After a short walk down the relief-lined hallway, Lacy and Duncan finally located the storeroom they were told about. Duncan knocked twice, and the partners waited for an answer. After a moment, hooves were heard climbing a stone staircase, and a second later the door flew open.
A small, fluffly Flaafy in a golden shawl stood at the top of a descending staircase, smiling ear-horn to ear-horn.
“Ah, are you two the Rescuer team from Tao?” She said, looking up at Duncan and Lacy on his shoulder.
“That’s us!” Lacy said, and waved to the Flaafy.
“That’s fantastic! My name’s Mary, let me get you two started!” She turned around and began to walk down the narrow staircase. “This way, please!”
Lacy jumped down from Duncan’s shoulder and began to hop down the stairs. Duncan, however, had to crouch and
turn sideways just to fit.
Eventually, Duncan managed to squeeze down the staircase, and ended up with Mary and Lacy in a small, cluttered, dimly-lit room. The walls were lined with cabinets and dusty trunks, with the occasional broken pew or mop thrown into the mix. Near the door was a shelf lined with yellow fabric and sewing supplies. In the middle of the room sat at lopsided table and a few chairs. One single lightbulb hanging from the roof illuminated the windowless room.
“Okay, so what I need you two to do this morning is make a bunch
of shawls.” Mary explained. “I’ll need around one hundred, at least ninety. You’ve got all day to make them, so don’t worry about time. Just do it at your own pace, and I’ll come down later today and bring you lunch. Does that sound good to you?”
“Sure, uh, but…” Lacy looked at the sewing supplies already sitting on the table. “How exactly do we make the shawls?”
“Oh, it’s simple really.” Mary approached the table. “What you do is take this fabric and cut it following the template.” Mary grabbed a large pair of scissors and absentmindedly handed them to Lacy as she continued her explanation. “After you have the fabric cut, just use the needle and this particular thread over here to sew up the sides.” She picked up the needle and thread and handed them to Duncan in the same absentminded manner. “Make sure the edges are straight, but you don’t have to really worry about keeping the stitching straight. Afterwards, just fold the shawl and hang it on that peg over there. I’ll have a different group stitch on the detailing another day. Think you can handle that?”
Duncan and Lacy exchanged glances.
“Yeah, sounds simple enough.” Lacy said back to Mary.
“Good!” Mary began to walk towards the door. “I know you two can handle it, the whole process is quite simple.”
As she opened the door, she turned back to the pair of Pokemon and said “Thanks again for doing this! You’re doing me a huge
favor, and I really appreciate it!”
“No problem.” Duncan smiled.
Mary smiled back, bade the two farewell, and then promptly left. Lacy and Duncan listened as the sound of her hooves clacking up the staircase faded away.
There was a moment when neither Pokemon moved. Finally, Lacy gave a quick sigh and said “Welp, let’s get started. I guess I’ll start cutting the fabric.”
“Alright.” Duncan followed Lacy to the table. “Do you need a hand?”
“I think I’ve got it.” Lacy threw the scissors up onto the table, then hopped up after them. With a bit of a struggle, she managed to get a grip on the large scissors, and started cutting. It was obviously a difficult ordeal, as the scissor were half the size of the small Bug-type, and made for someone with fingers, not claws. As Lacy cut, the handle banged repeatedly on the table, as the blades scratched the wood and tore the fabric alike.
“Erm…” Duncan began hesitantly. “Are you sure you’ve got this?”
“Yeah, I got it, I’m fine.” Lacy insisted, eyes trained on her work. She grunted as she hefted the scissors around. “These stupid scissors are just—urgh!—dull.”
Duncan waited patiently as Lacy finished cutting. Finally, one last “Rrrrrrip!” was heard and the golden fabric finally separated from the original piece.
“Finally!” Lacy exclaimed, and threw the scissors aside angrily. “That was freaking bullsh—uh, crap.”
She picked up the fabric and held it before her proudly. “Ah, it looks good!”
Duncan leaned down to Lacy’s level and took a look as well. “Erm… the edges look a little… jagged.”
“Well it’s not gonna be perfect
!” Lacy growled. “It’s just the first one! Besides, I did pretty good considering the scissors sucked!”
“They looked fine to me…”
“Oh, whatever!” Lacy threw the fabric into Duncan’s face. “Here, just start sewing it together.”
“Alright.” Duncan pulled the fabric off his head then took a seat on the floor. He grabbed a needle and a small spool of yellow thread. “Huh.” He said, looking between the two. “I guess I need to get the thread on the needle.”
Duncan made an attempt to very gently push the end of the thread through the eye of the needle, but he missed entirely.
Another attempt. Another miss.
“I’ve just gotta…”
The thread curled away from the eye.
“Get this—oh, shoot.”
Duncan dropped the needle.
Lacy watched as Duncan spent a good thirty seconds trying to get his giant fingers to lift the teeny, tiny needle off the floor, and continued to watch as he spent another five minutes failing continually at getting the thread through the needle.
Finally, after Lacy counted thirty failed attempts, Duncan gave a little gasp as he saw the thread glide through the eye of the needle.
“I think I got it!” Duncan exclaimed.
“Hurry, tie the thread in a knot before it falls out!!”
Duncan hastily obliged, then held the needle in front of him. “Okay, now that that’s
done, I can actually start sewing!” Duncan folded the fabric as straight as he could with Lacy’s creative
cutting job, and finally stuck the needle through the fabric.
The thread immediately unfurled and fell out as soon as it hit the fabric.
“FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFREAKING—“ Duncan hissed angrily. He huffed, then pulled the needle out of the fabric and grabbed the thread again.
It was another eight minutes and fifty-eight failed attempts before Duncan got the thread attached to the needle again, and knotted and double-knotted it as tight as he could make it without breaking it. After pulling it through a couple times to make sure it wouldn’t come undone, Duncan finally began the process of sewing the ends of the fabric together.
A few minutes passed in silence as Duncan focused on his work. It seemed that he finally found a rhythm that worked, as he sewed as straight and even as a Snorlax cou—
“OW!!” Duncan suddenly pulled his hand back, dropping the shawl on the floor and clutching his hand.
“What happened?!” Lacy cried, startled.
“AUGH SON OF A BIIIII—“ Duncan suddenly remembered his warning to Lacy from earlier about her language. “IIIIIIIIIIDOOF.” He finished. He held out his finger for Lacy to see. A small bead of crimson blood rapidly expanded on his fingertip. (Of course, a small bead of blood for a Snorlax is actually quite a lot for regular Pokemon!)
“I stabbed myself with the needle.” Duncan stuck his finger in his mouth and started to suck the blood off of it.
“What? Why aren’t you using the thimble?” Lacy questioned.
“That thimble barely fits on the tip of my claw, Lace.”
“Oh. Oh yeah.” Lacy sighed. “So this task is going swimmingly. And by swimmingly I mean immensely sucky.” She suddenly grinned. “Nice save back there, by the way. ‘Son of a Bidoof.’”
Duncan chuckled through his finger. “Yeah. Gotta practice what you preach, right?”
Lacy and Duncan laughed, then Duncan took his finger out of his mouth and said “There we go, I think it’s stopped bleeding. Alright, I’m almost done with this one, let’s finish it.”
Duncan began to sew again, this time much more wary of where he was sticking the needle.
However, this didn’t stop him from stabbing himself three more times before the end of it.
Finally, after over half an hour of dealing with the shawl, Lacy and Duncan hung their masterpiece on a peg on the wall.
If one could call it a masterpiece.
Or a shawl.
Despite all their efforts, the shawl was incredibly shoddy. With jagged, frayed edges, odd folds emanating from the stitching, uneven, lopsided stitching, and more than enough of Duncan’s bloodstains, the shawl looked like a four-year-old’s craft project.
“Ah, there it is!” Lacy smiled. “Our beautiful, fashionable, golden shawl!”
Duncan sighed. “It’s wrong to lie in a church, Lacy.”
Lacy sighed as well. “Yeah, I guess you’re right. Well, we gave it our best shot.”
“Yeah, but we have to make almost a hundred more of these things! And we can’t make them look like this!”
“Well, like I said, we gave it our best shot! I mean, what else could I do with a pair of scissors bigger than my head?”
“And how am I supposed to string a thread through a needle when I can’t hold either of them?”
The two Pokemon stood silent for a moment, brooding. Then, the realization dawned on the both of them at the same time. They looked at each other, almost annoyed at themselves.
“We’re freaking stupid
.” Lacy facepalmed.
“I’ll say.” Duncan sighed. “I’ll take over cutting if you take over sewing?”
Lacy and Duncan switched places, Duncan taking a seat by the table and gripping the scissors, Lacy hopping on a chair and picking up the needle and thread.
Within a few moments, it was automatically obvious that this was the more efficient shawl-making method. Duncan quickly and cleanly cut the fabric, then passed it on to Lacy and began cutting the next one. Meanwhile, Lacy used her sensitive eyes and tiny claws to quickly and accurately thread the needle and pull it through the fabric. By the time they reached their seventh shawl, the two had perfected their technique, and continued their work with ease. It soon became so easy that they managed to multitask, both making shawls and keeping up a conversation while they worked.
And so, the hours began to pass, and Lacy and Duncan began to kind of enjoy their work.
Part 3!!! This is the last of the digitally painted ones, the rest are gonna have some good ol' fashioned lineart!
Pokemon (c) Game Freak
Team Facinus (c) Me