Beyond The Flowers
St. Durnics Orphanage was the name of the place Mary, Leo and Arthur had ended up in front of. It was a fairly large building, looking rather homely. It had a triangular-shaped roof, built with bricks. The front had a few windows with two balconies on what seemed like the top floor.
“Are they in there?”, Leonardo asked, seemingly obvious that he was referring to his parents.
Neither Mary nor Arthur responded to his question.
Leonardo looked sad, as if he had finally realised the truth, but he remained stable, holding his tears in.
Behind them came galloping two more horses.
A female soldier on one with Adam on another.
Adam was a tall, young boy with sharp features. His bristly dark brown hair moving along with the rough wind.
The female soldier looked younger than him, about fourteen or fifteen. Her hair was straight and ginger, reaching her chin.
The horses stopped, Adam and the female soldier getting off and approaching the three others.
“My name’s Jade Baudelaire. I’ll be escorting you inside.”, the female said to Mary, Author and Leo.
Leo asked, “Are my parents here?”
Jade didn’t know what to say, she didn’t know the situation so she remained quiet.
Adam looked at Mary, concerned.
She gave him a reassured look, as if she was saying that everything would be alright.
Adam nodded, “Alright, I’ll get going.”, he said, getting back on the horse, not wasting any time. Mary waved to him, a soft look in her eyes as she watched Adam ride away.
Arthur noticed this.
Jade looked at Mary, “Feelings should be enclosed within yourself. He works for the Government, it will be troublesome.”
Mary stuttered, “I do- I don’t have any feelings for Adam.”
Jade looked away, disregarding her.
“Let’s head inside, shall we?”, she said to the boys.
Arthur nodded, grabbing Leo’s hand. Jade led the way as Mary and the two boys.
They entered the building, the inside was spacious. A huge hall appeared as soon as they entered, a sofa area on the side.
“The administrator’s absent at the moment. However, she’ll be with you in a few days.”, Jade’s voice echoed in the large room.
Jade looked at Mary, “Mary, you’re familiar with the place. Give them a tour and whatever else there is for you to do—“ Jade then looked at the children, “This is your new home.”
Leonardo shook his head, speaking, “This is an orphanage. I need to go back to my parents.”
Jade looked rather annoyed at his statement, speaking, “Listen, kid. Your parents are dead, that’s why you’re here.”
“Jade!”, Mary yelled.
“What?! It’s what they said to me.”, Jade sneered.
Mary didn’t answer, looking at Leo.
He didn’t look affected by what she said, but Mary was worried.
Arthur, however, didn’t seem too stable. His eyes were watery, looking as if they were on the verge of tears.
“Okay.”, Leonardo finally responded, with a straight face.
Jade tutted, turning around.
“They’re your problem now Mary, I’m heading out.”, she said, walking outside of the building.
Mary nodded, looking at the two boys.
She struggled to find the proper words to say to them but finally asked them, “Would you like to meet the other children?”
Arthur looked away, but Leonardo nodded.
They entered the boys’ sleeping area, it wasn’t too large, having about ten beds inside. There were four boys inside, looking around the same age as Arthur, Leonardo and Mary.
“Yo! Mary!”, one of the boys said. The boy who spoke looked the same age as Mary, he was taller than the rest of the boys there, with sharp features and a Roman nose. He had grey shaved hair and dark brown eyes, with his skin being tannish.
“Hello Benedict. Long time no see.”, Mary answered, examining the rest of the boys, some of them weren’t familiar faces.
“How’s life with your new parents, eh? Still can’t believe you abandoned us.”, the boy named Benedict jokingly remarked.
“Unfortunately, they have been killed.”, Mary sighed.
Ben regretted what had he just asked, struggling to find the right words.
“I’m sorry.”, was all that he could get out.
“It’s alright, so you haven’t heard?”, Mary asked, quickly changing the topic.
“Heard what?”, he asked.
The other boys in the room stopped whatever they were doing, intrigued by their conversation.
“What happened to Festern. They’ve invaded us.” she
“You’re lying. Those were just rumours.”, Ben said, looking frightened.
“Keep believing that and it’ll cause your death too.”, Mary said, turning to face the boys.
Ben didn’t answer.
“Anyways, this is Leonardo Francis and Arthur Brown. They’re new here, help them settle please, they’ve been through a lot.” Mary said, turning around. “I’m going to the girls”
The door shut behind them.
“When I first saw you, I thought you were a girl.”, a boy said, his remark obviously directed to Arthur.
Arthur looked down, not responding.
Ben approached Leo and Arthur, who were standing in-front of the door.
“Have a seat.”, he said.
Leo and Arthur scurried across, sitting together on a bed.
“Everyone introduce yourselves to them.”, Ben continued.
“My name’s Theodore Dupont.”, the boy who made the remark about Arthur spoke. He was the same height as Arthur, but looked a bit younger. His shaggy blonde hair covering the tips of his green eyes, making them barely visible.
“My name’s Tyler Gardener, he’s Aiden Gardener.”, a dark-skinned boy smiled. The boy named Tyler looked cheerful, short black hair cut in an undercut, showing his brown eyes clearly. Meanwhile, his brother who he had referred to as Aiden looked gloomier. He had the same skin-tone, eye colour and hair colour, but his hair wasn’t cut in an undercut, his bangs were parted.
“Are you both brothers?”, Leonardo inquired, examining everybody else in the room.
Tyler nodded, “Twins actually.”
Benedict then spoke, “And I’m Benedict Kaiser. The oldest one here.
Leonardo nodded, speaking,
“I’m Leonardo Francis, this is Arthur Brown.”, he spoke, pointing to the blonde-haired boy sitting next to him.
“So— did you see them?”, Benedict asked, leaning forward.
“Who?”, Leonardo replied with a question.
“The Camellia”, Benedict replied, eager for an answer.
Leonardo didn’t reply. Instead, Arthur did, “We didn’t see them.”
Benedict looked towards Arthur, “Did you see what they did?”
“….Yes”, Arthur responded, looking away.
Nobody asked him any questions after that. They all noticed that Arthur and Leonardo had experienced something far worse than they had, so they remained quiet.
After a while of awkward silence, the door swung open.
In came a young girl, looking about nine. The girl had a baby face, slightly tanned skin with long, wavy, black hair. Her eyes the colour of the ocean.
“Aiyla, hey”, Theodore said, grinning at the young girl.
Aiyla was about to speak, but stopped herself when she noticed Arthur and Leonardo. She walked up to Arthur, touching his ponytail with a glint in her eyes.
“You have nice hair—”, the young girl giggled “—can I braid it?”
Arthur looked surprised at first, but nodded.
“Alright Aiyla, wait”, Benedict smiled. “Introduce yourself first, will you? And call the others here too”
Aiyla looked slightly disappointed but agreed, “Aiyla Polat’s my name.”, the girl grinned at Arthur and Leonardo, before running off to get the other girls.
“She’s the youngest here, lost her parents when she was four, but she’s pretty cheerful—”, Benedict smiled, looking at Arthur “—and she seems to like your hair”
Arthur nodded, smiling back at him awkwardly.
Then, the door burst open and in came four girls, including Aiyla.
A short-haired brunette girl, with eyes as green as grass, came running over to Arthur, along with Aiyla.
The brown-haired girl immediately started playing with Arthur’s hair. Arthur did feel a bit uncomfortable, not knowing what he should do in this situation, so he looked down, nervously blushing, allowing the stranger to play with his long hair.
“My God, Fleur, give him some personal space”, Tyler said, laughing at this scene.
“Alright, fine”, the girl named Fleur backed away, still mesmerised by his hair.
Aiyla sat down next to Leonardo, “You have nice hair too, did you cut it yourself?”
Leonardo shook his head, speaking, “Arthur did”
Meanwhile, the two other girls stood at the entrance, examining the two new boys.
“The name’s Lyna. Lyna Monet”, one of the girls said. She had short black hair, tied in a small ponytail, freckles covering her pale face. Her dark brown eyes glistening.
“My names Marceline. Don’t know my last name.”, said the other girl, her ginger hair had been braided, reaching a bit below her shoulders.
“I’m Leonardo Francis and he’s Arthur Brown”, Leonardo replied.
“My name’s Fleur Laurent.”, the brunette girl said.
Arthur had been dragged out of the room by Leonardo, he said he needed to talk to him.
The two boys stood together in the lounge.
“Did the Camellia actually invade Festern? What about my parents?”, the boy asked.
Arthur sniffled, not answering.
Leonardo gripped Arthur’s shoulders, asking him, “Are my parents dead?”
Arthur nodded, tears swelling up in his eyes, but he held them in.
Leonardo sighed, letting go of Arthur.
“Let’s go back”, Leo said.
As they turned around to face the entrance of the boys’ sleeping area, they saw Mary.
Mary looked away, she had heard their conversation.
Leonardo held Arthur’s hand, walking back.
The sun had set, Arthur and Leonardo seemed to be getting along well with the other children. Arthur sat there, his hair braided.
Leonardo seemed to be having a conversation with Benedict.
The door opened, Mary had entered.
“It’s getting late. We should head to bed now.”, she said, a smile on her face as she noticed Arthur and Leonardo getting along with the rest of the children.
The girls stood up, walking out of the room with Mary. Mary gave Leo one last glance before she walked off too.
Benedict got up, putting out the torches’ fires.
“Goodnight, you lot.”, Benedict spoke.
The rest of the boys had already laid down.
Leonardo couldn’t sleep, his mind racing with thoughts of what had happened the day before.
He got up, leaving the room.
Arthur had noticed him leaving, but chose not to follow him.
And so, after a few minutes of worrying, Arthur fell asleep.