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Posts Tagged ‘ouat

Splinters – 01 – Out of the woods (OUAT)

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So this is a new thing, WIP, or even worse. I don’t even have an idea how to end this or more than 8k words written. However I wanted to get this piece out here, in case it catches someone’s interest.

It’s Once Upon a Time thing, there will be Emma and some other interesting magical people, some resolution of AU differences and some deserved comeuppance for the character that tops the list of “wanna punch that fictional person in the face” for me.

He slowly picked himself up from the forest floor.
Ick.
His daddy always told him to keep himself clean. This wasn’t even remotely clean. This was mushy, moldy and moist. Whole seat of his pants was covered in mud and there was nothing around that he could try to use to clean himself off. Just lots of decaying fall plants in a very leafy forest.
And he had to move.
His task, given by the two most important people in his life, was to find the basket and to get help for all of them.
Fortunately babies made noise, so he found the basket very quickly. Only it wasn’t the basket he wanted.
There was only one baby in it and it seemed there had never been a second one there.
Which means now he had one baby and still had to find two more.
***
In a short time he was burdened with two baskets, for the total count of three tiny, squealing girls.
He dragged one basket twenty steps, left it there, went back for the other one, dragged it a bit ahead, went back…
He had to find some people before darkness or the babies would become ill. Or even die.
His hands were shaking and he felt a stitch in his side when he finally managed to drag them near some man-made surface. There was nothing natural about the even, black cover that smelled funny, so he had high hopes of finding someone at last.
As he stood there, shivering and trying to work out what to do next – he could not see any kind of human settlement in any direction – suddenly a noise and lights appeared as if out of nowhere and passed him with a smell of hot metal. He threw himself backwards into the bushes, trying to cover the baskets with his body, and curled there, in the moldy leaves, hoping the monster had not noticed him.
The noise died abruptly and he heard some clicking and clunking from the direction of the road.
“Are you sure, Jim? I never saw nothing.”
“You never see nothing, Bart. There was a kid, all alone here, in the woods. He can’t stay here alone tonight, it’s going to be below freezing.”
“Jim, you’re seeing stuff. There was no kid…”
Pinocchio saw a very strong beam of light go directly into the bush he was huddling under and suddenly there was a man leaning over him, watching him intently.
“Bart?”
“Yeah?”
“There’s more of them…”
***
The sheriff looked at wet and miserable Pinocchio and two baskets placed in his office by the burly truckers.
“You boys kidding me? Found them in the forest? What the hell do you think I’m going to do with them?”
Jim (who managed to get Pinocchio to eat some of his sandwiches and drink hot tea from a thermos) leaned over the sheriff’s desk.
“You are going to get the social worker here and get her to take the kids into a safe place. We picked them up smack in the middle of the woods, no sign of anyone around. The boy was half-asleep but he says he dragged them in these baskets for hours. He says he doesn’t know where they started and that he has no idea where they came from. How does this sound to you? Because I reckon it sounds like some friggen comune of stoners lost four of their kids today and I’d much rather they were taken to a proper home than be left to die of cold in the woods. What do you think, Bart?”
Bart, who stayed mostly silent for the previous half-hour, nodded and mumbled “Aye” tersely.
Sheriff leaned back on his chair.
“So you picked up some kids in the forest and now you want to dump them in some orphanage?”
“They are not ours, if that’s what you mean. Look, these two are newborns. I was at my youngest birth at the hospital and he looked the same…” Bart finally found his voice. “Someone has to take them to the hospital and check them.”
“And it can’t be us, seeing as the truck is not supposed to carry any passengers. We took them from the woods, that was emergency. Now we’re here, you’re the local authority and you will take care of them. Get the social workers to take them. It’s your job.”
***
Pinocchio shivered in the borrowed flanel shirt Bart wrapped him in and listened to the adults arguing. The man, seemingly someone official, was for whatever reason trying not to take the girls into his care. Pinocchio knew very well what would happen if they were not taken care of. They would die and he would have failed.
He swallowed with effort. He saw many little children die of neglect in his time as a wooden puppet.
“Sir…” he pulled Jim’s sleeve and the big trucker turned to him.
“What do you want, kid?”
“Sir, can we get them somewhere warm? We were in the forest for hours, and they may get sick…” he made his best begging face, eyes big and round, looking even more innocent in the oversized shirt.
“You see, sheriff? Even the kid knows something must be done with them. But, if you say you can’t, you can just write this here, on this paper” Bart pulled a blank sheet from the shelf next to the rickety printer “that you deny care of foundlings, day this and that, and us as witnesses. And we’ll take the wee ones to the hospital.”
Sheriff finally stood up with a huff.
“I’ll go to the hospital with you” he said through clenched teeth.
***
The social worker came, made all appropriate papers appear, made a lot of noise over the state of Pinocchio’s attire, found something more or less his size in the hospital’s storage – “people really leave a lot of stuff here when they leave”, handed the shirt back to Bart, huffed at sheriff’s attempts at explaining and then gathered all four children, arranged for a transport to her office, pushed Pinocchio to say his goodbyes to the truckers – Jim hugged him tight and Bart shook his thin hand – and almost magically relocated them to the nearest social services office.
His head was still spinning when he was sat in a high, hard chair in front of some other lady in wire-rimmed spectacles and asked a lot of questions, half of which he actually could not understand.
“So you took the girls? Where from?”
He blinked.
“From the forest, ma’am” he answered timidly. “They were crying and I thought they must be cold or hungry…”
“And you couldn’t feed them there?”
“Ma’am?”
“Why didn’t you feed them there?”
“I don’t think babies eat leaves” he said honestly. “They must drink milk and I didn’t have any.”
She surveyed him with her piercing eyes.
“So you say you found them in the middle of the woods? Nobody was around?”
“Nobody, ma’am. Only me and the three of them.”
“And how did you found yourself there? Where are you from?”
He sighed.
“I don’t know, ma’am. I know I used to live with my dad and he was a… A…” he made a face. “A carpenter. He made wooden things. And someone shut me in a… A wardrobe? Or a box? And then I was in the forest and she was crying so I picked up the basket. And then I found the other two and I couldn’t just leave them there…” he suddenly coughed.
“Bloody hell” she murmured and rounded the desk. “You’re burning up, kid. What is your name?”
He squinted his eyes.
“Not sure, ma’am” he admitted, praying his nose would stay the same size despite all the lies he had to tell that day. “Mostly everyone called me ‘boy’ or ‘son’.”

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Written by Srebrna

2015/11/09 at 21:20