Yes, I'm actually posting a snippet. This is the third snippet I've posted from this work, it follows the previous two but not immediately. This is part of Cassie's day and shows Cassie meeting her new teacher, Adhara, and her family. I'll post a list of characters if you think it needs one. Enjoy.
The long neglected farm was empty no longer, and looked as if it had never been abandoned. Furthermore, it seemed as if a whole clan had moved in: aunts, uncles, cousins; the whole lot. Babies and toddlers were running around like crazy in the cool air, some in just nappies and some without a stitch.
Suddenly one of the women, a tall woman with white blond hair, turquoise eyes, and a tan that spoke of being out a great deal in the bright sunlight, looked up, saw Cassie and exclaimed, “Kids! Time to go. School’s starting soon.” And gathering up a stack of books and papers, she headed in Cassie’s direction. “You must be Cassie,” she greeted Cassie like she’d been expecting her, holding her hand out for Cassie to shake. “I’m Adhara. I’ll be one of your teachers this year. Come on kids,” she called out as the older children were putting on shoes, gathering gear, and following after her. “It doesn’t look good for the teacher to be late on the first day!”
Cassie just stood there, speechless; she had never seen anyone like her before, and thought she was perhaps the most beautiful woman she had ever seen. Watching as she walked over to where Cassie stood gave Cassie a funny feeling. Adhara moved with a grace and freedom of movement that reminded Cassie of the dolphins she’d seen in her dreams just last night.
She was wearing flat, heelless shoes and a long flowing gown of deep cobalt blue, embroidered at the neck, belted at the waist with a long silken cord, and with long loose sleeves that ended in tightly buttoned, embroidered cuffs at each wrist. And her white blond hair was not up, but instead braided into a single plait down the center of her back. Even the town’s nosiest busybody would not be able to find fault with what she wore, as they frequently commented shrilly about Cassie’s attire. Cassie was so busy looking at her; she almost missed what Adhara was saying.
“You probably don’t remember me, but you and your mum lived with my partner and me before you and she moved to Mizar, when you were a baby. I was so very sorry to hear that she had died. She was a dear friend, and we all miss her terribly. If there is ever anything I or my partner can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
“Thank you,” Cassie replied shyly, silently vowing herself to make sure she never needed to ask. What would this nice woman think of her if she only knew what had really happened. She knew my mum, Cassie mused sadly. She was my mum’s friend. Maybe she would have helped us; I wonder why my mum never asked for help, or why she never told me about them.
“I was told that you lived in the farm on the other side of the creek,” Adhara changed the subject and smiled encouragingly as they walked side by side through the woods, “I figured you probably used this as a short cut.”
“You don’t mind me cutting through, do you?” Cassie looked up at her with some trepidation, but glad to talk about something that didn’t produce tears and runny noses. Letting the other children see her cry had only made them crueler in their teasing, not that she would tell Adhara that. Cassie knew from hard experience that trusting any adult other than her mum, and now Acamar, was a risky business, but something in Adhara’s face made Cassie want to trust her, “It’s a lot longer the other way.” For some reason, this new teacher reminded her of Adharshala.
“Not at all,” Adhara smiled in agreement, carefully watching the reactions of the child who, though Cassie wasn’t aware of it, was the reason that Adhara and her family had come to this town, “it must save you quite a bit of time each morning. Is there a bridge over the creek?”
“Nah, just a fallen log,” Cassie explained, smiling in relief before continuing, “but it’s really wide and usually pretty stable. But I should warn you, with all the babies running around at your farm, the creek is running high and fast. A lot higher and faster than normal for this time of year, you’ll want to keep the babies away from it.”
“Thanks, that’s good to know. Mara, did you hear that? Could you go run and tell your mum? Thanks lovey.” And at that a young girl with honey blond hair and blue eyes gave Cassie a quick smile in greeting before turning around and running back towards home with an easy ground eating pace. “She’s the fastest of the lot; I wouldn’t be surprised if she beat us to the school.”
“She’s not yours?” Cassie asked somewhat timidly, not sure what to make of a teacher as friendly as Adhara.
“Yes and no.” Adhara smiled at Cassie’s look of confusion. “I’m not her mum, but I help raise her. Her mum’s my partner; we each have kids and raise them all together. Would you like me to introduce you to the troops? Alright troops! Form ranks!” And Cassie was amazed when the children all lined up according to age, and she could finally see how many there were. She was also interested to notice that even though the girls were all dressed in a style similar to Adhara’s dress, they each seemed to have definite preferences as to colors.
“Mara just left,” Adhara began the introduction, “She’s eleven and she belongs to Selene. This is Shala, she’s also eleven, and she’s mine.” Adhara pointed to the tallest, a pretty, smiling girl who had her mother’s white blond hair but with hazel eyes, only a little shorter than Cassie herself. The just departed Mara and Shala seemed to have chosen coordinating colors: Mara’s dress was dark blue with a cream colored shirt underneath, while Shala wore a dark brown dress with a pale blue shirt.
“Shala, that’s a pretty name, what does it mean?” Cassie asked, remembering her dream and Adharshala’s parting remark “I know some Old Tongue, but I’m not familiar with that; Tahala means starlight, is it close?”
“Sort of. In Old Tongue, Shala means bright star,” Shala answered blushing, before adding, “But it also means ‘beloved’ or ‘darling’.” Now it was Cassie’s turn to blush, she’d never had anyone except her mum ever say they loved her before. She quickly decided that she liked it, and couldn’t wait for the chance to call Adharshala that as well.
“I’m Aludra, and she’s Dahlia,” the next in line said, another girl with the kind of dark brown hair that Cassie knew must have been towheaded as a baby. She had her mother’s sea blue eyes and smiled as she pointed first to herself and then to the girl beside her, a sweet faced girl with honey blond hair and gray-green eyes, who looked up from her book only long enough to give Cassie a quick smile. Aludra draped her arm over Dahlia’s shoulder and added, “We’re ten.” Cassie thought it interesting that though both girls were wearing the same dress, a plain gray tunic, the different colored shirts underneath (Dahlia’s a pale pink and Aludra’s a dark blue) and belting around the waist made the two girls’ outfits look completely different.
“And I’m guessing that you’re Adhara’s. Right?” The children all giggled and nodded their approval.
“I’m Cintha, and I’m nine.” The next in line, a lonely-looking girl with honey blond hair and cornflower blue eyes sighed. Her dress and the shirt underneath were both in shade of green, with the shirt being the paler shade.
“My Zosma spent the summer with his Da and she misses him something fierce.
Don’t you, pet.” The little girl nodded, smiling sadly at Cassie.
“I’ll play with you.” Smiling at the hopeful look on the child’s sweet face, Cassie thought that she may miss Zosma but guessed it was hard to be lonely for too long with this lot around.
“My name’s Amalthaea, but everyone just calls me Thaea.” The blond girl began; her outfit was a dress of undyed linen and a floral print shirt. Although her hair was not as pale as the older girls, Cassie knew that she was Adhara’s. Her eyes were also hazel, but seemed a darker shade than Shala’s.
“And I’m Cory. Okay, it’s really Corydalis, but you can call me Cory.” The little girl with the light brown hair and gray-green eyes continued, again her eyes and her hair were darker than her sisters, but the resemblance was still there. Unlike the other girls who seemed to have been influenced by the choices of their year mates, Cory’s choice of clothes seemed to have not been influenced at all by Thaea’s choice; her choice had been a dark blue shirt under a plaid overdress.
“And we’re six.” The two finished in unison.
“Well, my name is really Cassiopeia,” Cassie answered with a grin, “but everyone just calls me Cassie. And I’m please to meet you.”
“And these are Tansy and Pansy, and they’re just five.” Adhara rested her hands on the heads of the two little girls who were now clinging to her skirts and hiding behind her, peeking out every once in a while and giggling. “And if you figured out the hair colors, you know that Tansy is mine and Pansy is Selene’s. We didn’t mean to give them those names; we tried calling them a variety of names, and these just kind of stuck. Actually, they got lucky.” Adhara laughed, remembering, “They were almost named Port and Starboard.”
Cassie was amused to see that at first glance neither girl’s outfits matched; the tops clashed awfully with the short pants each girl was wearing, until she realized the girls must have gotten dressed and then exchanged their tops. The result was an interesting clash but neither girl seemed to care in the least.
“That’s a lot of kids.”
“You’re telling me, but that’s what I get for falling in love with an Earthie,” Adhara laughed and Cassie joined in, glad to have someone with whom she could share a laugh. Cassie wasn’t quite sure what Adhara meant by calling her partner “an Earthie”, though, and so just let that part slide, not feeling comfortable enough to ask, “You can meet the babies later. Not all of the babies at the farm are ours though; some belong to the people who came with us to help us move in and make repairs on the farm.”
As they continued walking, Adhara told Cassie about the repairs they had already made to the roof and the barn. “I never asked. How old are you?” Adhara asked, suddenly changing the subject.
“I’m twelve. I’ll be thirteen this spring, so I take my classes with the older kids.”
“Really, that’s wonderful,” Adhara exclaimed with a smile, and went on to explain, “That means you’ll be in my class this morning.” Cassie smiled brightly at that. Perhaps this would be a good year.
Construction Photos- Week 27
6 days ago