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Sunny Days

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Notice: Not a pleasant short story. Please have ice cream, someone/something to cuddle,
or whatever else helps you feel better on standby.



Sunny Days

1

It was a bright, sunny day in Divinity's Reach. The kind the kids like to go out in play in. Birds were singing, children were laughing. One little girl in particular was outside her home this same day. About four or five, pig-tailed brown hair only made her look more child-like.

She'd been carried to where she was now, and like a good little girl, she sat quietly. Very quietly. Her frilly white dress combined with her stillness made her seem as a misplaced doll. There were a lot of adults around, and though her parents weren't present, she was not without some manner of supervision.

In fact, she might have been burdened by it, if she had wanted to do anything. Every other adult stopped to stare at her, briefly. And whisper to each other about her. Eventually one of them suggested, "Shouldn't we get her out of those clothes?"

It wasn't a lewd suggestion. It was a caring one. The dress, after all, was pretty filthy. So was she, a proper mess, really. She barely noticed, of course. Kids never notice when they're filthy. They busy themselves with their kid thoughts, and bathe when they're told.

"My daughter is about her age. I could run home and get something else for her to wear."

"Yeah, do that sergeant. Be quick about it, would you?"

There was urgency in their voices. Again, the kid didn't pick up on it like most kids would. Adults have to remain calm around children in a tense situation, because the children aren't stupid. They'll pick up on the emotion. Magnify it. An adult's concern becomes a child's panic.

It's not that this kid wasn't smart. She was very bright. Her loving mother had even taught her how to read those simple books for kids, and how to write her name and a few other small words. She could even say her alphabet and count to one-hundred. But, again, she was distracted by those kid thoughts.

Her mind was caught in a loop, going over the events of the day. Over and over the images played. Waking up. Eating breakfast. Complaining to mom about big brother being mean. Big sister doing her hair. Daddy kissing mommy as he headed out to work. He made books. Like the ones mommy was teaching her to read.

Waking up. Eating breakfast. Complaining to mom. Big sister doing hair. Daddy kissing mommy. Waking. Eating. Complaining. Hair. Kissing. Waking, eating, complaining, hair, kissing...

One of the adults touched her, rubbing a damp cloth against her hands to try to clean the filth off them. The shock was like hitting a phonograph that was skipping, causing her mind to break out of the loop.

Daddy opened the door, and his friends were there. He was surprised. They were having a surprise party. But daddy took a nap there. Then they were to play the hiding game. Daddy's friends were the seekers. Oh, she played it so well, too. She hid in her room, and even when one of daddy's friends looked right at her, they couldn't find her.

The party went on without her for a while. She could hear mommy and big sister especially. And then it went quiet, and she left her hiding place. Daddy's friends were gone. Big brother was in the kitchen, napping. Mommy and sister were up in mommy and daddy's room. They must have been about to bathe because they were undressed. Silly mommy and big sis, taking a nap instead of bathing.

In her memories, she tried to wake up her family. They couldn't sleep now, there were still things to do. Daddy had to go to work. Brother and sister had to go help him later. Mommy was supposed to teach her history today, and - mmm - She'd promised to bake cookies. So they had to wake up for the day.

Ugh. And they needed baths, too. They'd gotten strawberry syrup all over themselves. Come on, wake up so we can give you a bath. You're all sticky. Wake up.

Wake up.

Wake up.

Please wake up.

They're not sleeping.

She was such a smart girl. So smart that her mind did things to protect her without her knowing. It hid the memories from her, and then when she came looking for them, cleaned them up so she'd think everything was okay. But she was smart. She asked questions. Such an inquisitive child.

Questions like: Why was the sky blue? Why do birds sing? Why is gold better than silver if they're both the same size? Why do daddy's friends look angry? Why did daddy go to sleep before the party started? Why are they laying in puddles of strawberry syrup? Why won't they wake up?

Her mind relented, and showed her the truth. It reluctantly played the real memories for her while she sat, still and quiet, in the Seraph Headquarters. Fear and panic gripped her as she saw it again.

The adults around her started looking for her. They couldn't seem to find her. But she was sitting in the same place. She hadn't moved. And she wanted them. She needed them. She needed them to tell her that her memories were wrong. That it WAS just a party.

But they ignored her while looking for her. Why would they do that? Her mind whirled and spun, trying to make sense of everything. Finally, it just gave up. It shrugged, and told her it was time to be alone now. It will be like when mommy has to step out because daddy forgot his lunch. Only longer.

How long?

I dunno. A very long time, I guess.

Will I get to see mommy and daddy and sister and brother again?

I dunno. Maybe.

Okay, I'll wait.

Let's wait.

....

I'm hungry.

Me too.

I smell apples.

Me too.

Let's go find them.

Okay.

And with that, she wandered off into the bright, sunny day.
~ Zozo Sidel
Mad Dame of the Scales

Player of Selena "Seldi" Witt
( Please don't call me "Sigil". )
Posted Apr 29, 15 · OP · Last edited Thu at 16:49
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Comments Welcome.

Note: Part 2 is a couple posts down, and Part 3 is directly after that.
~ Zozo Sidel
Mad Dame of the Scales

Player of Selena "Seldi" Witt
( Please don't call me "Sigil". )
Posted Apr 29, 15 · OP · Last edited Thu at 16:38
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((Well that was both interesting and heartwrenching. Great work.))
Posted Apr 29, 15
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2

Another bright, sunny day came to Divinity's Reach. Kids were out playing again. One group chatted excitedly among themselves. They were older kids, but not quite teens. Nine or ten. The age where they enjoy daring each other to do silly little things.

"Kiss this toad!"

"Run through the school house in your underwear!"

"Go say a bad word to the teacher!"

"Eat this worm!"

"Go tell the ghost in the graveyard to stop crying!"

That last one was too far.

"No way! It'll eat us!"

"Chicken!"

"Then you do it!"

"Nuh uh! You have to!"

"Nuh uh! You do it!"

Two gentlemen passed by the children. Regulars in the area, they were familiar with the rumors. The ghost of a child haunted the graveyard. You could hear it crying. And if it caught you, it would eat you. Or steal your soul. Or do some other nasty thing that ghosts are wont to do.

The senior of these gentlemen, both clad in gold and iron armor, knew it was just a rumor, and so chuckled every time he heard it. His subordinate wasn't so sure, getting more nervous as they approached the graveyard at Grenth's Plaza.

At the gates of the graveyard, the senior entered, but the subordinate hesitated. The senior stopped and sighed. "Don't be a coward, Jensen", he said. "They're just silly rumors."

"Some rumors are based on truth, Sergeant."

"You think this one is?"

"I'm not trained to handle ghosts, sir."

"And?"

"I've got a kid on the way."

The senior grunted. "I know. That's why I brought you along. Now get in here." Jensen shook his head and followed the senior man in. They remained quiet as they passed through the graveyard. Both men had a healthy respect for the dead, but ulterior motives.

Jensen's fear lingered. The senior man was listening.

As they approached a tombstone with the family name, "White", on it, the sound graced their ears. A soft weeping could be heard. The pitiful sounds of a child that's lost hope.

Jensen's hand reflexively moved to the hilt of his sword, but the senior man placed a gauntleted hand on his shoulder, and shook his head. "Little Seldi, it’s okay. You can come out now."

The sobbing stopped abruptly, and Jensen felt his hair stand up on end in the ensuing silence. The sudden gust of wind howling through the graveyard didn't ease his anxiety, and he thought he might panic.

But it was just a random gust of wind. In the end, it was a perfectly normal child that appeared. A small girl in orphanage clothes and messy pigtails stepped out from behind the tombstone. She had mud covering her hands and from her waist down. In that moment, Jensen felt like a fool. He could have sworn there was no one there a second before.

"What happened?"

"Erika pushed me into the mud."

"Why?"

"Because she's mean."

"Why was she mean?"

The girl paused, then shrugged.

"What were you doing before she pushed you?"

"I was helping her read."

"Did she want you to help her read?"

She paused again, and shook her head. Then she said defensively, "But she's really bad at it!"

The senior sighed. "You have to ask people if they want your help. You can't just give it to them."

"Why?"

"Because it makes them feel bad when they can't do it themselves. Now come on. Let's get you cleaned up." The senior took off his gauntlet, and offered his hand to the little girl. She wiped the mud off her hand using a cleaner part of her shirt, and took the senior's hand.

Jensen looked around the graveyard, then followed them out. "Why did you come here?" he asked, curious. Her reply made him regret the question.

"I was hoping mommy and daddy would help me feel better."
~ Zozo Sidel
Mad Dame of the Scales

Player of Selena "Seldi" Witt
( Please don't call me "Sigil". )
Posted May 29, 15 · OP · Last edited Nov 14, 17
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3

The voices from inside the closed room were muffled, but could still be made out to anyone with their head leaning against the wall. The head of a young girl - perhaps seven or eight - was.

"How may I help you, my lord?" A woman's voice. She was calm.

"What is wrong with your kids?" A man's voice. He wasn't.

"My lord, forgive me. I'm not sure I understand the question."

"We came here for a child to take care of, and the one you gave us is...is...!"

"Please, my lord. Perhaps it would help if you explained the trouble you're having. I may be able to provide some insight."

The man groans, and is silent for a moment before continuing. "She refuses to sleep, and when she finally does, it's for barely a few hours before she wakes up, screaming for her mother."

"Perhaps she is afraid of the d-"

"She runs off to Six-knows-where without a word, and then the Seraph bring her here because she refuses to tell them her proper name."

"Well, children like to explore-"

"When the other children get things wrong, she corrects them..."

"That's not so bad."

"...by telling them the most awful truths that only adults should have to deal with! She makes Abigale cry almost daily!"

"Er, well, she's very smart. Perhaps try teaching her to...."

"She talks to herself."

"It's normal for kids to have imaginary fri-"

"Friends, I know, but this is different. But the absolute icing on the cake is that whenever we have guests over, she hides in her room, and if we try to get her to be social, she begs them not to kill anyone at best, and actually attacks them at worst! Lady Dulmacher had to get stitches after her last visit!"

There was a long, agonizing silence, before the woman finally spoke.

"I'm sorry, my lord. We will take her back. You'll need to sign this paperwork."

A moment later, the door flew open, and the expensively-dressed man stormed out. He didn't spare the girl a glance.

"Seldi?" The woman's soft voice spoke from the door frame. "Seldi, come in."

The girl didn't move. "I'm sorry, again, matron."

"It's not your fault."

"I know. I'm gonna go back to my bunk, now." And with that, the girl stood up, and walked away, dragging her oversized backpack behind her.
~ Zozo Sidel
Mad Dame of the Scales

Player of Selena "Seldi" Witt
( Please don't call me "Sigil". )
Posted Nov 14, 17 · OP
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