Ink Talks To Harmony

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It is a sunny day. Ink is sitting on an upturned basket inside a shop at the market with three vegetable sandwiches on her lap. She had an argument with that nasty woman in the morning again, so she is at the market to talk to a friend regarding it, who works there – her name is Harmony. Ink and Harmony became friends because of their grandfathers; Harmony’s grandfather sells the harvest from Ink’s family farm at his shop – it is where Harmony works. Harmony is sitting on the floor next to Ink. She has just listened to Ink’s story on the nasty woman and she is unable to control her rage.

Harmony: So, why does your mother not say anything to this woman every time she behaves rude with you?
Ink: The woman is her relative and my mother told me that she is just like that – very rude and just plain horrible, and there is not a thing I can do regarding that.
Harmony: But the woman is wrong and…
Ink: My mother knows that. But you know my mother is powerless to stop the woman from behaving rude with me. You know, my mother is really soft-spoken and the woman is just always rude. Also, the nasty woman is like four times my mother’s size and she has eight children who are just as big and foul as her. And then there are others in my mother’s family who is just like that foul woman. How can one woman and one little girl do something against so many foul people?
Harmony: What about your grandfather?
Ink: My grandfather, for a start, is so old, you know. So, if I had asked him to do something regarding the woman and the people you know he cannot because it is still going to be only three people against a lot of nasty people. All of the foul woman’s kids are also married to people who are just as nasty and from nasty families too. How can only three people put a stop to this much nastiness – we are quite clearly outnumbered.
Harmony: I understand.
Ink: Is it alright if I just sit here quietly and eat my sandwiches? I am not in a very good mood today and really don’t feel like going back home.
Harmony: Sure! I am just going to get back to work now. I need to shelve a lot of vegetables today.
Ink: Alright!

Five minutes pass…

Ink (thinks to herself): I think I will save one vegetable sandwich for Dimitri. If I drop by his house and give him a sandwich, I think he will really like it. But first I must let Harmony know I am leaving for Dimitri’s home now.

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The Breakfast Talk

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It is early morning and Cow has just had his breakfast: cereal with some portions of sliced apples and fresh milk. He has grown really tired of contemplating just when robbers will come to rob his palace. He has made Noir work very hard for this over the last few days: she has been spending sleepless nights going through one plan after another with the kingdom’s swordsmen so that they can pounce on the robbers the moment that they come to the palace to get their hands on the king’s riches.

Turmeric: Okay, so what I am going to do is…I will make sure that I keep my eyes wide open and myself without some sleep for just a few more days before I quit waiting and waiting and more waiting for some exciting action to happen but nothing.
Cow (roars): Wait a little longer!
Turmeric: But I can’t! I would like to do something else!
Prince Eric (interrupts): Cow, can we have something else for breakfast tomorrow? I would like to change the menu to something salty, especially for Noir. We have not spoken a lot since you received that message from Butros. But I think she will like the change.
Cow: What salty food did you want to include for the breakfast plan?
Prince Eric: I was thinking sandwiches with tomatoes, carrots and onions.
Noir: Yuck! How much more vegetables will you make me eat?
Turmeric (exclaims): Noir! You missed breakfast again! I refrigerated yours…I will bring it to the table for you.
Noir: Thanks! I will…
Prince Eric: Why don’t you just come and sit next to me at the table. I think it’s good to have a change for what we eat, Noir.
Noir: Well, I don’t.
Cow: Me neither. Prince Eric, is your surname Cabbage? Because it might as well be since you keep asserting that eating vegetables three times a day now will be better than eating something sweet for one of our meals.

The Weekend of Dimitri’s Personal Collections

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Ink and Dimitri are hanging out at the latter’s house. Dimitri is showing her his collection of leaves: he likes to go on walks alone in the evening and when he is doing so, he likes to collect the leaves that fall to the ground; he has amassed many leaves that way and some are even brown in color.

Dimitri: So, do you like it?
Ink: Yeah! I thought it would be so boring but I actually somehow had fun.
Dimitri: Really? I am happy that you did.
Ink: Yeah! Me too!
Dimitri: Would you like to eat something?
Ink: No! Why?
Dimitri: I thought maybe you would like to.
Ink: It’s not even lunchtime. Why do I look really weak or something?
Dimitri: No! Not really! But I am hungry…let me get you something. You wait here! Don’t go anywhere!
Ink: Sure!

Dimitri leaves Ink his room and she instantly gets busy looking through his shoe collection. As he walks down rickety stairs, he feels really elated that Ink has come for a visit this weekend. Dimitri was quite worried about his friend the last time the two spoke and is really glad that she is doing the usual things she likes to do, even when she is experiencing a rough phase in her life.

He heads to the kitchen to make some cheese sandwiches for the both of them; his mother recently brought in some cheese from Switzerland for the two of them, when her sister was there in the country on a holiday. Meanwhile, Ink is busy guessing where Dimitri buys all his shoes from because they all look almost the same.

Ink (thinks to herself): Why? It’s as if I am seeing the same pair of shoes meant for walking six times already…and there are some more I can sight underneath the bed…let me try looking at…
Dimitri: Ink! I made some cheese sandwiches for you.
Ink (hits her head on Dimitri’s bed): Oof! I am under your bed! Wait a second…
Dimitri: Why? Did you hurt yourself?
Ink (tries to crawl out from under the bed): A little bit! I was checking out your many shoes.
Dimitiri: Wait there! I will show you more I have locked inside my brown trunk under the bed!

Three On Top Of A Valley

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It is is a sunshine-filled day: Ink, Andrew and Dimitri and are sitting atop a green valley. Ink has only finished sharing this piece of news with her two friends that she is in trouble because of her refusal to share a pot of rice with a nasty woman. Dimitri has brought more vegetable rolls for Ink because she really enjoyed them the last time that his mother had made some for him. Whilst Ink munches on the vegetable rolls, a sudden breeze wafts a thistle through the sky.

Dimitri: I don’t think a lot can be done. I was in trouble recently too for refusing to speak to this nasty woman and her many children, who had all come to my house for a visit. The scolding that I got later for it is an event I would really like to never remember.
Andrew: I have had a lot of those very horrible experiences myself too. I honestly just hate these kind of visits that our families have to entertain. It sounds to me that the woman you are on about Ink is just one of those nasty people who absolutely just must have a public meltdown because you are so posh. I say, so be it.
Ink: I think that even if you were a fool, you must still work on being smart regarding it. You know, people like that will always try to find a way to put you into trouble even when you did nothing wrong at all.
Andrew: But that makes no sense. Why must a person suffer when somebody else is the one who is doing something wrong and that also to them?
Dimitri: Who cares? I just don’t care. I only know that an innocent person sometimes has to suffer in life because of the people they hate.
Ink: Oh! It is more than just about suffering, you know. Because the nasty woman comes around a lot, it is also about being refused to eat anything tasty, except for the vegetable rolls that you gave me just now, plus the raspberry cake that my mother bakes when the family is actually alone for once and she is in the mood for something sweet.

Ink Gets Into Trouble

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On a dark and breezy night, Ink is sat at her desk and trying to listen in on the conversations happening outside of her room: she is also simultaneously, with the help of candlelight, writing an entry in her diary about all the miserable experiences she is having.

Dear Diary,

I do not really know how to begin. I feel really upset – I seem to be repenting for something that I never did wrong and that is just the most unfair of circumstances ever.

It all started with a visit from a woman, who I have never liked. She is my aunt – this middle-aged woman who is as tall as Dimitri but really fat and not somebody that I have ever known properly. I recently got into a lot of trouble for rudely refusing the woman a pot of rice – for that, she spread word through my extended family that I am an unkind little lady, who had refused to give some rice to a poor woman. Although, it was nothing more than nasty gossip, which is usually the kind that I am often embroiled in, the episode has had a lasting impression on my mind. Also, since then, I have to spend most of my time away from the sitting room, whenever the lady is at my house for a visit and inside of my room because of what I did wrong – mother thought it was best because my aunt told my mother that she will never forgive me.

The woman is at my house this evening. I feel really angry and lonely regarding that. I did nothing wrong by refusing the woman a pot of rice – she has a nasty character and I have grown up with the knowledge that she has always found some reason or the other to be jealous of me. If it isn’t my looks, then it is my character, which is obviously good, but the woman will always find some reason to lie and act the opposite is true. No wonder the woman never got married, even though that was what she had hoped to do in life, really, unlike me – I have always wanted to be somebody in life. Anybody, who isn’t only interested in getting married. I have seen too much of that – how is this horrible woman even related to my mother? I feel ashamed to even talk to any of my friends about a woman like that only because we are related. It is besides the point that the woman is poor – what about the fact that she is a nasty woman and what about my feelings?

I hope I get to have dinner tonight, without feeling even more hurt and also without having to listen from my mother, anything else that that nasty women has been getting busy spreading around about me.

I smell fish soup and bread, and it smells good – I hope that’s for dinner tonight.

Love

Ink Williams

The Kingdom That Defends

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In the dead of the night, two robbers, James and Jacob, are standing on a sand dune. Wearing cream-coloured cloaks and sporting pointy beards they seem to be waiting for somebody, or something to happen.

Jacob: The night is still young. We should carry on with our plans.
James: Most certainly! Have you brought some food along? The journey will be long.
Jacob: I brought water and tiny bags of pine nuts; the items are saddled to both of our donkeys.
James: Good. That will be sufficient. The sooner we get to Egypt, the better. My whole body is aching really terribly; I would like to get the job done as fast as possible.
Jacob: Oh! Why is your body in so much pain?
James: I haven’t robbed that kingdom yet – every single kingdom…within my sight of course…fell to my command. But that one is still standing. How is something like that possible?
Jacob: Oh! That riles me up like anything!
James: I get that feeling too sometimes! You know, I heard tales the king keeps losing money but it’s been weeks and he still hasn’t lost all of his money.
Jacob: Clearly, there is something about over there we haven’t yet noticed.
James: Yes, that’s why we are here, and that’s why I feel that we should just go ahead with our plans!

Meanwhile, at Cow’s palace, Eric is busy arranging a vase of fresh flowers: he has made his own assortment of flowers bought from the market; the vase is for Noir to keep on her busy desk – it’s a small present from Eric, who’s growing rather fond of the young girl. Noir isn’t aware of this, however, because she’s with Cow in his dining room, discussing a secret message Abrahim Butros has sent him.

Cow: So, the rest of the message goes like this: …there are two robbers out looking to rob you. Defend yourself! Fight for your honour!
Noir: Isn’t that a bit too animated of a reaction to two robbers appearing to rob your kingdom?
Cow: It is! But that’s just what Butros is like, you know. He can’t even defend his kingdom properly but never tires of…
Noir:…playing the same song over and over again!
Cow: Why, yes! Butros always only really sings about defending kingdoms properly……his messenger also brought the message in a tattered form.
Noir: What should we do? Should we get our swordsmen ready and on horseback?
Cow: I think that would be a very wise strategy, yes.
Noir: But wouldn’t that make them noticeable? We got information now, it’s better to tackle the robbers now, invincibly, rather than have them hover around, with the possibility that they might rob the kingdom anytime soon.
Cow: Oh! But we’ll get another message from Butros, or our friends from other kingdoms if that happens. Our friends will look out for us, even when we fail to do that ourselves.
Noir: I know that! But it’s better to be safe!…I’ll get our swordsmen ready and ask them to hide from sight and prepare for attack the moment the robbers come into our kingdom.
Cow: Yes, you do that!…This…how does Butros deal with problems appearing in his kingdom on his own? I would have never been able to do it, without you by my side, Noir.
Noir:..are you frightened? Don’t be. I am sure the robbers will be frightened away.
Cow: That helps. Now, I will just go, sit on my throne and munch on some salty crackers, as you orchestrate the swordsmen. It’s getting so suspenseful, I wouldn’t want to miss any minute of it, with those salty crackers.

Prince Eric and Noir’s Balcony Meal

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Cow and Noir have spent all day meeting people in Cow’s kingdom. After the slight mishap over a little bit of missed food routines, which was only solved by snacking on a corn on the cob or two, Cow went into families’ homes and asked them about their needs. King Cow even provided the families with promises to do all that he could to help them – their problems ranged from overpriced food in the markets to too much dust on the streets. It’s late evening and almost dark, when Cow and Noir return to the palace. Prince Eric has been waiting for Noir all day and upon glancing at her from the kitchen, runs to meet her with two bags of potato chips.

Prince Eric: Noir!…Hi! Did you eat anything today? I noticed you missed breakfast and lunch.
Cow (interrupts): Did you? And when did you get that?
Prince Eric: After I came back home from my ride…a few hours ago!
Cow:A…oh!…well, excuse me! I will just get me some nuts to eat, in this wind-less evening! Noir, my dear, hurry and eat something already now!
Prince Eric: Noir…take the crisps. I’ll just get us something to drink too. What would you like?
Noir: Iced tea, would be great.

Noir and Prince Eric are sat in the balcony on two oversized yellow poufs and looking at the dark blue sky. Noir has already had two packs of chips, a slice of strawberry cake, a slice of walnut cake and iced tea, to makeup for two lost meals today – she feels she should say something to Prince Eric for being so caring but she doesn’t know what she should say.
Noir:…so, how old are you?
Prince Eric: I’m 34. You?
Noir: I’m 21.
Prince Eric: Really? You aren’t so much younger than me then. Most maidens I meet are teenagers.
Noir: Do you?..so, you meet a lot of maidens?
Prince Eric: Yes! We often have balls thrown in our kingdom for celebrations, and women from far and wide come to have a good time and sometimes even look for a husband.
Noir: They look for husbands at your ball?
Prince Eric: Yes! Princes from around the kingdom come to the celebrations, too – the balls are the only avenue for most people in my kingdom and beyond, to meet, have a good time and also enjoy good food.
Noir: They don’t just go to a kebab shop to do that…like here?
Prince Eric: I wouldn’t know. I never left the palace much.
Noir: So how do you get around now?
Prince Eric: Well, I didn’t…I didn’t travel so less. Like, even though it seems neverending, I do know my way around the enormous forest that surrounds our kingdom.
Noir: On a horse?…you do?
Prince Eric: Yeah! On my horse…it’s…one of my favourite past times.
Noir: That sounds nice!
Prince Eric: It is. Maybe…
Turmeric (interrupts): Oooooooooooooooooh! Noir! Have I been looking for you all day. Come with me…it’s almost time for us to finish reading the book we were reading in bed together yesterday evening – I can’t wait to finish it. I just must know what happens in Little Women in the second chapter!

The Sighing Snowman

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Ink and Dimitri are out for a walk, after spending a few hours bored sitting indoors. It’s the weekend, the weather is cold and the two kids are thinking of building a snowman but where to do that exactly? It’s not that snow doesn’t cover most of the areas the two are stomping on, with their thick boots – the problem is more of where to place the snowman so that the carts and carriages passing by don’t think Ink and Dimitri are lunatics building a snowman on the side of the road reserved for walking.

Ink: I think if we could find a friendly farm or a valley, it would be alright. But I don’t know any, aside from my family’s farm of course.
Dimitri: I know a valley we can build a snowman on. It’s past the markets – maybe a twenty or thirty minutes walk from the corner curry shop will do.
Ink: Alright! Let’s go there then! That would be perfect.

Ink and Dimitri walk to the valley, passing by lots of busy folks out shopping in the markets or drinking in the village pubs. Ink thinks to herself that no one even cares that two kids are going to an empty valley on a weekend, which actually just suits her fine because she could use a more spacious environment outdoors than the one the weekend is currently letting her have. The valley is covered with snow, with broken fences feebly standing here and there, as well as the odd tree and twigs littering the very white landscape.

Ink: Can we start building the snowman? We can use some of the twigs for its arms…if there are fallen nuts or something maybe we can use them for the snowman’s eyes and the nose too.
Dimitri: Sure! I’ll start by gathering some of the snow for us…it will be easier that way to build it.
Ink: Yes! You do that while I rest from our long walk to get up here. In fact, I think I will just plop myself down on the snow and just I don’t know…talk for a few minutes at least, alright?
Dimitri: Sure! Anything up?
Ink: Nope!…I was just thinking about a lot of things lately. My neighbour came over last night and I overheard from the kitchen that her son is dying. He’s like a teenager and he’s got this incurable disease and she might have to move from Sheffield for it. She’s like actually not from this country…she came here from Guadeloupe.
Dimitri: Oh! Are you alright?
Ink: Me? Yeah, I’m alright! But why wouldn’t I be alright?…I don’t even know the woman – my mother and grandfather does. I have actually got no idea who she is.
Dimitri: I meant are you alright, as in, meeting the news of your neighbour’s son dying is not something small to handle, or something. So I was just concerned a wee bit.
Ink: Mmmm…
Dimitri: Why is that woman’s son dying? What kind of disease is this?
Ink: I am not sure because the woman didn’t share that much. I think she just dropped by to let my mother know something at least because that way my mother won’t wake up one day and find out that our neighbour is no longer there in the house next door, with no clue as to why. The woman use to even come up to our house to borrow sugar, every now and then, because she’s actually a war widow. Her husband was English, which is why she moved here to Sheffield but he died a very long time ago.
Dimitri: Oh!
Ink (sigh): I wish I had brought my dogs with me today. I didn’t get any chance to play with them yesterday because the woman was at our house for a visit. Even my mom was fretting she couldn’t take a look at the beehive she keeps in our farm. I think the bees are busy doing a winter cluster, or something like that.
Dimitri: Ah! Don’t worry about it. I’m sure you can play with your dogs after we get back.
Ink: You sure about that? What if the woman drops by again, you know her son’s really sick?
Dimitri (sigh): Alright! Just come here and help me with the snowman…I think I gathered too much snow than is needed.
Ink (sigh): Alright! Let’s build that snowman…be a good boy and get me some twigs, while I assemble the snow into a snowman.
Dimitri: Is it going to be a sighing snowman?
Ink: I think it might be, as soon as you get me those twigs.

Cow’s Hungry Problem

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Noir and Cow are out for a walk through the kingdom today. They will be meeting members of the working class and talking to them about their daily issues, and what can be done to solve them. It’s an episode, which Cow looks forward to every week because his heart has always been set on becoming the best ruler the hot land has ever seen. Cow has had nothing to eat whole day though, so the thought is troubling him a little bit because he really isn’t very good with handling hunger.

Noir: So, this is the port we were assigned to for today. Next to it are some slum-like spaces, where we will be meeting people. It’s normally an empty port but today a lot of people are sitting around, probably because of the intense heat. Would you like an umbrella to help with it, sire?
Cow: No, I am good. I am just a little worried that I haven’t eaten anything all day…so I might not enjoy today as much as I usually do.
Noir: Then maybe you should get something to eat first.
Cow: But I didn’t bring any money with me. And I can’t send you back to the palace to bring me some food because then the whole day will get wasted.
Noir: Then focus!

Three young boys, and a woman are walking towards Cow and Noir in a dusty alley filled with dirty and torn clothes hanging from very old buildings. They look very poor but still smile looking at their ruler, and his adviser.

Cow: Good afternoon! I am out for a walk today and wanted to meet some of my royal subjects, just to see what I can help with improving in their daily lives. What’s your name, young woman?
Young woman: Olivia. I live across the street. These three boys are my sons.
Cow: What about your husband?
Young woman: He went travelling to another land, very far away from here, ten years ago, and never came back.
Noir: Really? So you bring up your sons all by yourself?
Olivia: Yes. Would you like to see my house?
Cow:…we would love to. But first I really must ask one of your sons to go back to my palace and get me one of my messengers because I haven’t eaten all day and all of the buildings now look like kebabs to me.

Ink’s ‘My Diary’

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Ink is sitting in her home’s living room, with a brand new journal, whilst her Rottweiler is fast asleep next to her couch. Ink’s planning on keeping the journal as a diary – it’s almost the end of the year and not the perfect time to start writing a diary to Ink, but she’s convinced it’s going to be the best idea in the whole world. The diary is a simple yellow alligator-skin notebook, with lined pages, and it’s got ‘1800’ – the year, inscribed on it, with golden letters; the journal was a gift from her grandfather, this winter.

It’s an unusually hot winter’s day, with no wind in sight and the only good thing about the sunshine today is that it has managed to clear up most of the snow, from the past couple of days, which was making it difficult for villagers to walk around town. To Ink, her house seems less packed than usual even though Mother is busy talking to her grandfather and cooking in the kitchen – it’s one of the many thoughts she’s having whilst trying to figure out something to write in her new diary.

Twenty minutes later, Ink writes a whole page in her diary…

Dear Diary,

I am Ink Williams. I am a student in school. Well, boarding school. And I am here, at home, for the holidays. It’s not even the holidays, if truth be told, because yesterday, I had winter school. This is inbetween getting privately tutored. I needed to go to winter school because I am weak in Geography. If they taught me more about maps, maybe I would find the subject more interesting but they don’t. It’s most of the time about Africa and it’s not even South Africa, which I find really fascinating. I think it’s the worst subject I have to learn sometimes but I’ve still got to learn it. Also, I got the chance to eat a vegetable roll during lunch break in school, recently and I thought it was the oiliest and tastiest thing in the world – my best friend, Dimitri, shared it with me, from his lunch box. Normally, all I eat are bland egg sandwiches and although I really love to have eggs for lunch, it’s nice to have fried food to eat, once in a while. I felt it was the sneakiest moment ever but it was really, really worth it. Then I came back home, after stopping by Dimitri’s house for a quick bite to eat and did nothing but read about African geography because I have a test coming up on it. I spent most of the hours, glass-eyed and daydreaming about riding a magic broomstick, like a young witch, with a cute black cat for company, and now I am afraid I will not do very good in the test because I barely learnt anything at all. I also read a good book, before going to bed: it was a short story on two pigs, but they can talk and they have got some very amazing observations on a farmyard full of animals. It’s also where they live and the farm is a very fun-filled place, filled with hay, sunshine and noisy animals. That’s it. That was all I did. Wait, till everything becomes a lot more interesting!

Love

Ink Williams