Singing for a bird

Old Rose Harbor is Anaxas' main trade port; it is also the nation's criminal headquarters, home to the Bad Brothers and Silas Hawke, King of the Underworld.
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Nikolina Fabricio
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:02 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Wick
: The obligatory street kid and orphan of Thorns.
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Writer: Rachel/jadeowl
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Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:45 pm

Old Rose Harbor
36th of Bethas, 2719

Lee could not believe that she was in Old Rose Harbor. Old Rose Harbor!

Her father had always said that, when she got older, he would take her to explore the world. But, obviously, that hadn't happened. Lee had long ago accepted that she would live and die in Vienda. And then, the beautiful moon person that was Xav came along and uprooted their life.

(She still called Xav "moon person" in her head. She suspected she always would.)

They had spent most of the last month on Surwood Isle and Lee was more than happy to be back in a familiar urban setting. The girl's anxiety had settled somewhat during the time she and Xav spent on the Isle and she had even started playing with a couple children before the two of them had left. But she knew, deep down, that she'd never feel comfortable as a wick. Her da had raised her a golly and he had told her that she had to be a perfect golly, or the real ones would hurt her when they found out. Once her father was gone, she had to take care of herself on the streets and was always waiting for someone to come and try to steal what little she had. Her entire life had been steeped in strict caution until Xav had entered her life. She just couldn't understand the carefree life that wicks seemed to have. Her da had a saying – "wearing boots for gloves". He told her that it meant doing something that didn't feel right at all.

Lee had been wearing boots for gloves the entire time she and Xav had been on Surwood Isle. Now that she was in a city again, she felt like she had put her gloves back on.

Xav had ended up coming out a bit ahead, money-wise, even with Lee buying a handful of books. When they arrived in Old Rose, they had been able to pick out a decent, if nondescript, inn to stay in. While they unpacked, Xav told Lee about the town, where it would be relatively safe to sing, where it would be safe to pickpocket, and areas that the brown-haired girl needed to avoid. They had a hefty dinner and collapsed into bed, Lee curling up against Xav, wedging herself under the tall, pale Gioran's arm as Onna wrapped herself around the Gioran's head before they all fell into a deep sleep. Lee would have never admitted it to Xav, but the traveling was wearing on her. She needed the rest that a stay in Old Rose would give her.

When Lee woke up late the next morning, she was alone in the bed. The spot where Xav had slept was cold, so they must have gone out a while ago. Lee heard Onna chittering and got up, then winced at the scene she saw. "Ewwww, Onna!!" she yelled at the ferret, who was chewing on a mouse on the hearth. She shuddered, but was thankful that Onna hadn't left it on her pillow this time.

Xav had left a wedge of cheese, a sausage, and a couple rolls under a covered plate on the table. Lee called for Onna, who abandoned the mostly-eaten mouse on the hearth as Lee threw her half the sausage. Lee grabbed one of the rags out of the bunch that Xav had bought from their friend Mr. Feldspur and picked up the remains of the mouse, dropping them in the trash, along with the rag. Lee was used to Onna hunting for her own food so, while she was grossed out, her stomach still gnawed at her spine. She grabbed a roll, covering the plate back up and wandering into the bathroom to draw a bath.

Lee and Xav hadn't taken a real bath since they left Surwood, but they had been too tired to bathe the night before. "Musta been dead if I slept through Xav bathing," the dusty wick said as she sat on the edge of the tub, gnawing and ripping the bread with her teeth like a rat. She had lived as a street kid long enough that her manners had disintegrated and, while they came back a bit when she was around Xav (sometimes only because Xav would scold her), she still slipped back into a street kid's habits when she was alone.

Once she was done with the roll, she stripped down and sunk into the bathtub, letting the warmth of the water soak away her aches from the trip. Once the water was cold, she hopped out of the bath and dried off, happily humming as she wandered over to the dresser to pick out one of the handful of clean shirts she had.

Five shirts for performances! Lee thought gleefully as she picked out her favorite shirt to wear, a button-up shirt with pinstripes that made her look like a kid who was on important business. She faintly remembered the days before her da had died, when she had a whole wardrobe and a dresser full of clothing, but things had changed so much since then. Now, the idea that she could probably go a week and a half without having to wash her clothes amazed her.

(She had told Xav that she had lived with her 3 shirts and 2 pair of pants since her da died and she didn't need more clothes, but Xav seemed determined to make sure the girl turned into a clothes hoarder like the milk-skinned Gioran themselves. Lee had stopped arguing with them the first week they were in Surwood, when she had seen how happy it made Mr. Feldspar to alter clothes to fit her. She was still a bit shy around the man, but his joy for his work was contagious.)

Lee quickly finished her breakfast after getting dressed, then grabbed the few coins that Xav had left her. That many coins meant that she'd be on her own for dinner, which was fine with Lee. That meant that Xav planned on performing at a tavern, which meant that they'd not have to worry about money. She got up, picking up Onna and what was left of the sausage before leaving the room her friend had rented for them.

Lee spent the afternoon wandering Old Rose, observing the people and learning their patterns. She wasn't stupid enough to assume that she could go back to her old pickpocketing habits – this wasn't Vienda and Xav had warned her about "Big Brothers". Around dinner time, she stopped in a market, buying a sandwich to share with Onna. Once she was done, she stood up, planting herself on the corner and putting her cap on the ground. Then, she started singing with her clear, bell-like voice, serenading the busy shoppers on their way home from work. Onna danced along to her song happily, performing little leaps and rolls.


word count: 1215

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Benton Borteillo
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: aka EON, Roswell Godfrey
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Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:03 pm

Castle Hill | Bethas 36, 2719
Benton Roderick Borteillo, drug-dealer, leg-breaker, face-beater, and galdor-seducer extraordinaire, was getting old. He could feel it as he got out of bed every morning and felt as though he had rolled down a sheer rocky face in his sleep, a soreness throbbing from underneath his skin, as he sat on the edge of his bed and prayed to return soon, as he looked into the dirty mirror in his tiny flat or the still water of his wash basin and saw that new wrinkles had made footprints in the sand of his face, new lightning bolts had struck his blonde hair into black and white, and new veins had popped out of his aging hands. He could feel it in the nights in the bars that slowly became fewer and fewer for Benton, the nights that he went home early, the nights he drank merely a glass of weak liquor, the nights he refused an invitation into a stranger's home. He could feel age in his relationships- in the way most of the people he saw simply made him shake his head, in the way he'd stay up with worry late at night to ensure Mordecai got home safe, in the plans he had to sell all of his business before he died to discourage Mordecai from getting involved with drug-dealing. On that Bethas day, Benton could feel aching age today in his right leg as he struggled to walk normally down the busy market street of Castle Hill. His leg was perhaps the epitome of his struggle with age- the ghost of an injury twisted around his leg, eternalized by poor medical treatment and the severity of the break, one caused by a large human man of Tom Cooke who collected for the Bad Brothers. It had been six years since that break, but it had been perhaps what aged Benton most- an injury that showed him that he was not invincible.

That day, Benton struggled down the street with his brass-headed cane, a cane that, by his slow, careful walk was surely a necessity, not a fashion statement. His fashion relied on his clothes, always simple and crisp and quietly reminding the world that he had money. He wore Vienda's fashion in Old Rose, not all-too-common among the thieves and beggars. Today he dressed in greys- a charcoal vest over a white, high-collared shirt and a feather-grey jacket, dark and light grey pinstriped pants, and smart black shoes. He walked slowly, letting the crowd swell around him and past him. He was not in a hurry. He was never in a hurry anymore.

Mordecai's birthday was approaching, and, as an eighteenth and the first birthday they'd celebrate together, Benton wanted it to be special. He wanted to give Mordecai something useful, something he'd keep forever, something that he could remember Benton fondly for. Benton was slow to admit it, but he considered Mordecai his son. Benton had not had a father figure in his life when he aged into manhood, instead of taking over the role of a parent for his younger brother when he was just coming into his teens. Mordecai's father was in the Northern Tors where Cai had left him, and, although the family still cared, Benton wanted to make sure Mordecai got what Benton had lost, and perhaps Benton wanted to do it to make up for what, now, late in his short human life, he realized he had missed out on- making a family. Benton had, first and foremost, had consulted a watchmaker for a specialty pocketwatch, personalized just for Mordecai. It was, of course, an important gift, but Benton felt the need to search the Castle Hill market for more, for anything that screamed Mordecai's name.

Benton walked with the rhythmic tap, thud, thud of cane, foot, foot, and found his tapping and thudding to slowly fade into the music of song. A sweet, young voice carried down the streets, and Benton, curious, tapped and thudded towards it. He had always been fascinated by buskers, and he was further fascinated when he saw the performer, but a little girl with a small crowd of mostly children and seniors, those unworked by life's daily toils. He approached, standing to the side of the crowd, grateful for a reason to rest his leg. He leaned heavily on the cane as he reached into his coat, looking for some coin to give her at the end of the song.
word count: 775
In hell I'll be in good company.
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Nikolina Fabricio
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:02 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Wick
: The obligatory street kid and orphan of Thorns.
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Writer: Rachel/jadeowl
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Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:33 pm

Old Rose Harbor – Castle Hill
36th of Bethas, 2719 Dinnertime


Lee was in her element. The only other place where Lee was happier was in the machine shop and that had been out of reach for years. Her clean body and clothing marked her as a performer, rather than a street kid begging for her food, which worked in her favor. She sang small ditties and innocent children's songs, adding a little flourish of a bow every time someone chucked a coin in her hat. The money wasn't coming in fast, but it was coming in, and that was the important bit.

She stopped after each song and asked for requests, carefully picking out people from the crowd who looked like they had a bit of money to spare or had children who would be entertained. Asking people who were taking care of children was always a bit risky since they often didn't have much coin to spare, but the group gathered around her was mostly elderly people and children and she had to work with what she had. It was the end of the day and tired children could be very cranky, so she hoped that entertaining them would encourage caretakers to spare her a coin or two.

She watched out of the corner of her eye as an older man limped up, smiling brightly at him between verses of the song she was singing. When she ended the song, she bowed with a flourish to the crowd and then turned back to the man. "Hello, sir! Is there a song you'd like to hear?" she asked him. "I'm almost ready to take a dinner break, but I can fit in one song for you, as long as it's not 100 verses long, like Grumble's Dirge!' she said with a cheeky grin and a wink.

Of course, she had just eaten before she started singing. But the man wouldn't know that and playing as if she was getting ready to have a break would play to his sympathies. Anyways, she was sure there was an Onna-stick cart in the market somewhere. She'd bet good money that Old Rose wasn't going to be that different than Vienda and every outdoor market in Vienda had at least one, if not two or more, Onna-stick carts. If the man didn't wander off after her song, she could always have a quick break and a light snack.


word count: 451
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Benton Borteillo
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:15 pm
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: aka EON, Roswell Godfrey
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Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:18 pm

Castle Hill |Bethas 36, 2719
Quite the ham, she is, Benton mused to himself as she smiled at him. She was certainly a little performer, and not just by voice. No, this kid had it all down- the smiles, the eye contact, the energy, that stupid wink she gave him. He had already been searching for a coin to give her without her prompting, but, no, he supposed he could up it from just a few tallies. Instead, Benton subtly pulled out a single shill, closing the small coin in his hand to conceal it. He rolled his eyes, then launched into a performance of his own.

"Hello, ma'am," he smiled, mocking her greeting playfully. "So kind of you to offer an old codger like me a sweet song." He knew full well that the offer was made to get his coin, and, damn it, the shill, perhaps too big of pay, was warm in his hand, and he'd provide against his better judgement. One sweep of the crowd told him that he was perhaps, by looks, the most financially comfortable here. Internally, he scoffed.

Smart little bugger, he thought, and he tried to think of a song, one lacking in prostitutes, getting hammered, general horniness, or the "chest of me morning lover, last night's woman is but another," (so he hummed slightly along to this one; it had been stuck in his head all afternoon). He found that, for a Bastian, he did not have a wide tome of songs stored in his memory. He was sure he didn't sing such songs in childhood, but he could remember singing. He glanced at the girl as she eyed him with anticipation, and he was reminded of Deitrick, a reminder that had become all the more common recently, whether by age or guilt he did not know. He was reminded of the way Deitrick would look at him when they played as children, and he remembered a song so deeply tucked into his memory, but perfectly preserved. He dusted it off, running through the lyrics to make sure it was appropriate.

Oh hush now, little starfly, go to sleep
The day has faded fast
The stars are out at last...


It was the theme of childhood in Bastia. He was surprised with how well he remembered the words and their sepia tune, but it was all there, now just in a voice of a middle-aged man's mind, not the boy he once was. A lullaby wasn't quite appropriate at this hour, he supposed, but his mind craved to hear it again, if only to cement that the world he and Deitrick had coinhabited had been real once upon a time.

His eyes melted into a sad smile of growing crow's feet in his sun-aged face as he reeled his attention out of his memory and to the girl. He could remember when Deitrick was her age.

"Do you know Little Starfly?" he asked tentatively, knowing nothing of the culture of lullabies and children's songs in Anaxas. "It'd mean the world to me if you'd sing it, or, dunno, even if you'd learn it for later." He smiled lightly, hoping she'd humor him with a silly little song.

word count: 557
In hell I'll be in good company.
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Nikolina Fabricio
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:02 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Wick
: The obligatory street kid and orphan of Thorns.
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Plot Notes: Plot notes, including thread history
Writer: Rachel/jadeowl
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Wed Sep 11, 2019 9:30 am

Old Rose Harbor: Castle Hill
36th of Bethas, 2719


Oh, she knew that song. She knew it well.

Her da had never told her where he was from. When she had asked about his past, before he had met her mother, he always said it didn't matter. He said that he had left that life behind and the only thing that mattered was the fact that he had a daughter that he loved dearly, and she had a da she loved just as dearly.

But one of her first memories was of that song. She must have only been a couple years old, but she had been sick and her da had taken her to the hospital. She didn't remember much about her illness outside of a world of blackness and feeling so, so warm, but she remembered her da wrapping her in her warmest winter clothes and the sounds and sensations of the taxi coach ride to the hospital.

She remembered her da holding her as they sat in the waiting room, singing her that song. She had been so, so scared. Even at her young age, she could tell something was wrong. The world wasn't supposed to be black. The nurse had hurried the two of them to another room and next thing she remembered was warmth as the doctor used the mona to examine her.

Lee didn't remember what the doctor had said, but she remembered drifting off to sleep and waking up the next morning in a comfortable bed. The room was silent, and she had cried out for her father.

"Oh, thank the Lady. You're awake," she remembered her da saying as he leaned over her and stroked her hair. "We're in the hospital, precious. You're very sick, but the doctors are going to help you get better. All I want you to do is rest and sleep. I'll be here for you until you're ready to go home."

Lee remembered her da singing that song to her over and over while she recuperated in the hospital. She remembered moments where she heard a man crying, but it couldn't have possibly been her da. Doctors came and went and, slowly, her vision came back. Once she had left the hospital, her da had told her that she had been in the hospital for a couple weeks.

Jolting herself out of her memories, the plucky girl gave a shaky smile at the man. "I'm sorry, sir, but I don't know that song. But I'll learn it!" she said with false, if fervent, cheer. "It's time for me to go, everyone, but I'll be here tomorrow, so I hope to see you then! Thank you for your patronage," she said as she picked up her cap, expertly stuffing the coins the breast pocket of her shirt. She blew a few kisses to the crowd before turning and hurrying off into the crowd.


word count: 534
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