Monday, November 3

The Fall of the Kaolin

Words: 897 Average Reading Time: 4:30 Time Completed: Second Day of Normal Writing

The sounds of the rain were what woke her.

She sat up with a start, never one to be able to slowly rouse herself from a slumber. Her painted sapphire eyes fell upon the open window, which sat just a bit to the left of the foot of her bed: Enough that, should she want to, she could look through it. But she could also completely block it out, if the mood struck her,

Today was a perfect rainy day: Enough of a storm that rain fell in steady streams from her roof in addition to the normal unobstructed droplets, but not so much that the sky was completely darkened. The clouds, just South of a perfectly porcelain white, loomed heavy and dripping above her. It was the kind of day that she savored.

Gingerly, she inched to the side of her bed. Some of the Kaolin would take 10 minutes for the next part, just to ensure that there would be no mishaps so early in the morning. After all, with skin as hard and as fragile as porcelain, fixing a chip or a scuff was not a simple task, requiring time— and money. Taleandory had been told that by her mother many a morning, as she was learning what it meant to be a Kaolin. But "Tale," as she called herself, was never one to take such caution.

Especially on a day so perfectly rainy.

She pushed herself out of bed in one fluid motion, hearing her feet hit the ground with a loud clink. No pain. And she was standing, nearly ready for the day.

Tale was not a woman so enamoured with fashion that she'd take a lot of time to dress herself up. But, she wished she were, some days. And on those days, she had a small assortment of sashes and scarves which she liked to choose from. The most basic form of Kaolin cosmetics, a simple bolt of cloth tied here or there could lend that hint of care and prettiness she yearned for.

She sifted through her collection quickly. Today was definitely a yellow day, Tale thought to herself. And there was the one she wanted: Bright yellow with a small pattern on the edge.

Her small, dainty fingers tied it in a soft knot around her neck, letting it hang down behind her. She looked in her mirror. She looked good. Time to set out for the day.

Tale went to her door- unhandled, as all Kaolin doors were, and double hinged to open out both ways. When Others would ask them about that, often with concerns for safety or practicality, the Kaolin response was elegant and simple: "Why would You make something that had the chance to hurt You more complicated than it needed to be?" A door's presence already conveyed the desire of privacy. If the Others (or another Kaolin even, at times) were not respectful of that desire, then what good would a lock or a handle do?

Tale went to her door and softly pushed it open, stepping through. She felt the first few drops of rain land on her face, the first cool breeze caress the delicate curves of her body, the first footprint of soft earth give beneath her feet as she walked. She sighed a contented sigh, and began to hum an Ängsalvor tune, one of her favorites. Closing her eyes, she continued to trace the carefully measured steps to the edge of her household, as she did each morning before heading to the square.

She worked in a restaurant, serving people drinks and food just a hair slower than the others, but with much more grace and poise. It came naturally to a Kaolin to be so; Any undue haste could spell disaster quickly when Your body was so fragile. The Others could practice making calculated and precise movements, but a Kaolin had to live it.

In the distance, a small clap of thunder rumbled. Though she loved it, she hurried her steps just a small amount. It would be difficult to work if she got herself too wet, for drying herself off was very difficult.

She rounded the bend which led from her little one floor cottage to the main road of Fantas, the town it which she lived. Each step sounded with a smack of grasping mud now, the road slick with rain which had been falling for hours. To Tale, this reminded her of porridge, which she liked to play with before eating.

Smack, Smack, Smack.

Her footsteps were as regular as the ticking of a clock.

Smack, Smack, Smack.

Smack. Smack. Smack.

Smack, Clop Clop, Smack, Clop Clop.

Just as she noticed something else was on the road, a runaway team of horses led a caravan wagon directly overtop of her. As she fell, she felt a brief but glorious surge of energy, as if for once she might be alright even though this was against all she had ever learned about herself.

And then, with her face in the mud, she felt the sharply intense pain of her left arm being crushed beneath the wagon's wheels. She could feel a scream building in her chest, but then stars were all around her, and everything went black.

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