the mirror for a moment.  The dress was hanging on them like a child wearing their older sisters clothing.  This would never work.  “We need to find you a clothes maker or someone good with a needle.”

  The attendant arrived to clean the tub for the next user, and stared balefully at the both of them.  Black fur lined the tub, towels, and clogged the drain.  

  “Wet paper will help, sir,”  Beryl muttered with embarrassment and then left a quick tip before departing with Myrtil. Without the tip management would bar them, which was a possiblity even now, and they would need to return.

  Once they were free Myrtil wondered aloud who could fix the dress, suggesting Maggie at the Bucket would know best.  Her own clothes must have been custom stitched, Myrtil figured given her diminutive stature.  Meanwhile Tepic arrived with a cart bearing two coconuts, a bag of feathers, some glue, and a large container that said do not open.  “Oi!  I’s got them feathered boa’s all figured out!”


  “It was soon after that I came to you for help,” Beryl relayed as Erica Fairywren sat across from them in her studio home.  The setting sun tinged the clouded sky a beautiful red and orange.

   “I’m flattered that you thought of me, but why me in particular?” Erica had listened to the cats version of events with growing amusement, but she was an engineer more than a clothes maker.  Still she did have some skill with needles.  

  “I needed a quick excuse to get outside help, and I remembered that you offered to put me in a dress before,” Beryl replied, and then cleared their throat.

  Erica remembered that promise and the memory of it made her laugh.  She had been drinking a bit that night and threatened to put the cat in a frilly burlesque dress.  “I recall that! It’s been awhile though.”

 “You also threatened to get me a manicure.  And a facial.  And trim my fur…into little heart designs.”  Beryl waited as their host guffawed heartily at their expense.  It was good she was in a cheerful mood considering their next request.  “Truthfully, I could use help with everything else as well.  I know you aren’t a part of that world, far from it, but I need all the help I can get.”

  “Well, I’d be happy to assist you!” Erica promised as she asked Beryl to stand up so she could see what she was working with.  They stood and she noted they were closer in size than she had previously remembered, but the cat was still smaller. “Well maybe we can start by getting you into one of my older dresses and we can go shopping later.  I know there’s a few that will make custom sizes.”

   “That would be very appreciated,”  Beryl breathed as they gestured about in the loose gown meant for a woman almost twice their size.  “Thank you.”

  “I’ll also brush your fur, do your nails, and show you how to bring out your eyelashes and whiskers.”  She smiled coyly at their feline friend, but even this did not seem to annoy them as it would have years before.  The cat followed them to the closet and waited for them to select a red and white dress with a fluffy skirt.

 “Yes, thank you.  This will not work unless I get all the help I can get.  I still have no clue how I should even act…”   

  Erica paused as they watched how seriously their friend was “Hey, do you know Lynn Mimistrobell?  She lives in Mondrago but I think she visits Babbage from time to time.” Beryl nodded after a moment and Erica snapped her fingers.  “In that case I want you to act like her!  Just ask yourself what would Lynn do before you did anything and you’ll be fine!”

  Beryl paused in mid-stride as something fell into place in their mind.  Ms. Mimistrobell was a charming courtesan hailing from a distant shore.  They had been in their company frequently, and knew many of their mannerisms and how they flirted.  All they had to do was do whatever Lynn would do in any situation?  They frowned after a moment, “I don’t have to make puns every five seconds do I?”

  Erica waved her hand dismissively, “Forget the puns, just do everything else Lynn would do!”  Erica grinned excitedly at them as she went over simple tricks and mannerisms they should keep in mind.   Within a few minutes Beryl began to think she could pull this ruse off.

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  1. Myrtil Igaly Myrtil Igaly May 30, 2016

    You’d never guess where I found that dress…

    • Beryl Strifeclaw Beryl Strifeclaw May 31, 2016

      …is there a very angry patron of the baths wondering where her dress went?

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