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Clara Eddington

"Take my hand..."

0 · 236 views · located in America

a character in “Take My Hand”, as played by Jynxii

Description

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Age| 17

Role| Eldest Sister| Cadillac Children






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Personality|
Clara is normally a very bubbly and upbeat girl. She enjoys playing with her siblings in their fantasy worlds, and getting lost in their dream world. She has incredible patience for her younger siblings and loves them with all of her heart. Family is the most important thing to her. Clara is very silly and light hearted but she gets serious quickly when she needs to. She prefers to lighten a dark mood with a joke or change of subject rather than let her siblings get too down in the dumps. She’s really taken on the role of Mom now that their mama has taken off. She’s become more serious, but still maintains her playful big-sister attitude.

Among her siblings she is the one to defuse heated situations, when she can. She is a terrible liar to adults, but she can lie easily to her two younger siblings to keep them safe and happy. She is very afraid of snakes and spiders and hates being alone. She is terrified she is going to let her little sister and brother down. Due to being so bubbly, Clara is easily a people person. It is very easy for her to walk up to strangers and talk to them. She is slightly prideful, and does not like to admit when she’s wrong. She can also be a little over-protective of her siblings from time to time.

Clara has never liked nature. She prefers to be inside reading, or doing anything else. She has a real complex about being dirty, and she’s had to face her demons with this ever since their mother abandoned them. She is not very religious, but since ‘the incident’ she has found herself praying to God every night and toying with the golden cross around her neck (a gift from her mother on her 13th birthday). Clara is also very untrusting. Although she is a people person, she does not trust anyone to not hurt her family.

Likes|
+ Reading and writing short stories to read to her siblings.
+ Playing pretend with her siblings.
+ Being needed and feeling useful.

Dislikes|
- Letting her family down.
- Being outside for extended periods of time with bugs and without a bath.
- Not knowing what she’s going to do and having to lie to keep her family from being afraid.



Strengths|
^ She is an outgoing people-person
^ The ability to be the ‘rock’ for her family to lean on

Weaknesses|
v Inability to trust people
v Her pride






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History|

Clara Eddington grew up in a very small home with her single mother and three siblings. The family had always been dirt poor, and lived hand-to-mouth. It was not uncommon for Clara and the oldest boy to go to sleep without eating so that the younger two could eat and keep up their strength. The children were going to public school when their mother pulled them and started to home school them a month before she told them of their trip to Aunt Jenny’s. A distant aunt, she had told them. Their father’s half sister. Clara had never heard of, or met, said aunt.

The family packed up their one suitcase of everyone’s clothes (as each child was lucky to have one outfit to wear every day and one church outfit) and headed across the country in their mother’s yellow Cadillac. It seemed like they had been on the road for days, and Clara drifted in and out of consciousness in the front seat. She had never learned to drive. Her mother had said that if a man were around; it was his job to do the driving, and the woman’s job to look beautiful beside him. Their mother was very old-fashioned.

When their mother parked the car outside of a large mall in some state Clara had never been to before, Clara was confused. “She lives in a mall, mama?” Clara asked. Her mother laughed and told her, of course not. That she just needed to get a few things, and for Clara to wait in the car with the children and take care of them while mama was away. ”Yes, mama.”

Four days later… Clara knew that mama wasn’t coming back.

So begins...

Clara Eddington's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington
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#, as written by Jynxii
Clara Eddington


The sun was beating down on that Louisiana parking lot, and their yellow Cadillac was basking in it. The two youngest were laying in the backseat, and all four doors to the car were open to let what little breeze there was, in. Clara didn’t know what they were going to do. It’d been four days, and their mama hadn’t shown up anywhere. Their father had never been around, either, so Clara didn’t know why it hurt so bad to be without her mama. Maybe it was because she had always been there for them before, reading bedtime stories to the little ones and doing what she could to support such a large family in such a small house.

Clara should have noticed something was wrong with her mama before now. Mama had started staying out later and later, coming home looking worse and worse. She quit reading bedtime stories and stopped bringing home anything to eat. When she pulled Clara out of school, Clara thought she would never find a way to forgive mama. She was so upset. She missed her friends, missed her life away from the hell that was home, with two bickering younger children and a brother who thought he was the head of the house. He was only 15. Doug shouldn’t have had to feel that way.

Clara blamed her mother for never remarrying. For putting all the burden on her and Doug. When Mama suggested that they go stay with this mysterious Aunt Jenny for a while, Clara knew that it really meant mama was dumping them off on some distant relative’s doorstep. Suddenly Clara didn’t dislike her mama so much, and she didn’t like the idea of being without her. She started to actively try to be better, to not fight or argue with the other kids as much and to fix things up around the house. When mama finally set in motion the long, long car drive Clara was permitted to sit in the front since she was the oldest.

She remembered watching their mama driving, with her beautiful long blonde hair like Clara’s. She looked so lovely in the sunrises and sunsets that Clara watched her drive through. When did mama get so old? Clara watched her hands on the tan colored wheel, so fragile and wrinkled. Those hands had braided her hair, tucked her in at night, put band-aids on cuts or imaginary booboos. They looked so worn now. Her mother would glance over at her and smile, and Clara would smile back, but it wasn’t a happy smile. It was a sad and knowing smile, as if mama was saying goodbye. Clara didn’t know it then, but now that she looked back on it she could see it.

Clara was walking back from the mall on one of her many trips for free samples from the food court. Her thoughts slowly faded away as she drew closer to the car. Today’s loot was four bagels, four meatballs, and four samples of chicken on toothpicks. She carried them in a handkerchief. When she reached the car she put on a broad smile and slammed her free hand down on the trunk. “Lunch! Is served.” She chirped. She smiled at her two youngest ones, and placed the napkin open on the trunk of the car. “Leave Doug and I some!” she warned with a lighthearted laugh. As her younger siblings began to eat, she turned to Doug and nodded to the front of the car to signal for him to come talk to her.

Walking over to the hood she cleared her throat and tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. “She’s not coming back, Doug… we can’t just wait here for…forever… I can’t keep going to the mall. People are starting to ask questions. They’ve noticed we haven’t left.” She glanced back to the two youngest children and tried to maintain a low voice to her brother. “We have to leave… I don’t have the keys, so we’ll have to go on foot. We’ll get the suitcase from the trunk and take turns carrying it… I don’t think the railroad is far from here. We’ll follow that as far as it’ll go, then… then we’ll follow the road the rest of the way. Easthaven can’t be that far.” She glanced nervously back at the two younger ones, afraid to tell them her plan. She looked over her two younger siblings, worried. They were already dropping weight. She turned back to him. “I’ll need you to be strong, Doug. I can’t do this by myself.”

Little did Clara know, they were three states away from Easthaven.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington
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Natalie awoke when Clara came back. She stretched and yawned loudly, poking her brother Flynn, and felt her stomach growl. "Lunch! Is served." Clara said and Natalie laughed as she took one napkin from her older sister. The dream might as well have never happened. Natalie didn't like to think about the things that bothered her. "Leave Doug and I some!" Clara said as Natalie took a huge, grateful, bite out of her bagel.

"Yum." She said happily with her mouth full. "Hey, Flynn?" She asked him, a small curiously sad tone in her voice. "Do you think mama's ever coming back? It's been like a whole month!" Natalie exclaimed, in her chilidish and by far incorrect grasp of time and space. Thirty minutes seemed like three hours in her mind, let alone four whole days. She looked at her brother with wide-eyes. Even though she was older than him by three years, sometimes she acted like he was older and he knew everything there was to know. It was comforting, in a way. And not that Natalie had a clear sense of the feeling, she wanted comfort right now.

((Sorry it's so short! The others will be longer, I promise!))

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington
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Doug sat shotgun, his head leaned back and eyes shut. Its was rather hot, and Doug felt his sweaty tee-shirt sticking to him uncomfortably. Its been four days... I can't believ-

“Lunch! Is served.” Doug heard the cheerful cry from her sister. He immediatly smiled and sat up, swinging his legs out of the car. Planting his feet firmly on the ground, he walked over to the back of the car where Clara put the food. He stood back next to her to let their younger siblings get the first pick from the meal. Looking over at Clara, he saw her nod towards the front of the car, gesturing she wanted to talk to him in private. Doug followed Clara until the were out of ear-shot of their siblings.

Doug wasn't suprised by what Clara was going to say. “She’s not coming back, Doug… we can’t just wait here for…forever… I can’t keep going to the mall. People are starting to ask questions. They’ve noticed we haven’t left.” He sighed. "I knew we couldn't stay here. The car isn't nearly enough for the four of us to live in." “We have to leave… I don’t have the keys, so we’ll have to go on foot. We’ll get the suitcase from the trunk and take turns carrying it… I don’t think the railroad is far from here. We’ll follow that as far as it’ll go, then… then we’ll follow the road the rest of the way. Easthaven can’t be that far.” Another deep sigh was let out from Doug's mouth. "You're right. We have no choice. I just hope Easthaven isn't too far." He glanced back at the car. "I'm suprised they haven't come to tow the car yet. Its having been in the lot for the past four days. I'm pretty sure people are starting to notice too." Taking a good long look around, he made sure that no one was coming for them or something. He felt like something bad could happen at any moment, and screw up everything.

Doug looked back at Clara. "Should we stay one more night or go today? I think we should get one more night iof sleep. We don't know when we might have some sort of shelter for ourselves." His tone was sullen. His eye were full of worry as he glanced over his shoulder looking at the younger ones.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington
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Mommy wasn't coming back, Flynn had figured it out the morning of the fourth day. Of course not, he thought bitterly, [/i]Mommy doesn't love us. She hasn't loved us since... since... always![/i] Of course it was just the childish side of him acting out, but he didn't know that. Flynn thought he was just like every other adult, just as good as Doug and Clara. He wasn't, but who would break a little kids heart and tell him otherwise? Since last year, it seemed like he just wanted to hurry up and grow up. Be an adult, just like everyone else. In a way, his mother had let him. Pretended to let him make the decisions, to hear his opinions and all that. It was just to please the little boy though, once he pulled the pouty face and stuck out his bottom lip, Mommy would feel bad and try and make him happy again.

He was always quite stubborn, for a child his age. Especially since he always seemed to think he was right, though half the time he wasn't. Things had to go his way, if they didn't, he would get upset. Then he would probably refuse to do anything else. It had gotten so bad once that they ended up just picking him up and carrying him, since he wouldn't get off the ground. Strangely enough, it was like a game to him. Everyone knew that a little brothers job was to aggravate the older kids, attract the attention to themselves but make sure that the others got in trouble for it, or at least that they ended up having to clean up afterwards. Though it had gotten boring after awhile, and he calmed down a bit after that. That was when he took up running out of the house and into the woods, hiding in the trees until he felt like coming back down.

Unlike Natalie, Flynn didn't dive for the food when Clara set it down in front of him. Instead he took half of a bagel and began eating it slowly, knowing that he wouldn't let them feed him anymore than that. The child was less than sixty pounds now, and he still continued to reject food. His sisters question startled him a bit, and he turned towards her and rolled his eyes. "Of course mama's not coming back. And it hasn't been a whole month, Natalie." Actually he didn't know, he spent most of it sleeping or rambling about useless things. His attention was caught by his two whispering siblings, but he couldn't catch what they were saying. That sort of annoyed him, and he stomped his feet to get their attention. "Mama said that whispering isn't nice!"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington
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#, as written by Jynxii
Clara Eddington


"Should we stay one more night or go today? I think we should get one more night of sleep. We don't know when we might have some sort of shelter for ourselves." Clara bit her bottom lip nervously. She gently closed her eyes and took a deep breath, slowly letting it out. “I don’t think so, Doug. We need to move.” She looked miserable. "Mama said that whispering isn't nice!" Clara laughed. Gathering up her courage, she walked to the back of the car and kneeled to be eye level with Flynn, and just shorter than Naty. “Hey, guys… C’mere let me talk to you for a sec…” She cleared her throat and put on a smile. “You remember when I used to read you bedtime stories about Peter Pan and Wendy?” Her heart was hammering in her chest.
“Well, how about we go on a little adventure? Ok, a big adventure… Like Wendy’s!” She smiled big to sell it, and reached out and put her hand on Flynn’s shoulder. “How’s that sound? We’re going to go on an adventure. We’re going to go to Aunt Jenny’s!” She tried to hold her smile in place, and succeeded. “It’s going to be great. Really. So, Flynn I need you to be Natalie’s Peter, can you do that for me? And keep her safe while we go on our advanture? We might run into some adults on our trip!” She tried to make the world ‘adult’ sound really bad, like they were in the children’s novel.

She slowly stood and pulled her hair to one side, a sure sign that she was nervous. She went into the car and pulled the suitcase from the trunk and placed it on the ground. “Let’s finish eating, then we’ll start on our adventure!” With that, she reached over and grabbed her bagel. Taking a bite out of it, she glanced around the parking lot. Glancing back to Flynn’s half eaten bagel, she frowned. “Flynn, eat the rest of your bagel. You’ll need your strength if you’re going to protect Natalie!”

After they finished eating…

Clara brushed the crumbs from the front of her yellow sundress. She once again drew in a slow breath and let it out. “Alright, adventurers! It’s time to set off.” She glanced across the parking lot and noticed two mall cops headed their way. Her heart skipped a beat. She looked down to her white shoes. “Race you to the tracks!” she chirped, grabbing the suitcase and booking it. Her heart raced and she glanced over her shoulder as she ran, the men were starting to walk faster. Faster. They were sprinting now. Running. “Don’t let the pirates catch you!” she called to her siblings, not doubting for a moment that Flynn could easily outrun her, and that Natalie could easily keep pace.

She ran, leading them at a bolt-run through bushes that shook as she jumped past them, through parking lots of other stores, and finally into trees. She didn’t stop. She couldn’t. The suitcase was heavy in her hand, but she couldn’t stop. She could hear the whine of the police sirens in the distance. “Faster, faster! Last one there’s a rotten egg!” she called, breathless, to her siblings. She didn’t stop until the sirens had faded into the distance. Breathless, she forced out a laugh with the last of her air. “Man, you guys are fast!” She smiled, looking to Doug with a worried look in her eyes. They had stopped on a railroad track. Breathing heavily, Clara turned to her siblings and nodded to a patch of soft looking grass beside the tracks. “I need to rest! You guys wore me out!” She sat the suitcase on the ground beside a tree for Flynn or Natalie to sit on. She chose a tree across from it and leaned against it, genuinely exhausted from the sprinting across the town.

Looking through the trees to the left she could vaguely make out an apple orchard. That would be good for dinner later. She looked to the sky, shaded by the thick of the trees. For now, she would rest and then she’d ask Doug to help her go pick a few for dinner, and a couple extra to put into the suitcase. She didn’t know how long it’d be until she could find some more for them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington
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Doug sighed. "You're right. It was a stupid idea." He shrugged.
"Mama said that whispering isn't nice!" He could hear Flynn yell from the back of the car. Doug let out a light laugh as he walked back over and leaned on the sun warmed side of the yellow car. "Sorry Flynn." He said half-heartedly and picked up a bagel.
Doug listened to what Clara was telling them about this being an adventure, like in Peter Pan. She's so good with them... He sighed. He pulled off pieced of his bagel and popped them into his mouth, chewing. It tasted fine, but the look Doug had on his face looked like he was eating dirt. He poured all of his anger and annoyance with his mother as well as himself into glaring at he bagel. He was pretty sure if he looked harder, he would burn holes in it.



After finishing his bagel, Doug spend the time glaring at the ground. His arms were crossed, and he still was leaning his back on the vehicle, one of his legs on top of the other. His jaw was clenched. Looking up, he saw Clara tense up. He followed her line of sight until he saw the mall cops marching across the parking lot. He jumped out of his skin when he heard Clara issue a challenge them to a race to the tracks. Immediatly, Doug helped the younger ones out of the car, then raced after him. He purposely let himself end up behind the back of the group, just to make sure no one fell behind. When one did, he would nudge them faster until he was once again behind every one.

When they reached the tracks, Doug tried not to act like he was tired. He hid his deep breathing, and didn't sit or lean on anything. He crossed his arms, and watched as Clara put the suitcase down. He mentally cursed himself for not taking it instead of making her lug it through town.

He noticed Clara looking at an apple orchard in the distance. He knew what she was thinking. "Thats a good idea." He nodded to her, and waited for her to catch her breath before going to grab some apples to take with them.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington Character Portrait: Zachariah King
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#, as written by Jynxii
Clara Eddington


"Did we beat the pirates?" asked Natalie. Clara had to smile, and she even let out a breathless laugh. “Yes, Naty. You were too fast for them slow adults!” She smiled, looking to Doug as he began to speak. "Thats a good idea." He had followed her line of sight to the apples. “Okay, Peter,” she said indicating Flynn, “you watch over Wendy, and Doug and I will be right back. We’re going to get a snack for us. Stay off the tracks, you don’t want to get swept away by a pirate ship!”
Nodding to Doug, she headed off towards the apple trees. She quickly went about picking up good ones from the ground and picking a few low-laying ones, tucking what she could not carry into her dress pockets in the front. Walking back over to the kids she smiled and tossed an apple to each of them, and put the rest (a total of 6) into the suitcase. They wouldn’t keep for long, but maybe long enough.

Clara leaned against a tree and finally got her heart to calm down. The spot they were in didn’t look too bad. There were trees overhead with nice thick leaves. “How about we camp here tonight, guys? Sleep under the stars, like the lost boys!” She smiled, keeping her tone light and airy. Looking around she noticed a patch of moss big enough for Flynn and Natalie. “You two can sleep here, Doug and I will sleep beside you and take turns watching for pirates. I’ll take the first shift.”
The sun was already setting, and it would be dark soon. Clara took the suitcase and placed it against a tree and sat on it.

Hours later, it’s completely dark out
Clara awoke to the feel of rain splattering against her cheek. Rubber her eyes, her blue hues looked around the forest. Darkness still lay in a thick blanket around her family, and rain was now beginning to fall down onto them. Her yellow house dress was muddy and brown now, and her once white shoes were now a similar color. Waving away a wisp of her blonde hair, she struggled to her feet. She must have fallen asleep on her watch… Just then, the tracks began to vibrate. A train?

Looking up the tracks Clara could see the blinding light of locomotive. Clara held up her hand to her face to block out the blinding glare. With a swoosh, the massive machine went flying past, but this one was different from the rest as many had passed during the night. Bright colors, and elaborate designs flashed by in a whirl of color and lights. Is that a…a… giraffe?

Sure enough, the long neck of the creature towered out of a shoot from the cart, and turned to stare at her as the train rattled by. …. A circus… A grinding sound signified it was coming to a stop. Confused, Clara peeked a little closer to the tracks, watching the train slowly crawl to a stop. They must be near a town…

Sure that the loud sound of the train’s whistle had awoken her siblings, she turned to them. “You guys stay here…. I’m… I’m going to see if we can get a ride.” Taking a breath, she straightened her dress and winced up at the sky. The rain was starting to fall harder. “Stay here and watch them… if I’m not back in two hours, follow the tracks to town.” She directed the comment to Doug. With that, she set off down the track beside the many beautiful carts, ignoring the growls, yelps, bleets, and other odd noises coming from the animal cages as she passed.

When she reached the front of the train she hopped across the tracks delicately. Large planks were being pulled out of unseen compartments, and an uncountable number of men seemed to flow out from the train. Awed, Clara found herself fixed to the spot as the big top took shape in the field in front of the train. The rain was starting to fall more heavily now, and she just stood, getting soaked.

She wasn’t sure what to do… the men looked extremely busy… and she would have to find the ringmaster to ask if her and her siblings could ride with them as far as they could take them in regards to how close they could get to Easthaven. Gathering up her courage, she began toward the front of the train, shivering in the downpour. As she rounded the corner, she found herself face-to-face with a boy. Well, actually, she had bumped into him.

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Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Zachariah King
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Zachariah had spent the entire day riding in the circus train. He normally didn't mind this too much, but he was beyond ready to get off. He'd had to share a box with some of the stranger people who performed in the circus. Though they were all very nice to him, Zachariah had never been one to like being surrounded by large groups of people. He was, and always had been, quite shy. All of the people that he had been sitting with that day, during the trip, had tried so hard to get him to talk with them. To open up. Zachariah just wasn't going to do it just like that. He had a real problem trusting people and that most likely didn't help with his shyness. The train rattled along and the teen knew that they had to be getting close to their destination. He began to listen to those around him speaking. They confirmed what he'd just thought. According to them, they should be arriving within the next thirty minutes or so. Zachariah was glad. He was getting tired of sitting. He was ready to get their work done and have some time to himself.

Thirty minutes went by quickly for Zachariah. He thought that perhaps he'd even dozed off for a bit. The train had begun to slow down. He had learned pretty quickly to remain seated until the train came to a stop or he would always manage to get thrown to the floor. After a few minutes, the train had stopped. That meant that their work began. One of the adults threw open the box door to allow the occupants to exit. Zachariah stopped for a moment, realizing that it was raining. Great. Just what they needed. The teen pulled his hood up on his head though he doubted that it would help keep him dry at all. Some of the men were yelling out orders and he knew that he'd better get to work. He jumped down off of the train and made his way to help with the main tent. Once the large covering was up, it would be spectacular. It was a beautiful white tent that had red flags and banners upon it. Zachariah remembered the first time that he saw it as a young boy. He'd loved it from that moment, always wondering what it was like to work for the circus. Now, he needn't worry about that. Coming back to the present, he began working with the ropes that would hold the tent up. With it raining like it was, the ropes were slippery and hard to keep hold of. He worried that if his fully attention wasn't on his task that he would mess up and get yelled at..again.

Zachariah's clothing and black hair war plastered to his skin. Not an inch of his body was dry. He hoped that they would get done soon. He didn't mind the work, the opposite actually. It was the rain that he didn't care for. As he was deep in his mind, thinking to himself, something bumped into him causing him to drop the rope that he'd been working with. Zachariah turned his blue eyes around to find the source of the force. His eyes fell upon a beautiful blonde haired girl. She didn't seem to be older than he was. He wasn't quite sure what to say. It seemed odd to Zachariah that this girl would be wondering around by herself at night. "Are you lost?" he finally asked her. He was concerned. If she was indeed lost he needed to get her help and soon by the looks of it. She appeared to have been out in the rain longer than he had and was sure that she was frozen.

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Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Zachariah King
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#, as written by Jynxii
Clara Eddington


Clara blinked as if she were a confused owl as she came face to face with the boy. "Are you lost?" His voice was nearly swallowed by the sounds of the workers and the unrelenting rain. Lost? Clara stare for another moment, probably looking really silly. "I'm sorry," she managed to say. If she had a mirror, she would have been able to see that her lips were starting to turn blue. Her fingertips were already a bright red color, to match her cheeks and nose. Her voice sounded so small. She didn't have time to waste, though, she had a family to think about. "I-... I'm not lost. We're trying to get to Easthaven." She tried to raise her voice just loud enough for the boy to hear over the weather and the commotion around them. Everyone here seemed to be so busy. Men escorted carts that had large green, black or white tarps over them. They would be candy stands and gift shops once the rain stopped. Horses were being escorted by men to a large brown tent set up behind the Big Top.

Everywhere around them was movement. Multiple small tents began to take form across the way, one that would be a dinning hall, one that would be a dressing room, one that would house the caged animals, and the horse make-shift barn was already in place. Clara had had no idea that so many tents went on behind the Big Top. Then again, she supposed she never figured to look behind the curtain of splendor that they presented. A small part of her had always wondered what went on behind the scenes. Now that she was here, she dearly wished to be back at home with mama. Mama always got them front row seats to the circus when she could. Not a grand circus like this, more like a small carnival, since they were poor, but it was good enough.

"I have to get my family out of the rain, please... If it's only for a little while, can you show me to the Ring Leader or... or whoever is in charge?" She was surprised to find that her voice was so intact. As cold as she was, it amazed her that she was able to get her message out so smoothly. I can't let them down. "We won't be any trouble. I can work for our board if I have to, and so can my brother. Please, we need shelter." She knew that this boy could probably not help her at all. After all, he was just a boy. What could he really do aside from lead her to an adult that could help? He was a kid, like her, and no one would take them seriously. She hoped, though, hoped with all her heart, that someone here could help them. She couldn't stand the thought of making her family walk all the way to Easthaven.... wherever that was.

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Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Zachariah King
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Zachariah noted that the girl seemed confused with his question. He'd thought it a simple enough question to ask at the time, but perhaps it wasn't the right thing to say. He wasn't sure. Luckily, he didn't have time to think much about it, since the girl spoke to him. "I'm sorry, I-... I'm not lost. We're trying to get to Easthaven." Zachariah tilted his head to the side slightly, regarding the girl. She wasn't lost? Well she most certainly looked it. He just really wanted out of this situation. He hated speaking to most people and this girl was a bit too close for comfort. He backed up a bit, trying to put a bit more space between them. He wasn't necessarily frightened of her, he just couldn't stand being so close to someone that he did not trust. Zachariah knew that he probably should have said something more to the poor girl, offered her some sort of shelter but he couldn't find his voice. He'd always been like that, though. Anytime some stranger would speak to him he would always clam up and refuse to say anything.

All of the commotion that was going on all around them was making it hard for Zachariah to think let alone hear. He could see that the girl was speaking to him again. What was she saying? He concentrated real hard, focusing on her lips. It took him a moment to piece together what she'd said. "I have to get my family out of the rain, please... If it's only for a little while, can you show me to the Ring Leader or... or whoever is in charge? We won't be any trouble. I can work for our board if I have to, and so can my brother. Please, we need shelter." She wasn't alone, then. Without saying anything to the girl, Zachariah took off. He assumed that she would follow him. After all, wasn't she the one that needed help?

Zachariah knew that he needed to get the girl inside and if she wanted to speak with their Ringmaster..well..that's where he would take her. The teen made his way, checking every once in a while to make sure that the girl was behind him. He dodged through the workers, trying to stay out of their way. Soon, he heard his name being called by the Tentmaster. "Zachariah?! Zachariah?! Where do you think you're going?! Get back to your post!" The teen paid no attention, nor made any indication that he'd even heard the large man. He had other things to worry about. He wasn't going to let this girl down. He would see her to the Ringmaster.

The Teen noted that they were now out of all of the commotion. Good. He continued walking quickly, needing to get back before he got into too much trouble. Up ahead, but a minute's walk from where he was now, was a small tent that had been erected first. It was not nearly a magnificent color as the Big Top but still..pretty. The colors almost seemed to swirl together and Zachariah wasn't sure if it was his eyes or the rain making it do this. He approached the entrance and waited for the girl. He motioned then for her to enter the tent first. He wasn't going to leave her alone to face the Ringmaster.

He followed in, looking around the warm tent. It was filled with some of the strangest things. Strange baubles that almost looked like oversized marbles, glass steins that were beautifully colored that had metal and glass lids, hundreds of glass bottles of many different colors were everywhere. The furniture was a golden color. The rugs that had been thrown down to add little comfort was a brilliant red. All in all, this tent screamed that its owner liked comfort and the things that he collected. Zachariah spotted the Ringmaster. He was asleep, the buffoon. Here he was, passed out, while the rest of them were working away in the rain. Zachariah motioned for the girl to stay where she was. He would awaken the sleeping man. As Zachariah approached the Ringmaster, he thought upon the man's appearance. Bartholomew Clark was his name. He was a tall, lean older man who enjoyed the things that he liked. Barty was well liked by everyone that he would meet. When Barty had met Zachariah he'd tried so hard to get the boy to open up to him..well..at least to speak with him. He'd decided that it would probably never happen. The man had always wondered what had happened to make the teen hate adults so much. Zachariah gently approached the man and nudged his should quite hard. He did this at least three times before the man awoke. He sputtered for a moment, trying to regain his bearings. He looked up at Zachariah, confused as to why the boy would be in his tent. They couldn't possibly be done already. "What is it, Zachariah?" Instead of saying anything, the boy merely motioned at the girl for her to approach.

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Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Zachariah King Character Portrait: Alex Curtis
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Alex Curtis

Alex blinked a few times while stretching his arms apart. He yawned, surprised that he had fallen asleep so early and woken up so late. Alex noticed the train was stopped and abruptly got up. Penelope sat next to him on his right, her dazzling face particularly noticeable in the dark room, however the seat usually occupied by her brother was empty. "I thought I was the only one allowed to leave without notice," Alex joked, unsure if Penny (of course he could never call her that) was even awake. "Well, I'm going to go out," Alex announced loudly, hopeful for a response. All he received was a grunt and then continuous snores from the man sitting on Alex's left, Humphrey Gordon. Humphrey was an obese clown who challenged Alex to card games every night despite the fact that he could never win. Alex realized he never took his winnings from the night before and discreetly took Humphrey's wallet out of his bag, pulled out a few dollars (however Alex took more money than he was supposed to take), and then slipped it back in his bag. Humphrey abruptly woke up and snorted, "Huh?", the smell of alcohol reeking from his mouth. "We've arrived," Alex said in an excited tone before continuing in feigned anger,"however is a drunken clown really what you think parents bring their children to a circus for?" To Alex's amusement, Humphrey yelled, "Scram off kid!"

Alex pushed open the doors of the train compartment and headed outside into the beautiful and dark scenery, wondering where Zachariah could have went. Suddenly, Alex felt rain trickle down his face. He smiled, nearly jumping of happiness. Rain was one of his favorite things in the world, however he was sure that something like this wouldn't excite Zach too much so Zach was almost certainly inside. Alex was just about to push open the compartment doors to head back in, as he wanted to find Zach, when one of the workers called out, "Hey kid! Come over here and help me set this tent up!" Alex turned around, revealing his face to the worker. The worker, realizing who Alex was, shooed the kid away. One of the perks of being so troublesome was that Alex didn't have to do any work. Only three days after Penelope and Zach convinced the ringmaster, Bartholomew (Barty for short), to let Alex join the train he broke one of the tents, which caused a worker to fall of the tent and break his hip. Penny and Zach were mortified and afraid that Barty would kick them off the train. Luckily, Barty was extremely forgiving and let the kids stay under the "punishment" that Alex's only job would be selling tickets, passing out posters around town, making art to be sold at the concession stand, and singing for the crowd before the show started.

Alex reopened the compartment door and passed by Penny again. He went by a few more train cars and to his disgrace he never found Zach. Maybe Barty called him in for something. Zach was always Barty's favorite, so it wouldn't be surprising if this was true. Alex headed outside to the ringmaster's tent, a beautiful tent decorated with multiple colors. No one appreciated the tent as much as Alex did, which was also true for most artistic things. He was disappointed to see the rain was smearing the colors off the tent, which was in Alex's opinion the only negative of rain. Alex pushed over the tent covers and entered Barty's awkwardly designed room. Something about this room always gave him the creeps. Just as Alex had suspected, Zachariah was standing in the room with an unfamiliar girl, both with their backs facing him.

Normally Alex would take advantage of a situation like this to jump up on someone and scare them, however he learnt the hard way that this wasn't the smartest thing to do with Zach. "What is it, Zachariah?" the ringmaster mumbled, obviously just awaken from sleep. Zach motioned to the girl to step forward. The situation was very unusual, who was this girl? Zach usually didn't do well with strangers, maybe he had a secret girlfriend and was asking the ringmaster to let her join them at the circus. Alex snickered at the thought, knowing that obviously wasn't the case (Zach wasn't too good with secrets or girls and he couldn't have met the girl earlier considering that he'd been travelling for so long). Alex walked to the side of Zach and cheerfully sprouted,"Good morning Zachariah,". The disappointment on Barty's face when he saw Alex was immediately obvious which saddened Alex a little. Alex noticed the girl was around Zach's age and had blonde hair and blue eyes. Alex continued, "Who's this pretty girl you've got with you?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington Character Portrait: Zachariah King Character Portrait: Alex Curtis
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#, as written by Jynxii
Clara Eddington


Clara marveled at the tent, and momentarily lost her voice. The ringmaster appeared to be sleeping, and she was just about to object when the boy began shoving him awake. The man came out of his sleep as if he were coming out of being possessed."What is it, Zachariah?" asked the man, who the boy, Zachariah, had not named. Clara was just about to say something, when a wild-eyed boy suddenly joined Zachariah's other side. Clara must have looked like a soaked owl as she blinked and took in the new person. "Who's this pretty girl you've got with you?" His voice was as cheerful as his eyes appeared to be. Clara shifted uncomfortably and looked back to the ringmaster who was regarding the boy with a scowl. "Ahh, I see we have a guest." Bartholomew purred, quickly regaining his composer.

He lifted himself into an upright position with an inhuman grace and crossed the threshold of the tent to dramatically take Clara's hand and scoop himself into a bow. "To what do we owe the pleasure, dear child?" His voice dripped like warm syrup. Clara was too shocked at his formalities to answer, and just stood there trying not to gawk. "My dear girl, you're soaked to the bone! Where are your parents?" Parents. Clara took a step back from him and cleared her throat. "My name is Clara Eddington, sir." "And I, am the wonderful and mystical Bartholomew Clark. Ringmaster of the Clark and Young circus!" he exclaimed, standing straight and proud, even gesturing with a grand wave of his arm.

Clara stood, with her soaked yellow dress dripping on the rug she stood upon. "Sir, my family and I are trying to get to Easthaven. Please, we desperately need shelter and, if possible, my brother and I could work for seats for the four of us on your train. We won't be any trouble, I swear! Please, we really need to get to Easthaven. Our aunt is expecting us." So, the last part was a bit of a stretched truth. Honestly, Clara had no idea if her aunt was expecting them or not. Bartholomew watched her carefully as she explained her situation and slowly nodded, turning to walk to the back of his tent. Clara stood, hopeless, as he walked away, tears brimming in her eyes.

When the man returned, he was carrying a plastic poncho, which he gently handed to Clara. "Dear, sweet child. We are but a humble group of misfits. Of course you are welcome here. You may ride with us for as long as you like. It just so happens we recently had an act drop, and we have a two available rooms in one of our carts." Clara could faint, she was so happy. "Go, get your family, and get them warm. I will send Benny to ready your cart. Come see me after the show today. Zach, since you found her, you escort them to the Swan Cart. And Alex, go find Penny and ask her to help Miss Eddington get settled in." He spoke with a gentle finality. He did not expect the children to disrespect them, as he had let both Zach and Alex into his company out of the goodness of his heart, just as he was doing now for this young girl. He knew that the boys were good, and that they would make sure she was well looked after. It might do the children some good to have some more children their age around. Perhaps keep them out of trouble, as it were. "Thank you, sir, thank you so much!" Barty smiled and waved his hand to dismiss them, turning back to a table with a bunch of paperwork upon it. He would have his hands full trying to replace and buy a new act for the Swan Sisters. Clara put the poncho on and shyly looked to Zach, "Um... I'll lead you to them, then.."




When Clara arrived back at their camp, she was not surprised to find a very upset looking Flynn and a curious Natalie. Flynn was sitting with his legs crossed under a tree, looking wet and pitiful, and Natalie was staring wide-eyed at the many different carts with an apple in her hand that was half eaten. Clara smiled and ran to Doug when she saw him, throwing her arms around him in a huge hug. "They're going to let us stay with them, Doug! We have a place to sleep!" She was so overcome with joy that she began to cry. The rain was relentless, and only Natalie seemed to not mind the dreary downpour. Clara released her brother and placed the poncho onto Flynn's little body. "C'mon, Flynn, we're going to stay on the train. You always wanted to join the circus, right?" Flynn was being a typical six year old and just whimpered, laying his head into Clara's neck. Natalie grinned and turned at the sound of what Clara had to say. "Join the circus!?" she chirped, wide-eyed and excited. "That sounds like fun, sissy! I want to, I want to!" Clara laughed and shifted Flynn on her hip to hold him better. She turned back to Zach, wincing a little. She could tell he wasn't really a people person. It was then that Natalie took it upon herself to jump over beside him and take his hand. "My name's Natalie Eddington! I'm Clara's sister! HI!" She grinned up at him. "Are you a part of the circus? Are you an act? Do you eat fire? Or swords can you teach me to--" "That's enough, Natalie.." The younger girl looked a little apologetic and smiled. "Sorry," she mumbled, though it was clear that her lighthearted self didn't really mean it.

"Zach is going to show us where our cart is... so.. follow him." Clara looked to Zach and walked over to him, Flynn still in her arms. "Doug, can you grab the suitcase?" After everything they owned was together and they were grouped up, she nodded to Zach to lead the way. Oh, Mama... I really hope they're as nice as they seem.. and I hope we get to Easthaven soon.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington Character Portrait: Zachariah King Character Portrait: Alex Curtis
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So her name was Clara. To Zachariah, the name fit the girl. The teen listened intently as Clara and Barty spoke. The Ringmaster was going to allow her and her family to stay with them. Barty then proceeded to give orders to Alex and Zachariah. Zach didn't even acknowledge the command, instead walking to follow Clara as she spoke to him. "Um... I'll lead you to them, then.." He followed the girl for some time, ignoring the yells he was getting. Zach didn't care. They could yell that they wanted and he would still ignore them. Barty had given him a job to do and he would make sure that it was done.

It seemed like they had been walking for quite a while before they came to Clara's family. Zach stood back a bit as Clara approached the older of the two boys, hugging him. He really wasn't listening as the girl spoke to the family. It was none of his business. Suddenly, someone was holding his hand. Zachariah stiffened, unsure of what to do. He looked to see who had touched him. It was the younger girl. She seemed so excited. "My name's Natalie Eddington! I'm Clara's sister! HI!" ,the girl said..smiling. "Are you a part of the circus? Are you an act? Do you eat fire? Or swords can you teach me to--" "That's enough, Natalie..", Clara said to the girl. "Sorry." ,the girl said. He could tell that she really didn't mean it. He was remaining quiet. He was unsure what to say. Now, he felt bad for Natalie. Perhaps he could at least try to answer one of her questions. Before he was able to voice this, Clara spoke again. "Zach is going to show us where our cart is... so.. follow him." The teen waited until everyone seemed ready to go before taking off in the direction of the Swan Cart. They had been walking for only two minutes when Zachariah spoke. "You know, Natalie, I...I work with the horses. I learned everything about them when I first started working here..then..our trainer left us. So, I got promoted." he fell silent. He was slightly surprised with himself. He'd actually not gotten out one sentence but three. "If you'd like I'll show you them one day." He fell quiet after that. Finally, Zach saw the cart that he was looking for. It was sitting quite close to his own. He approached but stopped outside of the cart. He pointed to the cart, signaling to Clara that this was the cart her and her family would be staying in.

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Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington Character Portrait: Zachariah King
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#, as written by Jynxii
Clara Eddington


Clara walked as close as comfortable behind Zach, shifting Flynn's weight from one hip to the other. He was way too old to be carried, but it was raining, and everyone was tired. "You know, Natalie, I...I work with the horses. I learned everything about them when I first started working here..then..our trainer left us. So, I got promoted." Zach's voice sounded strange to Clara, as if he didn't use it very often. Natalie beamed at the information. She loved horses! How fun! Clara nearly ran into Zach as he came to an abrupt halt without saying anything. True to the Ringmaster's words, the cart was elaborately decorated with large swans flying over, or resting in a pond. Clara glanced to Zach, who had signaled for her to go ahead. Nodding, she set Flynn down and pulled the door to the cart open. Stepping inside, she couldn't help but smile. Overhead dangled a beautiful crystal chandelier, which looked a little silly considering this was a part of a train. To the left of the opening, to the far wall of the room, rested a double sized mattress with a fluffy white blanket and lush looking pillows. On the floor lay a crimson red rug, and directly across from the door sat a small bolted-down table and two booths (one on each side, and both with red cushions for seats). On the wall that the door was attached to was a medium cherry oak dresser with a few books on top.

To the right of the door was another door. Curiously, Clara walked over and slid the door open, revealing a mirrored room, only this one was decorated in royal blue instead of crimson red. Both had white accents, and each had their own door to the outside. "I guess this would be your half, Doug," Clara mused. "And mine!" piped Flynn, who ran from behind Clara and into the boy's room, jumping for joy. Clara smiled and looked to Natalie. "Guess that makes this our room! Cool, huh?" "Oh yes! Oh yes!" Natalie beamed, grinning from ear to ear. It was then that Clara noticed that there were black and white striped boxes sitting on each of the beds. How could she have missed that before? Walking over to the box on her and Natalie's bed, she slowly peeled the note card from the top. "Miss Clara, I hope these fit you and your siblings. I couldn't stand the thought of you being in wet clothes! Thank Yara, our fortune teller, for the sizes, if they fit! -B" Clara smiled. God was really looking out for them. "It's clothes." She announced. "You two should have some, too," she added, looking to Doug.

"I can't wait to get out of these wet clothes!" chirped Natalie, who was already trying to unbutton her dress from the back. Clara glanced sheepishly towards Zach. "We'll see you in a few?" With that, she gently closed the door, to keep the rain out and so that Natalie and everyone else could change. Flynn was already too excited about his new clothes, he was bouncing around Doug, wanting to see what his clothes looked like. Clara grinned at the boys and once they were both in their room, she shut the adjoining door. "Let's see what we have, hm?" Clara opened the box to reveal sundresses. Natalie's was pink, with a white ribbon around the upper waist, and Clara's was baby blue, with a black belt around her waist. There were matching shoes, and nude stockings, too. "I hate stockings!" whined Natalie. Clara could only giggle, and helped pulled her young sister out of her wet clothes. She hung both of their dresses onto the chandelier to dry, along with their socks.

Clara helped Natalie get dressed first, and then had Natalie help zip her into her own dress. Once both of them were dressed, and had slipped into their new black shoes, Clara began to braid Natalie's hair. It was still wet for now, but it would dry soon once the rain stopped and the sun came out. Natalie fumbled with Clara's hair in turn, managing to get it into a loose braid which Clara pulled to her left side. Clara gently knocked on the shared door. "You two dressed?" she asked. "OH COME ON YOU TWO!!" yelled Natalie, banging on the door. "I wanna go see the horses! I wanna see the horses!!" she whined, dramatically throwing herself against the wall. Luckily, she didn't weigh enough to do any damage. "Meet us outside, okay?" Clara called. She walked over to the girl's door and opened it, thrilled to see that the sun had finally come up and driven away the rain. The only sign that it had been such a dreary night were the small puddles in the grass.

Clara took Natalie's hand and waited for Doug and Flynn to join them. The big top was up and bustling with movement. In the far distance Clara could smell buttered corn and smoked meats. From the same direction, she could hear many different announcers voices.
"Come one, come all! Come see the wonderful--"

"A sure wonder to be seen, ladies and gentlemen, you don't want to miss it!"

"Nothing like you've ever seen before! Hurry, hurry, hurry!"

"Step right up, don't be shy!"

Clara was nearly blown away. The circus. This was really happening. She glanced down to Natalie, and was met with a wild grin from the girl. "This is the best adventure ever," Natalie beamed.

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Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Flynn Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington
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#, as written by M8Z2
This is the best adventure ever," Natalie beamed.
And it was, for such a small girl like her. "Do we get to see the horses now? Do we?" she asked. Clara laughed. "Well, watch the circus first and we'll see!" "I hope they're all dressed up in lots of colours! That would be amazing! I hope..." Natalie went on for a while, exclaiming her expectations for a circus. She, like her other family members, had never seen a circus before, and they were brimming with excitement.

They walked on some more, following Clara's nose. "It's really nice of them to let us stay in their train," Clara said to Natalie and Flynn, who were going about their childish ways in talking to each other. "so when we watch the circus, I would like it if you were polite, okay?" Clara was excited herself to be watching the circus for the first time, but she didn't know if what would really happen would meet the two young ones' expectations. "We will!" Flynn and Natalie cried in unison, then giggled some more to each other. Clara smiled. She liked seeing her younger brother like this.

After walking for some more time

"Look! I see it! I see it!" Natalie exclaimed. "It's the circus! C'mon! Let's go let's go let's go!" Natalie grabbed Flynn and Doug's hands and attempted to drag them while she ran. "Come on guys! It's already started!" The excited siblings ran, keeping with her speed. The smell in the air made their mouths water, as they had not had a proper meal in what felt like ages. They slowed down in the midst of all the people. There were colours, music, dancers, it was such a wide variety of people. The siblings loved it.

Flynn tugged at Doug's arm. "I have to go to the bathroom!" he whined, while continuing to tug at Doug. "Guys, look!" Natalie exclaimed. "I found $5!" Clara picked it up from the ground. Normally, in the goodness of her heart, she would've looked around to see who it belonged to, but things had changed. She had changed. "It sure is!" she said. "And, look! Buttered corn is $1 each." She turned to Doug. "I'll take Natalie and get some corn, while you take Flynn to the bathroom. We'll meet back here." The two older siblings nodded to each other, then headed off.

Clara grabbed Natalie's hand, and Natalie grabbed Clara's hand. There were so many people - it was getting dark, and it was hard to see two feet in front. That's why both sisters didn't realise they had grabbed the wrong person's hand until it was too late. "Clara?" Natalie said, once the stranger had shaken Natalie away. "Clara!?" she said louder. Her heart started beating; she was getting very afraid. "Clara, where are you?" she walked around, pushing people out of her way. She was so small, so innocent, and so afraid. "Clara!" She looked to her left, and her right, behind her, in front of her, below her, above her. The lump in her throat was starting to hurt her. "Clara..." she choked out. And just like that, she crashed to her knees and started to bawl. She was lost.

Several afraid minutes had passed when Natalie felt a tap on her shoulder. Hopeful, she looked up, wanting to see one of her siblings. Instead, she met eyes with someone whom she'd had so much fun previously outrunning. "Are you part of the Eddington family?" the police officer said.

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Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington Character Portrait: Zachariah King
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(Be prepared as I'm going pretty much from the beginning with this...)

Flynn's eyes widened slightly at the prospect of taking care of his older sister, but it was an opportunity to prove he's growing up so he would take it. He puffed his chest out a bit looking to his two sisters, "Of course I'll be Peter. I'm pretty much old enough at this point." He said, even though he was still clutching to his teddy bear, Berry. He listened to Clara, finishing all he could of his half a bagel, packing his small stomach.

It was easy for Flynn to pass his sisters, making him genuinely smile as he finally reached the tracks. He breathed heavily, still clutching his bear, leaning and trying to catch his breath. Soon he regained his stoic expression he usually wore, catching the apple he knew he wouldn't eat. Sitting down on the spot Clara directed them to, knowing he wouldn't be able to fall asleep anytime soon. He just sat, fine as long as he could see that his siblings were nearby and not leaving. Flynn played the track on the bear, as he did most nights he couldn't sleep. Thankfully he had recently replaced the batteries so he wouldn't have to worry about that for a while. He listened to his mother's soothingly happy voice. It reminded him of Clara's happy voice. He looked up from the bear, it was already dark but he could still see the outline of his siblings. Except for Clara. Flynn could feel himself panicking. But he could see the train... A circus train actually. He hid his excitement as the circus train came close. He held up his purple bear, cross examining it with the bear in the cage. "That's not even a bear, it's the wrong color." He muttered to himself.

He sort of felt idiotic as he vaguely remembered Clara telling her siblings that she would be right back, realizing that he really didn't need to panic at all. Flynn kept close to Doug, holding Berry close to his chest. It was times like these, standing in the cold rain, that Flynn really missed his mom. Not the mom that abandoned him and his siblings, but the mom that read him bedtime stories and tucked him in and made him feel happy enough that he didn't even realize anything was wrong. He missed that so much, but he didn't want to show it. That would be weakness. why would he ever show weakness and give people a reason to call him a baby.

Unlike Doug, when this other boy came up, Flynn seemed to fold into himself, almost not wanting to be seen. He rested comfortably in his sister's arms as they all walked to this cart they would say in as Natalie questioned the boy excitedly. The part about possibly being able to ride the horses did catch Flynn's interest, he really loved all animals so it would be exciting to see and be able to ride one. And being apart of the circus did seem to pique his interest as well. He silently contemplated what his role would be in the circus. Possibly something along the lines of Ringmaster's assistant? Yep that would be appropriate.

As they reached their cart Flynn couldn't help his excitement. It seemed that they would have separate rooms for the boys and girls. He ran into the room, putting on a rare smile as he looked around, jumping on he bed slightly before plopping down, the poncho made so his clothes were only partially wet rather than soaking. He easily peeled the wet clothing off, picking out the clothing more his size and pulling it on. He walked out to see his sisters wearing their dresses, adjusting his red plaid shirt and jeans, still holding his stuffed bear. He could never go somewhere with out his bear, it just didn't seem natural.

When walking around the circus, Flynn couldn't help but beam at everything, looking around and for once not caring that everyone else was taller than him. He was happy to oblige to all of his sister's rules and still happily smiling at all the bright lights and people around him as he clutched to his big brother's hand.

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Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington Character Portrait: Alex Curtis Character Portrait: Flynn  Eddington II
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#, as written by Jynxii
Clara Eddington


Clara smiled to her siblings as they joined her outside of their cart. “Let’s go see what this place is all about, shall we?” Her voice was as it always was when she was addressing her siblings; light and joyful. She kept a hold of Natalie’s hand as she led their small group around the Big Top and to the front. They were stopped by a sad looking clown, who smiled despite the depression painted on his face. “You must be the new arrivals!” he chirped. “Want to get a look around, aye? Just go through here, and have a peek!” A gate seemed to have materialized around the whole front of the circus, to keep the guests where they were supposed to be. The clown, who they would later learn is George, opened a door in the gate and waved them through with a smile. “You kids have fun!”

Clara led them through the gate, taking in the wonders of the circus. Men, women and children, all in their Sunday best, were walking around in what looked like an endless sea of people. “Stay close!” Clara called over the roar of the crowd. How had so many people come in such a short amount of time? Clara led them through the masses of people, enjoying the sights and smells. As they were walking, a woman selling buttered corn on the cob called out to them.

Confused, Clara walked over. “You the Eddington Children?” The bubbly woman asked. She had wild red hair that stuck off her head at very interesting angles. Clara turned a little pale at the question. “Oh, not to worry, dear! Word spreads fast ‘round here. You children look starving, here,” she said, sounding extremely happy. She held out four corns on the cob, each smothered in melted butter. “On the house, a welcome home present!” Clara blushed and handed out the food. “Thank you!” Clara smiled, nudging her siblings to do the same. “Thank you!” Natalie chirped.

Moving the group along, as she ate her corn on the cob, Clara noticed the boy from earlier. What had his name been? Alex! He looked like he was looking for someone. “Alex!” Clara called, taking Natalie’s hand and jogging over to him. “Alex, this is my family,” she said with a smile. “Everyone, this is Alex. He lives here, too… um… with the circus, I mean.” Natalie looked up at the boy and grinned. “You work with the horses too?” she asked, all smiles. Clara giggled a little. Her sister was so worried about those horses. The show was probably starting soon, she mused, so they should probably go and get seats so that Natalie could see the horses.

It was just then that a pretty black haired girl came out from behind a tent and jumped onto Alex’s back. “HA! You tried to find me, but you couldn’t! I’m too good at hiding! Face it, you suck!” the girl laughed, and it was a loud and bubbly sound. Clara turned her attention to the younger girl, and offered her a smile. “Who are they, Alex?” Penny asked, turned her hues to the group of kids. The looked to be sorta around her age, aside from the two younger ones. “Alex, have you had better luck at finding Zach than me?” Penny continued, turning her head to the side to look at Alex from his back.

The girl, Clara noticed with some shock, was not in a dress. She was wearing pants. Maybe she was a part of an act or something? Penny eyed the group suspiciously, taking in the blonde girl, her sorta cute brother, and the two little ones. How did they know Alex? Penny was sure she had never seen them before, and she had been around Alex almost all the time. How had she missed such a large group? They must be new. She didn’t trust new people. “I’m Clara Eddington,”Clara said, addressing Penny. “And this is my brother, Doug Eddington, my sister Natalie Eddington, and my youngest brother, Flynn Eddington.”

Penny eyed them for a moment longer before hopping off of Alex’s back. “ I’m Penny. Penny King,” she responded, still watching them. “The show is about to start… I guess you could sit with me and Alex.” Clara smiled a little, blushing just slightly. “That would be great!” Natalie blurted, unable to contain her excitement. Penny smiled a little and held out her hand. “Come with me!” She led Natalie off into the crowd, leaving the rest of them to follow if they wanted to see the show, too. “Wait for us!” Clara called, following after the dark haired girl. “C’mon, Alex!” Penny called over her shoulder.

Penny got them front row seats on the right hand side. Natalie could barely contain her excitement. Clara sat where one seat was open beside her, as their group of six almost took up the whole row. With the loud rumble of drums, the lights dimmed under the Big Top. The show was about to begin.

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Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Natalie Eddington Character Portrait: Douglas Eddington Character Portrait: Alex Curtis Character Portrait: Flynn  Eddington II
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Alex Curtis

The girl, who's name he would learn to be Clara, looked uncomfortable after Alex's question so Alex backed away, giving her personal space. Alex found it hard to pay attention to the rest of their conversation, only listening to bits and pieces until he was assigned a job by Barty. The job was one of the rare jobs Alex would gladly accept because he would get to work with Penelope and help out the new girl.

To Alex's dismay, Penny was nowhere to be found so he would have to help set up Clara's families' room with just Benny. While Benny was a nice man, he was more of a bore and rarely, if ever, spoke. Alex couldn't blame him, Benny was from a foreign country after all, however that didn't change the fact that they could not converse.

Setting up the cart was a long and grueling process, however Benny did end up doing most of the work. Alex spent most of the time drawing a painting which he hung up in the corner of the room. It was of a sunset on a rainy day. It wasn't his best work, but under the time constraints it was the best he could do. Alex chose not to sign it, as he didn't want to come off as a show off to Clara and her family.

Alex, now done with his work, decided to wander around looking for Penelope. The sun was now up, so Penny was most likely outside. While wondering around he saw Clara with three other children, one a boy who looked around Alex's age. That must be her family, Alex thought. To his delight, Clara remembered his name and rushed over to him. She grinned and said,“Alex, this is my family. Everyone, this is Alex. He lives here, too… um… with the circus, I mean.” Alex nodded at everyone, not thinking to courteously offer out his hand.

A young girl who looked almost like a mini version of Clara asked in a bubbly, sweet voice, "You work with the horses too?" Alex laughed at the question, as he wasn't too good with animals. One time Zach had tried teach Alex to groom the horses but the horses kicked Alex as if they were donkeys. Alex was about to answer the little girl's question when a sudden force was pushed upon him and frightened him. He could immediately tell it was Penny, who must've been intentionally hiding from him. Penelope yelled, "HA! You tried to find me, but you couldn’t! I’m too good at hiding! Face it, you suck!” Alex refused to admit his defeat, he never would. Penny looked over his shoulder and noticed Penelope eyeing the rest suspiciously.

Penelope asked, “Alex, have you had better luck at finding Zach than me?” Alex shook his head no before quietly responding, still out of breath of course, "Maybe he's preparing for his show." Penelope and Clara introduced themselves to each other and Alex learned what Clara's siblings names were. Penelope invited the group to front row seats of the circus, which is where they immediately headed.

Alex bent over, first to Penny and said in a hushed tone, "Zach found these people without a family or something. That's why they are here. I tried to find you earlier to help me get their cart set up but of course you were hiding," Alex finished with a smile. He then bent over to the little girl, Natalie, and her brother Flynn, and said, "I don't work with the horses, but Zach, whom you've already met, does. He could probably teach you someday. I sometimes work with the dogs and cats though, and they can do some really cool tricks. I will show you some day." Finally, Alex said to Clara and Doug, "How's your room? Excited for the circus? By the way, if it means anything to you guys, I'm fifteen years old." The show started to begin, with lights flashing everywhere. One spotlight hit his bruised eye for a split second, and hurt it a little.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Zachariah King Character Portrait: Alex Curtis Character Portrait: Flynn  Eddington II Character Portrait: Natalie Lyn Eddington
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#, as written by Jynxii
Clara Eddington


Clara glanced to her side, where Alex was whispering to her. "How's your room? Excited for the circus? By the way, if it means anything to you guys, I'm fifteen years old." "Our room is lovely, thank you, and yes... I am. Mostly excited about not having to walk anymore," she grinned at him. Fifteen? She looked to Doug, then back to Alex. The boys were both so young, with so much of the world weighing on their shoulders. "I'm seventeen," Clara managed to whisper, just as the show began to start. She was so consumed with watching the show, and her siblings, that she did not notice the sun beginning to set outside as the show went on. Ribbon dancers, elephants, horses, magicians, zebras, giraffes, lions, tigers, bears-- Oh yes. The circus bloomed to life before their eyes, exploding colors everywhere. Clara laughed until her sides hurt at the funny clowns, and became entranced by the beauty of the gypsies. Everything was so beautiful, and then it ended.

The large mass of people filed out like cold honey from a jar. Their painstakingly slow pace prompted Clara to sit down on an empty row of seats, to try and wait out the crowd. "You don't have to wait for them, come this way!" Penny smiled, waving for Clara, Alex, and the rest of the gang to follow her. Penny led the group out of the back of the tent, smiling at the chaos that the big top hid so well. Clara looked around in amazement. What had just moments before been so beautiful and breathtaking, was now a jumbled mess of carts, animals, equipment, and the men that were shuffling them all about. It looked as though the circus had vomited it's acts out onto the field, and the workers were scrambling to make order of the chunks. The noise was a mild roar of orders being shouted. "Dinner will be in that tent, over there," Penny informed them, gesturing to a large red tent. "Okay, thank you," Clara nodded. "No problem, but hey, I'll see you there, okay? Alex, come help me find my brother, would you?" Clara nodded as Penny turned her attention away, dismissing her. She turned to Natalie and offered her a smile, holding out her hand to the girl. "Let's go get in line for some food."




Penny King


Penny waved goodbye to the group as they headed towards the tent. Getting in line for food wasn't a bad idea, that is if you were the type to wait in line. Personally, she usually skipped someone or just waited for the crowd to die down. She turned her attention back to Alex, who was looking wired as usual. "She's pretty," she said flatly, her eyes watching him for any sort of reaction. "Anyway, where did my brother get off to? He's a better hider than I am..." Penny headed off towards the boy's cart, intending to search for her brother there. Why had he not joined them to see the circus? Was he up to something? Or worse, had he gotten in trouble with the ring leader? Or worse had he gotten hurt? Annoyance rained down on her as she stomped across the grass. Why would he just take off like that without even telling me where he was?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Zachariah King Character Portrait: Alex Curtis Character Portrait: Flynn  Eddington II Character Portrait: Natalie Lyn Eddington
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Once Zach had left Clara and her family, he'd made his way to the large area that had been temporarily fenced off for the horses to graze in. He stood at the fence for a long time, just watching the large animals. The circus had eight horses. Four beautiful Friesians and four elegant Lipizzaners. Zach knew each of their names and loved each horse equally. The boy spent a good thirty minutes just watching the horses before he removed himself from the fence. One by one, Zach brought each horse out of the two pens and groomed and tacked them. Once the horses were ready for the show, he motioned to a man to help him to bring the horses into the Big Top. The tent was packed and Zach's mind wandered to the family that he'd helped earlier in the day. He hoped that they'd settled in and were feeling better than when he'd last seen them. Suddenly, Zach heard the Ring Master talking about the horses. That was his cue. One by one, alternating the breeds, the boy sent the horses out into the ring. The horses ran around the ring, as if they'd done this many times before. They performed beautifully. Normally, Zach would have been out in the ring with them but he'd decided that tonight they'd only do a half performance. They needed rehearsing again before going on for very long. Everyone always loved the horses. They never seemed to care about all of the hard work that went into working with the beautiful creatures. Zach was usually with them, even if he wasn't training them. They always seemed to calm him. One by one, the horses came back to Zach. he quickly led them back out of the tent and into their fenced in areas. He groomed and untacked the beasts and made sure that they were taken care of for the night before heading to his cart.

Zach made his was slowly, taking his time. Everyone else was most likely heading to eat. Normally, Zach would have as well. Not tonight. He was tired and was still not sure about Clara and her family. He knew that she would most likely be in the tent eating with the others. He didn't want to have to face the new faces..not yet at least. As he entered into his cart, he went into his section..sitting down upon his bed. He sighed heavily. He knew that Penny and/or Alex would most likely come looking for him. It wasn't like him to skip supper. All he had to do was wait.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Zachariah King Character Portrait: Alex Curtis Character Portrait: Flynn  Eddington II Character Portrait: Natalie Lyn Eddington
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Zach attempted a smile at Alex when he saw the younger boy enter the cart and was about to speak when his sister entered. The young girl tackled Zach to the mattress. Zachariah turned his gaze to Alex as the younger boy spoke to him. "Tired? We could get food for you if you would rather lay in bed. Penny- *ahem*- Penelope was worried about you. You shouldn't leave us like that without any notice." Alex said. Zach didn't answer right away but instead chose to slowly sit back up after Penny had gotten off of him. He smiled at the two. Zach wasn't sure if he was even hungry. He'd been through quite a bit that day. He'd not expected to find the pretty girl and her family. He still wasn't sure why he hadn't just directed her to Barty and then been on his way. Penny was speaking to him again, bringing him out of his thoughts. "So, where did you run off to anyway? I mean, you pull an entire group of kids out of the woods in the pouring rain, dump them on Barty and then just... take off for the day! Without even introducing me to them or telling me you found them! You should have told me first. I think you should eat with the family you found... I'm going to. You really should come. I remember what it was like when we first got here- not knowing anyone, it was kind of scary. You know, with all the clowns and circus freaks walking about... Course we know they're harmless, but they don't. C'mon, eat with us? Please?" Zach thought for a moment. He knew that he couldn't say no to Penny and she knew it as well. "All right." he said softly, smiling at his sister and friend.

Zach slid off of the bed and led the way out of the cart. As usual he didn't say much. He walked close to his sister and friend, listening as they spoke softly. As they slowly neared the large red tent. Zach could hear the loud noises coming from the tent. The talking was happy and nonstop. He could even hear the sounds of many people heading through the line to get food. Zach slowly entered into the large tent, making sure to stay behind Alex and Penny. His eyes scanned around the room, finally spotting Clara and her family. His eyes held the girl's for only a short moment before Zach forced himself to look away. He followed behind Penny and Alex as they made their way through the line. It took a bit, since there were so many already ahead of them. At long last, Zach reached the end of the line. Getting some food, the boy slowly followed behind his sister. It seemed to him that they were heading straight for the new family. He wasn't sure if he was happy about that. If it had been up to him, Zach probably would have just sat off to the side, as he normally did. He kept his face quite blank as he sat down in front of Clara, refusing to look at her. He slowly began eating, listening closely to everyone talking around them.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Zachariah King Character Portrait: Alex Curtis Character Portrait: Flynn  Eddington II Character Portrait: Natalie Lyn Eddington
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Alex Curtis

Alex hardly payed attention to Penelope and Zach's conversation, instead focusing on his messy side of the cart. The room was a messy one, but that's what would be expected when two teen boys get a room of their own to take care of. Zach's side, however, was much cleaner. There was a few notebooks and pencils nearby, and a folded bed sheet. Not neat, but acceptable. Alex's side had the smaller bed of their clustered cart yet had open books laying on it and art utensils on the desk. Three half-finished clay models were also positioned on his desk as well as one of few finished paintings partly-nailed onto the wall. A small, broken guitar and old prank material laid under his bed as well.

"All right," Zach announced, bringing Alex back to reality. He wasn't surprised that Zach agreed to go to dinner as Penny could convince her brother to do nearly anything. Maybe it was just because she meant the world to him. Maybe it was because he felt like he owed his sister for coming with him. Probably a mix of both.

Alex quickly snuck a pack of cards in his pocket because if anything got awkward at the dinner table, he could distract everyone with a game of blackjack or poker. As they exited the cart they walked out to the crowded area with their coworkers offering each other hi-fives and toasting each other. That was the routine after every successful, and even unsuccessful circus.

"You know that other family, the newcomers? They don't really seem prepared for this sort of life. I guess none of us really were either though. Maybe they're just trying to get somewhere though, and don't plan on sticking along with us," Alex said to Penny, loudly saying the last part so Zach could add on if he wanted to. Maybe Zach also didn't know where, if anywhere, they were heading. Either way, Zach did not respond as he seemed consumed with his thoughts. As they entered the tent where food was served, Alex softly grabbed Penny's arm and asked her, "Wanna cut the line?" That's what Penny and Alex did most of the time anyways. He also noticed Clara and her eldest brother's face in the crowd and waved to her.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Zachariah King Character Portrait: Alex Curtis Character Portrait: Flynn  Eddington II Character Portrait: Natalie Lyn Eddington
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#, as written by Jynxii
Penny


Alex had asked if she wanted to cut line, but by the time they had gotten there, it had already died down. "No point today," she shrugged. After standing in line with the boys she made a B-line for the Eddington family. Immediately she sat down next to Clara and offered her a wide smile. "Well, how did you like the circus?" As the girl answered, Penny glanced over to her brother, frowning. What was his problem? At his silence, she reached her leg under the picnic style table and kicked his shin. She glared for extra emphasis. 'Be nice,' she mouthed, jerking her eyes towards Clara and her family. "You know, no offense or nothing, but... you all don't look much like circus folk. Why are you here? Are you staying or just passing through?" Penny had so many questions, all swimming in and out of her thoughts. Biting her lower lip, she forced herself to wait for another response before spilling out any more.

It had been a long time since she'd seen another girl around her own age, and it was kind of nice to have another girl around. Not that she was going to start going all girly and cooking for anyone! To hell with that! But it was nice, to see a 'proper' young lady around. Penny would never admit it, but Clara kind of reminded her of Wendy, from the stories Zach used to read her. Wendy was just a kid herself, but she pretended to be the mother of all those Lost Boys. Penny felt her mood dropping a little at the thought. Lost boys. That's what Alex and Zach were. Penny glanced over to her dark haired friend, who always had a smile on his face. Did he have a family to go back to? After all this time, did they? Did their mother and father even remember them anymore? Were they missed? Penny's shoulders slowly began to fall with all the sad thoughts she was thinking.

Upon being noticed, she perked right back up and flashed one of her usual Penny King smiles. The only people allowed to be sad in the circus were the clowns; and they had real reasons to be sad! They get made fun of all day, so at least she didn't have to deal with that.




Clara Eddington


Clara waved at the others who were in line, and pointed them out to her siblings. She continued to eat until the others had their food and sat down, Penny beside her, Alex beside Penny, and Zach directly in front of her. "Well, how did you like the circus?" Penny chirped, bright eyed and full of life. "I thought it was wonderful," Clara replied honestly, a smile lifting her lips. "What did you all think of it," she asked to her siblings, hoping that they enjoyed the show as much as she did. After she was answered, the black haired girl beside her spared no time. "You know, no offense or nothing, but... you all don't look much like circus folk. Why are you here? Are you staying or just passing through?" Clara laughed, unable to answer her right away. Penny was like a puppy; so excited, it was unsure what to do with itself. Clara regarded the girl, wondering if she would start vibrating from her restraint of more questions.

Ever patient, Clara calmed her laughing and nodded. "You're right, and I'm sorry to say we can not stay. We are heading to Easthaven, to live with our late aunt. The ringmaster was kind enough to give us a ride... Although it is lovely here and the people," she paused to offer the three of the circus group a smile, "are wonderful... We need to get to our aunts as soon as possible." Once she was sure that the two little ones were busy eating their food, and tuning her out, she added in a low tone, "I think that is where our mother went, and we are trying to find her." Clara felt a blush rise in her cheeks, and the reaction was unexpected. She was embarrassed. How does one 'lose' their mother? She felt like an idiot.

It was just then that she noticed a change in the younger female sitting beside her. "Penny, are you alright? Honestly, it's no problem at all, there's no need to be sad for us. I think the younger two are quite happy to be on such an adventure!" Clara felt relief when the other girl lifted her head and flashed a beautiful smile towards her. Clara smiled back, thankful to have lifted the girl's sadness. "What about you," she asked, turning her attention directly to Zach and then to Alex. "What brought you here, and why did you stay?" Don't you have families, she wanted to ask, but after glancing between the trio again, she decided against it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Zachariah King Character Portrait: Alex Curtis Character Portrait: Flynn  Eddington II Character Portrait: Natalie Lyn Eddington
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As Penny began speaking to Clara, Zach kept quiet still. He'd not really thought anything different about his actions but apparently his sister didn't care for it. The younger girl kicked him quite hard in the shin and if that wasn't enough Penny made sure to mouth the words, "Be nice" to him. The younger girl even went so far as to glare at him. Zach had done a poor job at hiding his pain, though. He turned his blue eyes to his sister, returning her glare before rolling his eyes at her. He didn't understand why Penny wanted him to be social. She knew how much he hated speaking with those that he didn't know. He tried to push these thoughts from his mind and attempted to concentrate on what was going on around him. Penny was still talking with Clara. "You know, no offense or nothing, but... you all don't look much like circus folk. Why are you here? Are you staying or just passing through?" Zach noted quickly Penny's mood turning. He wondered what she was thinking. Hopefully it had nothing to do with him, though..he was afraid that perhaps it had to do with the both of them. Zach kept his eyes upon Penny, even as Clara answered the younger girl. "You're right, and I'm sorry to say we can not stay. We are heading to Easthaven, to live with our late aunt. The ringmaster was kind enough to give us a ride... Although it is lovely here and the people," she said smiling, "are wonderful... We need to get to our aunts as soon as possible." Clara spoke again before noticing the change in Penny. "Penny, are you alright? Honestly, it's no problem at all, there's no need to be sad for us. I think the younger two are quite happy to be on such an adventure!" the older girl said. Zach was quite happy when his sister seemed to perk back up and even smiled. Zach was frowning towards his sister. He would have to speak with her later about what was bothering her.

Zach was finally forced to take his eyes off of his sister when Clara directed a question towards the trio. "What about you? What brought you here, and why did you stay?" His blue eyes focused upon Clara. The boy's face was still quite blank even after Penny telling him to be nice. He just couldn't help it. He allowed Alex to answer first, listening to his friend. Zach knew that Penny was expecting him to answer Clara. Could he do it? He wasn't sure but he would try. After Alex had finished speaking, Zach stared at Clara. He wasn't sure why he was, but at last he finally tore his eyes from the girl in front of him, looking down at his plate. "My parents..they kicked me out of the house. Said that I was too much to handle..needed to straighten up." he said softly, still looking down. "I begged Penny to stay but..she insisted upon coming with me. We stayed because we have nowhere else to go." Finally he looked up again, holding Clara's gaze this time, for a moment before turning his gaze to Penny, trying to see if she was happy that he'd at least made an effort to speak with the girl.

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Clara Eddington Character Portrait: Penelope King Character Portrait: Zachariah King Character Portrait: Alex Curtis Character Portrait: Flynn  Eddington II Character Portrait: Natalie Lyn Eddington
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Alex Curtis

Penny asked the question Alex had been wondering the whole time, "You know, no offense or nothing, but... you all don't look much like circus folk. Why are you here? Are you staying or just passing through?" The mood suddenly became tense at the wait for Clara's response, however it was all lost as Clara started laughing. Penny bit her lip, obviously restraining the multiple questions she wanted to blurt out.

Clara responded, "You're right, and I'm sorry to say we can not stay. We are heading to Easthaven, to live with our late aunt. The ringmaster was kind enough to give us a ride... Although it is lovely here and the people are wonderful... We need to get to our aunts as soon as possible." She then blushed a little as she bent closer to the trio and said in a hushed tone, "I think that is where our mother went, and we are trying to find her."

Alex didn't understand how a mother could get lost without the intent of abandoning her children but seeing Clara's blush made him refrain from asking and he did not want to make her sad. Penny's mood suddenly dropped and the whole atmosphere of the room nearly changed. Clara almost instantly said, "Penny, are you alright? Honestly, it's no problem at all, there's no need to be sad for us. I think the younger two are quite happy to be on such an adventure!" which brought Penny out of her zone and led to her giving one of her sparkling smiles. It was rare for Penny to be so sad which caught Alex a little off guard.

"What about you? What brought you here, and why did you stay?" Clara asked curiously. Alex suddenly became self-conscious of his scars, something he had learned to ignore, and while he couldn't cover the barely-visible scars on his eyes he made sure his sleeve was tucked down enough to cover the scars on his arm. Even Penny and Zach spoke to Alex little of his past. "You know, my family went through some tough times. My mother died when I was seven, which was tough on me but a lot tougher on my dad, who was very close to her. He started going out and drinking and eventually I couldn't take it much more and left on my eighth birthday. I didn't meet Zachariah or Penelope until I was twelve- or was it thirteen? I think they were frightened of me at first," Alex joked. He decided to leave out his habits of gambling and his fathers beatings.

Zach suddenly surprised Alex by sharing his story. He seemed to be doing it more to impress his sister rather than share his story, but nonetheless it was something unusual of Zach. The story always amazed Alex of how attached Penny was that she decided to go with her brother. However, the story always made Alex long for a companion who would always stick by his side. Clara's siblings had Clara and Zach had Penelope while Alex had no one.