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Scene Title Scribblenauts
Synopsis Some of the adults watch over a makeshift art session.
Date December 18, 2010

Bannerman's Castle Dining Hall

The room converted into Bannerman's dining hall, although long and narrow, can accommodate up to one hundred people, but despite the amount of use that it sees, it isn't hooked up to the castle's electrical grid, which means that after dark it's lit up by gas lanterns strategically positioned on the wooden tables with bench-style seating that occupy the space. A giant hearth set into one of its walls provides the hall with additional light and warmth, as well as a place for the castle's residents to convene when it isn't in use during the hours when breakfast and dinner are being taken.

The walls themselves are bare stone with no decoration except for the four windows opposite the fireplace, and these are covered with heavy pieces of plain canvas cloth at night to prevent the light from leaking outside, where it might be visible from the shore or the air. During the day the canvas is pulled back to brighten the room and make the gas lanterns unneccessary, but on mornings and afternoons when the sky is overcast, there is very little to combat the gloom and so the fuel is burned anyway.

When the word went out about 'art' for the kids and teenagers after lunchtime, at least a few of them were excited enough to get the other ones excited; somehow, now, a good deal of the kids and younger teenagers are in the dining hall at one table. The table is scattered over with white paper, construction paper, crayons, pencils, markers, scissors, glue sticks- it pretty much looks like a kindergarten vomited all over the place. There are only two adults really supervising, one being the mother of one of the young boys, and the other being Huruma. Maybe worth a double-take. Maybe.

She is sitting at the same table as the kids, and her own place on the bench is smack in the middle of them. In a khaki colored flannel shirt and gray jeans, she might be a little out of her element in several ways. It is best that she tries to ignore it, however, and to do that, Huruma has a piece of the white paper for herself, long fingers around the stub of a green crayon. This has been a world of good for the kids to not be so wary around her, but it hasn't been very good for her self-esteem, and her expression is one of mixed determination as she scribbles wax on paper.

You see, Huruma is a terrible artist. The five year old is about three times better than she is. It is a horrible afternoon for her pride.

Nora is not sitting at the table with the kids and the paper. If she were to try her hand at the art, Huruma would have the satisfaction of being better than at least one person. Instead, she is at a distant table, sitting on top of the table with her back to the wall trying her hand at another kind of art that she's more capable of without eyes —

marginally, that is.

While she is clearly trained in piano, as is known from her playing of the dulcitone a few times since its arrival, it's clear that she's still learning the guitar, perhaps even teaching herself as she strums the guitar in her lap. She's not bad, but it's a bit halting now and then, and not being able to see the frets when she needs to means a jarring chord now and then.

"Come on Santa…"

Mala comes skipping into the room dressed in an adorable little black dress with red polka dots, pausing to look back behind her impatiently for the man following her. One Eric Doyle, dressed in a nice cream-coloured shirt and slacks, trudging along behind her at a more reasonable pace, shaking his head with a broad smile, "I'm coming, I'm coming! Sorry we're late, someone was playing with Hailey's dog for 'just one more minute'."

Mala gives him an exasperated sigh and a smile, and then clambers her tiny self up onto one of the tables, grabbing for some crayons.

Snuggled up close to Huruma, Joe has been working hard on his picture. Despite the rumor growing among the Lighthouse kids that Huruma is a 'cannonball' or whatever that word is that they said, Joe is impervious to the scary aura that surrounds the large woman. Peering over at Huruma's paper, Joe's lips twist to the side. He leans in a little closer as if to help her. His hand settling next to the paper. "If you color the outside darker and the inside lighter, it makes it look better." The young boy murmurs before glancing up at her.

And with that, the insecurities of being a little boy kick in and the need to impress the scary cannonball rises up in him. "Watch this!" He exclaims, reaching over for a sharp colored pencil. Flattening his hand on the table, he drives the pencil as hard as he can at his hand. And immediately breaks, snapping on the back of his hand. But it leaves no mark, doesn't seem to phase him at all.

And with that, Joe gives a proud beam of a smile up to Huruma. Waiting for her to congratulate him on his hand-stabbing. Joe's attention swings over to the entrance of Mala, his eyebrows going up with interest before his attention swings back to Huruma. He'll talk to them later.

"It is grass, it does not have an 'outside'…" Huruma mutters back to him, eyes flicking up to watch Mala and Doyle come in, looking back down before the former installs herself at the table and makes for the art supplies. The green stub in her fingers gets ground into the paper again, as if she can make grass look better by drawing it harder. She looks up when he all but quails in her ear, white eyes popping wider when he goes to stab himself in the hand; Huruma had no idea he was going to do that, so her quick swipe at the pencil is rewarded with Joe still crushing it on his- skin- his apparently- impervious skin.

Huruma lets out a strangled growl, eyes narrowing down at Joe, her lips pursing. "You are lucky you are a little boy, or I would smack you for that." She sets her shoulders back and reaches for a brown. "But… good job. Nice trick."

The chords turn into an actual melody when Nora hears Mala call Doyle Santa. The tune is recognizable as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," plucked out by fingernails a little stiltedly, but accurately. It'd be easier to do it on a radio, but she needs the practice.

After a few moments of that, though, she gets bored, and the song segues into the Beatles' Penny Lane instead. She has a limited repertoire on the guitar, unfortunately.

"You are such a boy," Mala informs Joe with an expressive roll of her eyes— and then flashes a grin, giggling as she gets to drawing, crayon in her hand drawing broad swathes of red on the page. It's probably something Santa related. She's not the sort to go gory, unlike some boys. Ahem.

Doyle steps along over after the girl with a chuckle, easing himself down to sit beside her, craning his neck to see what things the other children are drawing. Huruma gets a curious look — he's seen her around, probably, but he hasn't actually been introduced. So he tries to be social, in his own — particular idiom. "Hi," he offers his awkward smile, "I, uh, I'm Eric. I don't think we've met?"

"That's okay. It wouldn't hurt too bad." Joe pipes happily. She said nice trick. Yaaaay~. He frowns deeply, "It does have an outside. Just the edges of it. Color that darker and the inside of the grass is lighter." He nods affirmatively, that will work. Hopping off the bench, Joe turns to face Mala. And he goes to make his standard greeting on the super strong girl. He simply runs at her. Most likely to be battered down, or tripped, or pushed or just colliding.. either way he'll fall. But it doesn't really matter to him.

Once his greeting collision is complete, his attention goes to Nora. "Can you play Major Tom?!"

"I am not that invested…" Huruma murmurs to herself as Joe bobs away and to Mala. She is trying to not pay the kids too much attention- she is not quite prepared for that. There are more than one set of eyes anyway, right? And she is so awkward around little humans.

In between trying to shade grass and draw a bulbous brown- blob? What the hell is that? It looks like it has a mouth. Huruma looks up to Eric when he introduces himself across the table. She spares him a less irate look than her crayon was getting, a small, polite smile on her lips. "People recognize me more when I am shooting at something. Huruma." The name might be familiar on its own- stuff about Kasha, mainly. Other things less so. "I take it that you are Santa Claus in your spare time?" Not because he's fat, because that is what Mala was calling him! Jeez.

Requests? Nora looks up as Joe breaks her reverie, not seeing the little boy but smiling in his direction. "That is one epic song, little man, and one of my favorites ever in the world. Has anyone told you that you have exquisitely good taste in music?" she says with a wide smile that is rarely seen on the sometimes stormy teen.

"I actually can play that song — it was one of the first I learned. It won't realllly sound like Major Tom, though, because it's mostly just guitar chords, and the melody's in the vocal part, but… if I sing it, will you help me? Do you know the words?"

She begins to strum the opening, which is a fairly simple rhythmic alternating of chords, before she softly begins to sing, waiting to see if he joins in:

"Ground Control to Major Tom, Ground Control to Major Tom, Take your protein pills and put your helmet on…"

"Joeeeee, I am drawinnnnnng." A long-suffering moan of complaint from Mala as the slightly younger boy charges her, although she can't help a little giggle around the complaint. She reaches out with the hand that isn't holding the crayon, grabs him by the scruff and tosses him over the table to land on the other side.

He'll be find. He's invulnerable!

Doyle winces anyway. "Good, uh, wait— " A blink at Huruma, "That's what I remember you from. You brought Kasha to the Lighthouse that time. And— yeah, sort of." A wry smile, "Especially this time of the year."

When Joe goes flying, he rolls as he lands against the ground roughly. His back slapping harshly against the wall, JoJo looks up with a broad grin at Mala for pushing himself up to his knees. Invulnerable boy makes his way over to Nora as if he hadn't even been thrown over a table. This is the kind of abuse he deals with daily.. But for Joe. It's play!

Staring at Nora, Joe unabashedly looks up at Nora's eyes. Fascinated with them for a long moment, he folds his arms over his chest. At the question she issues him, he gives a very simple nod. "Yes." Yeah. He knows he has exquisite taste. Or at least Brian tells him that Brian has exquisite taste.. and Joe just copies every song Brian likes. Especially the ones about space!

Watching Nora as she begins to sing, he nods to her question. Not yet realizing that she can't see his answer. Joe doesn't know this first part. So he waits until…


There's a brown trunk coming out of the ground now, looks like a tree. It will be joined by Huruma circling apples in it and on the grass- she only pauses to stare at Mala after she tosses Joe over the table. Huruma should not have expected anything but oddity from these kids. Never again. She sighs through her nose, mind somewhere between spherical apples and Doyle speaking to her. "I see. I suppose you are th'only one that looks convincing." What? It's true.

"Yes, I am th'one that brought Kasha. I don'know if you were around. Most of th'kids were…" A moment of peering at the paper ends with her switching brown for black, black for green again. Interesting enough, she is terrible, but somehow she also seems very into this.

The song is a little slower than it should be, due to Nora's uncertain fingers — it's one she knows by heart but there's just a couple of seconds' pause each time her fingers need to shift on the frets to be sure they're in the right places by touch rather than a quick glance. The song continues, and a couple of the older children who know the song pitch in while coloring, giving it a rather sweet eerie quality, as children's choirs can sometimes do.

"This is major Tom to ground control, I'm stepping through the door — and I'm floating in a most peculiar way — and the stars look very different today — Here am I floatin' 'round my tin can far above the world — Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do…"

"Boys," Mala sighs out, returning to her art with a little giggle once she's no longer being assaulted by her invicible orphanage-sibling. Then she pauses, peering up at Huruma and piping up with, "I remember. You were the giant that brought Kasha!"

"What she said," says Eric with a hearty chuckle, "I remember now. It's been… well." A wave of one hand, fingers brushing through the air, "It's been a couple of months. You know?"

Leaning in, Joe stares up at Nora's face. His hand slowly reaches out waving quietly in front of her eyes. "You can't see." He says blankly, interrupting his favorite song in order to point out this very important fact. His eyes going to peer intently at her hands. "How can you see the guitar? You just remember? Is that hard?" Joseph has most definitely started talking more since first meeting his pseudo-dad. Maybe Brian has rubbed off a little. Or a lot…

One hand goes to poke Nora's hand gently. "Are you like us?" He asks, twisting his lips to the side. "Are you Ess Elll Ceee?" He's still not sure what that means exactly, but he's heard other people talk about him and the other kids and how they are that so…

"I am hard to forget, aren't I?" Huruma asks this of Mala with raised brows, as they both keep scribbling at the paper. She nods once to Eric, enough to note to him that yes- it's been a couple months. "It has been good seeing her again, even if it is here." Goodness knows that Huruma is able to make babies like her by force- it is her luck that Kasha just happens to like her anyway. She watches Nora for a few moments while she leads the impromptu chorus, recalling again what she herself had said about Nora. Still a quite mysterious girl, but polite, despite her situation. Her opinion hasn't changed.

Then again, Huruma is still readying herself to watch little Joe possibly get his ass handed to him; kids are kids, but even nice girls can only stand so much.

The declaration that she's blind makes Nora miss a note, the wrong chord jarring, and she chuckles softly without much humor — though with even less anger — putting a hand to the strings to still them. Apparently Major Tom will have to drift aimlessly without a resolution — not that the song has much of one for him anyway.

"You're right, I can't see. And I am playing by memory. It's not that hard, and hopefully I'll get better. I'm not really good at the guitar yet, anyway. Joe, right? I like that name. It's a good name. I'm Nora."

She holds out a hand for him to take. "And yeah, I'm SLC. But my ability doesn't have to do with the guitar. At least not in a way that helps me remember how to play it any better than you could."

Nora winks unseeingly, and suddenly a radio nearby turns on, a scramble of indecipherable sounds blurting out until suddenly the end of Bowie's song can be heard coming from it, picking up right about where they left off.

I think my spaceship knows which way to go, tell my wife I love her very much, she knows

"Yeah." Mala grins, then ducks her head a little in a moment's shyness before scribbling back on the paper in her meticulous work of drawing Santa Doyle. He's very round. Much rounder than he really is, especially given that he has lost a lot of weight. Not that he isn't still roundish but c'mon.

"Yeah, I'm sure," Doyle admits, rubbing at the side of his neck before reaching out for a piece of paper himself, pulling it over and then reaching to delicately select a few crayons for himself, humming, "Eeny, meeny, miney— moe. That'll do. And there're worse places than here."

Joe's attention flings itself to the radio, delight playing on his features. "It's playing the same song we were singing!" He points out excitedly. The connection that Nora did that doesn't fully register in Joe's mind. Because after the excitement that the radio happened to be playing the same song… and he doesn't even point out the fact that the radio turned on spontaneously… "What is your power?" Not ability. Power. "My name's JoJo. I can't get hurt. Hi Nora." He smiles brightly. "Thanks. You have a good name too." Because that's what you're supposed to do. Pointing back to Mala, "That's Mala. She is strong. She threw me over the table."

Huruma is content to divide her attention between the paper and Nora's encounter with Joe, the girl's example of ability not going unnoticed by Huruma. It gets a slightly piqued expression from the older woman, and a mote of suspicion. There is a security risk there. Should she worry? Tell someone? Probably not, until she might figure out all the facts about what Nora does. No use getting in a tizzy yet. Yet being the keyword.

"Synchronicity," Nora says, another rare grin at the mistruth and the fact that her ability went over Joe's head. "Nice to meet you, Jojo. I'll let you get back to art — I should probably go make myself useful somewhere, anyway."

She shifts the guitar carefully, blind hands groping for the nearby case to lay it in gingerly. "Maybe I can teach you how to play it later," she promises, latches the guitar case and setting it aside for someone else to enjoy later. Finally, she gets to her feet, hand using the tables for navigating herself to the door, murmured numbers as she keeps track of her steps.

"Only 'cause you like it!" A quick call from Mala, as the girl shoots back a look — concerned, as if worried that the nice guitar lady will believe she just goes throwing people around all the time! After a moment, she waves a little hand, not having heard the 'blind' part, as Nora starts to depart.

Doyle hums to himself as he works on his own drawing, leaning over a little to murmur to Mala for a critique.

Huruma watches Nora leave, only looking back down to finish her picture with a sweeping scraggle of blue pencil along the background. When the tall woman sits up and leans back, it seems like several children lean in. Most of them titter and squeak with laughter, though one proclaims 'I like it!'. Much to the artist's dismay, however, she knows she's failed as a confident adult this afternoon. She makes a face at a couple of the children still giggling at her picture, nose wrinkling and breath leaving through her nose in a snort.

"Jus'for that, everyone is going t'tape theirs on the wall over there by th'tree." A couple groans makes her happy about saying it. Still, when she picks up her horse eating apples, Huruma cannot help but feel like she belongs with them. That'll do.


(art by Delia)

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