(2018-02-11) Squirrel Pie
Squirrel Pie
Summary: … it was definitely an interesting supper!
Date: 2018-02-11
Related: NA
NPCs: Annalee
Scene Runner: NA
Players:
besa..grace..janessa..ariel..

Great Hall/Dining Room, Winbarry Estate
Sun Feb 11, 2018


The round tables from the original school have been placed in the dining room, the familiar chairs surround them. A few tall hutches line the far wall, and hold the necessary plates, glasses and flatware necessary for meals. On the sidewall a credenza is set and holds various packaged snacks for between meals, there is also a wooden bowl with apples, oranges and other such fruits. The oak paneled walls and wood floor has been polished to a shine so the room looks quite pleasing. A large flat screen TV hangs on the other wall and is usually set to some music station, though the remote is handy should someone want to change the channel.

===

Sunday evening… that last vestige of 'free time' in which students can either languish before another week of classes, study or… catch up on school work. Or! Work toward adjusting to the place if they happen to be new and terrified! How about that latter option, kids? Because that's what Grace Halleson is doing, nosing around the various rooms, nooks, crannies and hallways of Winbarry.. trying her damndest to feel everything out. Nervous she may be in spots, she's.. slowly adjusting. If there's anything that settles her, keeps her calm, it's being in and around the kitchens and dining areas.

The evening sit-down meal for the student body and staff alike appears to have concluded and has been over with for awhile now. Those remaining have been tasked with clean-up, and the wolf girl is amidst the group chosen to see to this chore. She's since collected some of the bits and pieces left behind on some of the round tables, her hand swatting in efficient arcs to clean up debris and mess. She's clad in black denims and a pretty ruffled ivory blouse, the sleeves rolled up, hair pulled back into a tidy plait.

This is the most at-peace that the girl has looked in awhile.

Besa offer to help too. The small Guardian is gathering cups into a bin. He seems rather energetic this Sunday evening.

The cook, Annalee, is motioning as she walks into the hall, 'Let's get this cleaned up, lovelies. Then you can all go watch a movie or do whatever it is you all do an Sunday evenings." She fiddles with her thick glasses before making her way over to start cleaning one of the tables as well.

The shorter girl wiping her second table looks pensive and quiet as she pushes the chairs in beneath the table itself, deeming it complete. Her trajectory shall ultimately take her in Besa's direction and it is a comfort to see him, given how Grace recognizes him to a degree. He seems pretty 'busy' this evening, moving quickly and deftly. "Hi, Besa," Grace offers in her quiet, pleasant way. IT just seems as if she is always trying to keep a degree of control over her behaviors, never speaking too loudly or emphatically. Her dark reddish gaze is kind, though. "Do you need a hand with anything?"

She's about to move toward one less-soiled, til' the cook speaks up and Grace perks, warming to the older woman's praise and direction. She watches Annalee's approach toward the very table that she (Grace) pinpointed. "The supper was fantastic tonight, Miss Annalee." Grace offers amicably as she makes to help the cook with the tidying.

Besa looks up, a warm smile for Grace, "Hello!" There's a tension missing form the boy, "How was your dinner?" He looks over at the cook and chuckles softly, no movies for him most likely. He looks back to Grace, "If you would like to hand me the glasses in that side of the table….Do you have any plans this evening?" He'll watch her go to the cook though, head tilted slightly.

Annalee laughs, "Oh dear, thank you, that's so very kind of you. I'm glad you enjoyed it." She hummus softly, happy in her environment.

The sound of someone whistling happily (albeit tunelessly) heralds an arrival as the front door of the estate slams open, then closed. (Those who have exceptional scenting abilities would also recognize the smell of dirt and of blood.) A few heavy foot treads later and a denim-clad girl walks in. She looks normal … provided you ignore the streaks of blood rubbed under her eyes. And the very functional horn bow casually slung (string loose) over one shoulder by a hook. And the … interestingly decorated quiver hanging over the other stuffed to the bring with arrows. And the leather sack held in one hand. The sack that has tied alongside it the body of some small animal, already skinned.
The skin itself is hung from a belt.
"Uh, hi?" she says, in a tentative voice as she notices several people in the place. "I was just coming to cook my dinner."

<FS3> Grace rolls Enhanced Senses: Good Success.

Worry not Besa, the girl hadn't forgotten you. She plucks up a few of the glasses, and will be bringing them to the Egyptian boy's bin shortly. She gathers up a couple of mugs and a pair of glass tumblers, giving Annalee a shy smile as she pads back toward Besa to set the drinkware into the bin gently. To the boy's question, she finally replies. "Nothing too exciting, n-not at all… get cleaned up, get my school things in order, call my uncle.." Is offered to Besa with a little half-smile. "He's three hours behind our timezone so he's just finishing work.. I want to catch him." Said gently and there, in her features, a little shade of sadness. To look at her is to see her casting Miss Annalee a series of shy glances. "E-excuse me for another second, Besa.. I need to ask her a question."

Excusing herself politely, the girl turns on a heel, "Miss Annalee..?" Started gently, anxiously… she clears her throat and cants her chin an——sniff. Sniff sniff. A metallic, gamey smell. Grace seems to freeze on-the-spot, close to the table where she first engaged the cook. Her eyes round in her small face as her blush deepens, and she rests her palms tensely upon the back of a chair. The smell of blood does something to Grace; does not trigger her but she… notices. She stares at Annalee for a few seconds and slowly turns to watch the new arrival with her fare.

Besa nods to Graces plans but then turns to watch as the new girl comes in with a bow. That's exciting! Soemone who hunts! maybe he can go with!

Miss Annalee stops her dish collecting to look at Grace first and then she turns to the newly arrived Janessa. "Oh…well, look at you." Her hands land on her wide hips, "Dinners already over, and your not going to just go booking whatever that is in my kitchen. There's rules here." She's not cruel though, "We have left overs and if you want to have whatever that is tomorrow, we can prepare it for then."

"I … don't understand?" Janessa stares at Annalee lie she's grown a third eyeball. "I was told that was the kitchen where we cook." She holds aloft her bag. "I scrounged some vegetable and nailed a squirrel who was out looking for his stash. He's a bit scrawny but still, he'll do fine. I just need a fire and a pot and I'll have my food ready. I'll clean up when I'm done."
Beat.
"What's left overs?"

The dark-haired girl looks between Annalee and Janessa, her head tilting in an almost canid display of curiousity. She looks thirdly toward the intrigued Besa before finally settling her gaze back upon the young hunter. Grace knows that the girl is doing as she knows what's best, at least to her. "Food that hadn't been finished, that's being saved for later. Miss Annalee meant the supper that hadn't been finished off by the others." Is offered in her quiet, anxious way. That scent of blood, even from the ill-fated little scavenger squirrel's body, is so very potent. It dominates even the residual smells of the supper long-eaten.

She's not the final authority on what happens next, alas… her eyes flit back toward Annalee to gauge her further response. Her lips press together as her own question fairly burns her mouth with it's need to be posed. Annalee's patient authority is reassuring.. perhaps the cook will be easy to ask this favor of, afterall.

"Oh, I don't want to dip into stores. That's why I went out scavenging. There's enough here that we don't have to take out food that we may need later in worse weather or slumps in hunting." Janessa grins as she completely misses the point. "Besides, preserves don't taste as good as fresh. The blood was delicious! I got some shepard's purse I found in a patch under some snow. Some really great mushrooms; they're not poisonous at all if you boil them first and pour off that water before cooking them. I found chick weed and even some old garlic shoots some idiot overlooked in the fall. They'll be a bit tough, but for that they'll taste really strong!"
She waves the bag with her cornucopia. "I got enough to share?" she adds, in an apparent attempt to entice Annalee into letting her cook.

Besa wisely stays quiet and keeps collecting dirty glasses as he listens.

"Oh sweet child. It's my kitchen. You wanna start cooking in there, ya gotta run that by me. I don't know who told you otherwise, I'm sorry. You wanna make a stew outta that squirrel?" She smiles at her though, it's reminiscent of a grandma. She'll motion her over though , possibly to see what Janessa has in the bag. Left overs? "Well, that's when I make enough food for this entire Estate and there's more than people eat." She raises an eyebrow, "It is my job and duty to cook for all the students here, including you."

The other girl listens and evidently, Janessa's knowledge and enthusiasm is catching. Grace continues to hold onto the back of a chair, head tilted, nostrils twitching and flaring but there… tentatively.. an earnest half-smile. "T-that does sound good…" She trails off, watching the exchange and listening. She works to push a few of the chairs back into the table, making sure everything is tidy. 'Wanna start cooking?' … 'Run is by me.' … that's as good an incentive as any. Grace waits patiently and politely before interjecting at a proper moment, "M-Miss Annalee… I would like to help in your kitchen. I can cook… but… I do so like to bake. Love it actually." Said softly, though talk of baking strengthens her tone some. Is that confidence sparkling in her dark eyes, even?!

Janessa seems taken aback, stricken, even, given that she actually takes a half-step back as her eyes widen. "Oh my … I didn't know. I was just told that was the kitchen so I went in to take a look and figured it was easy enough to cook. I mean fancier than Stanleys stove but it's all there, right?"
The next words might send chills down people's spines.
"Took me a while to figure out how to start the fire. Room smelled really bad for a bit. I don't know how you made wood that looks like steel and that doesn't burn down to ash."
She looks at her bag. Looks at Annalee. "I was just gonna spit-roast the squirrel and boil the vegetables, but … uh … if that's your property I wouldn't want to presume. I'm really sorry."
Her eyes stray briefly to the door like she's eyeing an escape. "Could I just … uh … borrow a pot, then? I can make a fire outside. I'll clean the pot really good?"
Grace gets a glance as she pipes up. "Bake? Like as in pies? I could make a kind of meat and veggie pie out of this little guy, though the meats a bit spare. It would be more like a veggie and meat pie."
She's really having difficulties coming to grips with the main point…

The cook chuckles at both girls, "Both of you, calm down now. I'd be happy to have you both help me cook." Help. She risks, "Janessa," Yes, Annalee knows who she is, "Don't start fires in the house. Bring that bag back and we'll see what you have to work with. But know It's my job to feed you three meals a day." She points to Besa, who's stopped gathering glasses and is just watching everyone wider eyes, "Finish up there. Maybe we'll make you some mamool in a few days." How does she just know what everyone's favorites are? Some people's powers are just like that.

Grace recognizes the look of another seeking an escape all too easily. Lord knows she wears that expression enough and she straight-up sympathizes with Janessa, whose grasp of 'the times' seems to be both muddled and way outside her comfort zone. Her puppy-dog eyes widen in her face at the huntress's words, right down to the request to borrow a pot. It truly cannot be easy, and Grace turns to watch Annalee and gauge her response.

"Pies," The soft-spoken girl offers with a reassuring little smile. "I wouldn't mind having a hand i-in a squirrel pie, if it helps you… I know a wonderful short pastry recipe that works very well with meat pies." Said confidently at first before Grace yanks her own mental chain, not wanting to be presumptuous. It's entirely up to the head honcho of the kitchen kingdom: Annalee. Then, at the woman's words… Grace's first grin. It fills her face, vibrantly, her chest puffing up. "I would like that, very.. very much. Truly." A near-whisper, mostly an affirmation to herself. She can't wait to call her uncle… though she pauses, looking to the wide-eyed Besa. "What is mamool..?"

"It's an animal that bears live young, has hair, and feeds its offspring with its own milk," Janessa explains with a wide grin as she relaxes and steps deeper into the room. Apparently the offer to help cook is enough for her to ease off on the deer-in-the-spotlight effect. "Mom made me learn every type of animal imaginable. You'd be amazed at how different it can be to hunt them. Big mamools especially. They're SCARY!
Then.
"Sorry I didn't save any blood. Could have cooked up an amazing filling for pie with that."

Besa own grin widens, "Oh, yes yes, please." Grace gets an excited look, "Mamool is an Egytian cookie. It is my favorite!" He blinks, looking at Janessa in confusion, "…no. It is a dessert." He then smiles, "You should try some. I am sure you will like it as much as I do!"

Miss Annalee smiles, listening to the three students, "Don't you worry about not saving the blood. We'll make it work. I'll show you how to stretch it into a pie, if that's what the three of you want." Second supper, anyone?

The girl with the reddish gaze looks as if her last mortal wish has been granted. THe happiness, the comfort at the prospect of doing what she is so very comfortable doing feels as if it's etching itself into every nerve. The anxiety, the ever-present rumbling of that 'other' part of her… it may as well be a galaxy away. Even the smell of the blood (poor Nutty) seems to 'fade' as her mind whirls with possibilities. Even if she doesn't get any credit toward her curriculum for helping out.. Grace hardly cares.

Besa's excitement at the prospect of his favorite cookie only buoys the girl's happiness. She's not maddeningly outright with it, though… all that happiness culminates in dimples, of all things, at the corners of her lips.. a light in her gaze. "Well maybe I can learn, too, how to make them… then you'll n-never go without." Said softly, before she looks up and between both Annalee and Janessa. "I'll bring in more of the dishes.." She says hastily.. hell, she wants to get started NOW! Her uncle will understand.. he is in PST, afterall, and his day is still young~

"It'd be my first, but sure. It'll be fun to see how all y'all big city types cook. I might be able to learn a thing or three. And that's what I'm here for, right? Learning? Not being locked away to avoid bumming out Mom?"
The smile is there, and genuine, though there's some hurt lurking behind the eyes.
Then. "Oh, my manners. Sorry, not used to having people around who don't know me. Janessa Archer, daughter of Stanley Archer and Dang Ji." She pause, then adds unnecessarily, "My Dad and Mom." She indicates her unstrung bow. "I hunt."

Besa has a scent of dirt that clings to him, it may become apparent when he steps closer to the group to pick up the last of the glasses. He laughs warmly, "I can eat a lot of Mamool, Grace!" But he also seems very ok if she wants to make him some! He looks again to Janessa dn her bow, "I am Besa Ini-herit. I used to hunt, I have not in some time though."

The cook chuckles, motioning for the girls to follow her, if that's what they want. "I will gladly teach you, but know you'll need to listen and obey in the kitchen. I don't take any lip or gruff. It's my domain." and then she too adds, "You can call me Miss Annalee."

"Miss Annalee. Right." Janessa takes instructions well when she's, well, told about them. "I'll listen and obey." She says it with such certainty it's almost adorable.
"Besa Ini-Herit," she then addresses to Besa. "I can always use a partner to spot and help in a hunt; you're welcome to come with me any time."

Besa looks way more pleased with this than he probably should. "What is there ti hunt around here? I know there is not big game. I will have to get myself a bow." He bites his lower lip in thought, ignoring the tub filled with glasses. "I do not know if the school has any. Do you have a license. A hunt license is required here. It is silly, but I have been told it is needed." He's rambling a little, but jus grinning widely.

Annalee looks between the two talking and then tells Janessa, "Stay here and help Besa clean up the rest. Grace, come help me in the kitchen." And with that the cook will head off with her.

"License?" Janessa asks as she looks around the room for something that needs doing … and not recognizing anything. "Uh… You'd better tell me what to do. This is just a bit outside my experience." She looks at the basin he's carrying. "I'll just go collect the things that look like that and give them to you, OK?" And she goes off to do just that. "If you can't get a bow here, I'll make you one. I came with the fixings to make about four in case I broke this one. They won't be as nice as this, though; not unless you want to wait months for me to get it all done."

Besa's accent is think, he's clearly not American, "We are just to gather all the dirty dishes to bring into the kitchen to be washed." He smiles and nods, "Yes. It is a piece of paper that says you have the right to hunt. I think it is like getting permission to hunt on someone else's land." He actually bounces on his feet, "You make bows? Oh! Yes, please. I have not had my own bow in…" Centuries, "many years. I can help, if you tell me what you would need."

Janessa laughs a merry laugh at that, pleased at his interest. "I have all I need. Pieces of horn the right size and consistency. Some lovely pieces of cured ash. I can make my own glue from hides I hunt. Same with the binding sinews. I can have you a serviceable bow in a couple of weeks, depending on how long it takes me to get the fresh ingredients."
"Permission? To hunt? That's ridiculous. Permission to get food. Silly to extremes."
She starts collecting anything that looks like a dirty dish. Bowls. Plates. Cups. Glasses. She overlooks cutlery. But for that she gets the little flower pots and vases that are on some tables.

Oh, Besa looks at her like she's a fresh breath. She's talking, and not only does he understand her words, but it makes sense. "I will help you. I used to be decent with a bow. I took down quite a few beasts." he's so little, is that even possible? He gives a small shrug, even though he agrees, "The world here is very…weird." He points to the flowers, "Those may stay, unless the flowers are wilted. The flatware needs to be washed as well." He's almost bouncing, the boy is in such good mood.

"I've taken down a few beasts myself," Janessa says with a sly grin. "Scariest one ever, though, was a rhino. Mom told me that nothing quite matched the thrill of standing in front of a rhino charging at you and having only a bow to take it down. She was right. That thing fed us for months! And the hide and horn made Stanley really happy; found lots of buyers for that." She holds up her left hand with a wide, thick, white ring on her thumb. "That's my memento of that kill. It's my favourite thing."

Ah, a kindred spirit. Besa's perfect hair flops as he nods, "Mine was a hippo." Feeding your family is good, and thankfully Besa doesn't really know about the black-market for animal parts or he might be a little upset. He steps closer to inspect the ring, "it is beautiful. I do not have any mementos from the hippo." He may have, but that was many lives ago. "I believe there are deer somewhere close. Perhaps we may ask permission from the teachers or Unit 23 to hunt some to feed everyone?"

"Hippos are SCARY! When I was younger we went on a trip to hunt a hippo and … well … Mom was really upset. Our helpers screwed up; didn't listen to instructions. We lost seven of them to a rampaging sow before Mom could finally put her down. I never saw Mom so angry in my life. Ever." Left unspoken, never saw her shed so many tears either. "Mom left the carcass for the villagers after that; she only took the tusks. She carved them into something that she never showed me. Probably some kind of charm. She made those."
She pauses in clearing the table and hefts the bow. Looks around quickly. Then strings it, testing its pull.
"Put down the tub. Try a shot," she says, holding across the bow and one arrow. "If you break something, though, I'm not taking the blame."

Besa nods, "Yes, they are very dangerous. And I am sure whatever charms your mother carved were very powerful. An animal that has fought that hard has a magic of their own." He blinks, head tilted, "A shot at what?" If he hits something, it will break. If he doesn't hit something, there will be a hole in the wall. "We should wait and go outside. We are almost done here." Darn your Guardian-ness!

<FS3> Janessa rolls Reaction+physical: Good Success.

Janessa's eyes twinkle in purest joy of mischief. "Watch," she says with a wink. "And learn." Her eyes scour the room before settling on an angular bracket holding up a joist near the ceiling. Her smile broadens. She pulls out a second arrow and takes a stance, drawing back the bow, using one of her thumb rings, one arrow positioned, the other held loosely in the drawing hand. She looses and as the arrow leaps forward her arm moves in a blur to load and loose the second arrow.
The second arrow shatters the first arrow in flight before catching itself in the angular bracket, brought to a halt by friction, leaving no hole. The pieces of the first arrow rain down on the floor.
"I'll clean those up."

Ariel walks in as a tall, good looking boy with curly dark hair, but drops down to a much shorter, pretty, thin girl with dark hair in a complicated up do within a few steps. And then a bunch of broken arrows rain down on her. "Oh come on." She looks around the room and sends a wave Besa's way and is about to send one Janessa-ward as well until she sees the bow and of course that's what caused the mess. Her hair carefully unfolds itself like Medusa's snakes might, picking out bits of wood and tossing them to the ground while her clothes, something that looks like a NASCAR racing outfit, a leather jacket and a jumpsuit, both of which are covered with stickers that say Hello, my name is Ariel, shake themselves out to get rid of any remaining arrow debris.

Besa's large dark eyes widen even more as she shoots off the arrows. "That is very impressive." He then chuckles, "O can not do that. Only shooting straight, if I am lucky." He winces as poor ariel is rained on, "Hello…are you okay?" He goes over the shifter's body with his gaze, looking for any cuts or splinters from the arrows. His eyes then widen as Ariel does…that. oh my!

"I'm pretty good with arrows," Janessa says, pride now adding to her expression. Then she spots Ariel getting hit by the remnants. "Oh, Ariel, I'm sorry. I was doing an archery demonstration and … well …" She tries not to giggle. Really, she does. Unfortunately she fails. Badly. I mean nobody was actually hurt, so this is funny, right?
"Here, let me help you with that," she says, starting to go forward to do just that before spotting Ariel's self-cleaning.
"… That is an INCREDIBLY cool trick!" she says.
For some unusual reason she has streaks of blood wiped under her eyes. It's a bit disconcerting.

OOC: I had to hit the hay, and missed poses. Please add as ya'll see fit! - Grace

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