Chapter one: In which we are introduced to our heroine.

Ellen was a seamstress. She really wanted to be an actor, but the law said that only men could act. Ellen thought it was unfair, but then, she wasn't the queen, so what could she do? Sewing was about the only other thing she felt she was good enough at to make a living. Currently, she was working for the Rose theater, mending and sewing anything that came her way. It was the closest thing to acting work that she could get. Ellen had been working there for a month when Mr. Henslowe, the owner of the theater, came to see her.

"Ellen!" he shouted as he came into the house. Ellen poked her head out from behind the curtain where she was working.

"Yes, Mr. Henslowe?"

"I have brought you an assistant. Ellen, this is Margaret Booker. Margaret, this is Ellen Tallow, our seamstress. A pretty blonde girl with curly hair standing next to Henslowe curtsied. Ellen nodded at her.

"Have you finally gotten that new play to rehearse, Mr. Henslowe?" Ellen asked. Henslowe had been rattling on for weeks on how Will Shakespeare, a young playwright in town, and a constant on-and-off employee of Henslowe's, was writing a new comedy for the actors at the Rose to preform.

"He says that he's working on it," replied Henslowe, "I'm off to check on him. He said he'd have act one finished by today." Ellen surpressed a laugh. She knew Will enough to know that he never got things done when he said they'd be done. He was an artist. He got things done whenever he got the inspiration to get them done.

"You show Margaret the ropes. I need to make sure Will's delivering." And with that, Henslowe popped out the door. Margaret stood blankly in the center of the house. Ellen sighed and came out to meet her.

"Hello. Welcome to the Rose," she said, sticking out a hand to shake. Margaret took it, reluctantly. Clearly, the girl didn't know much else but sewing, if, indeed, she even knew that. But Ellen made it a point that she would be nice to this new girl, even if she was a bit..fluffy.

"Er.what should I do, exactly?" Margaret said daintily.

"First of all, I need to show you around. Even seamstresses need to know where everything is in this theater, or it's likely you'll lose something," Margaret nodded. Ellen showed her the upstairs seating, and around backstage.

"Those stairs lead to the upper part of the stage. There's also a room to the left, but that's master Henslowe's, or master Shakespeare's, when he's here. Margaret nodded again, before asking, softly again,

"Who's master Shakespeare?"

"Ah. Will Shakespeare is a playwright and a poet that master Henslowe hires occasionally to do plays."

"Oh. I never was one for plays," Margaret commented.

"Then why are you here?"

"I just needed the work."

"Ah. Well, if you're going to stay here long, you'll need to learn to like the theater. Here's the mending," Ellen pointed to the gargantuan pile that she'd been working on, "I'll take half and you take half. We usually work until about five o' clock." Ellen handed Margaret a spool of thread, a needle, and some embroidery yarn. Margaret stared at it blankly, as though she didn't know where to begin.

"Well, go to it, girl! You do know how to embroider, don't you?"

"A little bit."

"All right then. Take this, and take half of the mending. We'll make a real seamstress of you yet." So saying, Ellen took hold of her own thread, and began mending where she'd left off.