WeWriWa—Getting new clothes

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. The rules have now been relaxed to allow a few more sentences if merited, so long as they’re clearly indicated, to avoid the creative punctuation many of us have used to stay within the limit.

I’m now sharing from a brand-new project, an alternative history with the working title A Dream of Peacocks. It starts on May Day 1274, when Dante met his great love and muse Beatrice Portinari at a party held by her parents.

This week’s excerpt opens the second section of Chapter II, “Answered Prayers.”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kharbine-Tapabor/Shutterstock (6051054bb)
Tailor’s workshop, facsimile of Italian manuscript illumination, 14th century, of Tacuinum Sanitatis, a Latin translation of an Arabic Health Manual by a doctor from Bagdad
Art (Manuscripts) – various

A week after my bliss first appeared to me, I came home from school to the sight of Babbo in the main hall with Landolfo Vernizzi, our tailor. Many fabrics were draped over benches, chairs, and tables, and one bench temptingly displayed glass bottles full of pigments and dyes in a rainbow of colors.

“God has been very good to us,” Babbo said with a smile. “Several very lucrative business opportunities arose during the last few days, and I decided to use some of that money for new clothes. Ser Landolfo is making six new outfits for me, and he’ll make three for you.” He looked back at the tailor. “Remember to use extra fabric for Durante’s clothes, so they can be let out multiple times as he grows. I’m not paying you for garments he can only wear for a short while.”

“Yes, Ser Alighiero.”

Ser Landolfo picked up a leather ruler and beckoned to me.

The ten lines end here. A few more follow to finish the scene.

“First I’ll take your measurements, and then you can select the colors you want. This time you can use more expensive dyes than usual, except royal purple.”

What a wondrous turn of events! Now I didn’t need to think of a way to suggest having new clothes made, since God answered another of my prayers so beautifully. I wasn’t even upset by how Babbo was getting twice as many outfits as I. Only royalty needed inordinate amounts of garments, and this would bring my number of outfits to nine, God’s most perfect number.

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