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Robin's Nest Learning Center

a part of Storytellers, by wednesdaysun.

One of several kindergartens in Renard Park, nestled just near the border of the suburb of Ingram.

wednesdaysun holds sovereignty over Robin's Nest Learning Center, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
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Robin's Nest Learning Center is a part of Renard Park, Massachusetts.

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Robin's Nest Learning Center
Renard Park, Massachusetts

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Laurie Rivken
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DATE & TIME
13 January 2017
0830



WEATHER
Clear


CHARACTERS
INVOLVED


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Laurie Rivken

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Keren Rivken

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Asher Rivken

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Jeronimo Jurado Beltran
"Nemo"


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Fabian Johnson

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Claudia Savona

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Kiều Yên Linh

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“You’re not going to be late, stop shovelling food into your mouth like that. You’ll choke.”

Laurie stopped halfway through a mouthful of chocolate babka, beaming sheepishly at the affectionate scolding. “Horee,” she managed around it. Her mother pushed a glass of orange juice towards her, face still scrunched in concern. “Are you sure you don’t want any lox? There’s an extra bagel here, and I made so much. You didn’t have to eat the leftover babka. I tell you what -” she held a hand up to pre-empt Laurie’s protest “- I’ll pack this up for you so you have a snack if you’re hungry at work. You don’t have to eat baby carrots and mashed potatoes like your children do at break.” Without waiting for a response, she sealed their remaining bagel in a little airtight baggie, then placed it in a Tupperware box with a healthy serving of lox, scrambled eggs, and fried onions. The box she stuffed into Laurie’s backpack, sitting by the door. Sensing that the remainder of his breakfast might be added to Laurie’s box, Asher Rivken began piling his lox onto his own bagel, making sure that he kept his plate out of his wife’s reach.

“Your father, on the other hand. No worry of starvation there,” Keren said in a stage whisper, jerking her head at Laurie’s father. Laurie almost choked on her babka, swallowing it just as she tried to stifle a giggle. “What did I tell you?”

“I got it, ma,” Laurie beamed once she was able to speak again. “The teachers’ pantry is always stocked, I never starve at work. But thank you for the bagel.”

Keren patted her on the head clumsily, unaccustomed to physical affection even after almost twenty years. “That’s my girl. Have a good day at work.” This last comment was directed at both Laurie and Asher, who had begun to rise from the table after downing his coffee in one go. He reached across the table to pat Keren’s hand gently, then turned to Laurie. “Well, the children call. Shall we?” Picking up his briefcase and Laurie’s backpack, he led them both outside to where the car was waiting.

Ten minutes later he pulled up by the curb, leaning over to place a kiss on Laurie’s cheek. “Thanks, dad. See you tonight.” Laurie hopped out of the car, rounding the corner towards Robin’s Nest Learning Center. A few of her coworkers huddled on the curb out front, murmuring amongst themselves.

“Hi,” Laurie greeted as she approached them, looking from nervous face to nervous face. “What’s happened?”

She was greeted with a moment of silence, which Nemo finally broke. “Hard to say, Laurie. Come see for yourself.” He opened the door. It was still dark inside, a sight Laurie was unaccustomed to. Normally the kindergarten was brightly lit, and she could hear the sounds of the air conditioning and children playing, yet the building was empty and quiet, and a shadow seemed to flicker in the corner of her eye. Despite her thick sweater, Laurie shivered.

“Up there. Look.” She followed Nemo’s finger, pointed up at the ceiling, to see… herself?

It took a minute to digest. Claudia’s desk, the shoe cabinets, even Nemo and herself, all reflected on the ceiling, as if someone had broken in over the weekend to install a mirror through all of the kindergarten. “Fabian touched it, and he said he felt himself. It was warm, it’s real, and it’s freaking me out,” Nemo explained, his voice a hushed whisper. “We have no idea what happened, it wasn’t like this on Friday and Claudia swears she activated the security system when she left, no one could have come in.”

The pair rejoined the rest of the teachers outside just as Linh hurried up, late again, no doubt due to the bus. “Claudia texted me!” she gasped as she pulled up, trying to catch her breath. “What do we do?”

Laurie worried at the hem of her skirt, wondering exactly the same. It looked like something that could happen if the Order hadn’t kept one of their own under control… but it wasn’t like she could handle it on her own, whether it was fixing the problem or narrowing it down to the culprit. “For now, let’s keep the kids outside. Go inside, turn on the lights so nothing seems off, but we’ll tell them we’re having classes outdoors today since the weather is nice. The playground a few blocks down should be fine. We’ll just have to deal with whatever it is after the children go back.” Already she could see Elyse Spencer coming down the street hand-in-hand with her father. “Don’t say anything to scare the kids, okay?”

Her instructions were received well, given that the others had little idea themselves. Instantly Fabian turned in Elyse’s direction, waving to her, and Claudia headed back inside to do as she was told. “I’ve already called the police and reported it, but seeing as no one’s in immediate danger they won’t be in any hurry. I’ll stick around and talk to them when they get here, please round up the little ones and make sure they don’t get in any trouble,” Nemo rattled off at top speed, hurrying to keep Claudia company before he’d even finished talking.

“Do you think we can get it fixed by tomorrow?” Linh asked nervously, picking at her nails. She turned to Laurie, expression expectant, as though she’d be able to find a solution the same way she’d found a last minute plan.

“I don’t know, Linh.”