Nathaniel Mordue
Lost in the Land of Enchantment.
Mon Feb 26, 2018 16:19

Nathaniel loved Sylvia generally, and he loved her all the more for her insistence that any decision which put him into a group she deemed inferior had to be a mistake that she could correct through sheer force of will. Sometimes, though, the sheer force of her will was so much more formidable than his that he just felt the need to get away, to go somewhere by himself and regroup before he began feeling less like himself than like Sylvia’s shadow. In public, of course, it was better to be that, but he didn’t like the idea of not being anything but that, anywhere; there had to be some space that was his own.

Therefore, he skipped breakfast one Saturday morning and went out into the Gardens with his camera and his writing box, intending to look for some good scenes, photograph them, and start writing all the letters home he needed to write today. This last part could, admittedly, have been done in his own room, but he liked being outdoors; it reminded him more of helping Mama in the garden when she felt well, and playing with his brother and their father when they’d still had one, and hanging out with Sylvia in their treehouse, and the air was better - it was real, not like the air in Teppenpaw. Later he’d have to apologize to Sylvia, he supposed, and come up with some excuse that wasn’t quite a lie, but for now, he could just...breathe a moment.

Unfortunately, the scenery in the Labyrinth Gardens was...uninspiring, and so he kept wandering deeper, looking for something else. Slowly, images, interesting ones, began to present themselves to him: an ancient tree with what looked like the remains of ropes hanging from it, a fountain with dancing centaurs in stone, an interesting intersection where several paths spread away from one point. Encouraged, he went further, and further, until he was hot, tired, and his stomach began to pointedly complain about his treatment of it, and so he stopped.

I guess it’s time to go think about a snack, he thought, after I rest a minute.

Sitting on a bench, he was momentarily content, until another thought occurred to him: he had wandered through a lot of paths to get here. He had turned right and left, left and right, gone straight, looped back at a dead end...or had it been two? He was pretty sure it had been two. Almost as sure as he was that he was hopelessly lost.

Think. Think. Think. But he couldn’t think. Panic and an empty stomach did not go well together. Rising, he rose from the bench, leaving his camera and his writing box behind, and paced, trying to burn off nervous energy so he could think, but it wasn’t working - it just made him more aware that he was hungry and nervous. He stopped by the fountain, wondering if drinking some of that water would help or if it would poison him, and decided to at least dip his hands in it to cool down. As soon as he touched the water, however, it began spinning wildly; by the time he jerked back, the top of the fountain was sending a cascade of blue and red and green sparks up like a volcanic eruption, and the fountain was emitting such a piercing whistling that when another person entered the courtyard he was in, that person was greeted by the sight of a small, pale-faced boy sitting down on the ground, his knees pulled up to his chest and his hands over his ears beside the bench on which his writing box and camera still rested.

    • Just... lostCleo James, Tue Feb 27 06:46
      Cleo had no idea what to do. Parker’s last letter… She didn’t know what to think. He was being so kind… He kept saying that he’d understand… But it was so hard to believe. And there had been that... more
      • The noise stopped, but it took Nathaniel a moment to notice that it had done so. Even with his hands over his ears, the noise rang on, keeping his eardrums vibrating even after the cessation of the... more
        • “Uh… that’s ok,” Cleo nodded, as the boy not only thanked her but did so twice and actually also kinda bowed. He also seemed to think he’d done the thing with the sparks, which she supposed sort of... more
          • I'll do my best. Thanks for the advice.Nathaniel, Wed Feb 28 18:21
            Nathaniel nodded when the girl asked if he’d like her to show him the way back to the school. “Yes, please,” he said. “I came out to take pictures and write some letters, but I - I didn’t keep track... more
            • “This place is kinda big. It can be really confusing at first,” Cleo nodded, when he started mumbling about how he’d ended up lost. He seemed pretty embarrassed about the whole thing. Cleo was an... more
              • The girl did not seem to think Nathaniel was an utter idiot. This was good. Possibly untrue, but good. Aside from concern for the family, there was also the small issue of Nathaniel just not wanting... more
                • “Yeah. The outside is nice,” Cleo agreed, a little awkwardly. She wanted to make sure the kid was ok, but she was finding it kind of hard to keep up a conversation, she had to admit. It just all felt ... more
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