This was an opportunity to get Weasel Girl‘s character a little more hammered out. I still really want to write her into a full-length story, but I need to give her a personality beyond “weird kid.”
Also, I kinda wrote myself into a bit of a corner by establishing that Weasel Girl’s (nick)name is “Addie” and established that “Addie” is also one of the Lyte siblings.
At this point, I don’t have anything clever to do with that fact, but having two characters with the same (nick)name interacting does probably have potential.
“So,” Matilda asks, “what exactly is the point of this?”
“It’s for charity,” Nolan explains. “We’re raising money for the orphanage.”
“I get that part,” Matilda replies to her brother. “But what’s the deal with all this?”
Matilda gestures to the dining room of their parents’ inn, which is now filled by the orphans of Lockcroft House and their stuffed animals.
“It’s a stuffed animal tea party,” Nolan answers. “It, uh, it was Sally’s idea.”
The members of the Lyte Brigade, along with several members of the Lyte family are mingling with their orphans in the company of their own stuffed animals.
Neither Matilda nor Nolan expected that Amara would be able to produce no fewer than twenty-seven stuffed bears which their own startling elaborate backstories.
“And why does that one have a chicken on his head?” Matilda asks, pointing to the young man acting as the orphans’ chaperone.
“She’s keeping me warm,” he calls back over his shoulder.
One of the orphans approaches Matilda.
“I like your bear,” the child declares.
Acting almost unrecognisably warm, Matilda smiles down at the orphan. “Oh, he’s the best!” she exclaims. “His name is Strawbearie. Because he’s pink.”
“Like a strawberry! And he’s a bear!” the orphan exclaims happily.
“Smart kid,” Matilda says. “Have a cookie.”
Nolan can’t remember the last time his sister gave him a cookie. He can, however, remember the last three times she locked him a shed.
Nolan goes over to a girl in a red dress sitting at a table by herself.
“That’s a cute weasel. He’s so lifeli— Gah!”
The weasel on the girl’s shoulder suddenly hisses at Nolan and lunges for his finger.
“Please do forgive Sebastian,” the girl says, gently patting the animal’s head. “He is unused to crowds like this. He’s just a little overstimulated.”
“You were supposed to bring a stuffed animal,” Nolan notes. “Not a real one.”
“I do not collect stuffed animals,” the girl says.
“But you do collect weasels?” Nolan exclaims incredulously.
“Of course I do,” the girl answers, in a tone like she thinks Nolan is a complete idiot. “Why would I not? Weasels are the finest of creatures. And Sebastian is the finest of weasels.”
Sebastian tries to nip at Nolan’s finger again.
Nolan promptly retreats out of weasel range.
“Don’t do that,” the girl tells scolds her pet. “Such behaviour is beneath you, Sebastian. Now, apologise to our host.”
The weasel turns towards Nolan and makes a sound that sounds marginally less aggressive than its previous noises.
“Sebastian is sorry,” the girl declares.
Not speaking Weasel, Nolan has no choice but to take the girl’s word for it.
“So,” Nolan ventures, “he’s Sebastian. What’s your name?”
“I am Adelgundis,” the girl says. “However, you may call me Addie. It is an acceptable abbreviation.”
“Addie is my name!” Nolan’s younger sister Adelaide exclaims as she approaches the table.
“Wonderful,” Adelgundis says. “It is a fine name and you wear it well.” She points to the weasel perched on her shoulder. “This is Sebastian. We are pleased to make your acquaintance.”
“He’s so cute!” Adelaide exclaims as Sebastian happily licks her fingers.
Before promptly turning back to Nolan to hiss at him again.
“I don’t think he likes you, Nolan,” Adelaide notes.
Also, “Strawbearie”. Good name for a pink bear.
Coming up on the end of the month and I think I’ve gotten in some good practice. Which, of course, was the point.
Also: Charge of the Lyte Brigade soon.
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