Fool For Love

The Ogham

The Ogham is a typical store decored unusually. The corner store is well-lit from two sets of windows, perpendicular to each other, and at night lighting is provided by warm, dim lights from candles both real and electrical. Several bookshelves store the large collection of books of the shop, containing everything from New Age self-help books, books on legends and mythology, to grimoires which look almost authentic. A long mahogany counter occupies the far corner of the store; phone, computer, cashier and an Interac machine sit on top. Behind the counter is a large shelf of jars, flasks, vials and other containers, filled with liquids of all colors and textures. Several racks contain typical items like candles, incenses, semi-precious stones and so on, while others have a variety of more obscure items on them. The walls are decorated by a variety of ornate mirrors, paintings and tapestries, as well as hanging shelves of various jewelry, pendants and religious symbols. A bell chime announces anyone who passes through the front door, while a guest book is placed on a podium stand next to the door.

The Ogham has a reputation of being opened late - to take advantage of customers who are daylight-challenged. Tonight seems different, as there is a "closed" sign on the door even though the lights inside are still on. What? Wait, there's Lillian the proprietor of the Ogham, walking down the street with a cup of coffee in hand. Even enterprising witches need caffeine to survive, it seems! Fumbling over her keys a bit, she unlocks the store's door and steps inside, making sure she remembers to flip the sign back to "Open" before going back to her usual business.

Late is not a problem for Chloe. Considering she generally takes the late shift at the library, just to be able to close up on her own, it's actually preferable for her to be out and about late taking care of things. The Ogham is definitely not a place she'd probably ever enter on her own, really, but as Valentine's Day is approaching, it could be a lark to check it out. Never know what she might be able to find, and she may possibly be able to find something to give a few people as a gift!

She does her best not to startle the proprietor, but when she notes the woman at the door she stops in front of it and chirps, "Hey there!"

Lillian is just a tad startled by the sudden appearance of a face at the glass door, but not enough that she'd, y'know, call the cops or anything. Instead, she steps back and pulls open the door, the bell chiming as it swings inwards. "Hello." Lillian summons up her best welcoming smile at Chloe. "Welcome. Come on in, get out of that infernal cold." She gestures inside the shop, with a noticeable but difficult-to-place accent.

"I wasn't sure if you were still open," she says, looking a tad embarrassed. Yet, Chloe steps into the shop, moving past the woman as she does so to take a look around. "I… well perhaps you could help me. I'm looking for a few more… esoteric books. One being the Glossary of Parapsychological Terms…"

The door closes behind Chloe, and Lillian follows behind her new customer. "Hmm. I'm not certain I have that particular book, but I do have Parapsychology for Dummies." With a grin she moves off towards one of the bookshelves. "Now where did I put it? Ah, there it is…" She smoothly pulls out the yellow book and returns to Chloe, holding the book to the other woman. "This one should contain the information you are looking for, assuming you are trying to understand the babble used by parapsychologists." While she waits for Chloe to take the book, the brunette gestures at the clock on the wall. "And yes, I open late so as to capture a new shopper demographic, you see."

"Erm." Chloe takes the For Dummies book, gives it a quick look, and then gives her head a bit of a shake. "I'd prefer something a little more in depth, if you have it? Maybe the studies of Edgar Cayce? Or, well perhaps that's /too/ esoteric. Maybe Personal Power Through Awareness?" She looks horribly embarrassed that she knows the titles of a lot of these books, though it does sound as though someone has done research before coming here. "Also, anything you can recommend on vampires or shapeshifting." Beat. "Wow, I must sound like a maniac or something." Eheheh.

Lillian's brows quirk under those long bangs of hers. Chloe may be able to pick up the brunette's thoughts, that she is now taking the new customer a bit more seriously - rather than just some random person coming in for a browse. "You have done your homework, Miss." She observes, a faint smile on her lips. She then turns and heads for a bookshelf in the rear, signalling Chloe to follow. On the shelf are books that at least sound more serious. "Cayce. Dunwich. Burroughs. Heindel. Yeats. Waite" She lists off names as she runs a finger down the book spines. "It's all here. I just sold a few books on lycanthropes to someone two days ago, actually. As for vampire books - well, there are a LOT of them. What sort of information are you looking for specifically for vampires?"

Research is what Chloe does in her spare time, and she'll try to pass it off as this at the moment as well. She watches the proprietress as she heads for a different shelf, then slowly follows behind, taking a look around the shop as she does so. "All of that seems fine, I'll take whatever you have in regards to parapsychology or personal power, and copies of the same two you sold a few days ago if you don't mind." As they were new books she couldn't ask Mischa to part with them. "As for vampires… I guess I'm looking more specifically to anything that wades through the BS mythology, and gets down to the real information - or as real as we've been able to ascertain as of yet?"

Lillian purses her lips thoughtfully at that last request. "That has been a fairly common request, as you can imagine why." Yes, with the vampires going public, some people want to know more about the undead. "Unfortunately, the living-challenged generally do not like publications about their habits and weaknesses; they are a fairly secretive, paranoid people." But the psychic can tell that Lillian isn't being entirely truthful, even as she turns to pull a few books from the shelf as Chloe requested. "Rightly so, I might add. Some of those religious fanatics have been in here looking for the same thing."

"No kidding," Chloe says, rolling her eyes. She'd probably know better than most about that fact. "Believe me when I say I'm on their side. Took a bit of silver helping a few during the parade." Does she trust Lillian? Not so much as that it's a fact, and it's very likely that a woman who runs a New Age shop isn't going to be involved with the Fellowship like her brother is.

Lillian wrinkles her nose at that. "I was there too. Between ourselves, I don't know what they hoped to achieve with that little stunt." She pauses to put down the pile of six or seven books she's picked out, on a chair nearby. "I was being neutral on the whole vampire issue, but those damned fools certainly pushed me into the opposite camp with their silly terrorism." She clears her throat here. "In any case, I suspect a more definitive treatise on vampires will ultimately be published, but I don't currently have a book that doesn't have some level of mythology injected."

Chloe looks at the books, estimates their cost and smiles. "Well perhaps a /little/ mythology is not so bad. Those ones that are mired with tales of vampires who disappear into fog and die by counting mustard seeds though… I think I'll pass on them." She glances around the shop again, then looks back at Lillian. "So what else do you sell here besides rare books? I've never set foot in a new age shop before, so I apologize if I sound like an idiot."

"I can probably find you one of those," Lillian nods agreeably. Stepping away from that section of bookshelves, she moves to an adjacent one and pulls out a black book titled simply "The Undead: A History". She shows the cover to Chloe briefly, before putting it on top of the pile. "Oh, I sell all the usual wares you will expect to find in New Age stores. Candles, incense, tin-foiled hats." She flashes Chloe a playful look, before continuing in a slightly more serious tone. "Of course, I try to carry wares with a bit more… usefulness to them. Herbs. Charms. Talismans. Potions. That sort of thing." A pause, before she beams brightly. "Can I interest you in some designer aphrodisiac?"

"Doubt the tin-foiled hats will help me much," Chloe says, with a bit of a laugh. "Potions? Which sort?" Never you mind that she's got a fortune in books waiting there for her to buy them. It's not like she spends a whole lot on anything else in her life. "Candles with a romantic scent? I have no idea what I'm looking for really," she says, in an embarrassed voice. "Designer aphrodisiac? I… well I don't even really have anyone to use it on… that is… " Cough.

Lillian is a lot of things - psychic may not be one of them, but the girl has proved herself to be very perceptive. "Ahhh, but you -do- have someone you can use it on." She grins lopsidedly, as if finding out a grand secret. "I can tell from your eyes." Lillian looks like she would jump up and down giddily, if she was eight years old. "Am I right? But let me give you one piece of advice: You don't need a love potion to get your man. There's a much better way."

"Ahh, it's complicated?" Chloe has no idea how to describe it better than that. All she knows is that she's got feelings and they're not going away, and now there's a larger complication in the works, which is just adding to the confusion and ARRGh! She gives Lillian a look, clears her throat again and focuses on the books. "Oh? What would that be?" Brow raising at that, she still doesn't really look at Lillian until she gets her own thoughts under control.

"This is just between us girls, alright?" Lillian leans in a little, and lowers her voice conspiratorily. But, she's still got that bemused grin on her lips as she speaks. "Invite him over to your place for dinner." That's it? That's her advice? Of course not! "Decorate your house with nice, romantic candles, especially your bedroom. Spread some flower petals on the bed, silk sheets, of course. When he gets there, make sure he goes to your room, where you'd be sitting on the bed with a negligee on, and a blindfold around your eyes. I guarantee you, he won't set eyes on another woman again." She even has the audacity to flash Chloe a wink, followed by a gesture towards the candles shelf. "If you buy the candles in bulk, I can give you a 15% discount!"

It dawns on her that the woman is possibly just trying to make a sale. Still, Chloe says nothing of her potential beau, but she stores that information away for reference. "I can't cook," she admits, her lessons haven't started yet. "But I think I can come up with something instead of dinner." Like fresh blood, perhaps. "What candles would you recommend? Please understand that I've never ahh… had to do this sort of shopping before." Coughing, she looks down at her feet, embarrassed. "Maybe some candles, and some ahh… red or pink ribbon if you have any handy?"

"It's alright if you cannot cook, you wouldn't be eating." Lillian's grin is still wry as she spreads her hands. "I strongly recommend the long-burning candles, with the flower scents. I have a special recipe that burns a soft, golden glow; very, very romantic. As for ribbons, well…" She ponders, giving Chloe a once over. "…I don't usually sell ribbons, unless you want a little something extra." She holds up a finger, signalling for Chloe to wait, while she heads for a corner box and fishes out three strings of ribbons: red, pink and purple. "These are a little expensive, and you want to be careful with them."

Floral scents, check. It would really help if she knew more about the poor man, but she only knows what she's been allowed to know and it'll have to stay like that for the time being. "Something not too heady, I don't think. A light floral maybe. Roses?" Which, granted, is a heady smelling flower but will work in the circumstance. "That will be nice, yes. I'll take uhh… ten?" More than that is overkill, right? "They're just ribbons, aren't they? Why are they so expensive?" She doesn't seem upset at the cost, mostly just curious.

"Twenty would work better. You want a sufficient glow." Lillian suggests for the number of candles, but quickly goes back to the ribbons she's holding up. "No, they are not just ribbons. These are normally used for wrapping gifts; if you apply the scent of the gift-receiver to the ribbon and use it to wrap a gift within seven days, he will find the gift irresistable, and cannot wait to open it. But it only works once, and… obviously this is non-refundable."

Interesting, to say the least. Chloe eyes the ribbons, seems to quietly be contemplating them, and then exhales a sharp sigh. "The red, then. I think I'll only need one." Especially for what she's planning, though she doesn't really buy into all the New Age stuff… it may not hurt to try it, right? Grinning at Lillian, she nods. "Twenty then, and if the room is too small to use that many, I'll have some to set around the bath tub later on."

If only Chloe knew - this isn't really New Age stuff! "Or, you can set a few around the bath tub at the same time." Lillian suggests helpfully. "You never know where you will all end up." Another wink, and she's turned to pick up the pile of books, taking them as well as the ribbons to the counter. A bundle of candles are picked out next, twenty in total, and carried back to the counter as well. "So are you suspecting your man may be a vampire or werewolf or somesuch?" Lillian asks conversationally while she's moving about.

If Chloe were paying attention to brain-waves, she'd know. She's met a few witches already! But she's sort of focused on not embarrassing herself. "Ahh, no. The shapeshifting books are just to drown myself in the lore, mostly. I mean, they don't really exist after all." A fib, but she's good at promising things to people, and she likes to keep their secrets. "The vampire books, again, for reading when I have some down time. I'm… looking for some new books for the library." Coughyeahright. "As for the man… well as I said, it's really quite complicated." Even all of Lillian's love-mojo likely won't work, since it's doubtful he'll bother even returning her call. "You do have a really interesting shop here though. What got you into all of… well this?"

Dumping everything Chloe wanted on the counter, Lillian looks back up at the other woman with a serene smile. "My mum." She answers without a hint of secrecy there. "The commercial side of it is entirely my idea, though." Suddenly remembering, she comes around the counter and heads for one of the shelves again. "You said you wanted the books on lycanthropes, didn't you?" She leans up and picks a couple of books from the top shelf. "Oh, but shapeshifters /do/ exist." Lillian nods sagely. "They are out there; they just haven't come out and worn their badges in public yet."

"Next you'll be telling me that telepathy is real," Chloe murmurs, under her breath. Still, it's likely loud enough that Lillian can hear it. "Well I suppose time will tell if everything that we think goes bump in the night is actually real. As long as mummies don't start walking the streets and unraveling themselves, I won't lose sleep over it." Big smile. That's right, when in doubt, smile. People never think a person who's smiling is strange. "Yes, whatever the books were you sold the other day, if you don't mind?"

Lillian taps the two books she's holding, indicating that she's already got them. "The problem with mummies is you can't make more of them, so they're mostly extinct." Is she serious? "As for telepathy, that's science, not magic. I fear that one is outside my field of expertise." Returning to the counter, she lays everything out on the surface and scans through them. "Is there anything else you may need?"

"A new credit card?" Chloe winks at Lillian, and then turns to peruse the shop quickly again. "Anything else you may be able to suggest, really. I have a lot of time to spare, and I find that I really enjoy reading in that time…" Yes, folks, she's generally a big loser. "… or perhaps in regards to the other, any suggestions will be handy."

Since a big honking sale is all but guaranteed, Lillian doesn't mind chatting up with the big-spending customer. She leans forward and rests her elbows on the counter, head tilted at Chloe thoughtfully. "Well… you are a fine-looking woman, if I do say so." She points out. "I can't imagine you needing to do more than what I suggested to win a man over. What is he like? Maybe I can offer some advice if I know him better." Because yeah, she's a twenty-thee year-old witch from Wales, and she thinks that makes her a relationship expert.

"He's umm… old fashioned," Chloe says, still not willing to admit it may just be a vampire. "Traditional. Honorable? I know, it doesn't really make sense. I apologize for wasting your time," she says hurriedly, obviously embarrassed. "Oh, but thank you for the compliment." The way she says it may just let on that she's either not used to getting them, or perhaps just not used to them from women.

Lillian waves a hand dismissively. "No, no. You are my only customer right now, so you have my undivided attention." Ahhh, the smile of customer-satisfaction. "And you are pretty, I am not just being flattering. If I know the traditional, honorable type, they tend not to act until everything, and I mean /everything/ is in the clear. Offering yourself voluntarily, with the candles, lingerie and blindfold, oh yesss. That should be a clear signal for him to proceed." She rubs her hands together. "But make sure you don't wear anything too trashy. You want tasteful and sexy. These honorable types are notoriously touchy about these details."

Chloe reaches up, rubbing the back of her neck. She looks a bit uncertain now, her teeth worrying over her lower lip. "Yes, well… er… I suppose I'll have to find the right outfit then, and that may prove to be difficult." Since she's no idea what would be considered tasteful and sexy. "I mean, it could be considered to be playing your whole hand at once though, and isn't that a rather silly thing to do?"

Lillian shrugs a shoulder, but her brows furrow at Chloe. "You could try to string him along, if that is your preference." She deadpans. "If he doesn't fall for /that/, I would seriously question his orientation." Grinning now, Lillian straightens up. "Surely you have friends who can give you advice on what sort of lingerie to purchase." She pauses and eyes Chloe. "Don't you?"

If Chloe were to count her friends (the total here would be two), she's got one crazy one, and one who may have a crush on her which definitely complicates things. "Er…" Cough. "Not really. I tend to erm, not make many friends." It's what happens when you have a mental breakdown. "But I suppose I may have someone I can call in regards to shopping… maybe." Her cheeks are bright red, and she's staring at the floor once more. Now she's positive she sounds like some weirdo.

Lillian purses her lips at that. Turning a backward glance at the clock behind the counter, she notes the time before looking back at the blushing customer. "Well, tomorrow is Saturday, and I was planning on doing a bit of shopping for myself. If you trust my judgment, I could pick out something for you." She offers. Why would she do such a thing? Chloe might be able to pick out two reasons: One, she'd happily help a big-spending customer, and two, playing relationship coach is a hobby of hers.

"As of this moment, I've no clue my plans for the day." She /is/ off work, but that's not saying much since she'll likely wind up at the library regardless. Chloe hmms briefly. "Do you have a card? If I have a bit of free time, perhaps I can give you a call? Otherwise, I'm sure I can figure something out…" Maybe. At least she's got enough taste to not just plop naked on a bed and expect for the best.

Smoothly, Lillian picks up one of her cards on the counter, in a plastic cardholder next to the cashier. "I am Lillian." She /finally/ introduces herself." The card is offered to Chloe. "Absolutely. Give me a ring tomorrow if you feel like shopping a bit and listening to my unsolicited advice on underwear." She winks at the redheaded girl.

"Chloe," she offers, though a bit less pronounced than the proprietress introduces herself. "Thanks, and how much do I owe you?" Though rather than cash, she's going to pay with the card. Easier that way, since carrying around loads of cash at night is definitely not a good thing. "You do take Visa?"

"Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Debit, cash, cheques, firstborn children." Lillian quips, while she starts inputting the prices on her touch-screen cashier - Old World magic meets commercial technology. "Total comes to $566.45 including taxes. Let's make it an even $550, since you are such a fun customer." She beams at Chloe.

To her credit, there's only a slight blanche at the cost. The card is handed over, and she snickers. "First born? Doubtful I'll have any of those, so Visa will have to do." Chloe has more than enough to cover the costs in her account, but just easier to pay this way at the moment. "Thanks. I don't suppose you've got any of those… reusuable cloth bags? If not, I've got one here," she says, pulling a book bag out of her purse and unfolding it. "Though I don't think it will hold /everything/."

Lillian swipes the card, prints the receipt and turns it over to Chloe to sign. Hey, books are expensive! Not to mention that enchanted ribbon. Meanwhile, she reaches underneath the counter and brings up a couple of paper bags with the stapled handles. "Will these do?" She asks, but is already filling them up with the candles and the smaller books. "And a lot of folks underestimate their chances of having children, which is why firstborns were such a common currency in the old pacts." She explains offhandedly. But again, is she serious?

"Well! Most normal guys can't be bothered with me, which is why I say it's a low chance." Chloe nods at the bags, and hands over the cloth one for the heavier items. That way they won't rip while she walks home. "Really? The only thing I can think of that used firstborns for anything was Rumplestiltskin… and anyone who makes a pact about turning straw into gold deserves that."

The witch lets out a short chuckle. "You will be surprised how many people signed over their children." The heavier books are quickly filling up the cloth bag. "Here you go." Lillian holds up the bag for a test, and hands it back to Chloe. "Call me nosey, but why do you think guys don't bother with you? I must be missing something." She picks up the receipt for a look - is it signed yet?

Chloe quickly scribbles her name while providing an answer to Lillian. "Ah, that would be because I spent a great deal of my youth in a mental institution." No shame in admitting /that/ at least. The red-head, grins, and taps the side of her head. "We all have our faults. Mine is that I'm a little crazy. Thanks for your help though. These books will certainly make for great reading!"

Lillian seems to take the revelation about a mental institution entirely in stride, exchanging the signed receipt for Chloe's Visa card. "We are all a little crazy in our own unique way." She points out. "I hope you have fun with the books… and even more fun with the rest of your purchase!" Her grin here is a wry, meaningful one. Ha, ha!

"I'll let you know," Chloe says, trying to carry all the bags out of the shop. Perhaps she went on too much of a spending spree. A taxi may be in order, in fact, once she turns the corner out of the shop, she'll set her purchases down and call for one.

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