I took another glance at the slightly crumpled paper in my hand with a sigh. I was finally starting my new life, I realized. This was it, and tomorrow, I would begin. At the moment, I lay propped up in bed after meeting the mayor and being shown around town. Since my train arrived late, I didn't get a chance to meet anyone… but it suddenly hit me that I would have plenty of time for that now. I was really going to live here! I pulled the bands around my hair to let down my brunette ponytails and placed them, along with the "Exciting Ranch Plan!" paper, on to the small night table beside me. The property I bought wasn't much, but it was a comforting place where I could hear the sounds of the ocean. At some point, that soothing music managed to put me to sleep.
KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK
I pulled back the covers and rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, groaning at the thought of a person who would be knocking at my door so early in the morning. Morning people. Ugh. In later days, I would learn that these villagers were early risers. Darn. In any case, I shuddered as my feet touched the cold wood of the floor and wrapped a blanket around my cotton nightgown. There was a bit of light streaming through the windows, so I could see pretty well as I fumbled with the door latch. Opening it partway, I looked down at three elf-like creatures as they spoke. Well, they were more like little imps because they were so tiny! After managing to assure them that I could see them, they asked me to revive their Goddess. Though it took me a little time to awaken and fully comprehend their words… I was soon wide-awake and fully convinced that I had gone mad.
One of the little guys said, "So please, help us!" And I said I would come out in a second after I was changed. Sure, sure. I'll help you, little pixie people of my imagination. Feeding these illusions was no-doubt bad for my mental health, however I felt bad leaving them alone. So, I changed swiftly and then threw my hair quickly into my chosen style with practiced ease before following the little munchkin-ish things to the resting place of the acclaimed Harvest Goddess. Let me tell you, as soon as I entered that grove, my heart nearly skipped a beat. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but there was just something about this grove… and the large statue situated in the center. Even though her eyes were cut of some rock, I knew I could see magic and life within their upraised depths. Her graceful hands, nearly quaking with power in their stillness, added to her somewhat depressing appearance. Hope. There was no hope in this beautiful stone figure. As I learned more from the Harvest Sprites, as they called themselves, I heard a sound and glanced behind me.
This guy wasn't exactly stealthy, rushing in the way he did. His brightly colored poncho didn't scream "ninja", either. Unruly purple locks were swept from his face and crested by a wide-brimmed hat. His eyes were firm and cold, and at the moment, rather angry. "Ah, find someone else who could see you, I see?" He sneered. I swear, he was Draco Malfoy's incarnation! When I turned to face him, I thought a bit of shock registered on his features, but I couldn't be certain in the dark enclosure.
Looking back on things, I was trying to be kind (always my downfall) as I replied evenly, "Yes, I can see them. Are you alright? You seem quite irritated."
He glared pointedly at me, his eyes holding something I couldn't quite place. "I already told all of you," He addressed those gathered spitefully, "That I would be the one to set her free. You don't need to rely on-"
I stepped forward, my temper still under control (though I was slightly grumpy from the early rising), "I asked if you were alright. What's wrong? Please tell me." I suppose my face was sympathetic, which seemed to make him even angrier.
Before he could reply, a sprite interjected, "Please don't be mad, Jamie! We think we need to find as many people to help as we can! If we all work together-"
"Shut up with all your friendship and love crap," He said in a dangerously low tone. "I said I would be the one to bring her back." Even though he said this with controlled anger, his blue eyes piercing, he almost seemed sad. He really seemed to love this Goddess… but even more than that, he REALLY seemed to hate me. I met his gaze unflinchingly.
I added logically, "But they're right. If you really care about the Harvest Goddess, then-"
Once more, Jamie interrupted with, "Of course I care, you idiot! It's people like you who can't be trusted! People in general!" If this were some bizarre cartoon, steam would be coming from his ears. However, the situation at the moment was rather serious, so I was silent. I also began to think about things… He was right, of course. Humans did tend to make a mess of things. Still, the way he talked to everyone made me practically boil over with rage.
"Whether or not I am a person doesn't matter, Jamie." I felt rather intense as I said this and wondered if my brown eyes created the same piercing effect his did. Probably not, but you never know! In any case, I am once more off subject.
"Hmph," He grunted unintelligibly as a purple bang fell over his eye. "Well unlike you, I actually have a farm to run. Your shabby cottage won't even compare." He sneered this last phrase before leaving the woods with his non-existent grace. He was lithe and seemed strong, so perhaps he could've been quiet if he wanted to, but no doubt he was too flustered to do so. That guy seemed the type to get steamed up over every little thing.
"He isn't usually like that..." One of the Harvest Sprites said sadly, completely refuting my previous thought.
"Really?" I asked doubtfully. Well, he must really love this Harvest Goddess.... either that or again, he just really hated me. Great.
After I left the Goddess Spring, as the Harvest Sprites called it, I found myself idiotically lost. Sure, I could get off the mountain, but which way from there? Seeing a rather brightly-painted purple log cabin, I began to walk up to it, though I then saw the likewise painted sign.
-...And them some meaningless threatening garble after that. I didn't really care to read on. What kind of guy WAS that? And, I must say his ranch name wasn't very creative. Oh well. Speaking of which, I knew I had to come up with my place's name as well. The mayor said I could come to him as soon as I decided, but I truthfully didn't know how to decide. I figured Inspiration would hit me sooner or later.
And hit me it sure did.
I saw a kindly face and violet eyes as deep as the heavens. I saw but a glimpse of this scene, but nonetheless my mind soaked up all the details. Magic sparkled around the being and somewhere in the background, mysterious music played. The song itself needed no words to add to its unimaginable beauty. A voice, I soon, realized, emanated from the magnificent lady. It was as if I could hear her words and thoughts all in one second, one feeling. They communicated her loss of hope. She had always gifted the humans, but she was forgotten as people in turn forgot how to love.
I woke up in the unfamiliar room, though my nose told me it was a clinic. This was further confirmed when I pushed off unfamiliar, starched linen white sheets to glance about the room. A clean-cut man entered, and because of that professional disposition (and obvious lack of sleep), I knew him to be a doctor.
"Ah, I see you've awakened?" He said kindly. His dark eyes were comforting, but they somehow seemed to put space between us because of his professional outlook. He was calm, cool, and collected, and I was only those things when I really wanted to be, which wasn't very often.
I turned towards him and felt my head spin a bit. I soon found the cause when my hand found a bump. "Oh, now I remember what happened," I said sheepishly. "Wait a minute…" I further puzzled, "All I remember was that something hit me." Intuition? Blast it! Apparently, intuition didn't like being personified and used its new humanity to smite me!
He smiled lightly in his professional manner and replied, "Ah yes, well it was simply a mistake. Luckily, you only got a bump. Ann! Michael! You may come in now!" As he addressed these people, he looked somewhere behind the curtains. There emerged two figures: A man that seemed perhaps in his thirties and a girl about my age. The girl's hair was fiery red and her gaze captivating while the man's hair was deep blue and his gaze sedating. Still, I knew they must be related. There seemed a sort of bond between them, and they had similar features for all their differences.
The girl smiled weakly, a small blush coming to her face as she began, "Ah, sorry. There was an accident, and you got knocked out because of me." She stood with confidence nonetheless: one hand resting on her hip. She dressed comfortably, not for style, I noted, and had many-a-smudge from oil and who-knows-what-else upon her.
I shook my head and grinned, "Ah, don't worry about it," I assured her.
She scratched her head idly and continued, "Well, I was working on my potato cannon and…" She laughed and shrugged, "Things got a bit out of control."
"Potato cannon?" I raised a brow. I seem to make interesting friends.
She nodded energetically and replied, "Yeah! It's…" She went on to give me a mechanic's view of such a creation. I nodded and pretended I understood the whole thing. We talked for quite a while, Ann and I. I had been introduced to her, her father, and Doctor Alex during the span of my infirmary visit. Soon after, I was ready to go home (I got a map from the Doctor first,) and I parted ways with my new friend, Ann. In all truth, her father seemed to be a bit sexist by saying things like "I wish you would behave more like a woman, Ann,". I had to dismiss this, however, for I didn't feel like fighting at the moment.
On the way home, I pondered many a thing and almost ran smack-dab into another person about my age toting around a large basket of eggs. And when I say large, I mean HONKIN' HUGE! I blushed and apologized to the good-hearted soul who introduced herself as Ellen. "I'm just delivering these eggs," She added on to her introduction with a smile around the basket. Now looking at me directly, she continued with a please expression, "Oh! Are you by any chance the new farmer who moved in by the ocean?"
"That I am! It's nice to meet you. My name is Kachi." I replied with an equally friendly smile, though that soon changed to concern as I looked upon her burden. "Oh, do you need any help with that?" I asked.
She shook her head slowly as to not move the basket. "No, it's alright. I'm used to this by now, and you probably have a lot of work to do." She said in response. I did have a lot of work to do, but I felt bad leaving Ellen all by her lonesome. "But now I need to deliver, so good day to you!"
"See you later, then!" I said in response. It was already getting late, thanks to my infirmary trip. I would have to get some serious work done tomorrow. The mayor would probably ask, too, if I had thought of a name for my farm yet. Oh, there he was on the bridge!
"Hello!" I called out to him with a wave.
"Well hello there, Kachi. How have you found the village?" He asked.
I smiled ruefully, "More welcoming than I imagined," I confessed, and though a few… interesting things had happened, that was certainly true. People who lived in the country just seemed more welcoming and less rushed than city-folk.
"Speaking of your time here," Said the mayor, "Have you thought of a name for your place yet?"
I pondered for a moment, and in my mind's eye, I saw violet eyes as deep as the heavens. The next day, a sign by my home triumphantly proclaimed:
Gift of the Goddess
-Farm and Ranch-