The sound of hurried footsteps and excited voices spooked Aster from the small leather-bound book he had been reading. He looked upwards, wondering why the other Wynglings were so upbeat today. After a few moments, the noises faded into the distance and Aster turned his head to continue reading.
Aster had been struggling with one of the words in this sentence for a few long minutes. He had tried to sound it out, but he just couldn’t read it. He really didn’t want to bother Ms. Alma with such a trivial thing when she had so many other more important things to do. More important Wynglings to take care of… He tried again. “Em… b-buh… Embahr…” He shook his head in frustration, his eyes starting to prick with tears. Why couldn’t he read it? Was he stupid?
A small shimmer caught Aster’s eye in the corner of the room. Curiosity crept up on him, and he set his book aside. Stepping closer, he saw that it was a bell. He prodded at it. Jingle, jingle, it protested. Aster forgot about his previous struggle completely and began to bat the bell around, the sound soothing him. After what seemed like hours to him, he heard Wynglings returning to the Nook. Panicking a bit, he picked up the small golden bell and hid it under his sheets.
He would take out that little bell and jingle it whenever he was upset. One morning, after most of the other children at the Nook had gone out to play, Aster took out the bell and started playing with it. He smiled softly at the sound. However, his smile was quickly lost when he heard Alma’s voice behind him. “What have you got there, Aster?” she asked, raising a brow. Aster jumped a little and tried to hide it, not wanting Alma to take it.
“N-nothing… Nothing Alma,” he started.
Alma silenced him by raising a paw. She shuffled over to him and gingerly held out her hand. Aster sighed and placed the bell in her palm. She inspected it. “Quite a pretty trinket, hm? I’ve heard you with it a lot. It seems like you like it.”
Aster started to feel like a cornered animal. “Y-you have?”
Alma nodded and winked at Aster, causing him to tense up with confusion. She excused herself and took the bell out of the room with her. Aster began breathing rapidly. He really didn’t want to lose his bell. He buried his head under his arms and tried to calm himself down fruitlessly.
A gentle jingle a few minutes later caused him to shakily move his arms and look up. Alma stood before him, holding out a short leather strap. His heart flipped with relief when he saw his bell hanging from it. “Wh-what… wh- uh… what’s th-this?” he asked, looking up at Alma’s face for answers. Alma gave him a patient smile and wrapped the strap around his neck. “Now you don’t have to keep that special treasure cooped up in here, dear.” Aster gasped a little and leapt forward to hug Alma.
He decided then he would never take this gift for granted, and he would never take Alma for granted either.
I took this way to far oops h a a a
But still write enough for a story wyn, dagnabbit!
Oh well, anyway,, Aster has a wittle collar now
That bell is his like... his comfort object. He loves it a lot.
I CAN'T BELIEVE HE HAS A BELL