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Work and Play (attn: Owen)
Posted: January 27th, 2019, 10:33 pm
Kalyan Rihera, Soldier
Kalyan paused in the entryway of the Mar'a'Mael, not quite sure where he was supposed to go. Most of the chores he'd been assigned had been duties such as sweeping floors and washing dishes, work done within the Grey Tower. To have been sent here to work was new for him, and something Kalyan actually looked forward to doing. The building reminded him of the Grey Tower itself, large and confusing, with countless rooms opening on both sides of the hall he was in. Unsure what to do, he walked down the hall, peeking into various rooms to see if anyone was around to give him some direction. As he moved further into the building, he caught sight of a small figure, darting out of one of the doorways and racing towards him and the door that led out.
He grinned at the little girl and moved into her path, sweeping her into his arms once she was close enough to grab. "I've got you!" he teased, and the toddler giggled. "Now where are you supposed to be?" The little girl babbled, and Kalyan shifted her onto his hip. Behind them, the door creaked open, and Kalyan turned around, hoping that whoever was there would be able to tell him where he was supposed to be working.
Re: Work and Play (attn: Owen)
Posted: January 29th, 2019, 4:10 pm
Jun dashed through the doors of the Mar a’Mael and skid to a halt with his hands on his knees, panting and out of breath. He had learned, a little too late, that his chores today would not be within the Tower proper as he had originally thought, but in a completely different set of buildings out to the east. He swept fingers through his mussed hair, wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his shirt, and hoped that he still looked somewhat presentable for having sprinted the entire way here.
Then he glanced curiously around the entrance hall. It looked old, but clean and well-cared for, with the steps worn and polished and the floors smoothed by thousands of feet. A few paintings, colorful and child-like in their execution, hung on the walls. In elegant, deep-cut letters above the door, there was an inscription in the Old Tongue: Mar far masiara ma'nien siolin'an rhyagelle. Jun puzzled over it for a few seconds. He had only just started the very basics of his classes at the Tower, and though he had begun to study a little of the Old Tongue, he still had no idea what the inscription meant. Something about a house and children was as much as he could figure.
There didn't seem to be anyone else in the hall, which was strange because Jun had expected that someone would be waiting to give him instructions. He hadn't been too late, had he? Tentatively, he called out, “Hello?”
Only his own voice echoed back, and so he decided to explore a little bit. A little ways down the hall, he saw a familiar figure and brightened. “Hey! Kalyan!” he said. “I didn’t realize you’d be here. Are you here for chores, too? D’you know where to go?”
Then he saw the girl and grinned.
“Oh, and you’ve got a little friend with you. Well, aren’t you just the cutest? Who are you?”
Re: Work and Play (attn: Owen)
Posted: January 31st, 2019, 10:51 pm
Jun looked as lost as Kalyan felt, but he was still relieved to see a familar face. The child in his arms looked at Jun with wide eyes and didn't say a word. "I have no idea where we're supposed to be," Kalyan told him. "I've been looking for someone to ask, but so far, all I've seen is classrooms, and they've all been empty. Other than my friend here, I haven't seen anyone." He turned away from the doors to continue that search, but didn't get too much further down the halls before he picked up the sound of footsteps. Looking in the direction the sound seemed to be coming from, Kalyan saw a blonde Accepted rush up the last few steps of a staircase near the back of the hall that he hadn't previously noticed.
She hurried towards the two Soldiers, but it was clear that her interest was not in either of them. "Sarina! There you are," she scolded. She bent down to address the toddler. "You know you can't go running off like that." The little girl pouted, and Kalyan pulled her from his hip to set her feet down on the floor. The Accepted moved quickly to take her hand before the child could run off again.
"I suppose you two are here for chores?" Kalyan nodded. "We weren't sure where to go. I haven't seen anyone else up here to ask."
"That's because we're all downstairs for lunch." the Accepted explained. "And that's where you'll be needed, if you'll follow me." Kalyan did, and they proceeded down the stairs at the rather slow pace of Sarina's little legs. "I don't wanna eat," the little girl complained. "Don't like carrots!" Kalyan smiled. "No carrots? Well, I like them. Should I eat yours?"
"No!" Sarina shrieked, but by the time they reached the bottom of the steps, the little girl was giggling again. Kalyan stepped around the Accepted and knelt down so he was at the toddler's height. "I've never been here for lunch before. Could you help my friend and I and show us what to do?" The toddler nodded and reached out, her small hand latching on to one of Kalyan's fingers. He got to his feet again, and when the Accepted let go of her hand, Sarina tugged at Kalyan's, pulling him towards one of the many tables that cluttered the room.
Re: Work and Play (attn: Owen)
Posted: February 4th, 2019, 4:56 am
Jun followed behind the others and gazed open-mouthed around him. There were dozens of children of all ages seated at the tables. Older children mixed with younger ones, some of them helping the youngest children cut their food into bite-sized pieces and spooning it into their mouths. A few adults sat among them, attempting to keep the peace - though they were quite outnumbered and Jun had the feeling that if food fight broke out, there wouldn’t be much they could do. It was loud and colorful, with chatter and laughter echoing around the basement. Surprisingly, it was not dark. Sunlight streamed in through long, windowed slits cut near the ceiling, and there were torches set at regular intervals along the walls.
He had never seen this many children in one place at once. Maybe they were here for lessons, or school, and Jun wondered if they all went home at the end of the day.
Sarina made Kalyan stay with her, while the Accepted directed Jun towards the other end of the dining hall, where a boy named Derrin, perhaps around fifteen or sixteen years of age, gave Jun a large basin and a damp rag. Jun went from table to table, clearing plates into the basin and wiping crumbs and spills from the tables. As he worked, Jun stopped by where Kalyan was sitting and nudged his shoulder, and then he leaned in to speak near Kalyan’s ear, loud enough to be heard over the noise of the room.
“There are so many children! D’you know why they’re all here?”
Re: Work and Play (attn: Owen)
Posted: February 5th, 2019, 11:07 pm
"Sit down, please."
"Use your spoon for eating."
"Do you need help pouring?"
Kalyan sat at one end of a table occupied by Sarina and four other children about her age. He might have felt guilty for getting to sit around while Jun was up cleaning, except that five small children eating lunch were work of an entirely different sort. He reached out to the child near him who was struggling to pour water from a pitcher, helping him fill his glass, then standing it back on the table. At his other side, Sarina chatted away, though Kalyan hadn't managed to catch more than a word or two through the noise that filled the room.
He tapped the little girl on the shoulder and pointed at her plate, which she'd hardly taken two bites from since they'd sat down. "Your lunch will get cold if you don't eat it," Kalyan told her. Sarina looked at the plate as if she'd just seen it , then picked up her fork and started eating. Kalyan studied the other children at their table, but all of them had been busy eating and talking for a while. Still he watched them closely, knowing from experience that taking his eyes off children this age wasn't a good idea.
As lunchtime continued, he helped pass bowls, pour water, and wipe off small sticky hands. He was preoccupied enough that Jun's nudge to his shoulder made him jump. Kalyan scanned the table, checking on everyone once more before turning to Jun to answer his question. He'd only just started to speak before Sarina decided she wanted in on the conversation.
"We live here!" she said, grinning and displaying a mouthful of food. "My room's upstairs, wanna see?" Kalyan turned his attention back to the toddler for a minute. "Chew your food, Sarina. We can't go upstairs right now." The little girl folded her arms and pouted, but also closed her mouth and kept eating.
Kalyan looked back towards Jun. "They all live here," he said, repeating what Sarina had said. "Either they don't have parents, or their parents couldn't care for them. It's called an orphanage. Usually they're in larger towns and cities." Though Kalyan just barely stopped himself from asking, he couldn't help wondering how someone who'd traveled as much as Jun had never seen one before.