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Realistic or Modern Home of Wayward Souls


It’s pronounced SHAWDIOS!
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~ Sugar ~

As the childcare worker on the other end of the phone call hung up, Sugar glanced down at the very thin file.

There was going to be a new addition to the group.

Sugar had her share of rough days that she tried her best not to remember, but she couldn't help but be reminded of them when she heard the stories– that she was trusted enough to be told– of the kids that ended up being brought to her home.

But instead of herself, this time she was reminded of another child. Maybe it was the weather outside and time of year, but the first thing that came to mind was Autumn. The scraped up and one winged child that had been dragged inside by Spice, the oldest of her wards at the time, and firmly sat in a beanbag as Spice stalked to the kitchen and made them some food. That was the start of Autumn spending his days in her home.

At the time she had been confused but quickly caught on to the unspoken details. Autumn had been sleeping in an alleyway Spice passed on the way home from school and Spice had noticed someone was beating the other child up. But that couldn't have been just it and judging based off of the fuming Spice, who was a 12 year old at the time, he had been trying to convince Autumn to come home with him for a while now.

Then the ghastly amount of paperwork for figuring out who Autumn legally was and having him being assigned here started.

Sugar shook her head out of memories and glanced up at the door of her small office. She needed to go stand outside and be prepared for when the kid would be dropped off.

As she left her office she saw the pair of twins, Flame and Rise as she liked to call them, dash by and then run up the stairs that were next to her office.

The palest child she had ever seen then followed, screeching, “You can run! But you can’t hide!” It was with the voice of some movie character she couldn’t pinpoint. So, Sugar assumed the three were playing some game and not actually fighting over something.

That pale child, Sam, was her youngest ward at eight years old.

With a chuckle, Sugar continued on and wove her way through the house. Waving a curt greeting to Spice and Autumn, who were hanging out in the kitchen as she passed by, she reached the front door. Holly, one of the few girls she was guardian of, poked her head out of the laundry room that was right beside the front door and had a window Holly had likely been looking out through.

“There’s a car outside.” The twelve year old told her flatly before quickly slipping by and heading further into the house. Sugar sighed. That girl just was an enigma sometimes. Holly had been the newest to the home, until now that is, having only settled in three or so months ago. She spent most of her free time just laying in the grass of the backyard and whispering to the flowers.

Sugar reeled in her focus and stepped outside to greet the new child and hopefully ease any fears they likely had. She knew she was the dumping ground for “problem” children.

( j.e.s.t.e.r j.e.s.t.e.r )
Ash slowly woke up, fearful of the people wherever they were going. They had slept the entire drive, and barely had enough energy to walk out of the car. As they slowly walked up to the front steps, he stifled a yawn. Sure, it was his fault he had gotten up way too early to leave, but they still felt mad at the world.

Although being mad at everything wasn't a new feeling.

They slowly knocked before stepping away, staring down at the ground.
There was a knock on the door right as Sugar had laid her hand on the doorknob. It took her aback, but she recovered quickly with a mild chuckle to herself because of the timing.

When she opened the door, she was met with the sight of the new child. And no adult to be seen. A spark of fury kindled towards the social worker that had been handling this child. Letting a child handle going in alone, to stew in their fears by themself, was cruel.

But she didn’t let that anger show, she knew how it could be misinterpreted. Her experience with raising Spice taught her well.

“Well hello! Come on in,” she greeted in soft tone as she stepped to the side to clear up the doorway, “I’m Susan but please just call me Sugar, ill be your guardian for as long as you’re here, let’s get you settled in alright?”
When someone opened the door quickly, Ash jumped away and looked up, startled. They took in the ladie's profile and stared at the ground, suddenly embarrassed by their unruly hair and the fraying ends of their hoodie. They put their hands in their pockets and looked back up.

They watched her, looking for the embarrassment all adults seemed to possess in their presence, but didn't see it. The bit the inside of their cheek and wondered what was going on. No one seemed to even try to hide the emotion, letting them show directly.

Confusion sparked in them, wondering about this lady, when they were jolted away from thinking when she started talking.

They gave their most polite smile and nodded. "Okay.." They whispered, their voice feeling weird. "Hi, I'm Ash.." They stood uncomfortably, not sure what they were supposed to do.
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Sugar smiled sweetly in response to the greeting, “Well Ash, it’s nice to meet you” She made a mental note to write the child’s chosen name down later and gestured for Ash to come inside. “Do you want to meet some of the other kids before dinner or do you want to settle into your room first?”

Ash wasn’t the name on file, so Sugar realized she potentially had another gender atypical child in her care. At least Autumn could bond with them over it. She was sure of that. And maybe Rise and Sam as well, the first was currently still experimenting with what to refer to them with and the latter was often prancing around in a dress. Back when Autumn began living in the house, she vowed internally to do whatever she could to make sure that every child she eventually took in was comfortable in their own skin.

Then she made a another mental note to take Ash shopping later this week after the sorry state of their hoodie caught her eye. It was her duty to these kids to make sure they were being taken care of properly, worn out clothes as one of a child’s only outfits was not proper care. However, Sugar wasn’t going to just throw the hoodie out once she took the child shopping, she knew most items had personal attachment.
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Ash walked in, looking around the house. They quickly looked back at the lady- Susan, they recalled- with a slight smile, however forced it may have been. They nodded politely at her.

They examined the room once more, trying to figure out how many people were there and how large it was, but couldn't quite figure it out. They didn't see anyone, and couldn't figure out the layout of the house from first glance.

Ash eventually stopped trying to figure out the house and just stared at the ground, unsure what they were supposed to do. They scrambled for a way to tell her it was nice to meet her as well, and looked up with a nod, not knowing what else to do.

They held up two fingers, trying to say option two. They didn't want to see other people, not right now. There had already been so much going on, they couldn't process even more. They made a motion similar to writing something on paper, before tilting their head as if in question. Ash bit the inside of their cheek, hoping she understood at least half of what they had motioned.
Sugar followed Ash inside, closing the front door behind her with a lazy grip. She watched as the child took in their new surroundings. Sugar preferred warm tones for decor, so the walls of the hallway and the living room were a soft amber with dark brown wood for the molding and accents. To the direct left as one would enter, was the doorway to the laundry room, and to the direct right was the dining room with the underside of the stairs over the entryway. Further in was the living room and kitchen. No wall separated the two, only the beginning of the stairs divided them. A bathroom followed the laundry room in the hallway to the living room, the door for it was open but the lights were off.

A fireplace was straight on from the front door and two deep chocolate brown soft couches lined the left corner closest to the entryway of the living room. The floor switched from a near orange wood, that Sugar’s footsteps clicked on, to practically fluffy carpet upon entry to the living room. Blankets were haphazardly strewn about on the sofas, and the same fate applied for the throw pillows. Drawings littered the short seating table along with the art supplies used for them; That particular mess Sugar knew was Sam and Holly’s. Those two loved to draw, Sam more so than Holly.

Ash holding up two fingers Sugar would have to admit confused her for at least a little while. But the writing motion clarified it. When the twins first arrived, they both used only gestures and motions to communicate. As time had passed and the pair relaxed, Flame started speaking to Autumn then to her and eventually becoming an utter chatterbox, while the other stayed silent to everyone and wrote whatever they wanted to communicate or used her and their race’s native language to speak to her and Autumn if it was a good day.

“Oh!” She mildly exclaimed in response to Ash, “Alright, yes, I’ll get you something to write with, don’t worry, new things can be overwhelming, I understand” Flame went quiet when things became too much, so, this she had experience with. Sugar went over to the sitting table and shuffled through the papers for one that wasn’t drawn on, then gestured for Ash to come over once she found one and held out one of the colored pencils for them.

Out of the corner of her eye she saw Autumn curiously peering at her and the new kid from behind the half wall that started at the stairs and jutted out at a 45 degree angle into the kitchen and served as a back for the sink. She waved him away, mouthing overwhelmed which lead to Spice dragging the curious avian around the half wall and upstairs.
Ash snuck another look around the house while Sugar was grabbing paper. They fiddled with their hoodie strings, staring at the floor. They weren't sure what to do, and felt the familar sense of uncomfort.

They nodded. With a forced smile, they walked over to the table and grabbed the pencil, writing carefully to make sure she could read it. It took longer than normal, but the handwriting was readable. After a few moments, they had a simple sentence reading 'I want to settle in first, before I meet other people'.

They showed her the paper with a small smile, hoping the words didn't come off rude. After a couple moments of thinking, they realized how rude it could have been and wished they could take the paper back and rewrite it. They glanced at Sugar, hoping she didn't think it was as rude as they did.

Ash looked around at the decoration, noting the cozyness of the furniture and the warm color schemes. It seemed rather inviting, and the resisted a tiny smile at the design.
Sugar turned her attention back to Ash and towards the paper they were writing on. Ah, the child wanted to settle in first. She had figured as much, all the others had been adverse to meeting the other kids on their first day with the exception of Sam. Sugar tucked her wings against her sides, as to prevent them bumping into both Ash and the couches, then moved to stand.

“Well, let’s get you settled in then, I'll ask the others to leave you be and give you space.” She replied resolutely with a nod. Sugar then gestures for Ash to follow her as she walks towards the stairs.

Sugar fills the silence with her own voice as she leads Ash upstairs, “You’ll be on the second floor, alright? My office is there along with the other two teens’ room, the younger ones have the three rooms on the third floor” Photos taken randomly of the other kids are hung up on the wall at the upper half of the first staircase. A decent amount are of Spice and Autumn from when they were younger, with the twin’s appearance slowly mixing themselves in as Spice and Autumn aged. The newest photos near the top of the staircase are solely of the twins and Sam, with only one of Holly included with them and it looks like she was trying her damndest to avoid being in the shot.

When Sugar and Ash would reach the top of the first stairs, there would be a door to the right which had a sign on it announcing that it's “Pumpkin latte’s room” with a sticky note next to the doorknob very aggressively telling you to knock before entering. To the left is a short wall and a hall with the beginning of the other staircase at the end.

Sugar gestures to first door in the hallway, which has a butterfly painted on it. “There’s the bathroom for this floor.” She laughs to herself, and waves a hand absentmindedly as she adds, “And don’t worry about it being crowded in the mornings, you’ll only be sharing it with Sp– Simon and August, the younger ones have their own”

Sugar stops at the second room, with its door on her left rather than the right where the bathroom door had been, “This one is yours,” she opens the door and holds an arm out and extends a wing towards its inside. The walls are a soft sunshine yellow, which only seem ever the more vibrant with the setting sun’s light pouring in from the two windows on both sides of the bed. The bed and the pillows are fitted with brown sheets that match the color of the wooden dresser in the far right hand corner. A closet door rests next to the dresser, with a desk on the direct opposite side of the room. Empty shelves, the same wood as the desk and dresser, hang on the wall opposite the windows.

“i’ll call you down when dinner is ready, alright?” Sugar says softly as she steps away from the open door, wings tucked tightly.
Ash nodded and slowly followed, afraid to go deeper into the house but burying the urge to run. They had to at least seem .. normal until either he was trusted or got used to the home.

He didn't want to get in the way of others, but didn't argue with her for both not having any way to and because he didn't want to come off as unappreciative.

Ash nodded as she talked, trying to be or at least act interested in the pictures decorating the walls. They needed to distract themselves from her acting as if he was normal. He almost scoffed. Not knowing how to act when people were acting as if he was a person, great move. They knew he would have to pull it together before seeming more weird (it that was even possible at that point).

He looked at the door and the sticky note with interest before quickly following Sugar. They nodded, but weren't really paying attention. They were in some other far-off world, one they barely knew the rules of.

Ash quickly tried to clear his head before walking into the brightly lit room and shielding his eyes from the sunlight. They looked up at Sugar, nodding. They smiled, trying to say thank you without words. Communicating wasn't their strong suit, though, so it would probably come off a some polite smile.

They walked to the bed and felt the sheets, gasping slightly at the softness. They stepped away from the bed slowly, and looked back to Sugar with and nodded. They sat on the floor, not sure what to do.
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