(2018-11-20) She Sells Seashells
She Sells Seashells
Summary: Aisha and Buddy build sandcastles and bond. Garrett makes a drive-by appearance.
Date: IC Date (2018-11-20)
Related: None
Scene Runner: NA

After classes, out of uniform as is her custom, Aisha heads down to the beach to collect shells. She loves it down here. The salt air is different than the swampy smell of Lake Ontario, bracing and invigorating. She stoops to pick up a shell, then stands up, just letting the sea breeze blow through her hair for a moment. She stands, eyes closed, her voluminous hair swaying just a bit. There's a lot of it, and it's dense. She sees a big quahog shell, and kneels on the sand, starting to dig a hole with the shell. She digs down until there's water, then scoops a handful of wet, muddy sand, and starts dripping it carefully on the sand next to the hole, building up layers slowly and intentionally.

The sand of the beach isn't quite the sand of the desert, but that didn't bother the single humped camel as it slowly walks down the shore. The cool breeze coming off of the water doesn't seem to be that much of a bother to it. The camel sees the girl standing alone on the beach and slowly starts to plod in her direction. His large paddded feet make slight impressions in the sand though not much noise.

His uniform still on, judging by the pants and bit of tie visible at the neck, Garrett comes out of the woods towards the beach, an unadorned black hoodie having been pulled over the uniform. Humming quietly to himself, he pauses when he sees Aisha… and a camel? A few moments of contemplation are given before strolling in that general direction. "Hey," he says by way of greeting, nodding to both Aisha and camel. That's…. probably Buddy, right?

Aisha carefully drips turrets on her castle. She's focused on what she's doing. Then she hears a voice and turns, hand full of frigid mud. "Oh, hey!" And… camel. "Lemme see your eyes, camel," she say with a grin. "You're either Buddy or I had some bad fish at lunch."

Buddy-camel slowly looks down at the castle and back up at Aisha. When she asks to look at his eyes, he lowers his head down towards her though in the darkness of the night it might be hard to tell. When she says that he is Buddy, he nods his big head and bates those long eyelashes. He turns his head to look back at Garrett and nods in greeting back. He starts moving his lips as though trying to talk; however, no sound comes out.

"How's it goin?" Garrett asks both of them, giving the castle a curious look before shifting his gaze to camel!Buddy. "Uhhh, I don't read lips. And even if I did, I don't think I read camel lips," he informs the camel, tone vaguely apologetic as he blinks at Buddy.

"The fact that you understood what I said proves you're Buddy," Aisha says, reaching up to stroke CamelBuddy's nose with her clean hand. She pets his nose a few times, then scritches under his massive camel chin. "It's going pretty good," she replies to Garrett. "Just making a drip castle. Alone. At night. Because that's totally a thing people do."

Buddy-camel turns to look at Garrett when he talks about reading camel lips. He lowers his head down some more in confusion; however, as Aisha starts to scratch his chin he turns his head back to him. His tail relaxes some as she pets. Finally, he lowers his head down all the way to the castle almost to where he touches it with his nose. He then lifts his large head back up and gently presses it against Aisha's side not sure what the castle thing is at all.

"I mean, you're doing it, and you're a people, so obviously it is," Garrett agrees, then pauses." You are a people, right?" He teases with a grin, watching Aisha pet Buddy. Totally normal. And then Buddy is looking back at him, Garrett giving the camel a blank stare before looking at the castle again.

Aisha wraps her arm under Buddy's neck, patting the side. "It's just a thing I'm making for fun," she explains to him softly. "My mom taught me how to make them when we used to go to the beach in the summers. We usually went to Wasaga Beach or just the beaches on Lake Ontario, not real ocean beaches. Except for when we went to visit dad's family in the Cayman Islands. That was awesome. I love the ocean." She looks up at Garrett. "Is there ocean where you're from?"

Buddy-camel looks back down at the castle and then back up at Aisha. His head shifts over towards Garrett and then back to Aisha. Clearly, the poor camel is confused about something but unable to speak more. He shakes his head a bit which causing the rippling wave to roll over his body leaving a human Buddy on his hands and knees in the beach sand. Looking up he says, "Easier to talk like this. That is fun?"

"No, Delaware and Jersey conspired to keep the coast from us," Garrett laments, exaggerating more than a little in his disappointment. "Hey, Buddy," he greets again when the boy changes back to his human form. "Camel today, huh?" he inquires, politely curious about the choice.

"I think it's fun. Not, like, exciting fun. More like relaxing fun. It's neat watching it all slowly come together." Aisha pulls some shells from her bag and starts using them to decorate the castle. "And you make this, knowing the ocean is going to destroy it anyway. It's temporary, but you get to have it for a little and that's special." She looks up at Garrett. "Sounds like a crappy conspiracy. At least you could drive to the ocean if you wanted."

Buddy slowly gets up from where he was kneeling in the sand. He places his hands behind his back and says, "Yeah, I learned to do the camel for Besa. I wanted to do something nice for him." He rocks back and forth on his feet looking back at the castle. "So you need shells? I can find shells. They are so easy to smell, especially the fresh ones."

"It is a crappy conspiracy, but that's what you get when Jersey is involved," Garrett says with a shrug. "True, it was really only a day trip away," Garrett agrees with Aisha, nodding. The camel explanation gets another nod. "Makes sense. Anyways, I'll leave you two to it. Take notes, Buddy; she might give you a quiz later," he warns, though his tone is far from serious. With a wave, he makes his way back towards the woods and, eventually, the school.
Garrett leaves, heading towards the Woody Area [WA].
Garrett has left.

"Sure! We can use the shells to decorate. And you can tell me how you're feeling about your letter," Aisha says, looking up at Buddy. Never once to mince words. She dips her hand into the cold mud hole and drips some delicate, lacy ornamentation on one of the spires. "Later, Garrett!" she calls out as he heads off.

Buddy turns to wave at Garrett as he leaves. "Bye!" Turning to look at Aisha, he says, "He left." Buddy leans over to watch as she works on the castle. "So, how do you do this? Can I help? What do you want me to do help? Want me to dig? Run around looking for shells? Fly through the air finding shells?" He is literally bouncing on his toes as he asks her.

Aisha can't help but smile up at the bouncing Buddy. His joy is infectious. "It depends on what's fun for you. There's no rules when it comes to building sand castles. It's just whatever's fun for you. Some people think it's fun to build complicated things, some build simple ones, some just like smashing them when they're done. I had a cousin who would build whole cities with me and we'd make up their culture and stuff." She sits back on her heels, looking up at him. "So what's fun for you?"

"Woah!" Buddy is clearly amazed by all the options she mentioned. "Smashing sounds fun! I'm not sure how good I'd be at building stuff. Hey, can I help you make stuff?" Buddy looks around and says, "Oh, you need more sand. Let me help." He runs a few steps towards the wet sand along the shore and jumps in the air. He ripple-changes into a dog in the air and lands there. He barks happily and starts using his paws to throw dirt backwards towards the castle.

"Ack!" Aisha dodges the flying sand. It goes everywhere, half-burying the castle. "Stop when you think it's enough," she tells him, leaning back on her hands and watching the German Shepherd as he digs with gleeful abandon. "We can shape it when you're done. Then maybe smash it."

When he is done digging and throwing two times as much dirt as was there before, Buddy-doggy comes bounding back towards her more jumping than running. His front paws are muddy at this point, but he doesn't seem to mind. He is panting and has a joyful look on his face. "Bark Bark!" he says happily. Very few things mure fun than digging in the dirt and not getting in trouble for it. He runs in a circle around the pile of dirt and looks to her for directions.

Aisha scoots closer to the big sand pile and starts shaping it with her hands. "Hmmm. What do you think this wants to be?" she muses aloud. She starts patting and shaping it into… an abstract, smooth smooshed pile of sand. "C'mere. Gimme your paw," she says, holding her hand out for Buddy's paw.

Buddy moves over and sits down beside the pile of dirt. When she asks him what he thinks this wants to be, Buddy says, "Bark…dirt." He has a thick canine accent when he barks his answer to her. Thankfully, he can talk a bit in this form. When she asks about his paw, he sits down and starts to hold out his paw, but then he sees that the paw is dirty. He pulls the paw out in the air and starts waving it around trying to shake some of the dirt off.

"It's okay, the paw can be dirty. We're just signing our masterpiece." Aisha gently takes his paw and presses it into the sand. Next to it, she takes her finger and signs 'Aisha'. She leans back to admire the… pile of dirt. "I think it's magnificent," she declares.

Buddy ripples again and turns back into a human boy with dirty hands this time. "It is?" HE shifts his head to one side and then to the other. "But it just looks like a big pile of dirt? I thought you were making a castle." He has a confused canine expression on his human face.

"Yes. I was making a castle, but it stopped being mine when you started helping. We made this… thing. And it is ah-mazing," Aisha informs him. "At least, I think so. You don't have to agree. We can not agree on things and still be friends." Her eyes narrow in thought. "We can totally smash it now, if you want."

Buddy reaches up and scratches his hair in an almost gorilla fashion as he thinks about smashing it. Clearly he thinks that smashing it would be fun even as he gets dirt all in his hair. "Nope. No smashy smash for this castle. My friend and I made it." He says that second sentence very proudly.

Aisha melts, smiling so hard her face hurts. "I agree. No smashy smash. Next time, we can make one to smashy smash." She shifts so she's sitting crosslegged on the sand. She doesn't seem to care about getting dirty. "So, do you want to talk about that letter?"

Buddy blinks a bit looking a bit like his brain-train just derailed with the sudden change in topic. "Letter? Oh, the one from them." He doesn't say parents. "Maybe. I don't know. I try not to think about it a lot. Thinking a lot about it is hard for me. Thinking about stuff from the before makes my brain feel weird."

"Not thinking about things doesn't make them go away," Aisha says, sticking her fingers in the sand and making random holes. "I'm sure it is weird. You changed a lot since before." She looks down at the signatures in the sand. "I'm not gonna force you to talk about it now if you don't want to, but you're going to probably have to think about it at some point."

Buddy drops his head down almost like a sad puppy might. "I think, well, before I was taken by the pound, I was only an animal for a short period of time. The first couple of times when I was little I was an animal for a couple days because I forgot to turn back. But after that, I was a doggy for only a few hours at most. Then, then I wasn't in a human form again for several years. Part of me … forgot? … I don't even really think I'm human any more, but an animal that has learned how to be human. No, that isn't right either. I'm just the me I am now who becomes other mes one of which is human." He chuckles a sad sounding laught. "That doesn't make sense."

"Sure it makes sense," Aisha says, lowering her head to his level and speaking softly. "You're figuring out who you are. That's okay. You're you, and you're great. You're really great. You're so great, I made you a thing." She reaches into her bag and pulls out a necklace made of carefully knotted hemp cord and seashells. "It's adjustable, so you can wear it as a person or as an animal, if you want. Maybe you're not all human or all animal, but you're all Buddy, and you're awesome."

Buddy looks at her with sparkles in his eyes. His mouth drapes open as he listens to her. She said that he is great and really great and so great. That's, great! As she starts to reach in to get whatever it was she made for him, he leans closer and closer getting more and more excited. When she pulls out the necklace, he jumps up from his seated positiont to his knees. "It's for me? Wow. I'm not use to owning stuff, yet but you made it for me? Wow!" His excitement pushing him past his limit, and he turns into a little yellow birdy which starts flying around and singing. "Tweet. Tweeet tweet TWWEEtt!" The bird dives down to the ground and becomes a tabby cat and continues the song with some meowing. Finally, he ends up as the very comfortable german shepherd and runs around her twice barking happily. He ends up putting his big doggy face in front of her face.

Aisha watches the Buddy Show with utter delight, letting out a laugh as her eyes follow his antics. When he finally approaches her, she adjusts the necklace and puts it around his neck, leaning in to press her forehead to his furry one. "So maybe you're different than you were when you were little and you lived at home, but you're great now. I like this Buddy."

Buddy pants as she presses her face against his. His tail is wagging a lot as she speaks about how she liks him, this Buddy. He licks her face and pants some more looking quite happy with things. He switches back to human form following another one of those ripple-waves. "Thank you. I'll have to be very careful with it. When I turn into something smaller, it might fall off."

Aisha laughs with delight at the lick, and leans back a bit to meet his heterochromic gaze with her dark one. "You're welcome. I'm sure you won't lose it. Oh! Don't let me forget to give you that picture. I printed it out for you. I'll give it to you tomorrow at breakfast."

Buddy nods his head and looks down at the necklace again. He reaches up to touch it gently as though afraid to break it or something. He then looks up to her with a big cheesy grin. "Okay. I should be heading back to the dorms to I don't break cur-few." He still says the word weird. "Do you want a ride?"

"A ride? Hell yeah!" Aisha bounces a little. "How does it work with stuff you're wearing, anyway? Does it just go away to some pocket dimension until you're ready to be a person again?"

Buddy looks confused at her and asks, "What is a Die-mension? oh, is that where ghosts come from?" He asks that second question in his excited manner. "Do you want a horsy or the camel. I can go fast in both. We could do Gorilla too though that is better for climbing and swinging around."

Aisha opens her mouth to try to answer the answer to the ghost question, then decides to let it rest. "Um… camel. Yes. Camel."
<FS3> Buddy rolls Transform: Failure.

Buddy moves to turn into the camel for her and says. "Oh, that's right. You are so right. Haha. I didn't even think of that. That is perfect. No worries even when I'm a little birdy or a bunny." He gets so distracted that he doesn't actually turn into anything.

"Someday, I'm gonna figure out how that works. I'm so curious." Aisha stands up, brushing sand from her jeans. "But I'm glad it means that you won't lose it."
<FS3> Buddy rolls Transform: Success.

Buddy says, "Oh, but that means that people won't see it when I'm an animal either. I wonder, hmmm, I wonder if I can … eh, too much thinking. Let's run." He jumps forward and turns into a camel. He times the jump just right so that as he turns, he has just enough height to be the camel. Gettign down on his knees, he tries to make it easier for her to get on.

"It's always so cool watching you do that. You do it like breathing. It's amazing." Aisha admires BuddyCamel before climbing on. She leans forward and wraps her arms around his neck. There's no mane to hold on to! "Okay. Go for it!"

Buddy stands up in that odd ways camels do where their front ends get up first and then their back ends. He stands there for a moment letting her get her balance before he starts walking along the beach away from the water. He walks for almost a full minute before he picks up the pace to a gentle jog.

Just a moonlit camel ride on the beach on an island off the coast of New England. This apparently is a thing that happens in Aisha's life now. She manages to get her balance and the rhythm of camel and sits up a bit. "Okay, I think I've got it. You want to run?"

Buddy-camel nods his head and gives her one last moment to adjust before he breaks off into a gallop. As a camel, he can move just as fast as a horse when he is at full gallop. The cool night breeze from the water chases them up through the forest path towards the dorms.

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