Whistle while you work (Nate)

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Whistle while you work (Nate)

Post  Madeline Adele on Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:19 pm

With more spare time on her hands than she was accustomed to, Madeline found herself making up things to keep herself busy. The students weren't the fastest helpers, and she had to keep her eyes on them at all times. Stealing wasn't something she thought they would do, but they were all here for some reason or another. She hadn't yet dared to read any of the children's files, though she was sure she would have access. She told herself that she would rather learn about them as they are now, not as they had been. She told herself that she had no reason to go reading things like that unless there were problems. There hadn't been any serious problems so far, nothing more dangerous than teenagers being teenagers, and so she left the files alone. No need to go reading things that might make her sympathize.

With all her free time, what was she to do, but keep cleaning? It kept her busy, kept her mind occupied, and things were kept in order when the boys didn't keep up. And girl, Madeline couldn't forget about her only girl. Double checking the knotted bow on her apron, she smoothed her hands down her wool dress and set to work. It was no wonder that she had to go back behind their work some days, this wasn't exactly a boys' job. They were sloppy when they made the beds, made lewd or even cruel comments during the whole ordeal, and Madeline sometimes found herself wishing permission for a good, old fashioned, whipping. But that wasn't how things were taken care of here, and she was in no position to ask for that sort of thing. She would have to keep her chin up, and herd her little flock of miniature criminals through their chores.

Heading into one of the dorms, she began to hum an old lullaby as she tidied up. The lullaby ran into itself, round and around in her head as she re-made the beds and swept under the furniture. Tara used to sing it to her when she was getting ready for bed, back when she was a child. It was a sweet little tune, and the woman would sing it like it was a blanket, thick and warm and soothing. Madeline wondered where Tara was now, fifteen years later. She had never dared to write or call, but she liked to imagine that Tara had managed to send all her boys to college. That she had managed to move out of the projects and into a house with central air. Maybe she had re-married, or was happily raising grand-children. Madeline smiled softly, remembering all the risks Tara had taken to get to where she was, when she sent Madeline off to France for her own safety.

"Doucement, nous flottons, loin des agitations du jour. Doucement, nous flottons, vers un sommeil que l'on savoure." She sang softly as she bent to sweep beneath the last bed, focusing on her work but not where she was. In her head, she was back in the States, climbing into her big four-post bed while Tara tidied up her room and turned off the lights. Straightening up with her back to the door, she hummed the chorus and continued sweeping. She didn't know she wasn't alone until she turned around, surprised to find herself with company.
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Madeline Adele

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Re: Whistle while you work (Nate)

Post  Nathanial Schram on Fri Jan 20, 2012 4:22 pm

The blood from his fingers was still on the wall, even though it was mostly hidden by how he propped his pillows. He’d wanted to clean the rest of it up yesterday, but they’d had him in the bathroom for the duration of his chores. That was some crap. Boys were messy and cleaning up after them was not the most pleasant of things to be doing. Still, he supposed it was better than mucking out stalls. He didn’t understand why people liked cleaning up after animals. Just the thought of it made him shiver. Nate didn’t mind the household chores so much, at least he was inside and warm, and really, with the scope of the chores they generally gave, he could sneak off for a few and daydream or whatever before he had to get back to work. Not that he pushed it really, he didn’t want this double chore thing to last.

They’d put him on dorm duty today, and he’d made a beeline for the chemicals. A bit of bleach and some soap and water should get the traces of blood off the wall, and keep him in the clear. The long sleeved shirts he’d taken to wearing covered the healing scratches. He was lucky really, and he knew it. He wheeled the filled mop bucket down the hall, the only way he could get access to the cleaning chemicals was to say that he was going to mop the floors. Still, they’d measured and filled the bucket for him. Nate had to keep himself from rolling his eyes as the staff member took care of all the “dangerous” work. Some of the rules here were just stupid, he understood why they were in place, but he didn’t agree with them.

The soft singing in a foreign language, (French perhaps?), caught his attention and he picked up the pace. A moment of panic filled him when he realized it was coming from his dorm, but since the singing was uninterrupted, whomever the voice belonged to hadn’t found his little secret. He came around the doorway, stopped cold and stared. What better treat was there for a teenage boy then the sight of a female in a shorter skirt, bent over? Not that it was revealing or anything by typical standards, but it was still an erotic treat, and Nate filed the moment away. When she turned, brown eyes went wide and he staggered against the doorway.

The innocence of her face took his breath away, but the vision that quickly took up residence was of her with slash marks over both cheekbones, and blood dripping slowly down her face to splash onto her equally slashed shoulders and chest. There was a morbid beauty to it, and although it was disturbing, it took him a long moment to force his eyes away. Naturally, they flew to his bunk, and the dark stain that barely showed on the wall. He was doubly lucky then, she hadn’t seen it. A couple of blinks and focusing on the floor helped him to regain himself and he looked just over her right shoulder.

“Hi, I’m Nathanial. I’m supposed to mop in here, if you’re done?” He didn’t want to sound to eager, that would spell disaster. After all, the kids here mostly weren’t happy to be forced to do chores or much of anything really. So he tried to keep his voice bored and a bit annoyed. How successful he was at it was a mystery. He just hoped she didn’t look up and see.

Don’t look up. Don’t look up, don’t look up.
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Re: Whistle while you work (Nate)

Post  Madeline Adele on Sat Jan 21, 2012 12:13 am

Madeline's employers had always mentioned how young she looked, and she always feared that it would keep her from work, if they thought she was lying about her applications and resume. Once she hit twenty five, though, it became a bigger problem. Men wouldn't leave her alone, she couldn't go out to enjoy time with friends without some creep trying to worm into her good graces. Despite what she had been told as a child, she knew better than to believe that men could be gentlemen. They were nice when they wanted something, sleazy when they wanted that special something, and cruel when they got neither. Highgrove had saved Madeline a lot of trouble, knowing that she would be surrounded by teenagers and co-workers, both of which could be given the cold shoulder without being rude or improper. It had been a very pleasant change for her, but seeing how she surprised the boy in the doorway reminded her that the boys she worked with were troubled, and needed her to be constantly vigilant.

Checking her watch, she tried to think about why a boy would think he needed to be mopping, right here, right now. Putting on hand on her hip, she smiled as it came to her. The boy who had done something to earn extra chores, she thought his name was Matthew or something, but Nathaniel it apparently was. Her smile wasn't coy or accusatory, it was warm and grateful. He was early, which told her that he knew he had done wrong, and was ready to start fixing his problems. Very healthy in a place like this, she thought.

"Well, Nathaniel, I am Madam Adele, and I am surprised." Leaning her broom against the wall, she walked towards him and peeked outside the door, seeing the mop and water all ready. Her smile was proud when she turned to him. "You're early! However, we can't mop until we finish sweeping. But, if you brought gloves and a sponge, we can clean the walls in here, too." A couple steps across the room and she was right next the the head of one of the bunk beds. Nate's bed, to be exact, but she didn't know that. Kneeling down to point at the base board, all Madeline had noticed were scuff marks along the base board. "These shouldn't be too hard for you to take care of, I believe. The boys missed them this morning."

Standing up, she brushed her hands down her apron again, offering Nate another smile. Madeline had been taught that a sweet demeanor was like a violin, and could soothe any temper. Nathaniel's attitude seemed a little half-assed, like he was trying to be a bad boy just so that he could survive in a place like this. She assumed that to a child, this place could be seen as being prison-eske. A smile might brighten up his mood, and he might drop the attitude, and then he wouldn't make trouble during his chores like the other boys. Maybe, just maybe.

Another cheery smile. "So, are we ready to go?"
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Re: Whistle while you work (Nate)

Post  Nathanial Schram on Sun Jan 22, 2012 2:12 am

He wasn't sure why she was surprised. He was assigned to household chores, why wouldn't he be there? He supposed he could be elsewhere, but that would just get him assigned triple the work, and that didn't make any sense whatsoever. As she continued to smile, and wasn't that just creepy (no one smiled much here), and talk, his heart skipped a beat when she stopped by his bunk. He only breathed again when the woman knelt and pointed out some faint scuff marks on the baseboard. Brown eyes lifted automatically to the faint stains on the top of the wall, and he forced them away as he nodded slightly. He could easily get rid of those marks, and the others as well, if only she would go away.

"Yes ma'am, I should be able to get those off quite easily." Always better to suck up the the staff, Nate dipped a cloth in the water and knelt on the floor, beginning to rub the cloth over the faint black marks from someone's shoe. He wasn't sure whose, but it could have been his, since the marks were near the ladder he used to access his bunk. It was the work of a few minutes to get the wall clean, and Nate began to climb the ladder slowly, pretending to clean other imaginary spots on the paint. Eventually, he made it up to his bunk and scrubbed at the dried blood, only breathing easily when it was gone. Finally, all the evidence was well erased.

He fixed the bed and climbed down, wandering the edges of the room and scrubbing at a spot here and there. Nate wanted to look helpful and create the impression that he was only trying to do well. This woman seemed to have an idea that her pleasant attitude would work well, so he was only going along with it. Normally, it was likely he wouldn't, but in this case, it served him well, he'd gotten to get rid of something important. When he finished his sweep, he came back to her, tossing the used cloth into an empty bucket. "All finished, Madam Adele. What should I do next?"

He didn't care. He wanted to get out of there at this point, but playing the game all the way through was going to be crucial to getting away with what he had. So he kept a smile on his face and tried to keep the annoyance from the brown orbs that stared at her feet. Although the cuts and bleeding were seductive, seeing her like that was going to send him over the edge and ruin the careful image he was cultivating with her at the moment. "Should I sweep?"
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Re: Whistle while you work (Nate)

Post  Madeline Adele on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:52 pm

Madeline kept an eye on Nathaniel as he cleaned around the bed, but mostly finished sweeping and dusting. Every time she paused to glance his way, he was scrubbing at something here or there on the wall, making up places to clean. She could tell when the kids were finding something easy to do, just to procrastinate, but it was better than blatantly staring at her and not doing a single thing. And so, she did real work while Nate pretended to do the same, and she let the silence fall over both of them. She couldn't fall back into the past while she was watching the boy, but she smiled as she remembered the good times in her childhood. The few precious moments that had been polished and hidden away like diamonds and emeralds. The moments that kept a smile on her face and calm breeze in her mind, keeping her temper down.

By they time Nate had finished, Madeline had also finished. Looking around her, she double and triple checked the room for assurance. Yes, yes, everything was done. She turned back to the boy and looked over him, judging weather or not she could trust him. He was quiet, and kept his eyes averted from looking at her. It hurt her that he didn't look at her, and she pitied him. She wondered how many foster homes or group homes he had been through or kicked out of. Shuffled around for years, only to end up here. Taking a few steps forward, she put one of her fingers beneath his chin and softly urged his eyes up to her face. Her face was full of sadness, nearing on tears, but still she smiled. "Chin up, Nathaniel. The day's not over."

Dropping her hand, she passed him and walked into the hall. She needed to get back on track. Time was wasting. "No, you don't need to sweep, I took care of that. However, since there's only one of you, you can help me clean the girl's room. One of them wets the bed a bit, and I can't trust my normal group to take care of it without," she paused, trying to think of a proper word that wasn't offensive, "trouble. Do you think you can help?" When she looked back to him, the sadness had gone from her face, replaced with a smile, as always. This was no time to focus on that sort of thing, and she had to keep calm and respectable around the children.
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Re: Whistle while you work (Nate)

Post  Nathanial Schram on Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:11 pm

Nate wasn't really making up things to do, he just wasn't working as hard as he could be. He wasn't sure why he should work hard, after all, given enough time, he wouldn't be doing these chores anymore. No, he'd be back outside, working the dirt, away from the temptation of looking at people. He was almost looking forward to it. Especially since it would get him outside more often. Although he wasn't a big fan of snow and cold weather, he did like being outside, and with the extra chores, he'd been stuck indoors far to long. Plus, it would get him away from certain people that seemed like they were attached to his hip. That would be a good thing.

Nate shivered she forced his eyes up. The blood seeped down her forehead and onto her lips, and he could almost see it flying at him with her words. Sheer force of will kept him from moving until she released him and walked away. A long, slow exhale eased from the brunette boy, and he bent over, resting his hands on his knees to attempt to not give in to the need to draw. If he started drawing right now, the gig was up, and Miss Adele wouldn't think he was a poor, misunderstood child. It took him a moment to recover, and slowly, he stood up, just in time to ask if he should sweep.

In his own inner battle, he'd not noticed the sadness in her face. So when she described their next chore, he bit back a groan. She looked entirely to happy to ask him to assist with such a thing, the girl must be an emotional sadist. He wondered how she'd get on with Masterson. "Of course, Miss Adele. I'm your servant for a few hours." He forced a cheerful tone to his voice and then made himself smile. It wasn't that he minded doing the chores exactly, just minded that he had to clean up after everyone because of that stupid doctor and her stupid rules. But if he could get Miss Adele on his side, perhaps he could get the double chore thing negated or lessened to time served. That would be pretty awesome.
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