Finding a Reason

Stories from an alternate post-Sanyumato Rhydin.

Moderators: Goldglo, Koyliak, Candy Hart

Locked
User avatar
Jaycy Ashleana
Seasoned Adventurer
Seasoned Adventurer
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 6:32 pm
Location: Her ship, with various friends, or at the dueling Arena and Outback

Finding a Reason

Post by Jaycy Ashleana » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:30 am

Gnarled and knobby knuckles of his left hand dug deep into the pliant dough unfolding on the flour-dusted block. His right hand simultaneously raised a square of crusted, stained cloth toward a sodden brow to wipe the liquid clear before it could contaminate the precious makings of today’s “feast.” He sighed as he replaced the sweat rag at its usual place, tucked in the ties of his apron at his hip. The right hand resumed its work in sync with the busy left.

Bar Janner silently counted his fortunes in an attempt to temper the metaphorical beating that the doughy blob was suffering under. His life – his bakery and his family – had survived not only Sanyumato’s hell but also the frenzied rioting and violence in the past week that had followed. Once a master of specialty delights in the New Haven district, he weathered the peoples’ rage by adapting and becoming their savior.

The forceful kneading crawled to a halt as he drifted over the past week; he had been without sleep for the last sixty-seven hours and had only managed a scant four before that and even his prodigious stamina was finally fading. The work stalled and he slumped against the butcher-block tabletop, eyes falling shut.

Sanyumato came in a rush, thundering down upon all of their heads. There was little warning, even in this hallowed section of the city - the home of the scions and rulers of this place called Rhydin. He had been leaning back in his chair, the reinforced wood still straining under his massive bulk, a self-satisfied grin plastered on his face. He was finally allowing himself a moment of congratulations. You see, he had just finished serving upon the Governor’s Ball thousands of sweet delights. Puffs and éclairs tickled the tongues of the rich and famous, truffled chocolate melted so smoothly down their throats. The event had been the crown jewel of his career, that special feather in his cap, and he had contemplated retirement while still at that pinnacle.

His children, ten-year-old twin boys, had been snuggled tight in bed, for once settled without extraordinary effort. Perhaps that might have been the greatest sign of the devastation to come. His wife sat next to him in her own comforting rocking chair, nursing the three-month-old babe at bared breast.

The storm began quietly at first, pattering on their brick structure (home and business in one) before coming down in increasingly torrential thunder. Flakes of concrete powder flitted down from the ceiling as the storm rushed toward its peak, the foundations rattled. But still the building had held – for the moment.

He and his wife had jolted up, jarred from their complacency by the force of the deluge surrounding them. “Chandre,” he rasped, “… get the boys below.” She complied without hesitation, scuttling toward the boys’ bedroom while tiny Reni suckled in her tighter grip. He too had sprung to action, rumbling from living room to kitchen to bakery, smothering the banked fires as he went. He could tell this was no ordinary storm and an uncontrolled blaze through the building, while less likely, was still possible.

He had finished quickly, strangely agile for such a big man, and thudded down the stairs to the underground shelter buried deep within the foundation of the building. Once his head had cleared the hole’s frame, he had stilled long enough to drag the concrete slab covering into place and secure them from the storm. He had covered the last few steps to his family swiftly and gathered them up in his hold. “It’ll be alright,” he had murmured, seeking to soothe young boys who had been stressed so quickly by the rush into the basement despite the calm their mother attempted to portray. The boys, Liam and Jon, shivered mightily with the fright in their father’s arms.

They had eventually fallen into a fitful slumber on the lavender-scented bedding kept fresh just for such possible emergencies. It was a full day before he had finally ventured forth, careful to contain his family in the basement while he surveyed the extent of the situation. Windows of his precious shop had lain in slivered pieces scattered across the marbled floor, shattered not only by the storm itself but also by the beginnings of the riots that would follow. So much of the city was destroyed so quickly by Sanyumato; those sad souls remaining knew they would perish too if they could not quickly gain as many resources as possible.
User avatar
Jaycy Ashleana
Seasoned Adventurer
Seasoned Adventurer
Posts: 452
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 6:32 pm
Location: Her ship, with various friends, or at the dueling Arena and Outback

Post by Jaycy Ashleana » Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:30 am

He had seen the first vultures circling his block’s companions, other shops that served the elite clientele that lived in the district. One woman exited from directly across the street, shedding blood from multiple gashes onto the whole pig that she staggered under the weight of.

He hadn’t even paused at the sight of the woman; he stormed into action. He stomped to the ovens and restoked the fires that would save not only the lives of him and his family but also the lives of his peers, the citizens of the city. He hadn’t dared let his wife and children up from the haven they rested in – they had food and water set aside for such emergencies – lest they find themselves victims of the increasingly numerous scavengers scuttling about outside.

His first loaves had taken some time; the ovens needed to get hot again before he could even let the simple logs get to baking. A few brave souls had attempted to storm the bakery while he was in the early stages of his work but he thundered and beat them away. “If you want bread, you fools,” he had growled, “…. ya needta let me make it! Ya leave me alone, you’ll get bread as long as I can make it!”

Word had spread of his deal among the throngs and soon there was an unspoken agreement to leave his poor shop alone. In fact, they had begun to bring the few remaining raw ingredients to his ovens – flour and eggs and yeast trickled in from the weak reserves through the city. It had been almost as if his ovens were the only left hot in the entire city.

He had finally allowed his family to resurface after two days, warily trusting in the truce between him and the survivors. Chandre and the babe had remained below, terrified of the violence that thundered around them as loudly as the storm had ravaged the city. The boys had relished their returned freedom and scooted through the bakery’s confines, suddenly apprentices in the family business. They had risen to the occasion despite the constant fear that the uneasy agreement could unravel at any moment and kill them all.

They had survived the last few days. They had –

“Da?”

“Da?”

Bar Jenner jumped into wakefulness as he felt the questing poke of his older twin, Liam. “Da?” the boy asked for a third time. “Yeh, Liam?” He resumed his work upon the ball of dough after sparing a fleeting glance and a tired, but encouraging, smile for the boy. Liam returned to his work of measuring the dry ingredients for another batch of dough into the bowl in front of him.

“Why are we doin’ this, Da? We’re almost out of everything, includin’ water and wood and flour. Why aren’t we stoppin’?” Even at his age, he understood that resources were finite and they would soon be at risk for starvation and loss if they continued to service the community – the last week had prematurely aged both boys.

Bar paused in his kneading and lifted the ball, settling it lightly in a bowl before covering it with a cleaned cloth. Only then did he turn toward his son. The silence between them hung long as he contemplated the answer. Finally, he replied, a tinge of sadness at the truth of Liam’s observation fused into the words.

“Liam, son, if we hadn’t done it … not only’d we be gone, but so would many others who couldn’t eat. Now, we all have a chance as the city just begins to recover. We aren’t stoppin’ because we can’t let anyone else die if we can help it.”

He paused, then concluded. “We aren’t stoppin’ because we live here, and everyone needs all we can do.” The boy canted his head, then finally nodded and got back to work.
Locked

Return to “Elements Askew”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest