He pulled the cat from his father’s shelf. It was a greyish colour, probably some sort of tan once. The glass eyes had a few scratches on them, one eye looking clouded. There was the barest sound of something inside of the stuffed animal that had once sounded like a purr, but whatever mechanism inside that made the noise when it moved had muffled into the barest sound, more like a very quiet grumble.
The boy clutched the toy to his chest and ran off to find where his father was doing laundry.
“That was mine when I was a kid,” his father said, folding the boy’s shorts. “Took it everywhere with me. She was the cat I never really had.”
The boy absently pet it while his father spoke, the muffled sound continuing with each motion.
“Want her? I’m sure she’d be thrilled to go around the block again.”
The boy beamed.
“Careful with her. Sassy’s not as spry as she used to be.”
The father watched with fondness as his son and Sassy ran off to play.
Toiréasa didn’t know what possessed her. Saoirse was taking too long getting her sword repaired and she was bored. All she had meant to do was look around a bit.
Trying on clothes had not been in the docket. Especially not clothes that had anything to do with the amount of travel they were in the midst of. There were plenty of dresses that were made for such things, this was not one of them. It was the type of dress she might have been made to wear by her father had the world not changed around them. It was the type of dress which was the adult version of the ones she wore as a child.
Not exactly. It wasn’t the same style at all. There was no knotwork on this one, after all. Not as many layers either. Though it was elegant, for this culture’s style, Toiréasa had to admit. Which was why she had looked at it. Which was why she had stopped.
Which was why she was wearing it now, looking at herself in a mirror and wondering if she ever would have worn this had the world not changed. What she might have been wearing now otherwise.
However, she might not have been taught the sword had the world not shifted. Her father might not have thought it necessary. And that was unacceptable.
Toiréasa took it off, replacing her well worn travelling clothes upon her body. Maybe some day. When she and Saoirse returned home.
When Saoirse married her like she had promised.