Orla's Camera


young-delia_icon.gif b_jaiden_icon.gif young-lucille_icon.gif young-maryryans_icon.gif

Scene Title Orla's Camera
Synopsis Some folkers wish they were cameras, so they could keep the images in their heads forever and ever.
Date January 5, 1999

Ryans Home — Queens

A lost wallet doesn't normally last very long in New York.

A lost wallet is usually found by someone, stripped of anything of value and then sold for a buck or thrown away in the nearest trash can while the checks and credit cards are used to finance a fun time before the banks realize what's going on and cut them off entirely. Family photos are gone. Phone numbers and datebooks are gone. Anything of any kind of sentimental value is gone.

But not this time.

The wallet Jaiden finds at the park is simple and understated, but heavy. It's one of those tri-fold kinds of wallets with the snap that are carried by women inside of a purse. This one, more than likely, fell out when whoever lost it picked her purse up in a hurry, and that's how it came to rest at the edge of a path half-buried in a snowbank.

Jaiden normally wouldn't have noticed it if he hadn't been sitting on the bench opposite, tossing bits of stale bagel to the birds who were congregating around him like a congregation around their pastor. Tossing a handful away, he gets to his feet and crouches down, plucking it from the slush, wiping it off and opening it, scanning to see who's it is and what's left inside.

Even if there's no cash or cards, whoever lost it may want to get the photos back.

Apparently no one else noticed the wallet either because everything seems in tact. It doesn't hold much cash, a twenty dollar bill, a few ones and some loose change. There's a couple of brass colored bus tokens in the mix.

There's also photos, lots of photos, different sets of children in Sears portrait poses. One such photo has a couple of girls that look quite familiar. The brunette, Lucille, and the redhead, Delia, sitting on a little bench and smiling sweetly. They look like they're dressed for Christmas, perhaps a recent picture to send with cards?

The driver's license belongs to a woman he knows as Mary Ryans, the address leading to a small three story somewhere in Queens. It's a quiet neighborhood with trees lining the road, a suburban setting in the middle of the borough. Out of the way enough to let children play in peace but close enough to Manhattan to be convenient.

The warm day has melted the snow into a nice sticky consistency. Perfect for making snowballs, snow forts, and snow men. In the front yard of the Ryans home, a solitary little girl with springy red hair is doing just that. There's a little pile of snowballs on one side, stacked up in a neat pile behind a short wall but it's uninhabited right now. Across the yard, Delia is diligently working on her greatest masterpiece.

A big lump of snow.

He did call.

Finding the wallet was one of those little things that happen unexpectedly. Little threads, interconnecting, crossing over, and linking those he touches with him in other, more definite ways. And now he gets to bring a wallet back to Delia's mother.

Before arriving on the doorstep, he called. Arriving unexpectedly on the doorstep with a found wallet may be considered stalkerish behavior. After arriving and paying off the Taxi, Jaiden pulls out his phone, checks the time, and then tucks it away. his camera is hanging 'round his neck as he approaches the house, just in time to see Delia and her snowman. This gives Jaiden a smile as he sees her working studiously at shaping her pile, the man lifting his camera and taking three quick shots before approaching closer. "Good morning!" he calls out as he gets within walking distance. "Hallo there, Delia! Could you go get your mommy, please?"

"Jaiden the Giant!! Look!! I'm making a unicorn!!" The excited little girl races out toward the large man with the camera, an ecstatic expression plastered on her features. Instead of running to get her mother, she grabs his hand with a wet little mitten and tugs him closer to the lump. "It's the prettiest unicorn ever!!"

It's really just a lump. A lump with four sticks poking out the side of it, those might be its legs.

"Look! This is where the head is going to be, it fell off so I have to make another one. And I have grass for the hair… It's under the snow!" Her squeals are enough of a warning to bring Mary to the door. She doesn't come out right away, preferring to watch through the little window as she pulls her arms through the sleeves of her wool coat.

"Hello Queen of the Abberjinnjiny people." Jaiden says with a bow, his hat coming off with a flourish before he straightens, pulling his hat back on his head. "I found this…" He holds up the wallet. "in the park. And I called your mommy. She said it was okay that I bring it back."

Jaiden the Giant is tugged toward the Unicorn, stopping to take a few pictures of it and the girl grinning at it. "It is a good looking unicorn. Have you not had a chance to make his horns yet?"

The question earns the giant a rolls of the eyes and the little girl flops backward into the snow. "Silly giant… Unicorns only have ONE horn-uh, not horn-suh!!" Her little arms and legs wave in and out as she pops the pattern of an angel into the snow.

"Delia, Your hot chocolate's almost ready," Mary's call from the door has the little girl popping her head up to look for the woman. The middle aged redhead steps out, her jeans lumped over a pair of black low cut boots with a fake fur trim. The wool coat that gives her an elegant shape, tossed over her regular house clothes.

Delia smiles and widens her eyes at the sight of the woman, "Mommy!! Guess what? The giant found your wallet and I'm teaching him to make snow angels!!" She struggles to sit up and then crawls to a stand. "Did you know that Oss-tray-lee-ah doesn't have any ostriches but they have ee-mooz? I read that in a book!! Can my giant have hot chocolate with us? I think giants like hot chocolate."

Afternoon, Mrs. Ryans." Jaiden says from his spot on the lawn, lifting the wallet with his free hand like a trophy, holding it out even as Delia flops to the ground in a huff. Yes, he knows they only have one horn but there is something fun about teasing the little girl, watching as she makes a snow angel.

"Ostriches are only in Africa. I've seen them, you know…they stand as tall as the door on your house, with legs like sticks that bend backwards. And boy, can they kick -HARD!" Jaiden grins, bending down to drag a gloved finger through the snow. "I was taking pictures in Africa and one kicked my truck. It dented the door like someone hit it with a big hammer!"

"Nuh-uh!! David Henderson kicks hard as a hammer too!! I bet he's a part of an ostrich!!" Delia shouts as she jumps up, reaching for the sky, she doesn't make it very far. It doesn't stop her from trying over and over. "When I grow up I'm going to be taller than an ostrich, I'm going to be as tall as my daddy!! Giant!! Giant!! Look I have to show you!!" And she's off…

The middle aged woman's eyes drift down to the child and then she gives a smile to the large man as she reaches for the wallet. "Thank you, most people would have just taken what they could and thrown it away." Her brown eyes drift down to the little redhead who is running all over the yard, yelling to garner the attention of the adults as she tries to show them a variety of interesting things. Interesting to her at least. "Sorry, she seems to have taken a bit of a shine to you. Did you want to come in for hot chocolate? It's the least I can do… You came all this way."

The curly haired little girl is back again with a pinecone in each hand, "Look giant!! Look!! These are pine cones!! Do you have pine cones in Australia? You don't have turkeys!! Do you know what sounds turkeys make? They go… gobble gobble gobble!!"

David Henderson must kick very hard if he can out kick an ostrich, and Jaiden chuckles, shaking his head at the fact of the matter before standing and passing over the wallet. "Sure, I'd appreciate a taste of hot chocolate. It's been ages since I've had the stuff, and the weather is appropriate for it. Funny how we keep running into each other, isn't it?"

He watches Delia run off with his arms crossed, his camera at the ready for another shot or two to give to the girl whenever he goes back to the future - memories of her mother captured by one who witnessed them. Almost as good as memories. "no, that's fine. I don't have any children or family over her, so watching her enthusiasm is…." Jaiden shakes his head and smiles. "Refreshing."

He steps away to crouch, to study the pinecones that Delia offers him, shaking his head. "I think we have some on the southern coast of New South Wales, but I've never seen them. Turkeys are only in the united states, though, so we don't have any. I've heard they're tasty, though!"

"You can take these ones!! You can have them!! We have a whole tree full and they fall all the time." Placing the cones in his hands, the little redhead races off again, this time ducking behind the short wall.

By this time the older of the two Ryans girls has made her way outside, no coat or boots on. "Mooooooooooooom, mooooooom!! Can I have some hot chocolate noooooowwwww-uh?" She hangs on either side of the door by the door knob, letting it swing back and forth. There's a guest at the house, it means they get away with more.

"Lucille sto— " But Mary's voice is cut off by a high pitched squeal and the sigh of Delia tripping over the low wall, armed with two snowballs. It's a good thing she's got all of those winter clothes on because it allows Lucille that exta time to get cover before the artillery gets pitched in her direction, only to land hard piff piff against the metal door. "Delia Marie!! Get inside n-o-w!!"

Really, all Jaiden can do is laugh. Long and loud and hard as those snowballs are thrown with surprising accuracy at the door, barely missing the girl's older sister by a scant second or two. When he manages to recover, he gives Delia a stern (sort of) look before smiling and motioning her inside. It was a good attempt at an ambush and could have been done better, but let's be honest, she's eight. There isn't much more to do.

"Listen to your mother, Delia. Come on. Let's have some hot chocolate and I'll tell you and your sister about Australia. You are the queen, after all."

The little redhead has a very proud grin on her face as she trundles along behind the large Australian. Her little feet stomp inside of his footprints, leaving tiny imprints within his large ones. "I almost won the war!! Did you see? Did you?!" The little girl follows him all the way inside, trailing behind him like a lost puppy.

The interior of the house doesn't look much different from eleven years in the future, except for the pictures on the walls. Mary, Lucille, and Delia look the same as they do now. The man Jaiden knows as Benjamin? He looks ten years older than he does in 2010.

"Come see my room!" "No mine!" "Me first!" "He's my giant not yours!" the little girls are arguing again, each of them has a hold of one of Jaiden's hands and are trying to pull him up the stairs. Delia has barely taken the time to get her boots off let alone the rest of her winter gear.

"Delia, take off your coat and snowpants and put your mittens and hat in the laundry room," Mary's voie drifts away as she makes her way into the kitchen. It's a silent order to allow Lucille to go first.

The Giant stops, dead halt, in the middle of the hallway leading to the staircase. He turns his gaze first to Delia, glancing to her mother to underscore the order to remove snow pants and mittens then turns it to Luciille. Putting on his most charming smile, Jaiden shakes his head. "I think I'll wait until Delia's done putting up her snow things before I go see anyone's room. And since I haven't visited here yet, whoever's room is first on the right is the one I'll visit first.

Jaiden looks to Mary, or at least the direction her voice came from for a moment before shrugging and looking at the pictures in the hall, easily resisting the tugging of two nine-year old girls. After studying one of those pictures of Ryans…what the hell? Did he have Delia when he was like fifty or something?

Delia makes quick work of pulling off all of her outer clothes, mittens, and hat. Underneath, she's dressed in a pink long sleeved shirt decorated with puffy white heart all over it and a pair of jeans. All of this is mismatched to a pair of olive green socks with little monkeys all over them.

The little girl leaves the coat, snow pants, and boots in a pile in the middle of the entrance and races to the laundry room. She's not gone more than twenty seconds before she's back and pushing past both Jaiden and Lucille to run up the stairs as fast as her little legs can carry her. "Come see my room first!! It's pink!!"

All of the family pictures are the same, Ryans looks older than when Jaiden met him at the apartment building. The one that looks like the Benjamin Jaiden knows is one with two baby girls. The older baby has a bit of brown hair pulled into a little tail at the top of her hea. The other, younger one has curly red cherub curls.

Jaiden glances behind him at the pile of clothes in the middle of the entrance hall and, after a moment, removes his jacket as well, hanging it on the bannister. He would say something, but before he even has a chance up the stairs goes Delia toward her room. Hopefully Delia's room is the first room on the right. He starts mounting the stairs, looking at each picture he passes with a slight pause, finally reaching the top.

It's a basic hall, with three doors going off the sides of the hall and a bathroom at the end. One must be Delia's, one must be Mary's, and one must be Lulu's. Jaiden's boots are soft on the carpet as he moves to the first door on the right, a closed one. "Now who's room is this?" he wonders aloud, opening it…

From the second room, the one closest to Ben and Mary's a little red head peeks out around the corner. "That's Lulu's room!! This is my room!!" She runs down the hallway and collides with the tall man's leg, falling back onto her bottom in shock. She doesn't cry though, instead, she quickly scrambles to a stand and grabs the giant's hand as he makes his way inside his sister's room.

It's a pretty lilac color, with accents of pink and white. The twin bed has a classic white headboard and a gauze curtain that can be pulled down around it, likely for the summer when insects can become bothersome. It looks very much like a little girl's room and Lucille is quite proud of it. Everything is neat and orderly, a place for everything and everything in its place. "This is my room," Lulu informs Jaiden with a rather authoritative tone. "This is where my Barbies go, and this is where my books go, and this is where my dress up clothes go."

Clinging to one of her giant's hands, Delia's leaning her head against his leg. She's very silent through the whole thing and should he look down, he'll see the bright red blush on her little pixie face.

Delia's head comes to about Jaiden's waist - he's that tall compared to her at nine, his hand dwarfing hers as it closes around, holding it lightly. "We'll get to your room next, Delia." Jaiden says quietly. "I've never been up here before, so I just picked the first room on the right arbitrarily. I just guessed and Lulu's room was the one on the right."

He does make a show of looking at everything, too, giving a decent amount of attention to Lulu's doll collection and dress-up area. But there's no art on the walls. No pictures. It looks like all the girl has time to do is clean up her room.

Not very fun looking.

After a few minutes, Jaiden straightens. "Now then, Delia. Now that we've seen Lulu's room, we'll go to yours, since it's the next one down the hall." Then, to Lulu, Jaiden smiles. "Thank you for showing me your room. Would you like to come and see Delia's with us? She was nice enough to stay while you showed me yours, after all.

"No thank you, I've seen her room." Lulu answers very politely, smiling sweetly at both Delia and Jaiden. She ends her look with a rather sly smile in the redhead's direction that has the younger girl hiding her face in the man's jeans.

"Stop being mean!!" Delia cries, sniffling as she tries to hold back the angry tears that threaten to spill down her cheeks. Lean back at a steep angle, she swings off Jaiden's hand and begins pulling him toward her room. "Come see mine, please please please?!"

When Jaiden rounds the corner into the younger girl's room, he's met with quite a sight. It's like a hurricane blew through it, there are toys, clothes, and sheets of paper everywhere. Once he's stepped inside, she lets go of his hand and runs over the clutter to her bed, climbs on it and starts to jump. "Come jump on the bed! It's fun!!"

"Mooooooommmmm!! Delia's jumping on her bed again!!" Someone is telling.

Now this is what Jaiden expected from a little girl who's energy can barely be contained. He chuckles, a smirk appearing as he steps into the whirlwind of pink and clutter, making sure to not step on anything as he enters.

The rhythmic *thump thump thump* of Delia jumping on the bed gives Jaiden a grin, the man crouching by the door, picking up a shred of paper and looking at it, trying to determine what it came from. "Your room looks like you have a lot of fun in it, Delia."

"I AM NOT!!" Delia hollers as she bounces down to a seated position and then slides off her bed to race back to her giant. Her little legs carry her swiftly from one place to another, such boundless energy.

Gathering up a few more of the pieces of paper from the floor, she jumps around at Jaiden's feet holding them up to him. "Jaiden Jaiden look! I drew lots of abberjininies and me as the queen and you're my giant and and and… UNICORNS!!" Every piece of white paper is covered in little multi-colored stick figures, while she's not a very good artist, she is a very colorful one. "Look, look, this one is you! See? And my mom and dad!! And there's Lulu!!" Lulu is much smaller than the rest of them.

Well, she's not jumping on it now, so technically Delia's telling the absolute truth right now. Jaiden steps around a few bits and sits on the foot of Delia's bed, taking a few pictures here and there of little bits - more memories to share, more things to bring back in a sealed container.

He takes one of the offered bits of paper and looks at it. He must be the giant stick figure in green with a shock of brown hair and a hat topping it all. The bent-up brim is classic Akubra, so it's got to be - also, he's twice as big as the other stick figures and holding one, with bright red hair, up on his shoulders. The paper is held aloft. "Can you hold this for me while I take a picture of it and you, and can I have the picture?" He offers it and shows his camera, ready to snap when she's posed.

"Yes!!" The little redhead practically shrieks as quickly grabs the drawing and wriggles into a seated position. Holding the drawing in front of her face, the paper seems to be framed by her tight red curls. "Cheeeeeeeeeeeeee— " big deep breath "— eeeeeeeeeeeeese!!" Then she peeks out from behind it, her large blue eyes opened to wide globes. She's still smiling.

"I want my picture too!" A voice comes from the door, just before Lucille leaps onto the messy bed beside her sister. The two seem to have forgotten that they're fighting because Lulu takes the drawing from Delia in one hand and hugs her around the neck with her other.

Delia squeals and wraps both of her arms around her sister's neck and plants a big kiss on her cheek. "Lulu, you're my best friend," she murmurs, pressing her cheek against her older sister's. The two hold in that pose for a little while, long enough for Jaiden to snap a few shots.

*click click click* The pictures show a progression, first Delia alone with her picture, then the bed deforming slightly as Lulu leaps on, nearly tackling her sister, then a few more with them getting into position, finally with Delia giving Lulu a kiss on the cheek. That one he makes sure to get. When he gets back, Delia is going to have kittens when she sees these.

Lowering his camera, Jaiden smiles at the girls. "I need to give your mommy a picture of this scene. I think she'd really like it."

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