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Bai listened to his siblings' chatter with half an ear as he ate breakfast, one hand on his fork and the other on a pamphlet about counterfeit seals. Some of the new ones could be tricky to spot.Author's Notes
"Clerk Lishorel says I'm ready to qualify for an Intermediate Volunteer license," Alikara announced. "I'll need to visit the Licensing Office."
"Why don't you ask Bai to take you after school?" said their mother Jenorv. "He loves that sort of thing."
Bai looked up from his pamphlet. "Sure, I'll be happy to help."
He thought about it all through the school day, because a trip to the Licensing Office was always exciting. Alikara had done a lot of work over the past year to improve the effectiveness of pet licenses in ensuring proper treatment of animals. She didn't have the love of paperwork that Bai did, but she worked methodically through the parts of it required to meet her own goals. As long as they were going, Bai could check up on some of his own interests. He scored well enough in his art classes to get a calligraphy license, which would entitle him to buy some of the specialty supplies. He'd even saved enough that he could afford the license and a new pen.
When they arrived at the Licensing Office, Bai collected the forms that each of them needed and they quickly filled in the information. At the side office they were supposed to enter, however, everything was a shambles. Mewing and rustling paper and muffled curses echoed through the door. Bai peeked in carefully, Alikara hugging his elbow. Inside the small office devoted to pets and other hobbies, a litter of skykittens scrambled and glided and pounced over every surface. They knocked over ink and got their little paws in the licenses. A harried License Assistant pursued them, his fine shirt coming unbuttoned in the fray. A carton tipped over and spilled pages to flutter through the air.
"Of all the places I ever expected to see it raining skykittens, this is not it," Bai said dryly.
Prompted by Deirdre/Wyld-Dandelyon, also fills the "getting a license" square in my Rites of Passage Bingo Card 12-30-14.