I look at @Emman_Jumpsong1 in wonder.
His uncle is on the verge of death, and yet he gives the urchins all this! Incredible . . .
"I think this will be enough for now," I tell him, smiling broadly. "And yes, I would love a hand with this."
Emman pushes the cart through the Business District and into the grotto. Once there, I select bed materials for each of my little friends and try to find a hidden place for all the food he gave me. It's more then enough to last the winter, and I won't have to go back to the markets to scavenge this season! (unless something happens to the supply that is . . .)
What if he needs this for himself? I think as I pull a tarp over the cart to hide it, His parents need this too.
I glance over my shoulder at Emman. He stands there, holding a huge pile of bed things in his arms. The pile is so high that it towers over his head, enough for all my urchins, and some families.
No, we need this badly, I think, Also. . . he wants us to have this.
"Are you done yet?" he asks, his voice muffled from the stack of bed things.
"Yes," I reply, "let's go around to the homes."
"Wouldn't it have been easier to use the cart?" asks Emman, nearly tripping over a piece of unseen garbage, "I can't see past the pile!"
"Don't worry, the pile won't exist for long." I say, knocking on the first door.
My little friends are overjoyed by everything Emman had given them. Once the urchins get their things, we move on to the families living in the grotto. All of the families are rather surprised that Emman's act of kindness, and that I'm there with him. Most of them know I don't have a single cog to my name, and they mostly know Emman as "the fella livin up on the tower". After giving away the last blanket to a single mother and two children, I glance up at the sky; the late afternoon sun smiles down on us, making the air as warm as it will be today. I close my eyes and turn my face towards the sky, soaking in the precious heat of the sunlight.
"Thanks for all you've done for the grotto, Emman." I tell him, turning away from the sun to the look at him. A warm glow comes from Emman's masked face. I'm sure that means he's smiling, I can't think what else it could mean.
"Any time, K," he replies.
I dip my head to him and run off towards the Business District.
Wait! I stop in my tracks, I forgot to say good bye to him!
"Goodbye, Emman!" I call from afar.
"Wait, where are you going?" Emman calls back, running up to me.
"I'm off to go see if Eerie's at home," I reply, "Come along if you like, I'm sure Eerie would be glad to see you."
Emman nods his agreement, and we continue on towards Eerie's house. I know the path to Eerie's small house by heart, however, the automaton patrols sometimes force me to find another rout. That was the situation Emman and I found ourselves in. Sadly, both of us had left home without weapons of any kind, so we dashed into a nearby ally and scaled the fence at the end of it before the patrols could stop us.
I glance about at our new surroundings and scowl, it would take us at least half an hour to get to Eerie's home from this portion of the Business District. As Emman and I make our way through the streets of the district, we pass under an attic window and hear a female voice speak in clear tones.
"Come, now and roundel and a fairy song; Then, for the third part of the minute, hence. Some to kill cankers in the muskrose buds, some war with reremice for their leathern wings to make my small elves coats; and some to keep back the clamorous owl that nightly hoots and wanders at our quaint spirits."
"What in Aethasia is she talking about?" whispers Emman.
"I'm not sure, however . . ." I think back to the time Eerie first discovered her projector and movie reals. She had invited me over one night and shown me a recording of a play done by the Evercity Theater guild. The play we watched had been titled "A Midsummer night's Dream".
"I have a strong sensation that I've heard that line before." I say in normal tones.
Suddenly, the voice stops reciting. My blood turns as cold as the air.
We've been heard!