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PostSubject: the heck is this?   Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:36 am

It was midday, it was raining, and it was almost silent. Mr Jones, one of the nearby stall attendants, had fallen fast asleep behind a large pile of his 'antiques', face hidden beneath the rim of his flatcap, and big, muddy boots kicked up on top of the table. He was snoring riotously, but even that was kind of hard to hear, what with the way that the rain was hammering down.

Now, while Mr Jones' stupid, balding head was kept nice and dry thanks to the blue tarpaulin covering the other side of his dusty, dirty wares, Toulouse was most decidely Not Dry. In fact, he was very much verging on Drenched.

It was a very frustrating position to be in, but since his Ma and his Auntie had stumbled into that fat, monstrous Ms Appleby character and had gone off to the Inn for a cup of tea and a catch up, Toukouse had decideed that the best thing to do was to avoid the situation entirely, and to remain outside. When they'd said that they were going in and, 'Oh, Toullie dear, would you like some green tea and a stick of mochi?' he'd decided he'd rather freeze to death out in this miserable, terrible rain. His Ma had just shrugged it off, his Auntie had tutted, and Ms Appleby had sighed. Then they'd left, and Toulouse was left stuffig his hands harder into the pockets of his bright yellow macintosh and kicking at a puddle.

Eventually, he'd gotten bored and had decided to explore, which was how he'd ended up here, glaring balefully at Mr Jones and his stupid, rotten collection of junk. Pointless, ugly, stinking--

Something glittery blue and shaped like a telescope glinted as he went to step away, and his red wellington boots froze mid step. He furrowed his brows, pouted fiercely, and turned back towards the junk. Gripped the edge of the dirty table. Rose up onto tippytoes.

Reached up and over a very battered piggyback, and latched onto the telescope type thing with small, numb fingers.

"The heck is this," he muttered to himself and he pulled it away, stepping back from the table and holding it in both small hands. Was it some sort of alien contacting device? Like those mobile phones he'd seen on his Uncle's colour television? He hummed loudly, and turned it over in his hands.

((http://cdn7.bigcommerce.com/s-f5b50/images/stencil/500x659/products/1466/18610/blue_1__52664.1460844720.jpg?c=2
aaaand on the inside:
https://previews.123rf.com/images/visharo/visharo1612/visharo161200072/69115690-blue-kaleidoscope.jpg))
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PostSubject: Re: the heck is this?   Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:51 am

It was raining. Riku observed this with a cool and disinterested glance. It was not the first rain he'd ever seen, so there was nothing to get particularly excited or irritated over, particularly not while he was appropriately dressed in his yellow raincoat and red Wellington boots.

Mum had told him and his brother to stay inside today, but she can't have meant it, as it had been easy to slip out of the back, Marie in her grey squirrel form, close behind him. After a few minutes in the rain, she'd shaken herself out into the shape of an elegant white kingfisher, feathers twitching against the wetness of the air.

Spotting an upcoming puddle, Riku did what most six-year-old boys in his position would have done. He jumped in it, splashing mud all along the revealed skin of his legs, watching curiously as it sludged down into his boots. His parents wouldn't be happy about that. However, Riku didn't feel like going home yet, after all, now all he had to look forward to was a scolding.

Continuing to amble down the road, the small dark haired boy stepped to the edge as a car clattered past him, a rare occurrence, and not one Riku expected to happen again as he carried on towards the market street. Despite the rain those colourful tents and stalls were still standing, the shining array of reds, yellows and greens shimmering in the chilly, dark and hazy fog caused by all the rain fall.

As they slipped into a more public place, Marie flitted back into a squirrel, scampering up Riku's arm, and under his hood. Her wet fur pressed against his cheek, and her tail tickled the back of his neck. It was a little uncomfortable, but he didn't mind the presence of his Familiar, and he knew she'd move if it was really starting to bother him.

Wandering aimlessly between the stalls, Riku glanced in various directions, not particularly taking anything in, at least not until he spotted another boy, standing on the tips of his toes by one of the stalls, examining what looked like a colourful telescope from this distance.

His interest spiked, Riku wandered a little closer to have a look. The other boy had pulled it down from the table, so he didn't have to strain to reach it.
"What's that?" He asked.
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PostSubject: Re: the heck is this?   Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:28 pm

So immersed in the shiny blue telescope he held in his small hands, Toulouse didn't spot the intruder until he asked right in the six year old's ear, 'What's that?' Jerking around to glower at the other kid for startling him, he stopped. Blinked.

Not only had the intruder appeared out of no where and poked his nose in where it wasn't wanted or needed, but he was dressed in a yellow macintosh and red wellies, exactly like Toulouse was! Was this an imposter?

Bristling at the very idea, and then bristling some more when he spotted the soggy little face of a squirrel lurking in the back of the boy's hood, he looked away again, glare still in place.

"It's a telescope," he said rather bluntly. "Duh."

As if to prove his point to the other boy, he raised it to his eyes, fist wrapped around either handle, and peered through the lens.

Intense, shimmering blues glimmered like precious gems inside, refracting light and glowing an almost magical colour. Toulouse' jaw dropped, and he pulled away, eyes wide.

"Whoa," he said, words barely a breath. This was... this was incredible! He had to have it! Had to show someone. "I think it's magic." His voice rose a little, excited, and he lifted it again to have another long look.

Eventually, he pulled away and, in his excitement about this awesome discovery, held it out towards the other boy. "Wanna see, real quick?" he offered, suspicion and bad mood abating with the sudden influx of excitement.

((headcanon: there's actually a bit of the life crystal inside the telescope. it was maybe some rich, sick kid's suuuper expensive toy, like, 50 years ago, but ended up being lost, and eventually ended up in Mr Jones' junk pile. no one out here knows what it is, and it's therefore seen as some shitty, cheap kids toy.))
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PostSubject: Re: the heck is this?   Tue Jul 24, 2018 8:28 pm

The other boy looked at him for a good long while, dragging his fiery gaze over Riku's clothes, with an odd accusational feel. Peculiar? He was pretty sure he hadn't met this other boy before, so why he was being given such an intense look, Riku didn't particularly know. However, he also wasn't the sort that really took it to heart, if this boy wanted to be mad for no reason then that was his choice.

Even the boy's short reply wasn't helpful. True it looked like a telescope, but the shape was all wrong, and shouldn't there be a hole coming out the others side if it was a telescope?
However, there was no need to reply, as the other boy had already pulled the strange blue item to his eye and was looking through it in apparent amazement, his mouth even opened as if to express the surprising things that he was seeing, but was unable to find the words to do so.

Magic? Riku felt an immediate curiosity at that. While his older brother had told him that magic wasn't real, and was only something that existed in the Primrose Harris books, Riku jumped at the chance to prove him wrong.
He didn't want to grab though, so waited until the other boy was done, heart pounding in his chest.

Surprised when the other boy finally lowered it, and held it out to him, Riku nodded with a small smile, taking the magical telescope from the boy's hands, trembling a little as he held it up to his eye.
His eyes widened, just as the other boy's had done previously. The lights and patterns that formed in front of him... it was one of the most beautiful things he'd ever seen. He could understand the other boy's amazement now, and he was convinced that he'd been right, it had to be magic.

"How much is it?" Lowering the item from his face, he looked up at Mr Jones, feeling around at the loose scrap change he had in his pocket. If he didn't bring it home then Akari would never believe him, besides if this was a magical item then that meant, according to the 'Primrose Harris' books, that they both had magical potential if they could get it to work, so it seemed important that at least one of them owned this item, before a non-magic person came along and misplaced it.
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PostSubject: Re: the heck is this?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 4:46 am

Watching the way that the other little boy's eyes lit up as he peered into the magical telescope had Toulouse' heart beating faster. Look! That was it! It was real, after all!

Practically buzzing in his wellington boots, the Toulouse waited for the stranger to say something profound and meaningful in reference to his incredible discovery.

"How much is it?" he said instead.

The dark skinned boy blinked rapidly at the question, brows furrowing, and eventually reached forwards, gripping the funny telescope around the middle and pulling it up in front of his eyes. He turned it over, checking fro a sticky label, or one of those funny dangly little tags that he vaguely remembered seeing in stores back in Kuro, when he'd still lived with his Dad, and he wasn't just some poor country bumpkin.

But... there was nothing. Not a single sticker or dangly bit of card. With a scowl lighting up his face, he looked over the stall, and the junk pile gathered together in a cluttered mess on top of the table. There wasn't, from what Toulouse could see, any kind of price sign or poster to demonstrate costs (and even if there were, he wouldn't necessarily understand the concept of how much it cost, anyway.

At some kind of moral quandary for what to do next (should they kick the old geezer awake and ask him, potentially finding out that it was more than they could afford, or should they just shove it into the inside of their jackets and make a run for it?), Toulouse looked between the boy, who'd already been searching through his pocket for change, and the heavily snoring old man.

Switching his hold over into one hand, he unzipped his pockets with the other - hard, yanking tugs that allowed him to plunge his hands inside and rifle through bits of old tissue, cool coloured pebbles, and a funky, sharp bit of wood he wanted to poke Vivi with, next time that she started to annoy him.

Finally, he found it. A very dull, slightly rusty fifty yuu coin he'd found on the street some long weeks ago, that he'd been saving for a special occasion. He pulled it out slowly - almost reverently - and stared down at it. "You got some money?" he asked his name business partner, looking in the slightly shorter boy's direction and tilting his old coin so that it caught the light.

He frowned, knowing that as wonderful as his coin was, it really wasn't worth very much, in the grand scheme of things. Leaving without paying would be 'wrong', or something stupid, but waking up Mr Jones might very well end up in him telling them that it was a higher price than they could afford. The thought of losing the telescope was... not a very happy one.

He stepped closer to the other boy, and said in a low, conspiratorial voice, "We should put our money up on there and then take it before he wakes up, in case we can't afford it." He paused, considered whether this would sound too shifty or naughty - like maybe that might encourage this stranger to tattle on him. "It's not stealing if we just leave him some money," he said self importantly, chin up and fingers curling tighter around the magical device.

They just had to be able to take it home.
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PostSubject: Re: the heck is this?   Thu Jul 26, 2018 5:14 am

The rain pattered down on the two boys. Riku was sharply aware of the pleasant drumming sound against the hood of his raincoat, because right now and right here in this moment, Riku knew that magic had to be real, and he wanted to savour this moment forever.
He needed to own it, it was his proof, that, and there was something strangely comforting about the little blue telescope. It made him feel warm and safe, but also invigorated, as if every task he set his mind to could be accomplished with great ease.

Taking note of the money the other boy had just pulled from his pocket, Riku did the same.

"Fifty yuu as well," he showed it to the other child. He had no real idea about how much things cost, but he did know if anything cost two fifty yuu coins to buy, then it was really expensive. That was practically two weeks worth of pocket money.
He was staring sadly down at his own coin, when the other boy nudged him gently and explained his reasoning, it was rather well thought out reasoning, but somewhere in his heart Riku still knew it to be wrong.

He glanced at the telescope in the other boy's hands, then back at the sleeping stall vendor.

"...If anything" he began to reason, "If we were to leave it here and not buy it because he was asleep, then he would loose out on a hundred yuu. So really, it would be worse to just leave it here and give him no money." He was not even thoroughly convinced by his own argument. But, knowing Mr Jones, he probably wouldn't even notice it was missing.

Swallowing, he nodded, reaching up to place his coin down on the table, stepping back quickly to prevent himself from changing his mind. He'd paid all the money he had for this telescope, but it would be worth it.
He turned his violet-blue eyed gaze on the other boy and waited with bated breath for him to do the same. They were partners in this now, so the other boy had to do the same.

Riku bit his lip nervously, but he kept his eyes focused. He wasn't the sort to outwardly express his emotions and feelings through words, but that didn't mean he didn't have his own signs.
He just wanted to get this whole thing over with, then for the two of them to get away somewhere with the pretty blue magical item, where Mr Jones and the other adults wouldn't catch them.
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