Thursday, October 29, 2015

Unwanted Visitors III: Past Midnight

If you're coming in late, the story begins here.

Samina tried to get one more spoonful of mush into the baby's mouth,‭ ‬and finally gave up.‭ ‬Seven was too young to speak,‭ ‬but the way he writhed and turned his head aside was clear enough:‭ ‬he didn't want any more food.‭ ‬She did,‭ ‬but she could wait‭; ‬she'd had enough to keep her for awhile.‭

She looked up,‭ ‬and found the Dayborn sitting on a stool that he'd placed just outside the kitchen,‭ ‬near the table where he'd set out the food.‭ ‬He was watching the children,‭ ‬but not with any particular attention:‭ ‬his eyes followed them,‭ ‬but his thoughts were elsewhere.‭ ‬Oberon was right,‭ ‬she decided.‭ ‬He doesn't care about us.‭ ‬In the hours that they'd been there,‭ ‬he hadn't asked for their names,‭ ‬or where they came from,‭ ‬or why they were out in the woods in the midst of a storm like this.‭

She turned her attention back to the children.‭ ‬Oberon had found a checkers board,‭ ‬and was patiently teaching Iulius how to play.‭ ‬Amarie,‭ ‬the blind girl,‭ ‬had curled up on one end of a couch with a plate of food,‭ ‬and was listening to the others.‭ ‬Grey was nowhere to be seen,‭ ‬but that was usual with her‭; ‬Samina finally spotted her by looking for Rag,‭ ‬who‭ ‬had found a book and was looking at the pictures.‭ ‬Grey was beside him,‭ ‬reading bits of the story as Rag flipped through it.

It was past midnight,‭ ‬and the rain had trailed off to a light drizzle,‭ ‬but nobody seemed inclined to move.‭ ‬Samina didn't blame them‭;‬ she was warm and dry and comfortably full,‭ ‬and going back out into the trees was just about the least appealing thing she could imagine.‭

Seven burped,‭ ‬and Samina set him down on the floor.‭ ‬She watched as he crawled over to the couch and began trying to‭ ‬pull himself up.‭ ‬Despite the windows and all the daylight they would let in,‭ ‬despite the Dayborn who lived here,‭ ‬the children were going to want to stay here.‭ ‬Samina knew she shouldn't allow it,‭ ‬but she had the feeling it was going to happen anyway.

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