lowreaches: (Default)
The Low Reaches ([personal profile] lowreaches) wrote in [community profile] the_low_reaches2016-12-31 04:03 pm

The Preamble (The Test Thread)

Who: The cast
Where: 7-0's classroom
When: Lunch!
What: Some basic testing.

That was the word that had gripped 7-0.  No one knew exactly how it started, and not everyone was so charmed, but it had become a magic word for the 7th graders on the basement floor of the Belfry, who had not even windows to escape through and spotty reception at best.
The kids took to notes instead.  Simple, hand-written, paper notes.  Passed between themselves constantly. People were getting bullied for their handwriting now.  Churlish had appeared somewhere, some time, in one of those notes, and then again, and again, and had wormed its way into their vocabulary.  A catch all:  The teacher's driving me churling crazy.  Raury's such a churl.
No one wanted to be a churl.
It might've been the school proper what done it.  The Belfry was a spindly, mean thing, looming over a stretch of pretty beach like a malcontent lighthouse.  It hunched in the wind, which licked misty off the cold grey winter waters of the lake, roof slung over it at a surly angle, old and brittle and arthritic even in its youth.  Several stories tall, and perched lonely atop a hill that was murder on a bike, churlish was an apt word for the Belfry.
In all likelihood, the word came from their teacher Ms. Poplar. She was a fair teacher most of the time, but notoriously temperamental. Today, she was of the private opinion that she was much too pretty and promising to be toiling away in the basement of The Belfy.  Her bad moods were often given away by her hair, and today it was a particularly high and sloppy ponytail.  Churlish was an apt word for her, too.
Ms. Poplar's mood had spread through the classroom;  kids were skittish and quiet.  The first whisperer of the day had been made example of, and several notes were plastered behind her as grim trophies; she scowled and stared down the class while she hung them up.  More mortifying, the contents had all been read aloud after.  She'd only handed out petty busy work, the kind that made it easy to keep checking her phone and biting her lip.
When the bell rang for lunch period, Ms. Poplar sat in her seat for a few long minutes more, head in her hands and the class holding their breath.  It wasn't until a girl, Notoriously Nervous Ruby, finally stood up and after several false starts dashed past the teacher's desk and out the door that Ms. Poplar lifted her head, glared around sulkily, and drug herself out of the room.  Churlishly.
A gentle buzz of voices filled the room as the pall broke.  Bags crinkled open and kids disappeared out the door, fading away into the cacaphony of the halls.

heart_swap: (look at all this fuckin grass)

[personal profile] heart_swap 2017-01-01 01:34 am (UTC)(link)
There were two worst kinds of days, as far as Marron was concerned. The first of those was the days when the work was too hard, when they touched on a subject that had given her trouble years ago and that she still struggled with now, the ones where she struggled through because she was too proud, too stubbornly not that kind of helpless idiot to need guiding through something she should have mastered before the rest of this class even found their way to this place.

That kind was rare, where the second kind was all too common.

The second kind - today - was the kind of day where she understood everything, where the work was so easy as to be insulting, where there was no point to doing any of it. At least insurmountable obstacles were still obstacles, still something that she could fight even if they weren't something she could defeat. This was just boring.

The bell rang, and she poked her bag with a foot. She could get away with it, if she just took her lunch out now. She could get away with a lot of things, but she wasn't quite hungry enough to make provoking Ms. Poplar worth it. Instead she just stopped making a big show of explaining the workings for sums that she (that anyone) could do in her head and started scribbling in the corner of the page, the kind of irritated scribbling that served only to do something mildly destructive but that could be explained away to a teacher as getting a stubborn biro to play nice.

It wasn't until the teacher was safely out of the door that she leaned back in her chair and stretched. Then she stretched more, phone in hand, trying in vain to catch a signal. Then she waved her phone around. Nothing.

"Churlin' basement. Why'd they give us the room with no reception?" She said to nobody in particular as she continued to move her phone through the air in search of some invisible perfect spot where it might be able to update her IMs. They had her saying it now, even if she'd be mocking their 'childish language' later. "Come on- come on-"
Edited 2017-01-01 01:35 (UTC)
roarin: (covet)

[personal profile] roarin 2017-01-01 09:06 am (UTC)(link)
"That ain't gonna work."

Raury had himself a light, sharp voice, like gravel with glass mixed in. Mayhaps one day it would darken, bloom like the butcher's blade of a timbre his father had, but all he had now was a promising scratch under that high and lonesome song of his. Other boys' necks had started stretching, but Raury's voice kept steady and strong and he hated it for that.

He hated a lot of things.

You could see it on his face when he wandered up, and Raury was a wanderer, because he was a curious fellow. So shiny with it you'd think he'd been spat on. He'd been wandering past the girl's desk -- he always had to, he sat behind her -- but stopped to stare stupid at her, perching his bony behind on the lip of it like he had mind to sit a spell and gabber. His eyes swam wet and dark in his head, and he had a petulant, rubber mouth that curled perfect around curses, and slashed easy into smirks and cheshire grins. His vocabulary had not caught up with that mouth, yet.

He had skin the color of paper and he possessed himself tiny, sharp teeth. He colored easy, and so his cheeks and lips were rosy with the cold, which was made worse with the purple fog peeking out from inside the big front pockets of his hoodie.

"You got any more of that sick kid candy left?"

That was a request. Raury hooted and bullied his way through life, but he treated Marron with a shade more respect. No one knew why, and it upset him to wonder at. So to make up for it, this unfairness, this unearned deference, he wanted some of her candy. Sometimes Murk would lick the back of her neck or steal her pencils, too.
Edited 2017-01-01 19:02 (UTC)
heart_swap: (hang on u look better this way)

[personal profile] heart_swap 2017-01-02 12:01 am (UTC)(link)
A few more hopeless waves of the phone - a single bar appeared in the reception icon, then vanished just as quick - passed before she gave up, giving her phone a look that suggested that this, all of this, was its fault and that it really ought to go to jail for it.

"Yeah, prob'ly."

The IMs could wait, even if she was eager for more photos from Celadon's department store. With a sigh, one that might trick an uninformed listener into believing that this was the absolute worst thing to have happened in Blackbell, disappearances be damned, she shoved the phone back into her bag and felt around for a small, round tin with an illustration of a sliced orange on the top.

She still had something like twenty of these tins at home, most unopenned, sympathy gifts from people who wanted to feel like they'd done something. Better than the flowers, at least. The tins of hard sweets kept longer.

"You're neither of you getting nothing, though-" She fished the tin out of her bag and put it on the desk, but then poked the front of Raury's hoodie. Not enough to actually make contact with him, but enough to disturb the fog. "Not 'til I get my pen back, Spooks. The purple one."
roarin: (Default)

[personal profile] roarin 2017-01-06 10:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Now that pugnacious mouth did push into a pucker.

"That ain't fair, I didn't do nothin', it was Murk."

And that was true. What was also true was Raury could be heard snickering every time it happened.

The slight boy folded his arms across his slight chest and canted his head slightly. Those mudpuddle algae eyes cut and his nose turned up with a tilt of his head that should the crown he thought he wore actually exist, it would go tumbling. He rose from her desk and gave the leg of the one beside it a sulking kick, as if it were expected from him. It was.

"Besides, we're equal victims here. He constantly eats my homework."

That lie hung between them, thick as a rain cloud, and he didn't flinch from it. He brimmed with mean, and he wasn't getting no bigger, so it found its way out through his mouth, or it marked him. There it was on his tiny knuckles, or that gap when he grinned; he was raw boned from it. Seconds passed, him staring, but the set of his thin shoulders drooped.

Then they sagged with a sigh.


He produced the pen from the den Murk had made of his front pocket and slapped it on her desk, eyes carefully averted to the ceiling.
foxfeathers: (xatlasstr3)

[personal profile] foxfeathers 2017-01-08 04:19 am (UTC)(link)
"You need an amplifier for that. The basement's the worst place if you're signal hunting. Can't you go on out? It's really not far." Rhyssa, who'd stayed to get the rest of her answers down, inclined her head a little so her twin tails swung and glanced at the other girl.

"It's much easier out of the building proper."

Behind her a green Rowlet swiveled his head from where he sat on her chair and her Eevee's head popped up with interest. They were, as usual, out and about but never seemed to stray far from her. She'd taught them reasonably well, after all.
Edited 2017-01-08 04:55 (UTC)