Braedon munched on his apple contentedly, ruffling his self-cut hair with his free hand as he looked at the Laputan clouds about him. The sun reflected off his makeshift eye-glasses, glinting merrily in the afternoon light.

For as long as he could remember, Braedon had been a part of the castle in the sky, laputa. He was it's guardian and keeper; there wasn't a single secret the city held that he didn't know.

The creatures hidden in the shambles of the arboretum and in the overgrown ruins had learned to trust him, even the most lethal of beasts coming up to sniff his hand as he walked through their territory.

Braedon finished his apple, tossing the core off the monument that he was perched on. It landed in a bush a few feet down, where he knew it would be quickly finished by his mouse friends. The small rodents followed him nearly everywhere, since he had saved their nest from a flood in one of the lower vaults last year.

He smiled as he heard the small sounds of munching and mouse chatter below him.

The nomadic boy turned around and duga round in the rucksack next to him, alternating between ruffling his uneven hair and pushing his glasses back up his nose as he searched.

"Aha!" Braedon pulled out a handmade sketchbook, made from paper he had found on one of his adventures. He dug around in his bag some more, finding a rusty pan, another fruit of his explorations.

He flipped the worn pages, looing through his previous artwork. There were drawings of some mice, his favorite tree in the arboretum, the pattern on a door that had caught his eye one afternoon, and even a dangerous wildcat that had come to lay down next to him while he was reading under a tree one day.

Braedon chuckled at the memory, picturing the expression on his face when he saw the large feline law down next to him as if expecting a belly rub.

He kept turning pages, and soon found a black page. He clicked his pen a few times, thinking hard about his next project. He wanted it to be new, bold, original.

Braedon began doodling the clods that lazed by him, for lack of anything better to do. He shaded them in grays and blacks, wishing he had a colored pencil set.

He had found one once... On his travels of the inner vaults. He had found it in what looked like a noble's study. It was his favorite treasure, but in his excitement, he had tripped and dropped the box of pencils through a crack in the floor that, try as he might, he couldn't fit through.

The memory agitated him, placing a pouting frown on his tanned face. Absently, he did his routine of pushing his glasses up and ruffling his hair with his free hand.

He ran his hand through his hair again, mentally remarking that his hair wouldn't look so odd if he had actually sharpened his knife before using it to cut.

It would have helped if he had his glasses too...

Braedon frowned, scribbling out a misshapen cloud and fingering a rather jagged chunk of brown hair.

Definitely wear glasses next time...