[Story] Kiandris

Kiandris folded the last of his shirts and placed it into the large wooden trunk. He didn’t have many things, but it had taken him all morning to pack them up. Truthfully, he didn’t want to move. He’d begged and cajoled his Minn’da for weeks, but she hadn’t budged. They were going to live in the middle of a horrible dark forest, with no one around. At fifteen, Kiandris thought he was really too old to call her his “Minn’da”, but he still forgot sometimes. He should call her “Mother” or even “Lady Dawnfury” — except she wasn’t actually a lady at all. His minn’da worked in ladies’ houses, helping to tidy up and washing their laundry and things like that. Kiandris was a little embarrassed of that fact, though it was true that he knew kids whose mothers had worse jobs. So he couldn’t really complain. Except he wouldn’t much longer; Minn’da had accepted a job working at one of the estates out in the forest. They would both live on the grounds, in a small house that was separate from the main building. That way, she explained, they wouldn’t have to pay any rent and they could save up to buy their own house. According to her, they could buy their own house in the Ghostlands for the amount they were paying now in rent for their tiny flat. Kiandris would even have his own room. Maybe that part would be okay, he had to admit.

But who would he talk to? Minn’da didn’t think there were any schools there, but she said that he already knew how to read, and how to add and subtract, and that was enough. Kiandris liked going to school in the city, because there were lots of people to talk to. There were few kids around his age, due to what had happened, but usually the older kids let him hang around with them. He liked that. Sometimes they told him funny stories with swears in them, too. That wouldn’t happen anymore. His mother would be away at work all day, and he’d be left alone. Minn’da suggested that Kiandris could work in the house too; she was sure the master of the estate would pay him. He said he would at least consider it, but Kiandris didn’t want to work in someone else’s house for the rest of his life. He wasn’t sure just yet what he wanted to do, but he knew it wasn’t that.

None of this would have happened if his father was still here, but Minn’da always got cross if he said anything like that. Kiandris had never even met him, not that he remembered, at least. He had disappeared when he was still just a baby, and never sent a word about where he was. Minn’da said that he didn’t want to be found, and said she half expected it anyway. They hadn’t been married, so Kiandris used his mother’s surname. Even if he’d known what his father’s was, it would have felt strange using it. Still, he held onto the faint hope that one day he might want to come back and see him. Of course that wouldn’t happen now. Who would go into the middle of the Ghostlands? His friends at school said there were bats as big as dragonhawks, and spiders as big as hawkstriders. Minn’da had just frowned and said there were rangers to take care of that, which Kiandris took to mean that the stories were true.
He sighed and glanced around the room to see if he’d forgotten anything. If he really would have his own room, he’d have to get more stuff to fill it up with. The little room seemed naked and strange without their belongings in it.

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