A dark horroresque story. I thought I'd get back onto working on it, maybe get a few more of the 14 days done. Maybe I'll even make it half way through this time!
Silas sighed as he slouched into the chair in the tailor's shop. It creaked noisily in protest. The kindly tailor smiled at him from behind the counter.
“How long is there left? Until the wedding that is?” he asked
Silas jerked into a stiffer position in his chair and smiled uncomfortably, “Two weeks."
He paused, suddenly wondering,
"How did you know I was getting married?”
The other man laughed, “There's just something about the way that those about to be joined in holy matrimony act in the weeks leading up to the big day,” He paused, then grinned viciously, “Of course, there's also the fact that a certain excited bride to be came in yesterday and, as with a lot of young ladies, her mouth ran away with her and she told me all about it. It's Silas, right? I suppose I have no need to ask you why you're here today?”
Silas pointed in an embarrassed fashion at another man, browsing the shelves of materials; admiring the textures and colours of the fabrics around him. He let out a small cry of exaltation but then, after scrutinising the bolt of cloth he was holding further, he sighed and dismissed it.
“Oliver brought me here,” He grimaced as he mentioned his friend's name, “He's decided to take it upon himself to dress me up suitably for the occasion: apparently I have no taste in clothes. My future wife wasn't helpful either; she was almost as excited as he was about it...'”
Oliver's hand suddenly grabbed him by the shoulder and wrenched him out of the chair. Taken completely by surprise, rather than being pulled onto his feet, Silas fell onto the floor with a loud thump, hitting his head on the shelf as he did so. Angrily, he got to his feet and grabbed his friend's collar, then as realisation hit him, he let go and apologised profusely.
“Are you okay Silas?” he asked, “You seem rather out of sorts today.”
“Sorry. Just wedding nerves I guess.”
He looked at Oliver to see his friend's face ever so slightly disbelieving. He pushed back a wave of rising irritation and smiled. The other man relaxed a little, but still seemed on his guard slightly. Obviously Silas had shocked him but to be honest, Silas didn't care.
“Anyway,” Oliver began again, trying to change the subject by briskly bringing a bolt of dark silk from a shelf, “I think your suit should be made from this.”
Silas was shocked, “Oliver, this is silk. I don't have the kind of money for this, especially with paying for the wedding...”
“Not a problem there. Your lack of dress-sense wasn't the only reason I asked to come along. This one's on me,” He smiled
“It's too much...”
“Look, I owe you enough gambling debts to pay for this three times over. At least let me pay you back a little with this.”
His friend was about to open his mouth and then stopped and sighed: well, it was true. Besides, as a relative to the Queen herself, Oliver was pretty much made of money.
“Fine,” he relented semi-reluctantly, “Just don't tell me how much it cost afterwards otherwise I'll feel guilty.”
This brought a grin to Oliver's face and he motioned to the tailor, who took his measuring tapes from around his neck and began to take the dimensions he would need to produce the fine silk suit that Silas' friend had in mind. The man being measured groaned inwardly: what had he let himself in for?
He wondered what Hettie's wedding dress would look like – was she going through all this too? He doubted she felt like he did about buying clothes – for her it was probably an adventure, like it was for his friend. His personal feelings were much different, being nothing short of pure unadulterated hatred. He imagined her, her pretty face arranged perfectly into a smile, as she ran around the shop with her posse, laughing and giggling as they picked out different ribbons and laces. How much would it cost? Then it hit him: because she was an orphan with very little money herself, he would be the one that the financial burden would lie upon. Maybe letting Oliver buy his suit wasn't so awful after all.
The headache that had plagued him on and off for the past week returned with a vengeance, gnawing on his mind like locusts on crops. Did it really matter though? He wondered. As long as she was happy, surely that was enough. Yes, that was right...
The measurements finally taken, Silas shuffled towards the checkout, Oliver taking his wallet out of his pocket and then taking out the money to pay for the suit. Silas winced in guilt; despite trying to look away, he caught a glance of the notes as they moved across the counter. It was even more expensive than he thought it would be.
“Okay,” Said the tailor to Silas as he took the money from his friend, “Can you just sign this piece of paper for me?”
He passed over a piece of paper, legal mumbo-jumbo scrawled all over it. It took a few seconds to look over and Silas soon reached for the pen to sign at the bottom of the page – the contract seemed fair enough, more of a disclaimer than anything else. The pen quickly wrote on the line that had obviously been reserved for his signature, but Oliver stared at him, dumbfounded.
“Silas, that's not your name,” He said, dumbfounded, pointing at the signature, “It says Virgil Fulton here, not Silas Marsden!”
Silas jumped back, surprised. Had he really written that? He peered closer at the signature. It was true. Why had that happened? He'd never heard of this Vergil person, but their surname stuck in his head: he knew it very well, it was his mother's maiden name. That was... strange...
“Is there another copy of this I can sign?” He asked the tailor, half confused, half ashamed
A laugh resounded throughout the shop as the tailor found another copy and Silas signed it properly this time, the name he'd written still plaguing his mind...