Ch15: Mess in the mess
The troop continued for about half the day before changing over to move training. She followed almost in step with instructor Hamelfoot. The rest of the troop paid her little mind during this time. She felt more at peace doing these exercises. She was to herself, and did not have to contend with other trainees mocking her or trying to mess her up. She deliberately set herself in the back, between Sarros and Elizira. As she watched them
and the instructor, she saw the fluidity in which they used the staff.
When the training was over, she felt pretty good about herself. She was not as achy as she was yesterday. She felt some pain, but it was ok. As the troop gathered to march to the mess hall, she again gravitated to her new friends. “Friends,” she thought, “who would have thought.”
She made it a point to at least say something to Damon as well. “Thank you for today.” She said in earnest.
“Your welcome?” he said quizzically. “You still lost.” With that he gave a little smirk. “Don’t let those girls bother you. They are bullies here. Their parents are elitists, who think that they sent their daughters off to camp so that they can come back and go straight into politics.”
Magdaline sensed some frustration in the human. ‘Clearly,‘ she thought ‘I understand how humans think.’ With that she chuckled slightly to herself.
After reaching the mess hall, she got in line, near the end again with her new friends. She gathered her utensils and got her meal. The same oats they had served the morning, and evening before. She looked at the cook and said. “Hey, isn’t this the same pot you were cooking yesterday?” She smiled gently, but her joke was less effective on the overworked cook.
“When you eat it, just close your eyes and think of turkey.” He gruffly responded. She was puzzled, but then gave it some thought. As she walked to get her cup and water, she was almost in a daze.
Suddenly she felt a tug on her foot, she tried to stop, or even catch herself, but gravity would have none of it. She tumbled face first onto the floor, her bowl of oats spewed out covering her, the floor and some other kids. The kids started yelling, as she heard laughing from behind her.
She laid on the floor, she was fuming. ‘What have I done to deserve this?’ She got up slowly, and picked her bowl back up. She scraped some of the oats from her uniform and put it back into the bowl. Most of it was still there. She thought of her next move very carefully. She turned around anticipating that Tylenyphe would be sitting, laughing at her. She turned around to look but saw the girl face to face with her.
She was snarling. “What are you going to do?” She dared. Tylenyphe stared at her intently. Her face only inches from Magdaline’s. She was flush and ready to fight.
Magdaline stood looking at her. She was trembling. She wanted revenge, she wanted to hit the girl but fear took her.
Tense moments passed, Tylenyphe kept staring, inching closer. Magdaline’s mind raced to the possibilities. She did not know how to fight. Her parents never fought. She felt so helpless at the moment.
Seconds later, the silence was broken by a cook who banged his ladle on the side of a cooking pot.
“What is going on here?” A familiar voice questioned. Magaline turned and saw sergeant Lorafean was stepping through the door.
“Nothing sergeant.” Tylenyphe said. “Maggie pooh fell down and spilled her food. We were just cleaning her up.” The girl mocked helping Magdaline clean up.
“Get this mess cleaned up. That’s an order.” the sergeant yelled.
The cook threw a couple of rags over the counter. Magdaline, Tylenyphe and a couple of others picked them up immediately and began cleaning up the oats from the floor and themselves. The whole time, Tylenyphe stared intently at the young girl.
Once done, the sergeant ordered everyone out to formation. She watched as they all scrambled outside, as Magdaline passed she put an arm out and pushed her to the side before exiting. Once everyone else was outside, she looked at the girl intently. “Problems do not go away. You must take care of them yourself.” And with that she was shown out.
The march was long. By the end Magdaline was extremely tired and again, hungry. She had not been able to eat at all because of Tylenyphe. She got to her cot and laid down on her back. What was she to do?