Like A Quest


iris_icon.gif silvia_icon.gif

Scene Title Like A Quest
Synopsis Two strangers run into each other (literally) and bond over books.
Date February 25, 2018

Red Hook Market

The Red Hook Market is busier today, heavy traffic passing through the old brick halls as the late lunch crowd filters through, looking for food, things would could pass as groceries and fresh vegetables or fruits,and just about any other sundry items that one could find - the market, today, takes on almost an organised flea market like vibe, alive and bustling with folks looking for anything and everything.

One person stands out among the crowd, likely because of the bright blue coat she wears, coming down just past her knees. She smiles at a man behind a counter, straightening her skirt with one hand as she places a small wad of cash down before a barrel chested man. Another beings her a large stack on books, plopping them down on the counter in front of her.

The woman beams, reaching up to scoop the tall stack of books into her arms. "Thanks Anthony! I'll be back next week to get March's order! Sorry I was late this month, money was short!" Everyone present - the barrel chested man, Anthony, and Iris all know that's not how this will play out.

It never is.

"Just be careful this time, Iris. Try not to fall down the stairs again," Anthony offers back, waving as the brown haired woman turns around starts offer, the stack of books held precariously perched in her arms. She looks up at them to make sure they don't fall, around them to make sure she's not going to anyone, and into them to admire them as she walks.

Unfortunately, what usually happens happens again, too lost in admiring her new stack of books that she runs directly into someone, and with a yelp she suddenly finds herself sprawled out across the market floor, books strewn across the floor. One, Mean Heat the covers says, rests plainly over her face as Iris lets out a groan.

"Not agaaaaaain…"

What she ran into was a sixteen year old. Silvia Ruiz stumbles backwards as she's run into, narrowly avoiding hitting another shelf of books. She takes a few steps forward after regaining her balance, studying the strewn books in front of her as well as the strewn woman in front of her.

"Lo siento mucho. Puedo ayudarte a subir?"

She grimaces after a moment, realizing the woman probably doesn't speak Spanish and switches to English. Kneeling down, she starts to pick up the scattered books. "What is… Mean Heat?" She plucks the book off of Iris' face and piles it up with some of the others.

"What?" Iris looks up from the books, blinking and bewildered for just a moment. "Oh, geez, Spanish!" Her English accent relays that, yes, she probably doesn't speak Spanish. Scrambling to sit up, she tries to collect up the books that Silvia isn't, while at the same time looking to see if any language books ended up in this set - it's been a while since she got ahold of one in any kind of usable condition, and while she always endeavoured to read, she rarely got around to it. "Okay, I know I'm sorry, I think, and-"

She pauses when she realises the woman has switched over to English, blinking again as her bewilderment gives away top a wide smile, plucking the book from within Silvia's grasp.

"I don't know!" she proclaims happily, placing it on the top of her stack. "That's half the fun of book day! You never know what kinda gems you're going to end up with, and-" Again, Iris blinks, her head canting to the side. "Oh, gosh!" Abruptly, she springs up to her feet, Mean Heat and another book sliding from the top of her small tower and back to the floor. "Oh geez, I ran into you, didn't I? I'm so, so sorry! Are you alright?"

"Book day?" Silvia looks quizzically at Iris. She gets the translation, she just isn't sure as to the meaning of the phrase. A holiday about books? She'd like that. She reaches for her own fallen book, a sketchbook, and tucks it under her arm so as not to mix it up with Iris' books.

"You are very passionate about books." She speaks slowly, but not too slowly, enough to know she's trying to articulate well. It's evident that English is not her first language, if the Spanish at the beginning didn't give it away. "I am well, no need to worry." And there she offers an award-winning smile, one of her best.

"Well, of course," Iris responds, beaming as she regards Silvia for a moment. "Oh, oh! Good! Gosh, I'm so, so sorry," she repeats, before her posture straightens. "L-lo siento?" She thinks she got it right at least, eyes looking down to the two books that had fallen back to the floor.

Reaching into the pocket of her coat, Iris pulls out what looks to be just a wad of paper, a random bunch of nothing that really no one should have in their pockets. She shifts her hands around the clump, and when she snaps her wrist, suddenly the paper falls from her hand, a long, shaped tendril all of a sudden. Eyeing Mean Heat, she snaps the tendril of paper at it like a whip, wrapping around it and snapping it back up into the air, which she manages to grab it out of. It's slipped into one of her pockets, and she looks back at Silvia.

"Book day!" Without missing a beat, Iris picks up the conversation like the preceding few moments didn't even happen at all. "Oh, um-" she turns back, pointing towards the stall she came from. "Book sellers! I buy a large set from them every month. Handpicked! Always worth getting excited about. What about you?"

Silvia gets excited as soon as she hears Iris attempt Spanish. "No es nada." She answers in reply to the apology. But it's the paper display that really catches her attention. Her jaw drops, clearly not having expected such a thing to happen, and she claps excitedly, almost dropping her sketchbook.

"Eso fue fantastico! Tienes una habilidad?"

The Spanish comes out fast and reflexive as the girl gets excited before she realizes what she's done and switches to English again. She wants to ask about what she saw, but Iris is on to other things and she has to try and keep up with what the other woman is saying.

"You buy a lot of books," Silvia gestures at the large pile. "Are they all for you? You must read a lot." She gestures to herself. "I am here to see if they have any books en Espanol. Some of the English books are hard to read. Big words."

No, Iris does not speak Spanish, and the first clue is that what follows all of Silvia's Spanish is little more than enthusiastic nodding as Iris pretends to understand. "I didn't understand a word of that," she admits with a strange sense of happiness, before laughing. Oh, she gets it now.

"U-Um, yes! I keep them at home," Where her living room and the spare bedroom both are just full of bookcases waiting to be filled - only half of them in a state Iris is willing to accept. "I read all the time!" She motions back to the booksellers. "I- um." A finger taps at her chin. Frowning, she reaches into her pocket and pulls out a wallet, adorned with a whimsical typeface that reads "Curiouser and Curiouser". She shakes her head, before starting back towards the bookseller's booth.

"Help me carry these, and I'll help you find something to read!"

Even if Iris knows no real Spanish, she's sparking Silvia's enthusiasm and she finds it hard to stay strictly in English. Spanish is just so much easier for her at the moment that she slips in and out of the two languages like a cat weaving between its owner's legs.

"En su casa? Ah, your house must be very big for all those books," Silvia says before Iris makes an offer too sweet to refuse. She picks up as many of the books as she can carry, careful not to drop either them or her sketchbook. "I would apreciar…appreciate the help." Only a small little stumble over a word that time. "I like all kinds of books, but many writers have a big vocabulario. Hard words that don't translate well."

Casa. Home! Iris knows that one too, but that is largely the extent of it. She waits for a moment, remembering a taco stand that bore a sign that said "En Su Boca" once - she had been told this meant "in your mouth", so this was- in her home? Wow, maybe she was better at this than she thought. "A-ah! Yes, in my casa!" She smiles wide as leads Silvia back to the booksellers booth. Anthony regards her with curiosity as she and Silvia approach, clearly uncertain as to why the bibliomaniac could be returning.

"Forget something, Iris?" he asks, furrowing his brow, as the barrel chested man looks up from the counter. All three of them turn and look as Sivila begins pulling book after book off the shelf, and Iris simply lets out a nervous chuckle.

"Look, I think I've got enough to cover this, but-" Her lips quirk side to side. The both of them know exactly what she's asking - half now, half when she picks up March's order. This is far from the first time something similar to this has happened, and it's a large contributor to Iris' perpetually lacking funds. The barrel chested man sighs and shakes his head, holding a hand out expectantly, Iris practically slamming the required funds into his hand. "Done!" she proclaims, smiling wide as she turns back to Silvia. "Hey, you still have to help me carry mine!" she reminds as she cheerfully looks to see what the young girl has picked out.

A little has been lost in translation. While she does select a good selection of books, Silvia didn't honestly expect Iris to pay for all of them. Still, she doesn't look a gift horse in the mouth. "I will buy yours next time!" She proclaims, but then holds up her stack of books so Iris can see the titles.

Charlotte's Web, A Wrinkle in Time, Grimm's Fairytales… the titles she's picked out range from younger reader to older reader, nothing too hard of a read although some of the words might be tricky in some of the later age-range of books. Still, she's done a good job of picking out some.

"I can still help you carry yours, miss. I have two arms. Very strong." She giggles.

Well, Iris had said something to read, but when the younger girl had found several somethings, there was no way she could turn down that sort of enthusiasm. The paper she still holds in her hand is slipped back into her coat pocket, Iris offering a chunk of her stack of books to Silvia. She'll have to help her long enough to find a bag or something - which she had, in her rush to get out of the house, forgotten to bring with her. Oops.

"No, no! There's no need," Iris offers back with a laugh, grinning ear to ear as the pair makes their way through the market. Iris herself was strong enough, but she was easily distracted, mind often elsewhere. "Think of it like a quest! You found the lively scholar, ready to help you find what you need to know, providing you with the books the secrets you need to meet your goal are in!"

She doesn't register that she might be talking a bit faster and a bit bigger than the younger girl can understand, but that doesn't stop her. "Like Lord of the Rings, but with books. Or Harry Potter! Or, maybe they'll help you find your way out of Wonderland!" She giggles, arms wrapping around her shorter stack of books lovingly. "I work at the library. The new one when it opens, too! Come by and ask for Iris sometime - that's ear-ihs, not eye-ris! I'll help you find some more!"

Silvia takes the offered books, holding them carefully along with her own little collection. She follows Iris dutifully with the stack, her own ear-to-ear grin on her face. She does her best to follow Iris' enthusiastic talking, nodding along as she catches bits of it. Quest? What was quest? And scholar? She's not sure she'd heard those words before.

Still, she doesn't let it keep her down, piecing things together via context. "Iris. ear-ihs." She practices the pronunciation carefully. "That is a pretty name. Have never met anyone with that name before. I am Silvia… and I most certainly will go to the library when it opens. Thank you again for los libros. You are very kind, Miss Iris."

Silvia takes the offered books, holding them carefully along with her own little collection. She follows Iris dutifully with the stack, her own ear-to-ear grin on her face. She does her best to follow Iris' enthusiastic talking, nodding along as she catches bits of it. Quest? What was quest? And scholar? She's not sure she'd heard those words before.

Still, she doesn't let it keep her down, piecing things together via context. "Iris. ear-ihs." She practices the pronounciation carefully. "That is a pretty name. Have never met anyone with that name before. I am Silvia… and I most certainly will go to the library when it opens. Thank you again for los libros. You are very kind, Miss Iris."

"I love that name," Iris enthuses, nodding to match it. "What? No. Everyone should be reading!" She doesn't seem to think much of the money spent - getting another person to read is good enough for her. "I'll see if we have any Spanish books, set them aside before opening. For Silvia," she repeats the name, to make sure she is pronouncing it right as well, given the contrast of her English accent with Silvia's. "What's your favourite book, Silvia? Oh! Are you reading anything else right now? Newer books are still hard to find sometimes, so I'm always looking for more!" Yes, even from a sixteen year old girl who's native language isn't the same as hers. "Bags should be near the market exit…"

Silvia nods along. Iris got her name right, pronounced it just fine. She looks pleased as punch at the suggestion of books set aside just for her. "I just read so much faster in Spanish that it is nice to get some reading done that is not slow. So anything in Spanish would be nice."

She perks up at the mention of favorite books. "I have a Spanish copy of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. That's El leon, la bruja, y el ropero." She beams. That's one she knows both titles for. "I brought it with me from Mexico. It has seen better days but it can still be read."

Once they reach the bags, Silvia helps Iris bag up the books and offers her the bag, bagging up her own books as well. "It was nice to meet you, Miss Iris. I look forward to your library." And with that, the sixteen year old hurries off, a spring in her step, humming some kind of cheerful tune.

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