Death Waltz
Author: Dalek Cruccibul

Chapter 14
Charle's Victory

Outside on the steps of the Academy, Charles sat huddled in a thin blanket. Winter was approaching, and the air had been growing ever colder in the past few day. Charles had nothing but that blanket to keep him warm. His cloths were nice, but they didn't keep him very warm. To the onlooker, Charles looked like he was just another student. Even the teachers didn't pay him much mind, as they passed him by in the mornings. He sure was hungry though. He didn't know where to eat. He managed to find a soup kitchen that does dinners nearby. But besides that he was on his own. No more David, no more Jesse. They were all behind him now.

For the past few days, he sat out here, looking on as students and teachers made their way into the grand building. It wasn't in till everyone was in a class that Charles crept inside for some warmth. He didn't want to wander the halls, though. He didn't feel like getting into an encounter with any teachers.

There was still something that restrained him from getting into any public conflict. Might his dad find out? Would going home be such a terrible idea at this point, though? He was now living on a street and was still not in the academy despite being here in Adamsula for about a month now. What would his father do if he found him? How severely would he be punished? Charles really didn’t know what to think.

He felt like he really didn’t know his father as well as he should. He knew his mother like the back of his hand, but not his father. What was he to do?

In that moment, a man was beginning to descend the steps, alongside the other children who walked up these steps every morning. For the past few days, Charles had gotten used to seeing the faces of faculty and alumni take their way in. But this man was new. Simple surprises like these were what kept the lonely street life a little more interesting. It led to pointless questions that helped pass the meaningless hours by. Who was this man? Why was he here at the school? Was he a teacher, a janitor, a visitor or parents? Then, as all these questions started circling around, the man started walking towards him.

Maybe the man was just walking towards something in his direction. It didn’t seem like that was the case. “Excuse me,” the man spoke in Charles direction. The man was talking to him. He felt nervous, just like when he had first talked to David. What was he to say?

“I don’t seem to recognize you as a scholar here. I’ve tried to learn the names of many of our students here, but I don’t seem to recognize you. What is your name?”

“Charles,” came out his small voice. Who was this man?

“Charles? There is a lot of Charles here. Who are your teachers, Charles?”

“I don’t attend this Academy. I would like to, but I can’t.”

“Anybody can attend the Academy, Charles. This is a school that brings in humans from all walks of life.

What would ever give you the impression that you wouldn’t be allowed here?”

Charles thought over what he was about to say wisely. What was he to tell this man? That he didn't have a legal guardian? That might have worked on David, but this was a man who worked here. Was that actually some rule?

“I don’t have any parents. I anyone to provide my legal information or anything of that sorts.” , he told the man slowly and carefully.

“That certainly would explain why you’re sitting about out here, by yourself.” The man sat there, looking Charles over with his curious old eyes. “Well, then, come with me, Charles. If you want to join the Academy, then you very well ought to.”

Charles looked up at the man with curious eyes of his own. This was a stroke of luck. Had he not lived in the streets for less than a week, only to be brought into the Academy by this stranger? He now, more than ever, felt some paranormal forces pulling the strings.

“Are you sure, sir?”

“I’m very sure. How are we to know what talent we are missing out on if we don’t bring you in?”

 

Charles smiled at this.

 

Walking inside, Charles was ushered along a hall of doors. Through the many halls filled with doors on either side, Charles and the man navigated there way along.

 

“In here, Charles. Just find a place to sit whilst I fill out some paperwork. I promise you, we will find a place for you here.”

Charles seated himself in one of the chairs lining the wall. The office was nice and well kept. It was very dull, to the onlooker, but it was nice all the same. This must have been a personal office, not one that you would bring people into often. Charles was starting to think this man wasn’t a principle. Was he a teacher? If he was, would he not have a class to teach? Who could he possibly be to not be working around now during school hours? Maybe he just worked the latter half of the day. It wouldn’t hurt to ask.

“You asked me who I am. But, sir, who are you?’

The man looked up from his papers to give Charles his attention. “Oh, dear, I suppose I didn’t bother with that. I’m not used to introducing myself to others. Usually, people know who I am.” He stretched out his hand for Charles to shake.

“Hello, my name is Rex. I am Lord President of Adamsula.”

Lord President? What did that mean? He decided that it would be better to let the man continue on then bother him with so many questions. Charles wanted to think about what his new life would be like at the Academy. It was all very unreal. Soon, he thought, he would find peace with his mother.

 

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