Life Day, Chandrila

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Life Day, Chandrila

Post by Smallcorners » Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:27 pm

It was still dark on Chandrila, stars glittering the sky while the hooded figure slipped through the camp. There were other figures also, all hooded, all making a brief stop at the entrance to each tent before moving on. They moved mostly in silence, but there was no menace about them, perhaps this was how they managed to pass by the guards?

The boy watched one figure draw closer, it was slight under the robes, and humming some gentle song. The rest of his family slept in the tent behind him, unaware that he had woken and was peeking under the flaps. The figure stopped at the next tent over, setting down a bag then reaching inside to pull out an assortment of items that they carefully piled by the entrance. Curiosity drew him further out from under the side of tent, he was sure he had not made a noise, but the hood turned towards him.

Amusement colored the figure as they raised a finger in a quiet gesture, then beckoned him over. He crawled out and approached with little fear, there was something familiar about the elegance of the hand, and the great dark eyes with hints of blue and green swirls visible even in starlight. She ran a hand over his forehead, through his hair, he must remain quiet if he was to help. The impression was clear even without words and he nodded, so she took his hand leading him to another tent.

Other than her soft humming, they passed no sound between them as they emptied her bag and went for another. He paused seeing the ship surrounded by yet more hooded figures, until her hand touched his shoulder. Safe, happy, secret, surprise, warmth flowed through that touch and he looked up at her in the dim light from the ship. She smiled and led him inside, bringing him to the cockpit so he could see out over the camp.

A few days ago his family had started on a trip from where they and a few others were situated, coming to here, setting up their tent and meeting with the other refugees. The children in the camp took the opportunity to make new friends and carefully explore the area, but none of them really knew why the adults had decided to gather. He did remember seeing this young woman several times before, she usually held an air of kindness about her, even when tempered with sadness. Tonight he caught a bit of mischief about her.

She pointed out the activity in the camp's communal cooking area by even more adults, making him realize that he was hungry. She chuckled, then guided him back out and towards one of the tables that had been set up with rolls, cheeses, fruits, tea, and caf. He was left there a moment to have a predawn snack while she collected another bag, then they headed back into the camp.

He helped her pile wrapped packages at a few more tents then she led him back to where he had snuck out of his own. Patience, anticipation, care, happiness followed another run of fingers through his hair then also secret, special, help. He nodded slowly, then crawled back under the flap at her urging. Once inside he noticed his sisters still slept, the feel about them was quiet, rest, but he was now much too awake to join them. Instead he sat on his mat and let the feel of the camp wash over him.

While many did still sleep, or were in the first stirrings of awareness, he was able to pick out the knots of those that had been up and moving about. Guards dotted the camp's perimeter, more for the local wild life than in fear of an attack. The people that he saw earlier cooking, and another gathering that he had not noticed in the gloom of the night. How much longer would he have to wait? Anticipation was building, satisfaction, cheerfulness.

He wanted to dash out, then remembered he should have patience, he would know when he could come out again, though he did not get an impression from her how he would know? The sides of the tent began to lighten, he felt his parents stir, then he heard the music. It was gentle, it was joyous, it was stirring, and now he knew when. He bounced from his mat towards the tent flap only to be called back by his father. He needed to get properly dressed first, his sisters need to be woken...

The music still played, swirling about the camp, rising in volume as other instruments and voices joined in. Delight, surprise, relief, amusement, were some of the feelings he was picking up now. His mother laughed and waved towards the tent flap allowing him and his sisters to go outside and discover the grouping of gifts that had been left behind for their family. While the toys were simple, a ball, dolls, games, hoops, they were more than they had before. Each child also found a non connected datapad full of books. His parents too had things waiting for them in the pile, and there was some new clothes for all.

Now he could smell the food cooking, hear the music more clearly, and the chatter of voices. His parents had them bring in and put away their gifts before the entire family headed towards the scent of the breakfast. A buffet had been set out since he saw the area earlier, and a makeshift stage where the musicians were playing. Then he noticed the Life Day tree.

It too had simple decorations; flowers, ribbons, some colored balls. Nothing extravagant, but still magical to his eyes. There were gifts under the tree and he looked up at his mother who shook her head, then pointed into the distance where he could just see a cloud of dust, and feel more people. These gifts were for the latecomers, and somehow this made him happy that no one was forgotten. His mother nodded with a smile, murmuring her approval before turning to attend one of his sisters.

He was safe to wander among those gathered and did so, soaking up the generally happy feel of the crowd until he came to the stage. There she was, the figure that had guided him last night, only now she was in a dress playing a horn. He felt her smile at him from her spot in the small orchestra, then he waved and dashed away in response to his name being called by a friend. In that moment he decided that he would keep the secret of what he had helped with.

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