The Dark Secret of Rick
Disclaimer: I don't own Harvest Moon or any of its characters.
Author's Notes: This piece deals with very, very mature themes and is likely to make quite a few people uncomfortable. If you feel uneasy about them, then exit if you wish. This story is told from Rick's POV. Please enjoy and, as ever, please R&R. No flames please, for what would they accomplish?
P.S. This is NOT an explicit piece and never will be. I am a writer, not a pornographer.
Chapter One: Simple Days
Ah, Popuri! Such a sweet name, such a sweet child! Who could ever forget her radiance, her bright and shining hair streaming out behind her as she ran laughing through the glowing fields in the warm evening sun of summer? Not I, that is for sure.
My lawyer says that he may have found a way to avoid the ultimate punishment for my crimes. He suggests that I plead insanity and be confined to an asylum. After a few years, he reasons, I can be "cured" and leave a free man. I could write a book and we (he made sure to emphasise the word we. Typical lawyer.) would become rich. Ah, the scandal, the mystery, and some might say the perversion behind it all. Yes, I am cynical. It is a natural consequence of what I have been through. I wasn't always like this though. Three years ago, I was a far different man. More idealistic and willing to believe that things would turn out alright. Let me take you, whomever, wherever and whenever you are, reader, back to those happy days, those simple, wonderful days.
I was born on 27th November 1985 in Mineral Town on Mineral Island. My parents were named Rod and Lillia. Wonderful, loving parents, the best any child could hope for. I am stating this merely to prove that I was not abused as a child. My actions were of my own free will, the will of a healthy, happy and mentally stable person. My father worked as a poultry farmer, just like his father and grandfather before him. He was good, very good; he taught me all I know about the subject and I must admit I know a lot. My mother helped him by selling the produce of his labour and was quite a shrewd saleswoman in her own right. For three years, it was just the trio of Father, Mother and I.
Then on 3rd July 1988, my beloved sister Popuri was born late at night in our home. The doctor remarked on what a beautiful child she was with her shock of pink hair. He also mentioned how healthy her lungs were (good God how she bawled!). I was not interested in the newborn and paid her little heed. Except for noticing that considerably less attention was lavished on me, her existence did not affect me at all. Life carried on as ever.
I grew up, went to school and made many friends; among them a young blonde girl named Karen. She was my first real love. How many happy games we played together in the young glory of spring, the ecstatic atmosphere of summer, the fading beauty of autumn and the glossy snows of winter, year in and year out. As Popuri grew older, she joined in our games, except during the summers when a boy called Kai came and played with her. At that time I didn't mind. After all, Popuri was a weedy little kid and Karen and I were generally happier to be by ourselves.
Perfection! A happy home life with two loving parents and a little sister for company, combined with my love and friendship that I shared with Karen. What could give more happiness? But alas, nothing lasts for ever and these golden days were to come to an end after eight glorious years.
1st February 1998: I remember the date well because Mother would always sit by the window all day on the anniversary of the event, simply waiting for her rescuer to return.
It had been two years earlier when she had been diagnosed with cancer, but Father had decided to keep the terrible news from us. He thought it would be better if we did not know that Mother was dying, that it would serve no purpose. Besides, we'd never truly understand what it was that was happening to her. But after two years, two years of constant medical failures, that Father took it on himself to save Mother.
I'd come home from school and found the envelope taped to the door. It was titled Rick in Father's handwriting. Confused, I wrenched it off the door and opened it. Inside was a letter. As I read it, I sat down slowly on the doorstep, unable to stand due to shock.
I do not know how to tell you this, but it must be told. Mother is sick with cancer and all the doctors have failed to cure her. There is only one thing that can cure her now and that is a special flower which only blooms once every half century. It grows in a special garden in a monastery in Tibet. I must travel there and I do not know how long I will be gone. You were always a bright and perceptive child. I am sure that you can manage the farm until I return. God bless you my son and always remember to look after your little sister. She is a very special little girl.
Your loving father
I don't remember what I did next. Perhaps I cried. I was always very emotional. But regardless of what I did, I pulled myself together and took over where Father had left off. He had left for Tibet and I was still here, that was all that mattered.