Sunny Afternoons

Just felt like throwing together a small montage of my characters enjoying a cool, sunny afternoon.


The sun’s rays shone through the newly cleaned window pane, casting a warm glow on the wooden floor in Osbeorne’s bedroom. Satisfied with his work, the blacksmith grinned and trudged out to the main room. He opened the front door, letting a fresh, cool blast of impending spring air rush into the house. Winter held many memories, some of the more recent ones dear to him, but Os was very much so looking forward to leaves on the trees and warm nights at this point.

He stretched his arms and closed the door, heading back into his bedroom. His bed was currently littered with ribbons, decorated papers, and twine; in the center proudly stood his two gifts: one for Jaemy and one for Kimby (a small painting and an intricate shelving unit, respectively). Sparing a moment to think on both gift recipients, he sighed and ran his hand down his face; by far, the two most complicated women in his in life. Thankfully he had ‘Ridia. What’d he say to her that one time? She was complicated, too, but in a good way? A soft, lopsided smile took over his lips as he remembered that rainy day a few weeks ago. Complicated, indeed.


The smell of an old tome conjured many feelings and thoughts for Aeldes, but chief among them was always amusement. This text had, during its initial inscription, smelled like ink and parchment and potential; now, most considered it to smell of decay and the loss of a different time. That could not be further from the truth! Its smell was layers upon layers of existence and living and learning! So many had learned from this piece: their fingers laid upon it as they studied, translated, copied. It had history and depth which made it immeasurably special.

Her finger lightly glided above the page, conscious of keeping as much oil from her skin from contacting it. This text was not new to her, but she also did not have first-hand experience of this particular time period. It was a fun one to read, partially because she was not trying to compare it to her own admittedly fluid memory. Oh, it looked like that mistake was copied over from the previous manuscript; it was tickled her fancy when something like that happened. A copied mistake today could be tomorrow’s new theory on an entire branch of science. This one was minor enough to not drastically affect anything, so she smiled quietly and left it unmarked.


Pale blue eyes reflected the bright blue sky as they watched a cloud lazily drift overhead. Kimberly’s lips slowly twisted into a petite, dreamy smile. What she did might have been rash — Nellie straight up called it stupid — but Kimberly was confident with the decision. It had to be better than getting all tongue-tied and stuttering every time he winked at her. There was something inexplicably…magnetic about him, and she gambled that taking a risk would even things out. If only a little. Now that the ice had been broken, so to speak, maybe it’d be easier for them to actually…talk. She wanted to talk to him.

One note of a small chuckle floated up from her lips as she contemplated the absurdity of the past two weeks.

Who’da thunk?


Blood-stained clothes bounced down the steps of a farmhouse, their owner rushing to grab more water from the nearby well. Ada grimaced as the sun blinded her and kept pushing the crank as fast as her arms allowed her to, the heavy bucket jerking up the rusty chain awkwardly. What seemed like an eternity later, the young woman — she was going on fifteen, after all — ran as fast as she could with a heavy bucket of water in both hands.

This baby wasn’t going to deliver itself, and her mom needed more water.

 

The Sunshine: Nothing

As soon as the door to their apartment slid closed with a click, Kimberly was comforted to hear her mother’s deep, happy voice ring through the main area.

“Hey, Kimmy! Took ya long enough. How’d it go?”

Kimberly smiled widely, slightly out of breath from the three flights of stairs she just ran up. She quickly half-skipped across the room to place her bounty on the dining table next to her mother’s tailoring. “Big ol’ basket of purples and yellows! Five silver.”

“Ha! Good job, sweetie. We’ll get to dryin’ them after dinner.” Natalie Brook rested her current sewing job in her lap and smiled as Kimberly walked into the kitchen.

Glass, glass, glass… Several cabinet doors squeaked while Kimberly searched for a glass. Just as she finally found one and finished pouring herself a reward of orange juice, her mother shifted in her chair and asked a question.

“It don’t matter none for dryin’ them, but why’re they kinda crushed? I told ya to take yer long walks before buyin’ the materials.”

As the reason some of those flowers were flattened immediately flashed through her mind, Kimberly couldn’t help but feel some blood rush to her face.

“Oy, there, look — ah, Kim! …Miss Brook! Sorry about that! I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
“…Frank?”

Shaking her head, Kimberly walked back out into the main room and took a sip of orange juice before waving the glass in her mother’s direction. “I didn’t! I… ran into Frank. Like actually ran into him. Smushed a couple of flowers. Nothin’ more.”

“Ah, cor. Please tell me you two didn’t make a scene in th’ middle of th’ market.” Her mother’s hand lifted to rub a temple.

The hairs on the back of her neck rose as Kimberly indignantly exclaimed, “Mum!” She was better than that.

Her mother groaned, her other hand rising to slowly circle around the other temple. “…Listen, I know yer an adult but sometimes I just get worried. You two’ve never gotten on.”

That…was true. Was. Rather than even attempt to explain it, Kimberly just quietly sighed and acquiesced. “Yeah… I know. It was…fine.”

It was fine. It was…more than fine. Why? Her attention started to drift as both the heat of the sun on the roof and the whirlwind of the past few days spirited her off to a tawdry daydream.

“–That poor boy. He’s been a good friend to yer brother, through thick ‘n thin.”

The swirling clusterfuck of hormones in her stomach that had yet to settle suddenly screeched to a halt when her mother’s well-meant scolding cut through fantasy.

He’s been a good friend to yer brother.

Her brother.

Fuck.

“…Os.” It was all she could do to hide the horror in her voice as her brother’s name escaped her lips in a whisper.

“Yeah, that’s yer brother. Whaddabout ‘em?” Her mother – their mother – looked in her direction with a confused twist of the brow.

Kimberly quickly averted her gaze and swallowed hard. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Her feet began to immediately carry her toward her room’s door. “I’m…gonna go take a nap.”

Her mother’s voice immediately changed from confused to concerned. “Kimmy, it’s broad daylight out!”

“Yeah, yeah.” She waved her hand and just kept going on through the doorway, mumbling.

“If yer comin’ down with somethin’, you best tell me so I can get some extra water!”

Continue reading “The Sunshine: Nothing”