Farmers Market




Lewis & Quark

The city was unusually quiet as the small group of Kyrians made their way though the chunks of shell-ridden concrete to the collapsing orphanage. Their green vests stood out against the bleakness of their surroundings and marked them as humanitarian workers on a mercy mission, not soldiers on their mission to kill. Four years of constant fighting had torn the city apart, yet the green-vested workers returned again and again, trying to save any civilians they could. But it was mostly children now. The adults were all fighting or dead, trying to regain what was left of their city from the attacking forces. As their leader, Moria, entered the orphanage, the lone woman inside slowly walked forward, presenting the last of the children to be taken to safety. There were five of them, none of them older than seven. The children were taken back to the large truck, and settled down with blankets in the covered back. Moria sat down among them, and as the vehicle rumbled down the road, she stared out at the figures moving on the other side of the roadway fence.

They were mostly older children, mistrustful and hardened, who had run away from their homes and orphanages and long forgotten what it meant to be loved. Living in the crumbling concrete wilderness that had once been the outskirts of their city, they wished death on the occupants of passing military trucks. They knew better than to climb the fence and attack someone on the roadway, but their gaunt faces bore every sign of hostility. She stared sadly at the hate in their eyes. It had become their armor: their shields against despair and bitterness, their swords used to attack in the only way they could. They didn’t understand that the tired, dirty Kyrians had come to help — all they saw was the large, covered military truck, so similar to the ones that had carried attacking soldiers into their city years before. In their minds, no matter how unjust, this association was more than enough cause for deep hatred.

Moria wrapped a protective arm around one of the sleeping children. If they had been a little older, they too would have run away. They would have joined the pack and become half-starved animals as they paced back and forth at the fence, growling at those they deemed their tormentors. As the truck rumbled on, she watched the little ones, at last sleeping peacefully. They likely didn’t remember what peace was like, and how their city had been before the fighting started. They wouldn’t know comfort or hope, only fear and grief. They were orphaned, and alone. A surge of protectiveness shot though Moria. They would be her cubs now. She would love them and protect them, they would grow up leaving their hatred behind. They would no longer need their armor.
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