OF :: Applications

Title: Applications
Arc: Taratia
Rating: PG
Written: Summer 2002
Summary: Azura seeks entry to the elite Academy in Taratia.

These characters, stories, and ideas are the original, copyrighted work of Nicole Sharp and are protected under a Creative Commons License.

Azura stood at the foot of the wide staircase and stared up at the Academy’s façade. It was an old palace, constructed with reddish stone that was carved into columns, arched windows, and crowned with statues. It was easily the largest single building that Azura had ever seen. And here she stood, alone, dwarfed by the size of the building and what it represented. Did everyone feel that way?

With a heaviness that she couldn’t explain, she ascended the wide stairs and passed under the shadow of the building. She pulled open a heavy, carved wooden door and entered a marble-filled lobby. She could just see a woman’s hair protruding over a counter, and she walked toward it.

“Excuse me, madam?”

The woman, middle-aged, glanced up over the rim of her glasses. “Can I help you?”

“I’d like to apply, please.”

“For the maid’s position?”

Azura blushed, her skin glowing. “No, ma’am, as a student.”

The woman wore an amused look as she gathered the paperwork and set it on the counter. “Start filling these out, and when that door to your left opens, go in. Understand?”

Azura nodded. “Thank you, ma’am.” She took the pen and papers to a seat and began to fill them out. Mother’s name: Ellira—She struggled to remember the surname her father used for her—Isallyn. Father’s name: Teleron Orómae. Was your mother enrolled here? Yes. Graduated? Yes. Mother name? Azura frowned. What did they mean by that? There was another below it for a father name. She skipped these and filled out her age, birthday, and birthplace. Current residence? None.

Azura glanced up and saw that the door was open. She gathered her things and rose. Inside the room were two women, one about the age of the secretary, the other much younger. She could see that they were both highly born. The two were lost in conversation, and Azura waited in the doorway.

Finally, the older woman looked up. “Yes?”

“I’d like to apply here, madam. The lady at the desk sent me here.”

The older woman had a disapproving look. “Sit down.” She pointed to a hard backed chair. Azura crossed and sat on the edge of it, her back straight. “What is your name?”

“Azura Orómae, ma’am.”

“Is that your mother name?”

“I—I don’t quite know what you mean by that,” she admitted.

The woman did not look pleased. “Is that what you mother named you?”

“I don’t know. She left when I was small. It’s what my father always called me.”

“And you don’t know your other name?”

She wondered if she should mention the name that Tirlyn and Mr. Tischen had called her. “No, ma’am.”

“Who is your father?”

“Teleron Orómae, ma’am. But he’s dead now.”

“Then you live with another relative?”

Azura struggled to look into the woman’s eyes. “I don’t live anywhere right now, ma’am. My father and sister lived in Osgalath, but they were killed and now I’m here. I don’t know if I have any relatives, and I don’t know how to find them.”

“You said that you lived in Osgalath. That’s on the human side of the Lithryn, is it not?”

“It is, ma’am.”

“How long did you live there?”

“All my life, ma’am. My parents moved there a few months before I was born.”

“Yes,” the older woman said. She sounded rather disgusted. “Now what was your mother’s name?”

“Ellira Isallyn.” Azura saw a flicker of interest in the younger woman’s eyes. “My father told me that she was a student here.”

“Isallyn is n—“

The younger woman motioned for her to be silent and leaned forward, studying Azura closely. “What did you say your father’s name was, Azura?”

“Teleron. Teleron Orómae, miss.”

The woman nodded. “And how old are you?”

“Nearly fifteen, miss.”

“Mayra, it’s not your place to question this—this girl.” The woman said it as though she were pronouncing a sentence of treason. “It’s obvious that she’s a penniless orphan that can’t even meet entry requirements—Get out, you! Isallyn, indeed!”

The other woman was arguing, but Azura was at the door, clutching her bag. She ran through the lobby, tore open the door and ran from there, not stopping until the building was far out of sight.

« Return to the public story excerpts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.