Homeless veterans

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Amaris
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Homeless veterans

Post by Amaris » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:09 pm

The truck ride back to Battlefield park was bumpy and dark. Amaris was exhausted from her night and kept dozing off, while Quis peppered the poor driver with multiple questions. When they arrived, she stumbled out of the truck door and smiled sleepily.

“Thank you for the lift.”

Quis quickly headed to the back. He jumped into the truck bed, grabbed a large amount of the boxes donated and walked towards the barracks. Amaris scrambled to catch up to Quis, arms full of more of the donations. The driver fell behind with the last of the boxes. Amaris set the boxes down and pulled her keys from her pocket, then unlocked the doors, flipping on the lights on and ushering them both inside. Once inside, she set down the boxes on an old bed and coughed. A little dust rose. One more thanks to the driver, and he was off.

She turned towards Quis and smiled. “Thanks for the help. I really needed it… There is still so much to do”

“Would you like me to stay and help?” Quis looked at one of the open boxes, picking up a scarf to turn it this way and that.

Amaris walked Quis to the door after he put down the scarf. “It’s really late. I should get to bed and then start early getting organized, but thanks."

“Would you like me to come back tomorrow, then, to help you?”

“No thank you, I think I can do this. I just need to sort out the coats, gloves, hats, scarves, blankets and boots, but thank you.”

“If you are sure.”

Quis nodded, looking around, uncertain that she could do it all by herself, but not wanting to push, he turned and started to walk off into the night.

At the gates, a woman wearing a cloak, hood up over her head, smiled and gave Quis a smile and nod, pulling back her hood.

“Good evening, May I ask what is going on? That seemed like a lot of things you and young Amaris were carrying in.”

Quis looked at the woman curiously, studying her, then answered honestly: “The young Baroness of Battlefield Park, Amaris, had a benefit tonight and collected donated clothing, blankets, coats, gloves, scarves, hats, socks and boots. She intends to pass them out to the local war veterans that are homeless.”

Elessaria’s eyebrow rose and she looked beyond Quis, toward the lit-up open door of the barracks, then looked back down to Quis.

“How does she intend to pass all that out to the city? It’s rather large for her to do by herself.”

“I agree, but she declined my help.”

“Perhaps she is tired and not thinking about it. I’ll tell you what, will you come back tomorrow? I’m going to send help, and I bet she’ll appreciate you and my friends helping her when she’s had some sleep.”

Quis thought this request over a few moments and nodded. “I will arrive as soon as it is light.”

Elessaria nodded and smiled, turning to walk with him. “You are Quis, correct?”
They walked together, talking, into the night.

---

In the morning Amaris woke up at the crack of dawn, even though she’d been up till about 1am, after she’d locked the barracks back up, went to the manor and checked on Mist, before dragging herself to bed.

Gathering some toast and jam, coffee, a few sausages and a bag of ribbons, she went back out to the barracks and got to work.

Mist was left at the table to eat his breakfast, though he promised to come help her after he was done. He didn’t want to push her to eat more than what she took.

Amaris shook out a few beds’ blankets and then laid them back down, then went to the boxes, starting to pile socks on one bed. Another bed had the coats, and still another the hats, and so on, until she had each box emptied. Then, she started to stack: a folded coat, a hat, scarf, gloves and socks folded neatly on top of each coat then folded inside so that it made a neat little folded package.

She went over and grabbed out a red and green ribbon, neatly wrapping the package together snugly, and put on a bow. She finished all this by noon. She loaded the boxes back up and started to carry out a box, intending to take out one box into the city at a time.

When she opened the door, there stood Quis and an army of street urchins. When she came out of the barracks, they came to attention. She stopped and blinked.

“We were told to come help you. Elessaria says hi and hopes you will accept her and our help.”

Amaris blinked a few times, Mist coming up behind her with a chuckle, his hands full of Thanksgiving meal care packages.

“Oh… okay, yeah, please.”

She looked behind her and pointed.

“There are about 12 boxes of clothing packages, and Dad has food packages for them too. Could you take them throughout the city and pass them out to the homeless veterans…?”

Before she finished her request, the urchins went inside and each started pairing off into groups, each group gathering a box and heading out into the city. Amaris, Quis, and Mist took the last three boxes and started out into the city districts.

Amaris went left, Mist went right and Quis went down the street. As Amaris walked, she moved to some alleys and looked around, seeing a man standing against a wall.

“What’cha got there kid?”

The man was dressed in low slung jeans, a dingy t-shirt and a pair of black sneakers. He didn’t look homeless, let alone a veteran. Amaris eyed him cautiously.

“Warm clothes packages for the homeless military veterans.”

“You don’t say; I’ll take them.”

Amaris took a cautious step back as the man pushed off the wall and took a step towards her, hand outstretched to take the packages from her.

Another step. Amaris kept her eyes on him.

Another man’s voice came out like a rumble of thunder: “She said military veterans, not punks. You have never seen battle in your life.”

A dirty blond, tattooed man stepped out of the shadows, blue eyes stormy and dark.

“Fuck you, man, I’ll do what I want, and I’m taking those.” The punk stepped forward again, reaching out a hand, but was stopped by the other man’s calloused palm.

“Leave now. These are not for you.”

His hands circled the punk’s wrist and squeezed to indicate his strength and his willingness to snap the arm like a twig. His brown eyes looked the man over a few times.

The harasser looked back at Amaris and scoffed. “Whatever, dude, have them, I don’t give a shit.” Yanking back his hand, he turned and walked away, grumbling under his breath.

“Young lady, what are you doing? This is a very dangerous game you’re playing.”

Amaris tilted her head, shifting her load of care packages. “I am not playing a game. My name is Amaris, and I’m passing out care packages to the homeless veterans in the city.”

“So this is a school project, I assume… pretty crappy school that lets a kid roam about the back alley slums to deliver things.”

“My school is not crappy, and this isn’t a school project. I’m the Baroness of Battlefield Park, and I wanted to do something good with my title, so I thought gathering warm clothes and food for homeless veterans would be a good thing.”

“Baroness? So, you are an aristocrat trying to make yourself look good, I see.”

Amaris blinked a few times, trying to remember that word, apparently stuck on it.

“I’m a werewolf, not a cat… It’s not true, you know, not everybody wants to be a cat.”

The man stood there looking down at the girl, a single brow raising, with all the seriousness he could muster. “Dear gods, just don’t break out in song, alright, kid?”

“I can do that… Hey, what’s your name?”

“Jeremy. You said Amaris, right? Hmm, mind if I tag along with you, kid, just to keep an eye on you? It wouldn’t look good if I scared off one punk and then you got yourself killed or something.”

Amaris looked a little insulted. “Hey, I can fight pretty good, you know; that’s how I won my Barony! I don’t care if you tag along. I got to find a few good builders for my next project. Maybe you could help talk to some of the other homeless for me. You seem to know them.”

He eyed Amaris. “I’ve only just arrived here a while ago, but I’m a decent judge of character. I’ll try to help you. What is it you need builders for?”

Amaris started to walk and passed out care packages here and there as she explained her plans. “The barracks at battlefield park are old and need to be fixed up. I want to put bathrooms and showers in there and fix up the kitchen to have a sink and a fridge, so I need electricity or… some kind of spell work for it.”

“Are you building an army to stay in these barracks…? I don’t see the reason for having them fixed up.”

Amaris got wide-eyed and smiled brightly. “Oh, oh! I want to hire a few of the homeless veterans to work on the barracks and then when they are done there, continue to have them work the park, cleaning up the leaves, keeping paths clear, weed the gardens, keep the park clean, things like that.”

“And do you think they will do this for free?”

“No of course not. I raised money to give them paychecks, and they can stay at the barracks while they work at the park, but I think updating the barracks first is a good idea. I even drew a few pictures of what I want to do inside.”

He walked beside her, listening, surprise painting his face.

“I know that it isn’t a permanent job, but while I’m there, I’d like to help. I have to find someone who isn’t afraid of ghosts, though, because there are a lot of nice ghost soldiers there that also live on the grounds.”

“It’s not permanent?”

“No at some point someone will challenge me, and if I can’t win the duel, I’ll lose my Barony, but while I’m there, I wanna do what I can. Maybe I can ask the new Baron when they take over if they’ll continue on my idea, but I won’t know ‘til later.”

“I see.”

He followed, slowly thinking. As he walked at her side, Mist stepped up and looked at Amaris, then to Jeremy raising a brow.

“Good evening. Has my daughter been making friends again?” He chuckled softly.

The corner of Jeremy’s lip lifted just a little in a half smirk. Good, she had a caretaker after all.

“Good evening. The little Baroness has been telling me her plans and what she was doing here. Jeremy Harper.” Jeremy offered his hand to the other man, slowly.

“Mist Silhaeven. I see, it’s nice to meet you”

Amaris offered Jeremy the last of her parcels and looked up at him.

“Can you build?” she asked curiously.

Jeremy stopped and looked down at her, tilting his head, considering her question. “Yes, in fact I can.”

“Would you take the job and find some other homeless veterans to help? I’ll give you and them room, board and a paycheck!”

Jeremy thought for a few moments, taking the package she offered, then slowly nodded. “You know what, I think I’d like to get my hands dirty again. Sure kid, you got your first employee. When you want me?”

Amaris blinked, thinking. “How about Monday?”

He shrugged. “Sure, I can do that.”

Amaris fished into her pocket, looking up at Mist, then pulled out three hundred dollars and offered it to Jeremy.

“Take this and get some clothes, food, what not, and then if you want to stay at the barracks come on over. I’ll introduce you to the ghosts and show you around when you are ready.”

He looked at Mist, then back at Amaris, before back up at Mist. “You sure about that?” he asked, before taking it from her, slowly. “Thank you, Amaris, Mist. I’ll be there and gather up some skilled veterans to help.”

He offered his hand, and Amaris took it and shook it.

“See you later Jeremy!”
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