Shiny Things Make the World Brighter

The capital city of Anaxas and the seat of the government.
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Nikolina Fabricio
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 6:02 pm
Topics: 4
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 Apr 17, 2019 2:00 pm

Vienda: The Dives
36th of Achtus, 2718 Way past Lee’s bedtime


Lee nodded sagely as Xav talked about their fake writ. “I bet they’re expensive. But people like you and me gotta go where the money is. I try to stay out of Uptown ‘cause the Seventen patrol there all the time, but sometimes I haven’t eaten in days and I have to risk it,” she shrugged. “I leave as soon as I pick a couple pockets, though.”

“I left the factory the day after Katie died. I didn’t think Da would want me to stay there. He always said safety had to come first when working on machines and the gollies that ran that place didn’t care about safety at all. And it’s not like they paid us. They said our room and board was good enough pay, even though the food was rotten half the time and the rats sometimes nibbled on us while we slept.” Lee shuddered. “I’ll take sleeping on the streets with an empty stomach any day over that.”

“Yeah, I bet Brunnhold is the worst! And Da said all the passives go there and they’re dang’rous. Da said they had devil rees and sometimes exploded,” she explained. “I like learning, but I’d be scared to be around passives.”

Lee’s eyes widened as she followed Xav The Book and The Bell. “You’re staying here?” she whispered, amazed. “You must make lots of money!” She waved at Stu and quickly nodded at Xav’s directions, skipping up the stairs.

The room was small, but it was the first whole room that she had been inside of in ages. She was strictly a pickpocket, not willing to risk getting caught in a burglary attempt, so the rooms she usually slept in were missing parts of the walls or roofs. This room, tiny as it was, was utter luxury.

Lee felt a happy warmth when Xav entered and said that they were family as far as anyone else knew. Nobody had claimed her as family since Da died, though Abélard had wanted to do so. While she was aware the willowy wick could change their mind once they were sober, it made her happy that, for tonight, she had a family.

While Xan bathed and undressed, she found the farthest corner of the room and ever-so-carefully moved the clothes on the floor. The clothes were folded carefully, as if they were made of gold, and placed in one of the empty drawers of the dresser. Once a space large enough for her bedroll was cleared, she rolled it out, tickling Onna as she did. The ferret made a happy sound and then crawled up her arm to her shoulders.

“Okay! I’ll make sure I’m all nice and clean,” she said as she dug through her backpack for something to wear to sleep. She chewed her lip, horribly embarrassed with how dirty and smelly her clothes were. It had been too cold this winter to rinse them off at one of the public water pumps and it showed. As she debated the wisdom of sleeping in a wet, but clean, shirt, Xav offered her a couple shirts. She blushed and nodded. “Those should do. I’ll put my clothes in the tub and let them soak overnight. They’re kinda stinky.” She whispered the last part, looking down and blushing furiously as she did so.

Before Xav could reply, she wandered to the bathroom with her backpack and stripped her clothes off. She buried herself in the warm water as deeply as possible, the heat slowly chasing away the bitter cold in her bones. She laid in the tub for a little bit, then picked up the washcloth and soap and started scrubbing off the accumulated much that came from living on the streets. Her skin was red and a bit raw by the time she was finished, but Lee didn’t care. She felt clean and it was a wonderful feeling.

Lee had one more task to do before she was done. Onna had moved to the edge of the tub while Lee bathed, but the ferret needed a bath as much as Lee had. She scratched the back of the ferret’s neck for a moment after getting out of the tub and wrapping herself in a towel. “You’re gonna hate this, Onna, but you need it,” she said as she picked up the ferret and dunked her in the tub quickly.

The ferret started flailing, splashing water as Lee pulled her out of the water. She picked up the soap, running it over Onna’s fur and then massaging it into her fur. “Sorry, Onna,” she murmured as she dunked the ferret again to rinse her off. She picked up another towel and started drying the ferret off. Onna made angry sounds, nipping at Lee’s hands whenever they got within biting distance.

“I know, I know. I’m sorry,” Lee said as she put the now-dry ferret down. Onna made one more swipe at Lee before scurrying to the farthest corner of the bathroom. Lee emptied the tub a bit before picking up her clothing and dumping them carefully into the tub. Hopefully, the encrusted grime would dissolve some before morning.

Lee padded out to the bedroom, carefully taking one of the shirts Xav had offered her. It was a gorgeous shirt, much more beautiful than anything Lee had worn since her da died. “You sure it’s okay to wear this?” she asked nervously.


word count: 973

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