The wilderness here adjoins a road, with a bus trundling one way or the other every five minutes, and a moped or truck less often than that. White chevrons indicate which way each lane of traffic is to go; there's a sidewalk, with a railing, but it doesn't look like it sees much use.
Blank staring. "...what's your native language?" offers phone-adult.
When this turns up no search results, they go back to mostly just being confused. "Where do they speak Cretari?"
". . . . What if you not-download from me my map."
"I don't know what you're even talking about." The adult pockets his phone and collects his corresponding kid to head away from Lornell.
People here are very strange.
Are there still other kids around who want to see more tricks? Lorn will resume providing if so.
He can quickly re-attract an audience if he goes back to doing tricks!
- Actually they're going to take a break to think for a minute.
There's some chance that Lornell has committed a pretty great wrong against several people here, if everyone mostly wants to keep themselves to themselves or something. Lorn has never heard of such a place but that doesn't mean there isn't one, and that's - probably a reasonable way to be, somehow, even if it seems obviously terrible on its face. And even if it is unreasonable it's still not Lorn's right to disrupt it. So it seems like they shouldn't take any more of the language or anything until someone specifically assents.
(They start fidgeting in a way that's somewhat indistinguishable from intentional showing off, though it's composed less of fancy flips and more of ridiculous numbers of consecutive one-armed handstand pushups.)
Also this is the first time they've ever interacted with adults who weren't guaranteed to be nice, and that's something they should really come up with a game plan for. Hard to know where to start, though.
Some of the kids start trying to stand on their hands too. None of them can.
- None of them? Not even with Lorn giving them a few (admittedly sub-fluent) pointers?
Nope! They fall down and giggle. One of them gets frustrated and runs away to his mom.
That's not . . . inherently . . . child abuse . . .
"How would you all like to be when older?"
"I want to be an ASTRONAUT," yells one.
"I'm going to be a musician!" says another.
"I want to have SEVEN kids and make us all a CAKE, EVERY DAY," says another.
"What is an astronaut?"
"An ASTRONAUT is a SPACEMAN*!"
* Not a gendered term, but this is the right precision and register.
(Having to either ask what words mean (multiple times) or just keep on not knowing them is awful, wow.)
"To be a spaceman, how you need to be like? What kind of person?"
"You have to practice not throwing up! And you have to be okay with doing lots of exercise so your bones don't fall apart! And you have to have science to do in space."
"It's a job with aloneness?"
"Noooo," giggles the kid.
"Job with aloneness!" repeats the would-be musician. "Job with ALONENESS! ALONENESS. ALONENESS."
"May I be helped by any you for being better towards words?"
"I know lots of words! Like... cytesine!" says the one who wants to bake cake for seven children.
"May I take some but yet you have them?"
"I am USING my cytesine for my hair and my nails," she informs him.