The World Walkers: Athare: Electra: Meeting A Rabbit

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the World Walkers: Athare collection
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The day had begun the same way Electra’s days always began. Once she was out of bed and sitting at the table with her breakfast she went through the list of jobs she had to do. Most people came to her because she could repair creatures created with living clay, but there were a couple of orders for new creatures. Brendan had sent her another auction brochure, wanting to know her opinion on some of the creatures that were being sold, and Menolly was working on a new board that needed testing. As they were Electra’s siblings, and they were in business together, she knew she would make time for them, even though it took her away from the things she loved doing.

With her hair up in its usual bun, Electra wandered down the stairs to her studio, a cup of coffee in her hand and her mind focused on the horse she needed to fix. She glanced out of the window, smiling when she saw the rain, before going to change the sign. Normally Brendan dealt with the customers, because neither Electra or Menolly appreciated having to serve someone when they were in the middle of something, so Electra much preferred it to rain when he was busy visiting auctions. That way she had fewer people to deal with.
It wasn’t until she walked past the window a second time that she noticed the… rabbit. Electra stared at it, wondering who would have put a broken rabbit outside her window. Then it tapped on the window with its paw and she realised that it was a live creature. With her free hand she opened the window, unable to drag her eyes off the creature.
“Are you Electra?” it asked.
All she could do was nod.
“That’s good. I’ve been looking for you for a while now and I’m glad I’ve finally found you.”
Licking her lips, Electra tried to work out what she wanted to say. “Why have you been looking for me?” she asked finally.
The rabbit looked at her. “There are creatures who aren’t as lucky as those who end up here.” It glanced over at the horse, which made a sound that made it seem as though it agreed with the rabbit, before looking back at her. “Some are brought to you for repair, if people know who you are or the man who works with you buys them from an auction, but there are many who end up being thrown out. It doesn’t matter that we are sentient once the clay that made us in fired. When we are broken people don’t want us any longer.”
“You want me to fix you.”
“I’m not so bothered about me.” It lifted a paw and stroked its damaged ear. “I can deal with having a broken ear and living out there isn’t so bad, but I have friends who are damaged much worse than me. I look after them as best I can, but…” It sighed. “There’s only so much I can do.”
Electra found herself smiling at the little clay rabbit. “I’m certain that your clay friends look on you as their saviour, because we all know what most people do to any broken creature.” She looked around her workshop, gauging how much space she had. “How many creatures have you saved?”
The rabbit stroked its broken ear again, tilting its head to one side, in a movement that made Electra certain it was thinking. “There are more than a hundred, but I’m not sure of the exact number.”
“Right now I certain I don’t have enough space for more than a hundred creatures in the workshop, but I do have space in the shed out the back. I’m not going to tell you it’s better than wherever you are now, but it’s dry. We may have a spare heater I can set up in there as well.”
“Anywhere would be better than where we are now, Electra. If you’re sure you wouldn’t mind us taking up residence in your shed then we would be grateful to have somewhere dry.”
“Come whenever you want. My siblings are busy, so if you wanted we could easily get you all sorted out today.”
Shyly, the rabbit smiled at her. “That would be fabulous,” it said. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Electra looked at the horse she should have been working on, who just nodded as though he knew exactly what she was thinking, before returning her gaze to the rabbit.
“What’s your name?”
“I’m Alexis.”
“It’s nice to meet you, Alexis.”
“Before we move in I want you to understand what you’d be taking on,” Alexis said, sounding a little worried. “None of us want to have another owner, so you wouldn’t be able to sell us and if you tried we would leave. Your time, your expertise, is worth more than we can give you.” He stroked his broken ear, looking more uncomfortable than he had done since he first knocked on the window. “If you feel that fixing us is a waste…”
“No,” Electra interjected, trying not to let her emotions seep into her voice because she didn’t want to scare Alexis off. “Fixing you would be a waste of nothing. You deserve to live however you wish, Alexis, and if none of you want owners again I completely understand. If I’d dealt with what I think you may have dealt with I wouldn’t want an owner either.”
“I…” Alexis shook his head. “I knew you were our best hope, but I didn’t dare believe that I might have really found someone who wanted to help us.” He smiled again. “I’ll get my friends.”
Electra nodded. “I’ll begin making the shed a little more comfortable for you.”
As Electra watched Alexis turn and hop off the windowsill her mind turned to exactly how she was going to manage that. She had no idea what to expect when he returned, apart from broken creatures, so all she could do was gather together some of the blankets she kept in the workshop. Gazing around the workshop she looked for anything she might be able to use, until her eyes met those of the horse.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
“Don’t be,” the horse replied. “You’re doing the right thing.”

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