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Player Piano

Chapter 5

Roger pulled up to the tailor's shop. The building's brickwork had been repaired in the weeks since Heaven's Day Eve. The new bricks gave the wall a garish appearance.

Dorothy led the way into the shop. "Hello, Miss Wayneright," called a voice from the back, and the tailor came forward, dusting off her hands. She recognized Roger, and added, "Good afternoon, Mr. Smith."

She walked to the rack, reached in, and brought out a long black dress. "Come try this on, my dear." She walked with Dorothy to the changing room in the back, while Roger eyed the spindly chair near the front door. He decided against sitting and stood, looking out the main window. He had examined half the buildings across the street when his survey was interrupted.

There was a sound behind him. He turned. "Ahhh," he breathed.

Dorothy wore the long black gown with unconscious grace. It was made of some textured material. The skirt was full from the hip, and the cloth split at the bosom and gathered at the shoulders. She seemed somehow older, taller. She looked at Roger without expression, but somehow conveyed her acknowledgement of his reaction.

The tailor pulled out a stepstool, and Dorothy stepped up. The older woman fussed at the hem for a few minutes, then looked up. "That does it." Dorothy went back to the changing room, and Roger paid the bill.

They went out to the car. "Thank you, Roger."

He smiled. "Don't thank me, thank Norman."

"I'll thank him as well."

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