The Curse of the Impatient Seamstress:Part Three
Justine hurried as she made her way into Uni’s Clothing Shop. She was weighed down by a bag holding every dress that she had made the night before. When she shopkeeper saw her, her brows furrowed in confusion. The shopkeeper was deeply embedded in the Neopia Central fashion scene, so of course she knew about Jason Mather’s untalented sister.
Justine made her way to the counter and sat down the bag. She took a deep breath before explaining, “I made a lot of dresses, and I don’t know how to sell them.”
The shopkeeper scoffed as she opened the bag and pulled out the first dress. She gasped as she saw the quality of the garment. She pulled out the next and her eyes grew wider. She pulled out each dress one by one and inspected it. After each one was inspected she looked down at the counter as she tried to organize her thoughts. Finally, she looked up at Justine. “Janice is it? These aren’t made by your brother.”
Justine nodded, not caring to correct the blue Uni.
“I know his style,” the shopkeeper cleared her throat again, “And this isn’t it. This is actually more technically impressive than his work. You made this?”
Justine grinned as she nodded.
“I’ll set these out. For selling them, I get a fifteen percent commission, and you get the rest.” The shopkeeper smirked before adding on, “Usually I tell people to check back in a month. You, Janice Mather, check back tomorrow because people will devour your dresses.”
Justine grinned as she grabbed her now empty bag and began to sprint home. However, her body suddenly froze mid stride. She glanced over at the fabric store across from Uni’s Clothing Store. She had never went in there as all of the fabrics costs tens of thousands of neopoints per yard. But her feet began to walk towards the store and nothing she could do stopped them. She entered and looked down at the floor. Her hands, however, were floating before her, ready to seek out the best fabrics. She closed her eyes as she felt herself pick up bolts of fabric. She didn’t feel her body stop until she was standing before the cashier.
“Oh!” The shopkeeper gasped. He was a rather excitable Techo. “You’re Janet Mather!”
Justine looked up at the techo. She wasn’t sure if she was supposed to correct him. “I’m Jason Mather’s sister.”
“Oh!” the Techo laughed, “He told me this day would come! Don’t worry about paying, I’ll bill him.”
“What day?” Justine’s eyes widened, “He told you to bill him?”
“Oh,” he raised his eyebrows in shock. “Years ago, before Mr. Mather moved, he told me that he would always take care of you. No matter what, he would support you.” The Techo eyed the fabric and winced. “Of course, one million neopoints worth of fabric is a lot for most people, myself included . . .” The Techo began to write down the names and prices of the fabrics, “But Jason makes that much with one dress. Perhaps you will too one day.”
Justine handed the Techo her bag so that he could fill it with the fabric her hands had picked out. Once her bag was handed to her, filled, she made her way out and into an alley. She sat down against a wall, hugging the fabric against her to protect it from the dirt on the ground. She closed her eyes and began to sob as she realized that Jason did believe in her. She felt awful for what she told Jhudora. After she was finally done crying, she stood and began to make her way home.
She could feel a weird sense of anxiety coming from the bracelets as her feet began to walk faster and faster until she was running. She couldn’t stop running until she was at her front door. She unlocked it before her feet began running again. She didn’t even have time to shut the door before she was in her sewing room, laying out all of the fabric.
Like the night before, her hands took control of her. The difference, however, was the designs. Previously, she had made variations on the same sun dress. But now, she was creating stunning evening dresses and ball gowns. She was creating things she didn’t even know that names of to put on the dresses. She could never step back for long enough to realize what she had created.
After hours, her body was finally still. She looked over at the pile of finished dresses and the few scraps of material. She gasped as she realized that all of the fabric had been used except for a few scraps. When she looked at the clock, her heart stopped. She had began sewing at four in the afternoon, and it was three in the afternoon. She had been working for twenty-four hours. After a few moments of admiring her work, she realized that there were ornaments on the dresses that she had never seen before. She looked down at her table and and gasped as she saw a receipt. She picked it up and let out a quick scream of shock.
She had spent nearly her entire life savings on jewels. She had spent twenty million neopoints on jewels and buttons for the dresses. She looked up at the date and nearly threw up. She had thought that the date was the twenty-first, but the receipt was written out at four in the afternoon on the twenty-first. She didn’t know how long she had been creating the dresses anymore. She had no memory of leaving the sewing room, but she had left her home. She went up to her room and flopped down onto her bed. She knew that the only thing she could do was go Uni’s Clothing Shop and hope that the shopkeeper would buy the dresses she created.
Justine took a deep breath as she walked into Uni’s Clothing Shop. The shopkeeper excitedly motioned for Justine to come to the counter. Justine nodded and made her way over. She felt sick to her stomach. If the shopkeeper wasn’t willing to buy the dresses, Justine was lost at sea.
“I was wondering where you were!” The shopkeeper laughed, “Your clothes sold so quickly! I priced half at one hundred thousand and half at fifty thousand. One point five million, Janice. I’ve never seen so many Neopians spend so many neopoints in here!” She pulled out a checkbook and started to write out the check. “Most small designers pick up their earnings in neopoints, but I wouldn’t want you to break your back on the way home. How do you spell your name?”
The Cybunny laughed awkwardly. “It’s Just in ‘E’.”
Justine could see the blush through the Uni’s fur. “You’re not Janice, you’re Justine.”
“It’s okay,” Justine reassured her, “No one knows my name.” Justine looked back at the clothes before stating, “I’ve made so many dresses I’ve lost count, but the materials had cost me twenty-one million neopoints.”
The Uni stared blankly at Justine. She had never heard of someone spending that much on materials outside of the major fashion houses. The Uni looked around the shop. It was early in the morning and no one was shopping. She rushed Justine out before flipping the open sign to closed and locking the door. “Take me to the dresses,” she whispered, “I need to see them with my own eyes.”
Justine nodded and led the shopkeeper to her home. She opened the door and went straight to her sewing room. Only a few of the dress forms were covered. The rest of the dresses were in a pile on the floor. The Uni went straight to the dress forms and gasped as she jumped from form to form, inspecting each one. For every dress, she gasped about how the material was high quality leather or genuine silk. The Uni stopped at one dress covered in rare gems. She noticed a note pinned to it. She gasped as she read it. It had a list of every gem and the cost. She looked back at Justine and whispered, “This is a one hundred million neopoint dress. This dress is worth more neopoints than I’ve ever had in my bank account at one time.”
Justine fell to the floor. She was overcome by shock. She thought she was ruined, but she had created a dress worth more than her entire life savings to that point. She looked up at the Uni.
“Of course, only someone with one hundred million neopoints can buy it.” The uni huffed as she looked up to the ceiling. “I’ll raise my commission to twenty-five percent, but I will sell this dress for you. It’s difficult to get an audience with the head of any fashion house, but with these dresses I can.”
Justine picked herself up off of the floor and looked over at the pile of dresses on the floor. The Uni gasped as she rushed over to the pile and began to pick them up one at a time. Justine could hear the Uni muttering numbers to herself. Justine flinched when she realized that the Uni was calculating her commission in her head.
“I’m going to call a mover,” the Uni stood, “I’m going to have these dresses transported to the safest place possible. I’ll start by hitting House of Darigan first. The one hundred million neopoint dress screams House of Darigan. The fifty million neopoint silk dresses are House of Shenkuu, of course.” She rushed towards the door, calling back to Justine, “Keep your door open, I’ll lock it on the way out!”
Justine nodded and went up to her room before flopping down on her bed. She was in too much shock to process what was happening, so she simply closed her eyes and fell asleep.
Justine was awoken by the sound of ripping fabric in the late night. She opened her eyes and realized that she was sitting in the doorway of her closet, ripping apart her own clothes that had been on the hangers. She shook her arms as hard as she could, trying to get her hands to stop.
“Why are you stopping me?”
Justine paused and stared at the wall. There was no one there, she was sure of it. But she heard the voice in her head.
“I’m on your wrists,” the voice taunted, “Why are you surprised?”
Justine glared at her wrists and shouted, “Why are you tearing my clothes apart?!”
“We’re out of fabric,” the voice explained, “The Uni forgot to give you the check, so we have no money. Besides, these clothes are ugly. They don’t deserve to use this fabric.”
Justine gathered up the fabric and ran down to her sewing room. She sat down and started the sewing machine. However, her hands froze and she couldn’t move them.
“No, clothes for cybunnies are ugly.”
Justine took a deep breath and stared at the bracelets. She closed her eyes before yelling at them, “Listen here! You were supposed to make my life better, but right now I’m not living my life! I blacked out for so long, I don’t know what day it is! You spent all of my life savings without asking me if it was okay! It wasn’t okay!”
She could feel the contempt from the bracelets. She saw someone roll her eyes in her mind’s eye as the bracelet responded to her. “We could make you a billionaire. We could let you rub elbows with every celebrity in Neopia. You could be everything your brother is . . . and more. Didn’t you want to be someone else?”
Justine stared at the wall as she took in what she heard. She was never born to be a seamstress. She was never meant to be her brother. She was meant to be herself.
“No!” She screamed out as she began to flail her arms wildly, “I wanted to be me! I wanted to be me, but I wanted to be a version of me that could sew! I wanted to fit in, but I didn’t want to lose myself in the process!” She froze before screaming out, jerking her arms up and down to punctuate each word, “Let! Me! Live! My! Life!”
As her last word was reverberating through the room, the bracelets fell onto the floor. She stared down at them. She picked them up and stared at them. She knew they were cursed by Jhudora herself, so she was shocked removing them was so easy. She threw them down on the table and went back to bed. She knew she had a long trip ahead of her in the morning.
To be continued..