(Part 38) For the complete list of this series, please go here.
The alley behind the orphanage was quiet, save for the sounds of rats scurrying around the trash. Aly, dressed all in black, slinked along in the shadows. The orphanage was dark, since it was way past everyone's bedtime. Peeking through windows on her way to the back of the building, it seemed safe to assume the office was in the back.
Aly carefully climbed on top of the piles of trash, gripping the windowsill to pull herself up. Using her dagger, she jimmied the window lock. She slid the window open and crawled inside. She crouched on the floor, listening. Satisfied that no one was nearby, she peered around the dark room. Aly let her eyes adjust until she could make out objects in the room: desk, chair, bookshelves, and file cabinets. Aly crawled over to the cabinets, and tried to open one of the drawers.
“That never stopped me before,” she quipped, taking out her lockpicking tools.
Quickly she popped the lock and began rifling through the overstuffed drawers. At first there didn't seem to be much organization with the way they were thrown into the drawers, but after awhile the filing system appeared to be by year. Doing some quick math, Aly tried to estimate the year Aerissa would have entered the orphanage. The older the files, the dustier they were. Aly kept rubbing her nose, struggling to suppress sneezes.
Flipping through, she found several files for Aerissa, Rissa, and other variations. She pulled them out, scanning their descriptions. Just when she was about to give up, one caught her attention:
Name: Aerissa Chasseur
Age: Uncertain, young child
Siblings: 1 sister, possibly others
Description: Dark brown hair, green eyes, pale complexion, pierced ears, no visible tattoos, markings or other identifying features
Belongings: Doll, teddybear, 1 dress, 1 shirt, 1 pair of pants, 2 pairs of underclothes
Reason for admittance: Parents killed by trolls; no other family has come forward
Reason for discharge: Ran away
“Interesting…” Alynedarra continued to dig through the files. She kept looking back at the chart for Aerissa Chasseur. Although none of the information listed could provide her with a positive ID to the woman she was contracted to find, something about it just felt right.
When Aly tried to close the drawer, some of the papers were sticking up, making it impossible to shut. The files were so tightly packed together that several raised up when she withdrew the last one.
Name: Alynedarra Chasseur
What? This can't be… I was never an orphan… and my last name is Dawnwalker…
Aly yanked the chart from the drawer, hearing it tear. She fell back against the desk with a thud. “Shit,” she muttered under her breath. She saw a light go on in the hallway and heard footsteps coming down the hall. Aly tucked the papers into her shirt and scrambled out through the window.
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