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1 Loraine's Daily on Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:40 pm

Loraine


Apprentice Smith
Loraine's and Aren's parents roused them at six in the morning. They raced down the hallway to the bathing room, followed by their pets, but Aren beat her to it today. Loraine pouted at him as he closed the door, grinning at her triumphantly. Signy chirped at her grumpily as she went back into her room to make her bed while she waited for her brother to finish in the bathroom. She made her bed and laid out clothes for after her quick morning wash.

When Aren came back, Signy glided down the hall ahead of Loraine. One perk of living in a family of smiths was they always had hot water for everyone to wash, even Signy and Hagbard. Signy landed on the side of the tub and Sent an image of it filled with steaming hot water to her bonded. Loraine laughed. "Alright, alright, gimme a minute!" She filled the tum and gave the green a quick scrub and oiling before climbing in and scrubbing herself down. She combed her hair out and braided it back and they went back to their room to get dressed.

The twins went down to breakfast: wherry sausage and fresh eggs fried in the grease, fresh bread with butter and honey, a small bowl of oatmeal, and a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. Then they and their parents went out to the smithy. They'd been handling the hammers and practicing hammer strikes on wood. Today, they were going to get a chance to practice on real hot metal.

Their dad supervised Aren stoking the fire and getting it to the right temperature. Then their mom started heating a piece of pot-metal and, when it was hot enough, swung it around onto the anvil. Loraine was first, and her dad stood behind and watched, offering corrections and advice as she swung. Then it was Aren's turn. They kept at it until lunchtime, taking turns so neither of them got too tired. They took a short break after each hour of labor. As the morning progressed, they got better and the basic hammering; their pets basked in the heat of the forge, dozing in the rafters.

After washing up for lunch, they had salad and water with another slice of the bread with honey and butter. The twins had the afternoon to themselves so their parents could get some real work done. Their parents teased them about how their personalities must have been switched at birth. Aren liked to stay inside and putter around the house, watering the kitchen herb garden, putting the cleaned breakfast dishes away and washing their lunch dishes, sweeping, dusting, and so on.

Loraine, on the other hand, was outside haring around the Hold, in search of rocks. Any rock that was the size of her dad's thumb or smaller, she would pick up and stuff in a crude satchel she'd made for herself for just this purpose. After she collected them, she'd go back to the house and scrub each one with water and an old worn-down forge brush her mom had given her, and then she'd sort them by color. Her dad had made a special bin for her to keep her rocks in and had used smithing techniques to colorize the metal, so she had a red drawer for her red rocks, a green drawer for her green rocks, and so on.

Today, she found two purple rocks, a green rock, a white rock, and Signy found her a piece of quartz crystal. The quartz was the only one she knew the name of because it was the only clear type of rock she had found. She had a plain silver drawer for them, and she kept every one that she found. The others she'd sometimes throw away after a while, especially if they only kept their color when they were wet. She organized her crystals by size, with the big ones in the back and the little ones up front. This one was about the size of her pinkie finger, so it went in the third row in her drawer.

By the time she'd found and finished cleaning and organizing her new collectibles, it was dinner time. Aren had helped their mother put on a pot of herdbeast roast and had dug, washed, and roasted potatoes to go with it while Loraine had been out rock-hunting. They finished off the loaf of bread as well. Their parents went back out to the forge while Aren and Loraine took their nightly baths and got ready for bed. The kids didn't know how, but their parents always knew when they were finished bathing and reading the books the Hall sent for them to study and were ready to go to bed, and came inside without fail to tuck them into bed.

That night, Loraine dreamed about hammering a piece of quartz crystal, but she couldn't get the crystal hot enough and it wouldn't change shape.
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