Author Topic:  [WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade  (Read 451 times)

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[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« on: November 10, 2021, 06:47:18 PM »
I've been living like the end's not dying
I only listen to the wind when it's crying

July 2004
Wonderland of Toys

It wasn't as if Madelyn had a wealth of free time on her hands, but still, she found herself wandering down High Street in Hogsmeade (on a non-weekend, of course) looking for something to frivolously spend her hard-earned sickles on. Sickles, she should have been saving for rent, but that was the end of the month's problem. Not because she was irresponsible, but because she was looking for a quick pick me up. Something to make her feel better underneath whatever storm cloud had decided to linger above her today. She'd woke up in a mood and hadn't wanted to go to her shift at the Deli, but she did so anyway. And while the work hadn't been difficult, by the time she'd finished, Madelyn just felt out of sorts. Exhausted and unhopeful, she should have gone home, but there were so many people in that house, and she didn't want a single one of them to ask her how she was doing.

So instead, she lingered in front of shop windows longer than she should have, staring at nothing. And toward the end of her unmerry adventure, she decided to pop into the toy store just because of the door's color. Once inside, Madelyn squinted at the bright lights and the stuffed animals lining the walls and realized she was likely in the wrong place. The sign on the window had said something about cards and board games, though, so she persevered.

Two more steps in, Madelyn realized she probably wasn't supposed to be in here. It all looked like children's toys, and she turned around to head back out the door when she saw something. It was a mystery board game in a long box and shiny wrapper; it looked like a detective thing, and instantly she thought of Anto. Madelyn didn't reach for it, just stood quietly watching the way the characters on the front seemed to look back at her and wondered. She was tired, broke, and wondered if the boys would even have time for a board game, and all of those reasons just made her want to buy it more.;u=25765' rel='nofollow noopener' target='_blank'>@Jade Carroll

72 Posts 30
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2021, 10:36:50 AM »
During the summer months the toy shop was usually quite deserted. Its busiest time was the time before Christmas and its location in Hogsmeade meant that it was busiest at the weekends during the term. Jade’s mother had taken time off to visit her family in Russia, leaving Jade in charge of a shop with barely any customers.

Jade had taken a block to sketch some new ideas but given the lack of input, she struggled to come up with anything. She wished she could just close the shop and apparate home. On Skye she was bound to feel more inspired than in a deserted toy shop. She was aimlessly doodling on the paper in front of her, lost in thoughts and planning what she’d do after she’d close the shop for the day.

The doorbell announced a customer and pulled Jade out of her reverie. She looked up and saw a young witch stepping in and soon enough turning around again. Jade thought that she was leaving again already but then the other woman stopped and the shop worker got to her feet to greet her customer.

“Hello, welcome to Wonderland of Toys,” Jade said as brightly as she could after the boredom she had felt all day. “How can I help you? Are you interested in board games?” Working in sales wasn’t Jade’s favourite thing. She liked developing toys, enjoyed the creativity, the way she could let her imagination run wild. Dealing with customers could be fun as well, but was something she usually preferred to leave to her mother or one of the part time employees.

88 Posts 22
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2021, 04:05:27 PM »
Madelyn had been wandering through the dark corners of her distracted mind, lost in thought and hovering near the exit of the shop, when a witch approached her. Mads jumped slightly, pivoting quickly to determine the source of the hello, and took a deep breath. She should have been more aware of her surroundings, and most days she would have been, but today was just an off-day all-around.

"Yar, maybe," the young witch replied, tucking a curl back behind her ear and shifting her weight anxiously. "Was just havin' a mooch," Madelyn explained that she was only looking, but did her best to offer the saleswitch a polite smile. It was her responsibility to ask if she needed any assistance finding something, and Madelyn -- as someone who worked way too many positions in the customer service field -- respected that.

While that could have easily been the end of the discussion, and Madelyn wondered if the woman might turn back around or linger, she decided to ask questions instead. "Is this game for adults or more for a babby?" Madelyn's thick Brummie accent harshened nearly every word she spoke, deep and throaty, but she thought nothing of it.

72 Posts 30
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2021, 09:59:50 AM »
“Okay, I see,” Jade said, unsure if she should give the young witch more space or remain somewhere close by in case she needed assistance, after all. As opposed to her, her mother was a born salesperson. Marina seemed to sense what people wanted before they even knew it themselves. Jade had witnessed it many times how indecisive people had looked at countless things and once Marina caught up with them they had a wide smile on their face and soon left the shop with bags filled with things that would give them some hours of happiness.

Jade tried to be the same but she found it hard to figure out her customers. Maybe she needed more practice (which was hard to get in lonely hours at the shop during the summer).

While she was still thinking about the sales talent of her mother, the younger witch asked her a question and Jade’s face lit up a little. For her it was far easier to answer concrete questions than to guide a customer through the merchandise with no idea what they really wanted.

“It’s more for adults actually,” Jade offered, “I think we labelled it as suitable for witches and wizards from 12 years to 111 years.” She had seen on muggle toys that they put 99 years on the boxes and had encouraged her mother to go for 111 years instead. Magical folk got a little older than muggles and besides, 111 looked really nice.

“It’s a fun mystery game,” Jade added, “the figurines are all a little peculiar, sometimes reacting in an unexpected way and thus spicing the game up some more. You can play it countless times without it getting somehow predictable and boring and there’ll be a special winter edition right before Christmas, too.” She was working on making a board game on which it snowed, so that the figurines could leave footprints in the snow or the snow concealing footprints again. Some festive jingles were adding to the general atmosphere and Jade was actually quite proud to be creating a board game that might one day be something people would collect. The winter edition would surely be limited to just a few copies.

88 Posts 22
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2021, 08:59:21 PM »
 "One hundred and eleven, huh? That's funny," Madelyn's lips curled slightly as she spoke. She appreciated the cleverness. As the shopkeeper continued, Mads found herself more interested in the game than before.

It was a mystery game, and she knew Anto loved mysteries. And the pieces were charmed to react unexpectedly, so Tommy could likely keep his hands busy chasing them around the board. Plus, the outcome was never the same, which made Madelyn more comfortable spending sickles on it.

"Is it hard to learn?" She asked, not because she wasn't going to read the instructions either way, but because they didn't have a lot of free time, so she'd rather not buy something extremely complex. If the game took longer to learn than to play, Madelyn would be disappointed. A little voice in her head reminded her it was just a game, and she shouldn't have been considering so many things. But Madelyn was patient as she waited for an answer.

For Mads, there was no middle ground. She either rushed decision-making, or over-analyzed, and right this minute seemed like a good time to overthink.

72 Posts 30
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2022, 07:42:57 AM »
 An appreciative smile spread across Jade’s face as her customer acknowledged that the age was amusing. It was the love for detail that made a lot of games at the Wonderland of Toys special. Both, Jade and her mother, had fun adding these small bits to their toys and games that made them stand out of the crowd.

Although Jade wasn’t a big fan of hours spent in the sales area - when there was little but not nothing to do it was tough, she wasn’t busy with the sales but at the same time too busy to spend her time on something else - she really liked the inspiration she got from customers. Sometimes a simple conversation might lead to new ideas that were worth pursuing.

“Not particularly, no,” Jade responded when she was asked if the game was hard to learn. “There’s a guide parchment included which is pretty concise. Without reading the rules it’s impossible to play but it doesn’t take up a lot of time to read through them, maybe five minutes or so.” Jade always made it her goal to write concisely. There was no point in using too many words when the information could be given in short.

“The game itself usually takes between an hour and ninety minutes,” she added. “However, I know that some people who bought it later told me that they played several rounds and spent much longer playing it.” She smiled, she had been part of one of the game nights when she had given the board game as a birthday gift and they had ended up playing in the pub where the party took place until it closed.

88 Posts 22
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2022, 07:39:38 PM »
 Madelyn supposed five minutes spent learning the rules was acceptable, so she nodded in response. She didn’t have a lot of free time these days, so what little she had was precious. And if she was going to read anything, it was one of her books. Mads had what could be classified as a book obsession, and she wasn’t ashamed of it.

“Oh, that aint bad,” she said softly, before Jade continued to explain the timing, and Madelyn nodded along. Her eyes dashed from the box to the saleswitch as she listened, and even before Jade was finished, Madelyn was sold on it.

“Have you played it?” She asked, pivoting slightly before meeting the woman’s eyes and staying focused there. She imagined Jade had some part in creating the game (though had no idea to what degree), but she was more interested in knowing if the woman had ever actually played what she was selling.

72 Posts 30
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2022, 07:28:59 AM »
 “Yeah,” Jade said, “when we worked on the game we first had more complicated rules but then changed it to simpler rules but the addition that the figurines sometimes do something unexpected to spice things up a little.”

Her customer was asking her if she had played the game and Jade nodded. “Yes, of course, I have and I don’t mean the kind of text playing that you do while still working on it. I’ve played it with a group of people at a party once and we had a lot of fun with it.” It wasn’t like Jade to exaggerate on such things but she still remembered quite well how everybody in this group had told her that they enjoyed the game.

“It sells quite well to adults and students and I think we might actually work on creating some addons so people can spice it up some more. Something like additional figurines, special actions and so on.” Any game, no matter how good, could still be developed further. However, there was also the risk of doing too much. It was often tricky to find a good balance but, together with her mother, Jade usually did a good job with that.

88 Posts 22
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2022, 05:33:43 PM »
 It was nice to know that Jade had played the game too, and more than just testing it. Something about that admission made Madelyn trust her opinion a little. Cynical at best, Madelyn never took the word of a salesperson about anything. It was their job to sell an item, and more times than not she expected they said whatever they had to do to make that a reality. Knowing that Jade cared about the games – having played a part in making them and playing them on her off-time – was easier to believe than if she’d just said she liked the game.

Besides, Madelyn was already going to buy it. She was in the mood to buy something and ignore her adult responsibilities, and at least she’d get more than one play out of a board game. A pint of beer sounded good, but that was a fading experience. It’d be gone as quick as she drank it, and then she’d be down sickles and have a headache.

"Haven't got a lot of people, just two friends.” Tommy and Anto were more than just her friends, they were the most important people in her life. They’d been through more than their fair share of everything together, and Madelyn would much rather have two close friends than a group of distant ones. Even if one of them had her heart all sorts of confused half the time.

“So where do Oy pay for this?” she asked, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. The sales pitch was over, Madelyn was committed, it was time to check out.

72 Posts 30
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2022, 06:59:19 AM »
 “Oh,” Jade said when her customer confided that she didn’t have a lot of people in her life. Jade sometimes wished she had a best friend or a partner in life, someone she could share everything with. As it was, however, she called quite a few people her friends and sometimes there were phases when they were close, met often, and then they drifted apart for a while again.

“Well, I sometimes organise game nights in Hogsmeade,” Jade said, “if you leave me your contact details I could send you an invitation in case you’re interested? We’re always looking forward to having new people there.” That was no lie. Some of the regular players weren’t exactly Jade’s favourite people, some also got distracted by political discussions, stalling the game.

The younger witch decided that she wanted to buy the game and Jade smiled at her as she gestured towards the part of the shop where the counter was. “Please follow me,” she said as she walked over there.

“Would you like a paper bag?” She could also gift-wrap it but she had a feeling that the other woman was buying this for herself rather than as a gift for somebody else.

88 Posts 22
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2022, 11:46:30 AM »
 “Really? That’d be bostin,” Madelyn said, tucking a curl behind her ear sheepishly. Today had been such a weird day, filled with the sudden onset of loneliness and desire to buy things she didn’t need. Sometimes, Mads was the happiest witch in the world, and other times, she grew quiet and shy. Over the years, she’d grown adept at pushing down and burying the memories that plagued her, but they were always there. And even if she wasn’t thinking about those bad moments specifically, they were in the back of her mind. Creeping at the edges, ruining her mood, and leaving her feeling frayed.

The woman rang up the board game, and Madelyn did her best to ignore the feeling settling in again. In a minute, she’d be finished here and back in the alley, and the witch had no clue where she’d go after that. Maybe she’d pester Anto at Gringotts – but feeling like this, it was more likely she’d seek out Tommy.

“Please,” Madelyn answered softly. Shifting her weight from one foot to the other and back, Mads waited quietly at the register until Jade had finished bagging up the game. “Much obliged,” she thanked her, taking a half step back and then hesitating. “Where do Oy write my name down for the game thing?” she asked.

72 Posts 30
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2022, 09:36:19 AM »
 Jade put the game into a bright orange paperbag and handed it over the counter after the other witch had paid. “I hope you’ll enjoy it,” she said with a smile. She also hoped that the younger witch would come back and tell her if she liked the game but she wasn’t going to ask for that. It always felt awkward to ask customers for such a thing but, as the Carrolls made most games themselves, they relied heavily on the feedback they received.

“Oh, right,” she said brightly as she pulled a notebook out from below the counter. “Please, write your name in here and I’ll inform you of every meeting. I usually send out the invitations about a week in advance. Witches and wizards of all ages join us there. We’re usually about six to ten people but I’d like to make this a bigger event in the future. After all playing games is a nice way to get a break from everyday’s life and spend time in the company of others.”

She handed a quill and gently pushed an ink bottle closer to the other girl.

“I’m Jade, by the way, Jade Carroll.”

88 Posts 22
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2022, 04:36:15 PM »
 “Aye, it is,” Madelyn agreed with the best smile she could manage. She hadn’t known it when she’d stepped foot inside the store, but it hadn’t been the game she was after. She was looking for an excuse to spend more time with her friends, and the board game was merely a vehicle for that. She nodded, following Jade’s gesture to the parchment book, and hesitated to reach for the quill.

Partly because of silly superstition, but mostly born out of paranoia after being on the run, Madelyn had gotten into the habit of never giving her full name to strangers. Not to anyone – not witches or wizards, nor muggles, and especially not “authorities” who were trying to “help” her. There was too much power in a name. And giving it out to anyone just felt like asking for trouble. “Oy’m Mads,” she said after only a few seconds of pause, reaching for the quill slowly.

Dipping the quill, Mads was careful not to make a mess of Jade’s book. Her wrist cracked as she scribbled her name and address of Deja Brew onto the notebook. (It’d be silly to forgo her full name and then give out her address, after all) and then rested the quill in the ink well.

“Oh, Carroll, like the whiskey?” Madelyn asked, eyes turning back to the witch. Her preconceptions about the witch changed in an instant – such was the power of a name – and she wondered if Jade made the games just for fun. She probably didn’t need the sickles.

72 Posts 30
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2022, 02:07:52 PM »
 “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mads,” Jade said with a bright smile. She liked to know the names of people. It made her immediately feel better acquainted with others.

“Deja Brew?” she asked as she saw what Mads wrote into the notebook. “Do you own the place or do you work there? I’ve been there several times when I’ve been out in London. The coffee is amazing there.”

Just like she knew Deja Brew, her name rang a bell with Madelyn, too. Jade nodded as she asked about the whisky. “Yeah, my father owns the distillery,” she admitted with a half shrug. “He runs it together with my elder brother. They claim it’s a men’s business,” she said, rolling her eyes slightly in a mocking way.

“The toy shop, however, is apparently a women’s business,” she wasn’t entirely serious and her voice made that quite clear. Nonetheless, it was a fact that the male part of the family was hugely invested in the whisky distillery business while she was helping her mother with the toy shop.

88 Posts 22
[WoT] be careful waking up the giants | jade
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2022, 08:48:31 PM »
 Own the place? Madelyn snorted at the idea. The smile flickering to her face in an instant. “Merlin, no, I just work there.” She said, her rough Birmingham accent bleeding through every word. Thick, nasally, with drawled edges and rough endings. “Mail is more reliable there,” she said, and in part that was the truth. Madelyn had nearly had her eyes clawed out the last time an owl tried to deliver to the broom closet she called a room at her home in Blackpool. That, coupled with her deep seated fear of a stranger knowing where she lived, kept Mads from giving o

ut her address. She supposed the other witch wouldn’t question it too much, and if she did, Mads didn’t have to answer.

“Aye,” she said about the coffee, the grin still lingering on her face, brightening her features and her spirit. “Bit addicted, myself.” Madelyn added. Her addiction to caffeine was a secret to no one close to her, and it wasn’t something she was likely to change anytime soon. Working at the café probably didn’t help – but her employee discount certainly did.

Madelyn listened quietly as Jade explained her family’s business hierarchy, and her nose tipped upward in a show of feminine support when it was called for. “Hell with that,” Madelyn said with more conviction than she had any right to have. She wasn’t a brave, strong, heroic witch – she was barely getting by, but she wanted to be the sort of witch who broke rules and expectations. “Do you like this work?” she asked, her hand making a small circle in front of her.


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