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Florian Kindersuchen - An Unauthorized Biography



 
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HingleMcCringleberry

    In a tiny cottage, in a tiny village, outside the unremarkable Barony of Vulgaria was born a most unwanted and unloved child. His mother avowed that she had no use for him and left his naming and care to that of her Mid-wife, Agatha Shultzenhammer.  As was the case of other children in these same circumstances, the Mid-wife herself showed no love or joy for this new born baby either. He with his dark penetrating eyes, elongated nose and that greasy stringy black hair. Who could love a baby such as this? No one the Mid-wife could think of. In fact no child she had ever helped to deliver, and there had been many, was so unlovable as this child.  Why exactly she had chosen to become a mid-wife, we do not know.  Her hatred of children was eclipsed only by this boy's own mother.

    The Mid-wife looked down at the child and gleefully named him Florian. Not because she wanted him to one day blossom into a handsome young man. No she chose the name Florian as a cruel jest. A moniker that would forever remind this child every day of his life of what he would never be; loved.

    And so it was that Florian Kindersuchen arrived into this world.  Born of a mother as cold as ice with no love to spare this baby boy.  Of his father, we know little other than that he was once a low ranking guard at the current Baron's Castle.  Whether he ever knew that he had fathered a child is unknown.  Whatever the case may be, he was never a part of Florian's life and for his part, Florian seemed ignorant to his father's existence as well.

  His mother was a cold and uncaring woman as we have discussed. She seems to have spoken directly to Florian on less than a dozen occasions, most of which were to berate or belittle the boy.  The rest of his time was spent in the care of his mother's Mid-wife, now his Nanny. Agatha Shultzenhammer had no children of her own choosing, so Florian became her son by circumstance.  Not that she ever treated him as such. The Kindersuchen home was nearly bare of furniture. A wobbly pair of wooden chairs and a cracked oak table filled the small cottage.  The floor was made of dirt and small weeds could often be seen sprouting out of the ground. Florian's place amongst the filth was a small cradle, which he spent most of his time in. Neither of the women cared much for holding him, so they didn't.
December 19, 2018 12:55 am

HingleMcCringleberry

     In addition to his cradle,a rickety old thing made of hard wood, the only other items that Florian might call his own was a blanket given to him by a neighbor as a birth present, and an old stuffed bear that was dirtier than the floor of the cottage. His clothes, the only ones he had, were washed once a week on Thursdays by Agatha.  On this day, Florian was left to crawl upon the floor and was spared the hard wooden cradle for about an hour.  Unlike his clothing, Florian did not have a day set aside for his cleaning. A little baby can accumulate a lot of dirt crawling on an earthen floor. This made Florian's black stringy hair, matted and greasy and to his Morther and her mid-wife turned Nanny, made him all the more repulsive.

    As Florian grew and the cradle no longer suited his needs, the dirt floor became his bed.  He still had his blanket but even that was showing signs of wear and tear.  And unlike little boys, blankets do not grow larger with time. They simply stay the same size if one is lucky. Most of the time however, they begin to develop holes and fray at the ends until they are no longer of use.  For Forian, his blanket stopped being a source of comfort and warmth around the age of two.  When that happened, he simply wadded up the blanket and used it as a pillow.  For warmth he moved closer to the fireplace, one of the few comforts the cottage offered him.  Summers were not uncomfortable in Vulgaria and during this season, Florian slept beneath one of the windows in the cottage.
December 19, 2018 12:56 am

HingleMcCringleberry

So repulsed by him was his mother, that she forbid Agatha to take him out of the house with her on errands or any other sort of outside ventures she might have.  This was fine with Agatha who worried others might mistake him as her own child.  Even if she was more of a mother to him.  So, for the first five years of his life, Florian watched the world from the cottage windows.

    When he was very young, the world was a beautiful blue with streaks of white and occasionally a bright yellow ball would peer back at him.  At night the world was black with hundreds, maybe thousands of eyes staring at him and the yellow ball was more white. Sometimes it played games with him and winked at him as it passed by on certain nights. Other times it disappeared and on those days the world was blackest.
December 19, 2018 12:58 am

HingleMcCringleberry

One particularly droll morning, Agatha announced she was going out. And so she did. Alone as usual. Whenever possible, she avoided taking Florian out with her. She was tired of strangers asking her if he was her child then looking at her with pity when they saw him. Best to leave him here in the cottage. His mother was in her bedroom if anything should happen.

Before leaving, Agatha told Florian that she would be bringing him back something and not to get excited, It wasn't a present. He was five now and needed to stop relying on the goodness of her heart to provide things for him. What she had ever provided, he couldn't say.

“You're growing out of your clothes far too fast boy” she said to him. “I'm bringing you back some supplies so you can make yourself something to wear.”

When Agatha returned, she indeed had brought back with her a half a bolt of cloth as well as scissors, thread and two needles. Florian immediately set about to fashioning himself new clothes to replace the worn torn rags he currently donned. Sewing is a simple concept. Thread the needle, stitch the cloth. Uncomplicated when you think about it. Completely impossible when actually put into practice by a five year old boy. 

Florian's thumb and index finger were red and sore from the constant jabs of the needle.  By sundown he had managed to sew two pieces of cloth together that resembled a sack more than it did an article of clothing.  He went to bed that nght dejected but determined. He looked out of the cottage window and saw the eyes in the sky looking down on him. He wondered if this was one of the nights that the bright globe would be out or if this was one of the black nights he dreaded so much.

 

December 20, 2018 02:00 am

HingleMcCringleberry


    Florian turned away from the window and walked over to his sleeping area.  He picked up the black cloth he had sewn together earlier and pulled it over his head, then laid down to sleep. If the dark scared him so much, he would blend in with it. He would never wear anything other than black. In the shadows he would hide from the darkness and when there were no shadows, Florian would hide in plain sight. That is how he would beat the darkness at its own game.


December 20, 2018 02:09 am

HingleMcCringleberry

    Florian awoke the next morning and crawled out of his makeshift sack feeling more refreshed than ever.  He couldn't remember the last time he had a good night's sleep like that.  It convinced him that he was on the right path and made the boy more determined to complete his new wardrobe. He quickly ate the stale bread and porridge that Agatha had put out for him then jumped down and grabbed his needle and thread.


    Agatha watched him for a moment but quickly grew bored. If he was quiet and out of her way, so much the better. She secretly hoped he would learn to be a great tailor so that he might leave the cottage all the sooner and she could be discharged as his caretaker once and for all. Then she thought of the alternative. What if he became a great tailor but his hideousness deterred customers? Then she might be stuck with him for a lot longer. The thought caused her to shiver. It would be just like that wretched child to ruin her life that way.

    While Agatha went about her business, Florian worked furiously, cutting strips of fabric, sewing it together, then ripping out the seams as he found himself disappointed with each attempt. He was about to give up when he looked over at the fireplace and saw ash from the previous night's dinner.  An idea struck him immediately and he rushed over to the hearth and placed his hand inside the ashes.
His fingers were covered in it as he walked back over to his cloth and ran a finger down one side of it.  As he expected, the ash left a mark on the black cloth.

    With renewed vigor, Florian stretched out the cloth on the ground and laid down upon it. With his finger still covered in ash, he traced the outline of his left arm on the cloth.  He got back up and walked back over to the pile of ash and put his hand back in it, then returned to the cloth and laid down in the same spot, the outline of his arm acting as a guide.  Florian continued this process until he had a rough out line of himself on the cloth.  Then he grabbed his scissors and began to cut out the shapes he had created.

    In short time he had a functioning shirt and pair of trousers. The seams were weak and would need going over again, but Florian had finally done it. He'd created a new set of clothes for himself, and they were as black as the night.

December 20, 2018 02:14 am

HingleMcCringleberry

    Florian woke up happy that morning. To suggest the happiness would last is folly at best. Joy is in far less quantity in the Kindersuchen household than visitors are. Of which there are almost none. Well, none until the morning Florian awoke feeling as he did that day. But more about the visitor later.

    Florian stood up from his place on the floor and changed from his sack into the clothes he had made for himself. Oh how he wished he could see how they looked on him, however there was not a single mirror in the cottage. In fact, Florian had never even seen his own reflection. He had no idea what he looked like. Only that he was a hideous looking boy as told to him nearly daily by his mother and nanny.

    Not that he cared to see what he looked like anyways. The reaction of strangers told him all he needed to know about how he looked. But back to the visitor.

    Florian was five years old now, and five year old attend school. At least that's what the lady who knocked on the door told Agatha when she answered. By decree from the Baron of Vulgaria, all children at least five years old until the age of 18 were to attend formal schooling. This included the Baron's own son, who would attend school with the children from Florian's village.

December 22, 2018 10:06 am

HingleMcCringleberry

"I don't see why anyone cares if 'He' goes to school." Agatha said, pronouncing the word He louder than should have been required.

"What kind of a career do you think he'll have when he's older?" his mother added

Florian knew they were discussing him, however he didn't quite understand the context, so he continued admiring his new clothes.

"The Baron himself has decreed it." said the guest to their cottage.

She was dressed rather sternly, however when she spoke her voice reminded Florian of the birds he could hear each morning out side of the window. She sounded as though she were singing and Florian decided that he rather liked this young woman who had come to visit them. Even if she had only come to speak to his mother and Agatha.

"Surely you won't go against the Baron's wishes?" she said almost pleading.

"No of course not: his mother replied. "You say the Baron's son is also to attend school with the other children?"

"Oh indeed he will. The Baron believes it will teach him to get along better with children."

"Get along better?" Agatha interjected.

"Between us." the young lady continued. "The young lad doesn't seem to like other children very much. Despises them, some might say."

"You don't say, Miss...?" the mother asked.

"I don't. And its Hummington, Mimsie Hummington" she said as she stood to leave. "Very well then, I shall inform the school officials of your son's pending enrollment."

Florian's mother smiled at the young woman and watched her as she left the cottage. Agatha closed the door after she had determined she was not going to return. Then his mother turned on her heals and glared at the boy.

"You." she said. "As if it wasn't enough that I feed you and give you shelter."

Florian didn't understand what she was angry about, but he was sure he was going to find out.

"What are people going to say when they see him?" Agatha added. "Surely they can't think it's your fault."

"Hideous boy has to go to school like all the other good little children" his mother said in a mocking tone. "As if you haven't done enough."

"We'll have him walk himself to school. No one will know he's your boy"

"You hear that boy?" his mother screamed at him. "You won't tell a soul where you come from. When the other children laugh at you and call you ugly, you'll stand there silently and take it!"

Florian nodded as his hand played witha frayed string hanging from his shirt. He didn't know what words like hideous or ugly meant, but he knew he didn't like them very much. He wondered if he was going to like school or even other children. He hoped he would.

"What about his clothes?" Agatha asked. "He can't wear them to school."

"Hideous clothes for a hideous boy." his mother simply said.

December 26, 2018 03:32 am

HingleMcCringleberry

Florian bowed his head at the last comment. 'Hideous' he thought to himself. Is that what they were going to think tomorrow when he went to school? He didn't know any other children so he wasn't sure what they were like. They might be like the yellow ball that greeted him each day through his window. Perhaps they were cheerful like the birds that sang throughout the day?

Then his thoughts turned dark. What if they were like his mother? or Agatha? What if they found him as hideous as they did? It saddened him to think about it so he set about to work on his new clothes. They had to kook just right for tomorrow. No hanging threads or gaps in the seams. But his thoughts turned to what the other children were going to think about him. Maybe they were more like Miss Hummington. That woud be grand, he thought as he wroked away on his trousers.

The rest of the day Florian did his best to avoid his mother. She was still angry at him for some reason. School wasn't his idea, but she was treating him like he had done it to spite her. When he had finished working on his cloths, he hid out under the table in the South corner of the cottage. Agatha was busy preparing lunch for her and his mother. Florian would eat the usual crust of bread along with a bowl of tepid broth.

January 03, 2019 02:57 pm

HingleMcCringleberry

    Morning in Vulgaria are typically cool and one can see the dew glistening off of the lush blades of grass in the prominent fields of the countryside. Florian had never quite experienced mornings outside of the cottage before. Sure there was the occaisional trip to the market when he was a baby. But even then the two women charged with his care, Agatha and his mother, were reluctant to be seen with the child. They both held him in great disdain and were not about to answer questions about him to others.

    Before the sun warmed the land, Vulgarian towns were bustling with activity. Vendors and buyers alike executed their daily chores in the hours between sunrise and lunch, which of according to Vulgarian tradition was precisely at 1130. To do much after lunch was considered impolite and silly. The sun was too warm and most people just felt like doing, well, nothing really. And this is how Vulgarian life was, hectic mornings followed by slow afternoons followed by parties rife with liquor and fine meats and cheeses.

    So, it is no wonder that on this bright early Monday morning, as Florian stood outside on the corner down the street from his cottage, he was taken back by all the commotion his senses were taking in. Carts filled with fresh fruits and vegetables were pushed and pulled along the cobblestone roads by farmers setting up their markets. Bakers yelled to each other, wondering what the going price for rolls would be today? Perhaps a penny more than yesterday, one mused.

    So taken in by everything was Florian, that he nearly missed the carriage that was scheduled to pick him up for school that morning. The driver of the carriage, which was a solid black wooden piece with tall rails set apart every 12 inches and rising up nearly six feet, looked more like a prison than it did a carriage. Had Florian been allowed to stand in front of the cottage and wait for the carriage, as opposed to being told to wait at the corner by Agatha, he would have most assuredly noticed the carriage driver, the carriage, and the half dozen children already standing in the back of it.

"You, boy!" the carriage driver finally yelled, catching Florian's attention. " Why are you all the way over there?"

Florian wasn't sure how to answer, so he merely stayed silent.

"Well, come along then. you want to go to school don't you?"

    Florian turned and ran to the carriage and met the driver who had now dismounted and was at the back of the carriage lowering a set of steps for Florian to use. He lifted the steps back into place once Florian was in the carriage, locked them in place and walked back to the front of the carriage.

    Florian stood silently near the rear of the carriage. The other children had moved as far to the front of the carriage as they could, not a one of them taking their eyes off of Florian. The carriage began to move as the driver snapped the reins to move the horse along the road. Still, the children stared at Florian and he stared right back at them. In his mind, Florian was trying to think of what to say. He had never been around other children. Maybe this was how one acted. Maybe no words were spoken until you were in school. That had to be it, he thought.

    But that was not the case. Children could speak to each other he learned that day. The first words spoken to Florian that morning by one of the children, a skinny red haired girl dressed in a green skirt with a white top was the first to greet him.

Two words was all it was. Two words that would shape him for years to come. Two, well two and half if you want to give partial credit for a contraction, but still less than three. Two words.

"You're hideous."

January 10, 2019 01:28 am

HingleMcCringleberry


People often tell of children being a bright spot in an otherwise dark and dreary world. They fail however, to acknowledge that sometimes children can be the most cruel of God's creatures. Laughter at another's expense begets ridicule which begets malice.

 

And so it was that the children gathered that morning in the cart headed to school, turned their attention and their cruelty towards Florian.

 

"Look at his nose!" one of them shouted.

"His stringy hair is worse." cried another.

"He looks like he's wearing a potato sack!"

 

That ast one stung a bit. Say what they wanted about his physical features. He'd heard it all enough times from his mother and Agatha. And far wittier comments too he might add. The subject of his clothes? Now that was personal.

 

"Ooh he's so fat!"

 

Now wait a minute! It was one thing to pick on him for things that might on the surface be true, but to start making things up? Florian was puny and sickly if anything. Hardly what one would describe as fat or any derivative of it. Portly? Gracious no. Chunky? Hardly. Rotund? Nope. Yet here these cretins were, calling him fat. Or were they?

 

It seems as though a child's cruelty is sometimes trumped by their uncanny ability to completely lose interest in one thing and shift to the next item that catches their fancy.

 

An example of this was playing out currently as the target of the children's mocking shifted from Florian toa rather plump well dressed little boy standing just outside of a building that Florian guessed was the school.

 

He was dressed like a dandy from head to toe t in clothing that made Florian's mouth, a most of the other children's, drop open. His hair had a reddish tint to it but was mostly light brown in colour and perfectly coifed with a prominent curl draped in the center and falling down his forehead. His shoes were a brilliant white and reflected the morning sun of the tips of them. He wore purple pants and a long sleeve shirt with a black vest trimmed in gold.

 

Florian was most in awe at the vest. He imagined that the tailor who created it must have been as highly skilled as they came considering how strong the threading on the buttons must have been. Under constant pressure from the boys size, it was a wonder they all hadn't popped off.
February 03, 2019 05:29 pm
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