THE St. Louis Speakeasy
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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:43 am GMT 
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The air was a buzz of gentle polite voices, the back doors opened to combat the heady evening heat. The lady of the house was sitting outside with friends while the majority of her guests meandered about the house and grounds, serving staff subtly moving amongst them with their trays. The gentle plinking music of the piano drifted through the party, rising and ebbing while high tittering laughter and clink of glassware just barely rose above the bubble of inoffensive sounds of the gentle event.

Ewan was ready to collapse from the pure drudgery of the entire affair. The upper crust of St Louis were breaking his long held intrigue about the shinning distant world of the rich and well bred into itty bitty pieces. If his mother’s constant social climbing had landed him into parties like this, Ewan was beyond relieved he got out of dodge before that had ever happened. The rich were a bunch of stiffs, boring to the core. Even when he subtly tried to listen into nearby conversations it was just dull, dull and more dull. No excitement, no gossip, no scandal, had he wanted to hear inoffensive jokes and number crunching he would have skipped the gig and done more hours at the hotel, at least the pay would have been better.

A waitress set a small tumbler of cranberry juice by the foot of his stool and Ewan’s pinched smile twitched; this was torture. The tightness of the borrowed shirt was starting to chaff the back of his neck, the entire tux feeling odd as the mass of pins and clips hidden beneath the waistcoat and jacket pulled it in to fit his lean frame. It may have looked the part but Ewan felt as if the clothes were forcing him to sit ram rod straight, this whole thing was for the birds, never ever again.

Ewan shifted the tune into a faster beat as he looked around, his smile finally faltering into a bored pout while he reached up to tug at the shirt’s offensively scratchy collar. It was at that moment he spotted a young fella moving through the crowd, looking about his age and the complete package of handsome rich son. Ewan’s head titled out of habit as he watched the fellow who seemed to be on edge, uncomfortably polite with a strained smile marring his handsome face. Ewan’s posture was twisted as he continued to play one handed, his other hand’s fingers left absent mindedly wedged down the back of his collar.

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 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Tue Nov 03, 2015 7:34 pm GMT 
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Warren weaved through the crowd, exchanging simple pleasantries with the milling crowd. His black suit fit just as the tailors imagined, all crisp corners and strong angles which perfectly accented his already angular features. The tie and pocket square had a bold argyle pattern in dark shades of green, making his already dark attire even darker in the moody lighting of the parlour.

He unconsciously adjusted his shoulders, “Remember dear, shoulders back, head held high, and you’ll be the apple of someone’s eye in no time. We can’t have the heir to our little household without a suitably beautiful and lucrative spouse.” His mother’s words echoed through his head. He hated these events, but he couldn’t avoid this one, his parents had actually shown up at his dorm and dragged him to their estate to prepare. Some business partner or other’s daughter was here and they needed their dashing young son to go and woo her or some such nonsense. “You’ll need to be the head of the family some day after your little excursion to university. It’s integral for you to create these connections now and foster them like I did this entire business!” Warren sighed, taking a glass of carbonated water offered to him by a passing waitress.

The conversation around him was abysmal: All shallow pleasantries and pedantic small talk. He wandered past a group of gentlemen mingling by the buffet, each boasting about their last economic success. A waif of a woman dressed in red and a mask of makeup strolled up to him. Great, who did mother send over this time?

He made small talk; going through the standard introductions, talking about clothes and the weather and everything unimportant in the day. The woman was effervescent: bubbly and without substance. Warren dreaded her company. He said a quick apology and politely excused himself, making his way to an open space near the piano. The musician playing this evening was making an attempt at bringing up the energy of this stupid mummery. He sighed again, deflating and swirling his drink where he stood.

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:55 am GMT 
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Ewan watched as the man neared and his finely dressed shoulders visibly drooped. He could practically taste the misery emanating from the other; now that just wouldn’t do and Ewan took it upon himself to cheer the poor guy up. Despite his strict instructions not to play any modern ‘drivel’, Ewan shifted to duck closer to the keys and slipped into a slightly slower and less rowdy version of Black Bottom Dance, the notes sounding much perkier and in Ewan’s opinion much more suited to a party. A few confused looks were thrown Ewan’s way by the nearest guests but Ewan disregarded them and remained focused on his target. He wasn’t sure how long he had before a member of the staff would come to chastise him or even better, throw him out of the party, which in all honesty Ewan considered much more preferable than continuing on with the drawling back up music to such a dry event.

Ewan leaned in closer and shifted so he could call over the piano. He started to beckon to the man who’d caught his attention, loudly hissing a long psst until he got a response, then indicated with his head for the fella to come closer.

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 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:43 am GMT 
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Warren stared around the party, desperately searching for someone of worth to chat with. A woman with a long elegant dress chirped away the evening with a rotund gentleman across the room. The red dressed woman was hanging off the arm of some overdressed fop in a pinstripe suit. Figures, they both seem to have the same empty attitudes that typically aggregate at these events. Sycophants and businessmen; the only thing that kept him here was the worry that his parents would find out that he left the party early.

He took another sip of his drink, listening to the crowd, but also to the pianist. The tune changed, turning to a song Warren recognised as Black Bottom Dance. Warren’s ears perked up at the change; the pace of the song was a little slower than what he was used to, but it seemed like the pianist was trying to increase the energy of the event. Quickly, his foot was tapping to the beat, bolstering his awful disposition.

The loud “psst” from the direction of the pianist drew Warren’s attention. He glanced over to the big grand piano beside him. The fellow manning the ivory keys was well kept with the eager expression of someone who was starving for some excitement. He certainly looked more lively than most of the dandies attending this charade. He strolled over to the artist, “I must commend you on your song selection this evening,” he leaned in a little closer, lowering his tone, “it’s markedly more lively than most of the people at this event.”

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:14 pm GMT 
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Ewan preened a little at the man’s commendation and newly more chipper mannerisms; he winked and laughed as he upped the tempo to the correct speed. The room of guests had now all fully realised what was going on and seemed unsure of what to do; some of the younger women were bopping along slightly until stern looks stilled them.

“Well I can’t help but entertain and you looked like you could use some entertaining.” Ewan smiled brilliantly, already the evening was looking brighter. He leaned in close as well practically pushing his shoulder against the man’s chest and comically looked around.

“I would have to say I was worried and ready to believe these people were sucking the very colour out of the air. I think I was even seeing everything in black and white at one point.” Ewan whispered in an exaggerated joking manner, hoping to get a smile from the fella.

“Though I am sure they’re going to fire me, I’m being a naughty boy right now by the standards of the lady of the house. Had strict instructions for absolutely no modern stuff.” Ewan’s smile slipped into a wry smirk as he spotted two servers angrily talking amongst themselves, another one running towards the patio.

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 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:12 pm GMT 
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(Sorry for the long response times, my creative writing skills aren't the best and I was pretty busy with Classes and whatnot.)

As the musician picked up the song’s tempo, Warren chuckled, looking out at the stodgy old folks conspiratorially discussing the hostess’s musical selection. “Yes, it certainly is more entertaining now. I can’t imagine the amount of social fallout you’re causing.”

The abrupt closeness of the pianist made Warren visibly uncomfortable. He moved back from the pianist, remaining close creating a little more space between him and the pianist. Clearing his throat, he regained composure continued with the conversation. “Well, thanks for the change of pace.”

Warren chuckled at the joke, “Yeah, this crowd certainly isn’t the most animated.” He looked around again, adding, “Peoples clothing seems more animated than the people whom they enrobe. I don’t believe I’ve actually had an intelligible conversation with anyone so far.” The man with whom Warren was chatting seemed reasonable, and by far more sincere than the others he had met so far this evening.

The musician seemed particularly relaxed even with his impending dismissal, “Aren’t you worried that you might not be paid for the event. I mean, I love the music, and this event was in need of some resuscitation, but wouldn’t it be better to try to appease your employer?” He saw the waiter run off to the patio, and watched the doorway to see if the hostess would materialize.

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:27 am GMT 
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(Ah don't sweat it, I'm a great advocate of responding when you've got the time and are in the mood to play. So take as much time as you need to. Also do you want to play the lady of the house? I'm not 100% sure about how to write her.)

Ewan listened to the man's exclamations, looking extremely pleased with himself whilst he smoothly transited into another fast paced dance song. Now that was more like it, a young handsome fella should often be laughing and full of cheer, especially at a party, even a sad dreadful one such as that one.

"No intelligent discussion at all you say?" Ewan laughed with a nod, "Well I'm not too shocked in hearing that." He added after another glance around at the wide eyed clueless expressions surrounding them.

"Well I am all for appeasing folks but I got to thinking that I needed an out, then seeing a fine fella such as yourself miserable as sin, well maybe we both could use this fine opportunity to amscray and leave this party far behind?" Ewan chortled with a wicked grin, the sudden idea of running, well hobbling quickly in his case, away into the night was appealing enough but having a fellow, as in need of fun as his new acquaintance, it made the idea that much better.

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 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:20 am GMT 
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(Ok sounds good, I’m usually in the mood to play but the writing part always challenges me (Science mind too strong), and I could play the hostess too if you like, but feel free to use her in your posts too. I’ll just try set her personality a bit in the next couple posts.)

When the new song began, Warren was astounded that the musician would be courageous enough to play this type of music. The notes spilled from the piano in a wild flurry of chords and scales. The younger people in the parlour began to fall out of the initial shock of the shift in genre and were now beginning to assemble and form dancing pairs. The older folks were now irritated, discussing among themselves the inappropriateness of the music.

Just then, a woman stomped into the room from the patio. She wore a long teal gown with sapphire blue accents, which shuddered with each high-heeled step she took. The woman quickly made her way through the room, the eyes of the crowd following her every move, groups of people whispering and giggling at this scandal. Warren quickly moved away from the fuming woman as she approached the pianist.

“Mr. Phillips! You will cease and desist playing this cacophonic noise. I told you explicitly that you are to play none of that modern drivel at my event.”

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2015 12:09 pm GMT 
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(Ah you're doing fine like I said relax and just have fun)

Ewan visibly jumped then smiled uncertainly at the woman, his confident brazenness vanishing in the lady's presence. She seemed pretty mad but still, compared to having to play placidly for another three plus hours, Ewan was sure he'd survive breaking ties with these people. Ewan took a deep breath calming himself then looked back up to the home owner's frowning face, his hands continuing to play while his smile turned more wry.

"Well I was just trying to improve things a little, we were just saying how dull it'd been so far." Ewan turned slightly to wink up at the young fella before watching the lady to see the results.

The woman's face seemed to puff up and a mean sneer that would have looked more at home on a thug down at the docks, pulled at her small delicate features. She watched the exchange then glared fixedly at Warren, her face slowly turning from red to purple.

"You-you!" She growled practically vibrating with rage.

"She's gonna blow." Ewan murmured his playing faltering and coming to an off tune stop while he slowly leaned back in his seat.

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 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:31 am GMT 
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When Ewan mentioned Warren’s concurrence with the relative dreariness of the party, Warren’s face visibly paled. This woman, the lady of the house and a strong player in St.Louis’s political circles had just heard that a Perrin had considered her party “dull”. This would not fare well.

“Madam Auchet, I-I meant no insult to either you or your fine evening here. I-it’s just that, well, the evening has been a little bit, uh” Warren’s looked down at his feet, voice lowering to almost a whisper, “dry.”

Dry?” Bad word choice, “Did you just call my party Dry! Warren visibly folded under her fiery stare, “This event is one of St. Louis’ most prestigious evenings. It took months to even begin preparing the venue for this evening, and then this monkey on the piano goes and ruins it all with that disgusting modern music. Now you, one from the esteemed Perrin line, begin talking with him and mocking my party?”

Warren stepped back, terrified by this woman’s ire. He tried to salvage the interaction, “I only meant it in the most diffuse sense of the word. Madam Auchet, I am sincerely sorry for my misstep. Please, if you’d just…”

“No! I’m not doing anything for you. Take this idiot on the piano and get out of my sight!” Warren, shoulders slouched in defeat, nodded and began to leave the establishment, jeering eyes of the crowd following him out.

Great, another party botched. Father’s going to kill me.

As Warren left, Madam Auchet turned to Ewan, "Did you not here me, you nitwit. Get. Out."

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:59 am GMT 
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Ewan watched the disaster play out before him, his bubbly excitement sunk abruptly as he realises his method of irritation may have worked all too well on the lady of the house. By the end of the verbal assault Ewan's gut ached from the guilt, smile very much wiped from his face; oh boy he thought, he may have just majorly screwed some thing up for the poor guy.

When Warren was leaving he watched his back feeling like the utmost despicable person on the planet. He turned when he was addressed and looked at Ms Auchet frowning and looking the very part of a fully chastised and guilty kitten.

"Well seeing that the party was something of a slog for anyone under forty, you were terrible towards that man." Ewan sniffed not looking too pleased at the woman, her position seemingly not intimidating to him, though truthfully had he known her political power Ewan would have been shaking in his boots. "Remember that I was the main instigator to the whole discussion and musical digression, mam." Ewan got to his feet with a slight struggle and headed for the exit as quickly as possible, the long strides making his limp much more pronounced. He grabbed his well worn coat and cane, not bothering to wear of use them, then ignoring the pain he hurried to catch up to the other fella.

"W-wait!" Ewan called. "Wait up! I need to talk with you!" He was already beginning to pant as his strides quickly devolved into a pained hobble and he gave up, forced to use his cane for the last few steps before he finally reached Warren.

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 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:43 pm GMT 
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At Ewan’s defense of Warren, Madam Auchet merely snorted and walked back to the party, ignoring his comments and beginning to try remedy the scene.

Warren was sullen. Even though he disliked the whole of the upper class and his parents’ obsession with politics, he still hated making mistakes. As he loped to the exit, he grabbed his shoulder bag and began to step out the door as Ewan caught up with him.

Warren looked at the other fellow, somewhat irritated at how the man, “Fantastic, now you're following me. You know you could've been significantly more tactful with the treatment of Madame Auchet.” Warren continued out of the establishment, quickly exiting the building and walking down the street, looking for a taxi and trying to ignore the other man.

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:14 pm GMT 
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Ewan carried on after the man, having to lean on his cane a lot to keep pace with his strides, which was still a couple of steps behind.

"I'm sorry, you see I reckon I'm just not cut out for uppercrust interactions, was never good at it even at school." Ewan said breathlessly,"I didn't mean to upset things so much, just got overzealous, I'm too used to people giving me a firm smack in the snozz and that's it." He tried to chuckle for it to pitter away into an uncomfortable sigh. Ewan knew he'd soured things with his aquintence, though he wanted to at least leave his company knowing the other believed in how sorry he was; well for upsetting him, in truth he would have probably acted just as rashly had the other been there or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 5:53 pm GMT 
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The other man’s comments sounded sincere and although Warren was still irked by the other fellow’s brash actions, he didn’t want to hold a grudge. Besides, he was the only person with an aquilot of personality at that event. Warren let out a large sigh, abruptly stopping his brisk, irritated walk and waiting for the other fellow to catch up.

“Alright, I understand the brazenness of your actions, but I would recommend that if you cannot hold your tongue that you avoid them as best you can. You made a fool not only of yourself but you also marred my family’s name.” Warren muttered under his breath, “I only hope Madam Auchet doesn’t know anyone in the department.” The lower levels of the academic community was pretty isolated from the elaborate machinations of the upper class, but if Warren planned to continue to apply for grants it could be challenging to face committee members that were friends of the estranged hostess.

He sighed again, “But I suppose what’s done is done. At least we made it out of that dreaded party.”

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I'm an adult now! I think?
 Post subject: Re: Canes, Hops and Sundry ((Webwood))
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:39 am GMT 
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"Department? You some sort of Doctor, or teacher?" Ewan asked, the question blurting forth before he even addressed the whole 'marring' family names business. He took a deep breath, adjusting his cane and steadying himself properly.

"And I am still sorry about that, like I said I keep forgetting rich toffs don't seem to have much in the way of humour now a days, uh no offense." Ewan cringed slightly realising he must have seemed more and more obnoxious to this man with every word that came out his mouth. "Besides you're right we're free men now, so how about I buy you a drink an an apology?" Ewan asked patting the man's shoulder. "That is if you're one for the whole illegal tipple?" Ewan added his brow creasing as he considered his aquintence. He should really make a habit of thinking more before he opened his big mouth, it wasn't like he could run anymore if he caused offense.

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