The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

The manly pursuit of making flower crowns.

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

Postby Boo Beckett on March 11th, 2016, 5:06 am

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Timestamp: 22nd of Spring, 516 AV

Sharai Peak. Every inch of it literally covered by some kind of plant, bush, shrubbery or tree, while man made pastures and grassy fields swept across in the now green ocean under a Spring sun. Then there were hot houses, whose skyglass roofs shimmered and sparkled in the daylight, while inside fine rows and neatly assorted patches of crops grew plentiful and proud. The Okomo Estates sat nestled in its own domain upon the peak, the spaced out cottages of varying yet equally majestic design playing host to an assortment of Lhavitians, all with some incline towards the very essence of Sharai Peak, which was to cultivate the land. Those cottages boasted fine and lovely gardens, bordered by the lively pink of dwarf primrose, while within the walls could be found leafy dulas, clusters of deep blue and white keokina, or maybe a smattering of mountain roses.

Then there was Boo's garden.

Boo was the first to leap to his own defense, had it ever come to public debate, that he was very new to the world of gardening. If truth be told, he had never before graced a plot of land with any desire to plant, tend, prune or grow anything. As far as he was concerned, there were trees and plants, some of which bore tasty and exotic fruits, others that did not. He was a fan of the former. Regardless of his lack of garden knowledge, his new abode in the Okomo Estates had come with its own plot. A mistake perhaps at the administrative office? Surely he had not requested it. Why would he? But then again, maybe it had simply been thrown in as part of a package deal. In any case, it really did not matter now that he was in Lhavit. Because part of his being in a whole new city, with Alvadas and all the bad memories behind him, (though one or two of those did try on occasion to seep into his thoughts, like evil vines that wrapped themselves around everything), was that he had embarked on a new life. A new life meant trying new things.

So then, Boo stood by the small gate to the garden, not yet ready to cross the threshold, but rather he surveyed his kingdom while he plotted what designs he might lay upon the lands. The garden itself was something of a mess, what plants had once called themselves resident now either dead or heading to that same destination. Winter had not been kind, and it appeared as though the previous occupant had not thought to grow anything able to withstand the harsh weather. In the interim, with the weather slowly creeping towards a more lush and pleasing temperature, there were weeds that had literally taken root, barging their way in uncontested and seeking to make a home for themselves.

Boo figured the best option here was to simply start over. With that decided, he clutched a rake in his hands as though preparing for battle, before swinging the gate open to allow him in. Only, instead of yawning open as rusted gates were known to do, this one had apparently swung its last, unhinging itself in a final display of complaint, before landing ungracefully in the garden soil. Boo stared at it accusingly, wondering just how long this house and plot had been vacant. He bent down to grab the gate, realizing that it was much heavier than he anticipated. Dropping the rake on the ground beside him, he had to use both hands to drag the blasted gate up, before setting it against the garden wall. With that done he turned back to fetch the rake, only he had not accounted for his new position.

It was almost too comical, foot meeting rake, the resulting science dictating that the wooden pole it was attached to must rise. There to hinder its perpetual movement was a surprised looking face, halfway between being caught off guard and suspecting what the very near future had in store. But in a twist of fate that no rake could have predicted, a hand moved with frightening pace to impede the pole's foul endeavors, catching the shaft in a swift motion while Boo quickly stepped off the other end. With a victorious grin slapped across his face, he shook the rake above his head in celebration of his quick reactions and good fortune, casting a somewhat strange scene to any who might have been passing by at that moment.
Last edited by Boo Beckett on March 20th, 2016, 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

Postby Amelia on March 20th, 2016, 8:55 pm

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If there was one thing Amelia disliked, it was getting her hands dirty. She made every effort to treat her hands well: to keep the skin moisturised, the nails filed, and most importantly of all, the hands themselves kept clean. She had never in her life experienced what her mother vaguely referred to as ‘hard labour’, which Amelia presumed was sweaty and exhausting work -- things like blacksmithing or carpentry. The very idea of such labour horrified the seamstress. Her hair would become frizzy, her skin red with sweat… and her hands!

Well, her hands would never look perfect ever again.

And so tending to the small garden attached to her home in Okomo Estates was a chore that Amelia liked to pretend didn’t exist. She hoped that one day, after days and days of her ignoring the need for things like mowing and weeding, the grass and plants would simply disappear, off to bother some other young woman who had better things to do. But nature, Amelia was begrudgingly starting to learn, cared little for things like one’s skincare routine and a woman’s desire to keep her shoes and feet unsoiled.

Thankfully Amelia and her sad artist of a mother had hired a gruff-looking bearded fellow to tend to the garden for them. He kept it low maintenance – nothing but grass and a shrub or two – so even in those desperate final few days before his next visit where the grass would tickle her calves, the garden would not quite become the wild jungle Amelia regarded it as.

And so it was with a combination of humiliation and self-degradation that the seamstress
one day observed her rugged gardener plucking at weeds and doing other mysterious
tasks that made no sense to her but were apparently needed to keep the garden alive (something called pruning could hardly be crucial to anything, in her opinion). She huffed about behind him, trapped on her tiny island of solid stone ground and surrounded by a green, murky sea of grass.

“Hugo?”

No response.

Amelia tried again, failed again. It took four more times for the gardener to hear her pathetic plea for attention, and it was only when he turned around to face her, his beard covered in green bits and lumps of dirt, that the seamstress recalled that he was half-deaf. “Oh, I’m sorry.” She said, her mouth exaggerated and voice loud to accommodate his poor hearing, “Hugo, do we have any jasao blossoms?”

“What?”

“Jasao blossoms!”

“Eh?”

This was repeated several times, until finally the half-deaf gardener and the stranded seamstress understood each other. “Y’got no blossoms here, Amelia.” Hugo explained with all the patience of a saint. A filtyh hand gestured manically to the almost-bare garden in which he sat. “Need a tree for blosoms, see.” He smiled crookedly, quite amused by the woman’s lack of know-how of the gardening world.

The idea that the garden would not reap the exact plant she wanted had not crossed Amelia’s mind. For a moment she stood there, leaning forwards as close to the vegetation as she dared without leaving her paved island. She felt betrayed, hurt even, by the garden’s lack of generosity in giving her blossom flowers. “But…” She was close to pouting, but held herself together. Just. Already aware that Hugo regarded her as little more than a grown-up child, she did not want to give him further leverage with which to underestimate her. So she settled for cool aloofness: “Oh. No problem. Thanks, then.” She twirled around, showing the gardener her back and marched out of her garden.

Unbeknownst to Amelia, Hugo rolled his eyes. Leave prissy women like Amelia to the prissy men. He was happy with his plants, with his trees. They never made such silly demands.

Amelia, however, was bristling with frustration. If life didn’t give her enough challenges, she now had to find her own blossom tree from which she could procure flowers. Briefly she considered returning to Hugo and seeking his advice about where to find a blossom tree – or what they looked like, for that matter. But no. She could do this without his help. All she needed to find was a tree with flowers on. How hard could that be?

She stalked past several gardens, eyeing them keenly for any sign of blossoms. All were annoyingly vacant, devoid of any life save for green, green, and more green.

Except for one.

The seamstress paused, observing the male who stood in his own ramshackle garden apparently celebrating some victory. A smirk creased her lips – she just couldn’t help it. Never before had she seen someone seem so pleased with himself for… what? Clearly the male was not celebrating winning an award for gardening, but his glee was contagious.

If anyone could help her, Amelia figured it may as well be this guy.

“Hello?” Cautiously she stepped closer to the garden, her hand coming to rest upon the defective fence. “Hello I was wondering if you have any blossom trees in your garden?” She glanced beside and behind the male. His garden was even worse than she had first thought. “Or… perhaps you know someone else’s garden that might be less…. Chaotic.”
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The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

Postby Boo Beckett on March 21st, 2016, 4:58 am

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Boo had been mid-celebration when the greeting came, the utterance of a single, searching 'hello', probing for signs of life and having him stop dead still. Slowly, as though clutching the rake aloft with his arms outstretched had been a perfectly normal thing to do, he lowered the tool before letting one end drop to the ground, turning about to face the direction of this newest distraction, while using the rake now as a makeshift walking staff.

He leaned casually, trying to maintain the guise of having not been doing anything out of the ordinary, while he took in the details of the woman that had stopped outside the garden wall. If the garden was to be considered unruly, chaotic, and without a morsel of order, Amelia was everything to the opposite. It would have taken ten Hugos to maintain such a pristine and meticulously well kept garden, one that would undoubtedly draw envious stares and admiring glances all the same. Boo literally had to remind himself to talk, realizing that gawping at the pretty young thing for as long as he had might be misconstrued in a variety of ways.

"Well let's see. I got weeds over here as high as your knee, while in this corner there's some kind of plant I suppose. At least it was. Looks dead to me. And over here. Well, I guess you could call it a tree. But honestly, I think you'd have more chance getting a friendly hug from a zith than any...blossoms did you say? Eh, well, sorry to disappoint." In truth Boo found himself in a playful manner, based on no other reason that it just was. The hows and whys of some things did not always need explaining, only experiencing. "But chaos is the one thing we got, and lots of it!"

With that he let the rake fall to the ground, while bending down to pick up a rather soiled looking rag. Much to someone of Amelia's dispostion, she might have reeled away at the sight of the sodden thing, it apparently having been used more than once today judging from the mud stains. Not that it deterred Boo from wiping his hands on it though, before tossing it back into the mud. Her assessment of his chaotic garden had been frightfully accurate. It really did appear to be an awful amount of mess to inhabit one small garden such as this. Perhaps one question she might have sought the answer to, was whether this man was starting out, of if perhaps this garden was in fact the product of seasons of effort.

Imagine that.

Boo offered the woman a warm smile, standing there now with his hands on his hips, welcome for the distraction to this otherwise tedious task of making good his home. "I'm Boo by the way. And before you commend me further on my gardening skills, no, I have no idea what I'm doing. Truth? It came with the house. Moved in at the start of Spring and honestly, I've been putting off fixing things up since then. Anyway, what about you? What are you needing a blossom tree for anyway?"
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The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

Postby Amelia on March 21st, 2016, 10:31 am

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What a strange man.

The thought popped into Amelia’s mind without her truly noticing it. Boo did indeed appear to be a character quite different to the people Amelia had surrounded herself with for the majority of her life. It not only took him a while to respond to her, but when he finally did speak, the male did not help himself. By the time he concluded his introduction, she was certain he was quite mad.

But mad did not equate bad, Amelia was starting to learn. The folks that made up her usual social circle were the types who disliked stepping out of line for fear of being judged. Amelia regarded herself as free a woman as could be, but she did not see the invisible chains that kept her a slave to social convention and expectation. She would never, for instance, dance around her garden with a rake like this gentleman had been doing. In fact, she would never even touch a rake, or any other gardening implement. That said, he seemed harmless enough.

So, Amelia remained standing somewhat awkwardly at the entrance to his garden. A season or so ago, she would have never approached him, too scared that his strangeness would be contagious and suddenly lead to outbursts of bizarre behaviour from herself. But then, half a year ago she had never even stepped into Okomo Estates, let alone considered living here. For all the peacefulness and pretty views, she had regarded the place that was now her home as a habitat suitable only for half-deaf gardeners, men who danced with rakes, and the types that hugged trees and talked about being one with nature.

Stuff nature. Amelia would choose a new pair of shoes, a new dress or a bottle of perfume any day over being friendly with a plant or critter.

But Boo (well, he was never going to have a regular name, was he? she quipped silently), though a tad eccentric, seemed friendly enough. She judged him slightly less for the state of his garden when he explained that he had only recently moved. Instead her blame rested upon the old resident of his home, but of course Amelia had no clue as to whom that had been. “Oh, I’ll have to give you the details for our Gardner.” She said with a little flick of her golden hair. “He’s really quite wonderful, and actually enjoys doing… this kind of thing.” Her upper lip curled in mild disgust as Amelia’s gaze swept quickly over the overgrown grass and weeds. She shuddered, her disdain for all this gross and dirty stuff unashamedly evident.

”Anyway, I want blossoms to make a crown,” she explained quickly and casually, in a way that implied well, what else is one meant to do with blossoms?. She then divulged more information: “a friend is having a little get together tonight, with the theme of new beginnings, what with the new year and so on,”] Again she paused to rearrange her immaculate hair, sweeping a golden lock from her shoulder so it fell in line with the rest of her hair trailing down her back, “so I want to try and weave together some flowers to create a crown. Plus, pastel colours are very in season this year, don’t you know.” The question was rhetorical: that even a man like Boo would not care for the latest fashions was unthinkable to Amelia. She gave him a critical look, one that was not unpleasant or unkind, but simply her way of weighing up his potential usefulness to her current mission. “Say, do you want to help me look for blossoms? We might come across some other gardens that might act as inspiration for you.” But alas, her poor attempt at altruism died with her next comment as she made her real reasons for inviting Boo quite plain: ”Plus, you’re taller than me and will be able to reach the higher blossoms.” Invitation extended to him, Amelia stepped away from his garden and began to consider where they would start their search. She had simply presumed he would join her. After all, he had clearly not been busy with his own garden, and surely her company was far more rewarding then anything else he could have planned. Right?
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The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

Postby Boo Beckett on March 22nd, 2016, 2:39 am

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The look with which Amelia regarded the man was almost dismissive, as if she found the very idea of his asking about blossoms absurd. Now that he thought of it, the young girls back in Syliras used to put flowers in their hair, or even make chains from those small white petaled flowers with the yellow center whose name eluded him. But so to did his mind retrieve more recent memories. In Black Rock, he had seen his share of funeral rites, where flowers of varying color and design were laid carefully upon graves, or in one case upon a casket that had been carried away in an unmanned boat.

Having explained the need of her blossoms, Boo found himself drawn to her mention of new beginnings, as though the very statement resonated with him on a certain level. New beginnings indeed, what with him having only resided within the city for, what was it, twenty or so days? But not so much was his new beginning marked by the passage of time; rather it was about distancing himself from what had come before. The recent past was littered with excuses to fall into a funk, but Boo was quite adept at spotting the warning signs early on. Ignoring the temptation to brood on the matter - is it not said that humans who have fallen foul of love are gluttons for punishment? - instead he found Amelia had drawn a genuine grin from him at the mention of her true purpose for recruiting him.

It was only then that he seemed to notice her properly, having earlier been more intent on trying to recover from their initial meet. The memory of rake dancing antics still lingered, but he did not worry too much on that. Where was the crime in simply enjoying oneself? Though he did have to note the irony that he had uncovered any fun at all in this wretched garden.

Amelia was a good eight inches shorter than Boo, but his estimate had been an inch or two higher, owing to the manner in which she stood tall and proud. There was no getting away from the fact that she was a picture of perfection, insofar as her appearance was the resulting achievement of planning, execution and detail. A roomful of engineers, craftsmen, and artisans could spend days, even seasons, drawing up plans and schematics, contracting the finest hands in the land and the rarest, strongest, and most efficient resources. Together they would construct, assemble and create a wondrous item of some kind, bestowed upon a rich merchant or perhaps even one of the gods, a gift so grand and lavish that people would travel from the far reaches of the lands just to cast a glance upon its beauty.

Yet here, behind his stony, ramshackle three foot wall, there stood a woman who every morning upon waking, single handedly created that same level of beauty and detail. And the manner in which she carried herself, assertive and confident, Boo supposed she did all that effortlessly, as though that was the very thing she had been born to do. But there was something more. Something underneath that flickered or hinted in the right light or from the correct angle. It was not so much that her fashion and hair, even the subtle strokes of her kohl liner, were applied to mask a more plain canvas underneath, (Boo had noted this was the case with some women in Mizahar), but instead it was as though each of those elements were enhanced by her, rather than the other way around.

It's fair to say she's the most beautiful thing I've seen so far in this place. High praise indeed. If skyglass could speak, no doubt it would shimmer angrily at the suggestion of losing its place as Lhavit's finest beauty. Perhaps the real beauty though was Boo's conduct. Amelia had more than certainly had her fair share of suitors and wretches, felt the slightly too long glances of men filled with impure desires, or simply been forced to bear witness to a young lad who struggled to get his words out in her presence. Boo meanwhile, he had by proxy of his work as a spiritist, always regarded people as people, each and all with their assortment of pros and cons, quirks and mannerisms, thoughts and morals, merits and flaws. He could recognize a beautiful person when he saw one, woman or man, and at least within the realms of his own opinion - beauty is in the eye of the beholder - but perhaps thankfully for the owner of a particularly pleasing appearance, or indeed anyone that might stand out from the crowd for whatever reason, Boo could acknowledge their gift, but sought to treat them as equal with any other. Those were the finer people he had known, who did not seek constant reassurances or need to be fawned over by those they viewed as lesser folk.

Varin's teachings? He personally felt it was more the ghosts he had worked with. Angry and rage filled, most of them. But a spiritist had always to remind himself that at heart, we're all one and the same, that boundaries could be crossed, connections made, and ultimately peace found, at least regarding those ghosts. It seemed that manner of thinking had spilled into his dealings with the living too. Make connections, find common ground, and share experiences. That was the essence of it, and he tried to hold dear to those notions, even if the resulting behavior of the man sometimes came across as a little 'unorthodox'.

It was a train of thought that had apparently stole him away for a few moments. He realized now that he was no longer standing in his garden, but instead was strolling along the grasslands of the Okomo Estates with Amelia at his flank. He supposed he must have agreed to go with her then, deciding that new beginnings was a much better use for his time than raking weeds.

"So what color are these blossoms of yours? And how many blossoms does a decent crown take to make these days? And one final question if I may. What do you do when you're not dragging inept gardeners around the peaks in search of flowers eh?" This last question came armed with his smile. He seemed to be smiling a lot today. He supposed he had Amelia to thank for that. A little ray of sunshine that had somehow come into his life, to warm his soul if only for a time.

In any case, he was just glad to be out of that garden, though further along the chain of thoughts, he knew it would be right there waiting for him when he got back. Indeed, evil garden. I fear our battle is not yet done. He smirked at his own foolishness, deciding that at least for now, the day was turning out to be rather agreeable.
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The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

Postby Amelia on June 17th, 2016, 9:04 pm

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”Well,” Amelia started, preparing both herself and Boo for the monologue that was to follow by taking a deep breath. The subsequent deluge seemed to come somewhat miraculously from that single breath, and was a quick-paced stream of fashion-conscious knowledge and the inner-most conflicts of a Lhavit socialite. ”The dress I plan to wear is made of pale yellow chiffon, though the skirt features an ombré effect with orange from the bottom up. Strapless, of course.” Once more Amelia gave Boo a pointed look with this lattermost statement. Whether or not the male appreciated the necessity of a strapless dress did not seem to play on Amelia’s mind, ”and I know what you’re thinking: orange and yellow for a spring gathering? A little cliché, right? But please, hear me out.

“You see, this party is being thrown by a friend of mine who typically throws a soiree this time of year. It’s quite the event, really—”
Here Amelia paused, watching Boo’s face for any sign of recognition of her friend’s apparently well known about gathering. But, realising that he was not exactly the type to flutter in the same circles as she, Amelia moved swiftly on: “- but anyway, she always likes to inflict these awful dress codes on her guests. Last year it was a –“ The seamstress cringed so hard that her otherwise hurried little footsteps came to to sudden standstill. She clutched at her chest, winced, swallowed, steadied herself and finally said with utter disgust and agony: nautical theme. There was so much white and blue, one just didn’t know where to look! One woman came dressed as an anchor.”

The ghost of the party still clearly haunted Amelia. Her skin blanched, her eyes wet with pain and discomfort. A bad party and bad fashion: the two things she feared most in the world. After another shudder, Amelia continued onwards, though her demeanour had depressed slightly and her steps were less enthused than before. ”So this year has the theme of new beginnings, as I said, and the colour theme of blues and purples.” Now a smirk that could only be described as mischievous played across her pink-stained lips. A single groomed and well-tweezed eyebrow raised in a conspiratory manner. Rejuvenated by her apparent rebelliousness against this year’s dresscode, Amelia explained herself with another fast-spoken and dynamic monologue:

”But Melissa – that’s the girl who throws this party – hasn’t spoken to me for over a season since I casually mentioned to another girl, Sandrine, that the blouses Melissa wears makes her shoulders look mannish. Which in all honesty, they really do. She’s a short girl and squat, she doesn’t need to make herself look any more cube-like.” Another flick of her golden hair and Amelia soldiered on her with tale, armed with an intense seriousness that would have better suited a doctor trying to save the life of a critically ill patient, ”but of course, Sandrine being the sad little thing she is, tells Melissa about what I said, and then Melissa explodes at me and calls me all sorts of frightful things. When I explained myself – about her being cube-shaped, as I said to you – she didn’t seem to understand that I was trying to help. So she stormed out, and then a few days ago I get her invitation hand delivered by Roger, her older brother who has always been a froggy-looking boy but is a sweetheart, really.” For the first time in what seemed a lifetime, Amelia swallowed and took another breath. Her life, for all it’s pettiness and simplicity, wasn’t short of drama, ”anyway, the invitation itself is very vague, and I know what Melissa is trying to do: invite me, so she doesn’t seem petty, but not really invite me, you know?”[b] She scoffed, waving a hand in the air in a dismissive and cat-like manner. [b]”I mean, what are we? Three years old? Anyway, fortunately Roger has always had a bit of a thing for me, so it really was easy-peasy to get the info out of him. So although I do know the dresscode and time and location, Melissa doesn’t know I know it. She’s expecting me to be sad at home pouting my lips when really I’ll be there having the time of my life and looking fabulous.

The epic narrative concluded with a self-satisfied nod. Amelia beamed up at Boo, awaiting his response to this thrilling tale of the lives of the privileged. But of course, as with all things, there was more to Amelia’s desires than simply annoying an old frenemy. In truth, this would be the first of Melissa’s parties since her father had left with his wealth and luxury. Amelia had a lot to prove of herself, and not just to the cube-like hostess.

A tick passed. ”Anyway, what was your question? Oh, yes. The blossoms are blue in colour, I think. They’re quite small, so I’ll need lots of them.” There was that mischievous smile again: ”That cow Melissa might be as rectangular as a box, but there’s no way she’ll be able to turn me away from this party as long as I’m wearing something that falls within the dress code.”

Her eyes narrowed in a playful glare up to Boo, as if challenging him to argue that her plan wouldn’t work, or was immoral. Eventually, her expression softened and Amelia linked her arm with Boo’s as if they were lifelong friends taking a leisurely stroll together. For some reason that even she was not entirely sure of, Amelia had taken to liking the male. He was a good listener, at the very least. ”Anyway, what parties have you been to, Boo? A man like you must have learnt those dance moves from somewhere.”
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The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

Postby Boo Beckett on June 26th, 2016, 3:23 am

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The early spring weather was proving generous, warm rays coating the denizens of Lhavit below, while a subtle breeze sang wistful laments that casually faded from memory. Amelia and Boo found themselves flanked either side by a pair of large fields designed to house the magnificent okomo. The beasts tended to their duties of grazing and pondering with graceful mastery, while lesser forms of cattle that shared the fields seemed to lollop about in contrast.

Boo had been listening avidly as Amelia laid the finer details of her story before him like a banquet. Feasting greedily upon them, he learned Melissa had been the villain in this particular piece, her dastardly retention of information via the form of invitations proving most...well, dastardly. Still, Amelia had proved most determined and resourceful in getting the omitted facts required to carry out her own plan of retribution. Poor Roger, Boo thought. He doubted the lad had stood a chance, even if he had wanted to defy Amelia's inquisition. As for Melissa, he did not much fancy her chances either.

Now, it was more than fair to say that Boo had not the slightest insight when it came to the fashions of Lhavit, least of all these parties that Amelia seemed so fond of. However, he was well versed from experience in the art of when to talk and when to listen. So it went, deploying the necessary nod of the head, or a well placed 'mmhmm' here and there, stood him in good stead as an ideal conversational partner. Regardless of his lack of knowledge on the current subject matter, there was much more to conversation that so many people took for granted. There was more to learn about a person, just from their mannerisms, ticks and such; in the way they expressed certain points, or how their eyes lit up, and so on. Here was Amelia, talking about cube-shaped women and fashion mishaps. But Boo's analysis went deeper than that. Here was Amelia, at once disarming in her very nature as she slotted her arm through his, while demonstrating an admirable yet deadly strand of efficiency when it came to plotting another person's downfall. So too was she adamant in the points she made, which on one hand lent itself to the suggestion that she was well versed in such matters. But again, beyond that, it showed real passion and confidence in her personality that were by no means restricted to the current subject matter.

Maybe it was just him, a result of his work where conversation and picking up on such details were paramount to the final goal. In any case, he liked to think he had a good handle on reading people, even if he did find them mostly unpredictable. His critical thinking on the matter came to an abrupt halt however, as Amelia turned the focus of the conversation to him. Inquiries were made as to his own party-going endeavors, which were met with a thoughtful look as he set his mind to recollecting an example or two. It was in this moment that he fumbled blindly in the dark, for there was not a single instance he could recall. Had she met his Uncle, with whom he had spent the glassbeak's share of his time traveling with, Amelia would understand completely why they had never 'partied'.

"I'm sad to say that I've never really been to a party. At least not the kind you talk of." He dared a sideways glance at the lady, half expecting an incredulous look his way in response to his revelation. "I suppose that work has always had the better of me." That was true, to a point. After all, there had been that whole marriage thing for a while. A year of it to be precise, that had been doomed from the start. For now he decided that was not worth bringing up. Besides, what use was there dwelling on past mistakes? He had come to Lhavit in search of a fresh start, whatever that entailed.
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The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

Postby Amelia on June 28th, 2016, 7:07 pm

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Boo’s simple reply to her question stunned Amelia into near silence. Her groomed eyebrows shot upwards, her pink-tinted lips fell apart to reveal a pink, cat-like tongue. Eyes widened, and a tiny little gasp of horror pulled at her throat. Her steps slowed significantly as her mind played catch-up to what the male had just said.

”Never been….” she gulped, struggling over the next part, to a party?”

There was no point in her trying to mask her surprise, or indeed her horror, at this fact of Boo’s life. Parties were not mere social events. And parties were certainly not fun, either. They were far more complex than that, far more important.

Parties were battlegrounds, involving precisely the same amount of blood, sweat and tears as all other types of conflict (especially when Amelia was a guest). In the same way that young trainee knights prove their worth in a skirmish, socialites and the young men and women of Lhavit gaged their own importance during parties. How could you know what step you belonged to on the social ladder without attending such events? How could you raise yourself upwards, pushing through those glass, diamond and steel ceilings to reach the social elite? Amelia did relatively well for a woman her age (her father’s adultery had soiled her reputation somewhat, but nothing that couldn’t be repaired), but even she knew there was room for improvement.

Casting a look to Boo, Amelia tried her hardest to truly see him, in the way that stoned boys and girl claim they can see your soul, man. Sure, she was stone sober right now, but Amelia was quite certain an intelligent young lady such as she could fathom something out about this curious individual. So he didn’t attend parties – why?

As she looked at him, Amelia noticed for the first time that he was older than she first assumed him to be. Dancing with a rake was not an activity usually taken up by the elderly or mature, and so she had assumed him to be close to her own age – perhaps even younger. This late realisation irked Amelia. After all, it was part of her job to appreciate the appearance of her clients, to drink in their complexion and features in order to design them a suitable garment. The fact she had not appreciated Boo’s age was greater than she first expected until that moment was not a good reflection on herself.

So he was no longer a spring chicken – this more than anything made his admittance of having never attended a party even more ridiculous. ”Surely you’ve attended some parties in your time?” Finally she latched onto that final part of his earlier statement. With a wrinkled nose, she asked, ”what is it that you do for work, then? I can’t imagine anything dragging me away from a good party.”

But then again, Amelia’s work and her career aspirations were intrinsically linked to parties, and the very social elite she hoped to catch up to. It was her dream to attend a party filled with the crème de la crème of society, only to see that they were all wearing an Amelia Trisswell garment, designed and crafted by her very hands. The mere thought of that ethereal image set the seamstress’ spine tingling with excitement.

And whilst on the theme of aspirations: ”You’re a curious individual, Boo. What is it you want from life? Are you one of those romantics who want to find the dream girl? If you are, and you happen to be sitting on a throne made of a million kina, sign me up.” She squinted up at him, her eyes hard and glinting in their assessment, ”or perhaps you want to change the world? Dress every baby, feed all the homeless – or is the other way round? Or do you simply want to bring about the trend of dancing with garden implements?”
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Amelia
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The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

Postby Boo Beckett on June 28th, 2016, 9:09 pm

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It was as he feared. The mind blowing revelation of non-party attendance had literally stunned Amelia into a temporary silence, even going as far as to slow her step, as though the confession itself had taken the form of a mighty gust of wind that hindered her progress. He worried for a second that the young maiden might lose her balance, such was the volume of shock from the travesty of never having set foot within the realms of revelry, banter, and whatever other shenanigans he could only guess occurred at such events.

Had Amelia divulged her own definition on party going, it would have been far removed from his guesses. Pressed for an answer, Boo would have suggested the obvious expectations that came from such social gatherings, such as dancing, drinking, chatting, and so forth. How little he knew. Perhaps he would have even appreciated the more detailed nature of it all, with guests networking and rubbing shoulders, false smiles aimed at this important person over here, while stealing a glance from that suitor over there; compliments gifted in person while criticisms were wielded behind backs, and on and on. It was like well dressed chess pieces, vying for position on the board, strategies and tactics deployed, alliances forged and foes vanquished.

Shameless.

Boo had now felt the seamstress' eyes upon him, as though he had been some conundrum or puzzle to solve. It was a strange feeling to be sure, as though he had perhaps invoked disdain or disapproval. He would have kicked himself for thinking so, had he known that Amelia was inwardly criticizing herself, for her less than accurate assessment of the man at first glance. Still, he might also argue that 33 was by no means old at all. He much preferred to see it as a culmination of youth and experience, melding together to form one of the better decades of a person's life. He could still run and jump, dance with a rake, keep up with the best of them. But he also could boast that more sensible attribute that came with age, namely thinking things through. Run and jump, sure. But these days he would assess exactly where that jump landed him before setting off.

Amelia sounded almost hopeful, on top of the disbelief when asking if he had attended 'some' parties. Maybe she expected Boo had been so drunk as to forget them? All of them? Sadly he was unable to debunk the myth. Thankfully though, she followed up with an inquiry as to his work, leading him to the opportunity to at least explain himself. "Well...bear with me. You see, I left Syliras when I was very young. My Uncle raised me from there on. And, well, he was a traveling man. A man for hire. He took on jobs here and there, um, Riverfall, Alvadas, Black Rock mostly. Anyway, he raised me and taught me his work. We never stayed long at one time, always moving on after each job. So you see, there never really was the time to get to know people enough to get invited to a party."

He was aware he was rambling, while at the same time finding himself somewhat uncomfortable at trying to get the words out. How unbecoming of a career conversationalist, whose work up until coming to Lhavit had been to talk to ghosts, in order to help them come to terms with whatever was keeping them from the final sleep. Now here he was, stumbling over his words as he tried to explain to a 19 year old why he had never been to a party. Just as his Uncle had always said, You can learn how to talk to people, how to listen to them. But don't ever presume to understand them.

But were Amelia and Boo so different? Maybe, in the finer details of things. But details were fleeting. They changed from one situation to the next. What was truly comparable between people was the essence of those details. For example, Amelia might have considered her upbringing worlds apart from Boo's. True. In the details. He had been whisked away from Syliras as a child, courtesy of his parents kicking the bucket, while Amelia has grown up knowing the luxuries of life. But strip away the details. The essence of it was much more similar. They were two people who, admittedly at different ages of course, had had their world turned upside down, while they were forcefully set upon a new road, with all the challenges and obstacles that came with it. Was it easy for Boo to grow up and adapt to the life of a traveling spiritist? Was it any easier for Amelia to adapt to a whole new lifestyle?

And what about their work? If his was to engage in conversation with ghosts, hers had been to tread the finer points of party going. Again, details aside, was there much difference in the essence of their work? They both strived to reach their goals, by using the same basic functions in order to succeed. Analyze a given situation, apply oneself to that situation using the skills they had acquired and honed, in order to reach the end goal.

Of course, while such similarities existed between the two, they were the more deep, underlying, subtle ones. Not the kind that openly bared themselves during a stroll down the lane on the Sharai Peak. But who knew? Perhaps those similarities would have a way of seeping out subconsciously, affording the pair to find some common ground, even it it was not at first plain to see. And perhaps it was indeed so the reason that Amelia pressed on with her questions, further evidence that she wanted to learn of this 'curious individual', while Boo himself found himself in the unfamiliar position of having someone seemingly interested in what he had to say.

"100 kina maybe, assuming you're willing to negotiate", he joked. Boo could not even imagine what someone could do with a whole million. He even wondered for a moment what that amount of coins would look like. As for the suggestion of romance, he scoffed at the notion for the foolishness that it was. Oh, of course, he was well aware that people fell in love and lived happily ever after all the time. Just not him. His marriage had been...forgettable. A footnote now to a rather flimsy looking list of experiences when it came to love.

Changing the world sounded more appealing. The idea of everyone sharing in the comforts of life? Sure. He would never wish upon a child to have to know poverty, hunger, or fear. Or on anyone for that matter. But at the same time he was not naive. There was no magic wand that could be waved, conjuring food on every plate and clothes on every back. Besides, he knew well enough that if someone did invent that wand, somebody somewhere would use it to make a profit. That was the way of life as he saw it. There was always something to be lost and always something to be gained, and those that dealt in between to make a coin or two.

No. Boo was not about to wave that wand and make the world a better place for everyone. But that did not mean that he could not make it better for just one person. That those 'people' happened to be ghosts was just a detail. And it was all about essence!

"I'm not going to change the whole world. But you know, each person has it in themselves to change one other person's world. Can you imagine that? That you could have such a profound affect on someone so as to completely redefine their outlook on life. I mean in a good way of course. Love? Maybe, for some. More like understanding someone, but at the same time helping them to understand themselves, if that makes sense? I don't know. I never really stop to think about it to be honest. But what about you? I mean, when you're not infiltrating parties, or looking like the image of Syna herself? What is it that you want?"
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Elsa | Boo Speak | Boo Thoughts | Harold
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Boo Beckett
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The Crown Of a Kingdom (Amelia)

Postby Amelia on July 26th, 2016, 6:47 pm

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Suddenly it all clicked into place. Amelia’s facial expression relaxed, her eyebrows lowering from their previous dizzying heights on her forehead, and her lips formed a small oh shape, though not a single sound came from the blonde.

He’s one of those travelling types!

Perhaps the aforementioned he in Amelia’s mind was not necessarily Boo per se, but more his uncle. He was a travelling man – they had been Boo’s exact words. And as his uncle had been Boo’s sole care provider (how did that come about? A traumatic event wherein Boo’s parents died? A blood-thirsty wolf? A blood-thirsty man? Or woman, for that matter?), the then young Boo would have had little choice but to follow his uncle wherever he went.

This more than explained Boo’s lack of experience at parties. In fact, it justified it. And in Amelia’s mind, it did the same for his earlier strangeness. Though travelling certainly did bring about a certain wealth that nothing else could match (not even spectacular fashion sense), Amelia had always held the belief that there was a distinct difference between those who travelled and those who are travellers. The former were wealthy types who, typically in their youth, might set about exploring the world outside Lhavit or wherever they were from in order to find themselves or to find out what it’s all about, man.

(Amelia was already quite sure she knew what ‘it’ was about; silk, diamonds and fine wine).

When these philosophical young protégées returned to their home city, they would be refreshed and renewed with all that they had seen from the world. Their identity would be infiltrated by the other cultures they had met on their journey, their diets seasoned by new tastes. All of these enriched experiences may conclude in, say, a tattoo that’s meant to say hope and beauty in another language but actually says fried chicken and beans.

The latter type – the travellers – were individuals such as the man Amelia now walked beside; children who were dragged around by parents whose employment demanded they move around, or indeed the adult who did the dragging. Such individuals, as Boo himself had described, rarely settled in any one place long enough to build the social bridges that Amelia deemed so crucial to life. Yes, they had all those precious memories of different places and scenes, but what good would that do them? Amelia thought of her maternal grandmother, whose memory had been like oil in the final seasons of her life – too slippery for the old woman to hold onto.

To Amelia, people such as Boo who had lived such a geographically unrested life were allowed, if not expected, to make more than a few social faux pas. How can a person – a child, at that – learn the social skills needed to push himself or herself up in society when that very society changes so much? And those long travelling times where one’s social circle remained the same cluster of people for days, seasons on end…

The seamstress gave a little shudder. Not for the first time in her life, she took a tick to appreciate her comfortable life. And, within half a tick of that brief moment of modesty, her thoughts twisted to her father, who had snatched that life away from her…
Amelia listened as Boo spoke about the innate ability to change a person’s life, and she nodded passionately. ”Oh, certainly. It’s really rather empowering, isn’t it? Thinking about how one can change the life of another person, and vice versa. Wings of a butterfly, and all that.” Her right hand swept through the air with her typical drama and grace, ”Once, for example, I met this really downtrodden woman, whose life had fallen apart completely! Husband died, children died, mother died, home flooded or burnt or something equally tragic. And I just found myself… drawn to her. I needed to improve her life and touch her soul with my own. She needed to understand herself better and I was more than happy to be that mirror to be held up to her.” She paused, taking a moment to sigh heavily and allow an almost-fake lump in her throat to catch. This was emotional stuff.

”It’s amazing what a make over can do, hm? A new pair of shoes, a new hairstyle, a couple of new outfits and a face full of make-up and suddenly all those deaths and floods and fires were forgotten. And this was the worse of it all; she thought she was a summer. Brown hair, hazel eyes?” Amelia scoffed at this apparent incredulity, ”the first thing I said to her was: honey, you’re an autumn and let me show you how to work it.” It was quite clear that Amelia was being wholly sincere abut this tale, from her knotted brows to the serious pout of her lips. Make overs and fashion could be the cure for any ailment she felt; pockets of happiness just waiting to be worn and adorned.

”You’re very sweet, Boo. Thank you.” She said quietly, her tone once again softening to become less dramatized, less extreme, and more basic and human. Under all that perfected beauty was a human, after all. Amelia simply opted to hide that mortal side of her. But either Boo’s compliment or his question had set about a change to Amelia. Her skin flushed pinkly under her masterfully painted complexion. Her eyes flittered to the grass before raising back up to meet Boo. ”What do I want?” She murmured softly, tilting her head slightly in consideration of this question. Of course she knew the answer – it was Amelia’s dream to be a world-renown fashion icon, bringing beauty and style and happiness to all – but she was indecisive whether or not to share this with him. So far, she had told her dreams to precisely nobody else. It was a secret that Amelia longed to keep close to her. If she shared her aspiration with others, they would know if she failed to reach them. They would look at her and think ‘there’s Amelia, poor dumb Amelia, who went after the world and could only get a tiny apartment in Okomo Estates’.

Whereas if Amelia kept her aspiration to herself, and her dreams did come true, she could simply shrug her shoulders and say “well, that was a happy accident”, and act as if all that success had simply fallen into her lap and was not, in fact, a culmination of her blood sweat and tears.

But suddenly the temptation to tell Boo this dark secret tugged at Amelia’s chest. She barely knew him, and perhaps it was that very fact which made her so tempted. If he judged her, what would she lose? Perhaps the potential of a new friend, but nothing more. He didn’t know any of her friends who might use this information to tease and taunt Amelia.

And so she gave a small, but significant, self-conscious shrug and said through a crooked smile: ”I want to own my own business. A fashion business. Where men and women can come to feel better about themselves, to forget about the world for a bell or so. Beauty is often so underrated and associated with things like stupidity or naivety. But it’s not. It can be so much more.”

Nervousness did not particularly suit Amelia; it broke through her façade of coolness and separation that she liked to mask herself with. But nervous she was, and before Boo could even have a chance to laugh at her aspiration, and waved a hand through the air and muttered, ”It’s silly, really. It’s probably not going to happen.”
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