Acily was in quite the pickle. Her hands were soggy with bubbles, tears- old ones, they were beginning to salt -and the remains of a customers soup. The pile of plates and cups she had been washing had fallen over, sending a spiderweb of cracks up their porclein surfaces. And Petal was screaming her name because someone needed their tea.
She surveyed the mess with squinted eyes, and gave it a glare that should have made it apologise and clean itself up. However, the only result was the faint sound of the sink water draining.
She sighed and was about to go and fetch a broom when something outside caught her eye.
A short girl was stumbling through the streets looking rather confused, lips parting in surprised every time she looked a different way.
Acily's eyes widened. She hadn't seen a Recently Mindless in ages, and then only once. The mess instantly vanishing from her mind, she ran out the back kitchen door and around the corner.
"Hello?" the girl asked sweetly, her large innocent eyes fixing on her.
"Hello!" Acily replied, careful to keep her tone casual and her smile genuine in order to keep from frightening the girl.
"Um, what exactly is this place? This is real right?"
"Yes, it's real," she assured her and allowed a gentle laugh, the kind that showed she was laughing with her, not at her. One thing she learned in all her years at the tea shop was how to oproach people. This girl was the type that needed softness and mothering, to an extreme point because she wasn't just making small talk while waiting for tea.
She recalled when she was like this girl, this world so new and fresh and exciting, the fun of it after all the tears and pouts were over.
At the confirmation, the girl smiled. Ah, yes, the delight of a fairy land, at seeing the things in books, at having dreams that once seemed impossible come true...
"Who are you?" she asked Acily, hiding behind a strand of curly black hair.
"I'm Acily. I work at the tea shop, you should really check it out."
"I'm Tamryn. I'm sorry, I don't have any money."
Acily blinked, trying to remember what that words meant. She used to know. It was good right? A currency of sorts?
She took the girl's hand and led her to the front of the store. "I don't know what that is."
Tamryn opened her mouth to reply but closed it. Her gaze flicked from person to person, and glanced at the food on their plates. "Wow," she whispered. "Are you sure this is real?"
Petal burst into the room, the plump lady's lips turned into a frown. "Acily! What the heck happened in the kitchen?!"
Acily has lived and worked at a tea shop since her mother abandoned her there at the age of nine. The shop is perched on the boarder of Mindful, which is separate from the Mindless. One day, she sees a recently mindless girl wandering around the streets and asks her name. The girls name is Tamryn. At first it is fun and games, a new place full of cool things. But Tamryn has to go home to her mom; she can't stay there forever. However, when she tries to pass through the Gate, it doesn't work. Something strange is going on, something big. Acily and Tamryn must find out what is happening, so the world will be safe again and Tamryn can go back to her mother.