This story is for Let Love In's Challenge in the Harvest Moon challenge forum. The challenge: To create a series of fifteen one-shots including a certain word or words. Here is the first one-shot.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harvest Moon
Popuri sighed when she saw all the mess on the floor of her room. But she had to clean it. Her mother had asked her to. Her mother had been sick for years now, but today she was looking particularly bad.
"I wish he'd come back with a cure for mother soon," Popuri said to herself. But she wished this every day, and every day the wish seemed to become more and more unlikely to come true.
Sighing again, she tidied her room and then turned on the vacuum cleaner. She pushed and pulled it around her room, sucking up all the bits of dust and dirt. She pushed it under her bed to suck up any of the dust and dirt down there, and then felt it hit something.
The pink haired girl turned off the vacuum and climbed under her bed. She felt around in the darkness for the thing the vacuum had hit. She found it. Popuri climbed out from under the bed, holding a pink box.
"Where did this come from?"
She opened it and gasped. Inside was a beautiful porcelain doll. It had a long, flowing blue dress and blonde ringlets. Popuri ran her fingers over the dolls face, enjoying the feel of the smooth surface.
"When did I get this?" she asked herself. Then she remembered the day two years ago…
"Popuri!" called Lillia as Popuri walked through the door. "There's a package for you."
Popuri ran over excitedly. No one ever sent mail to her. "Who's it from?"
"I don't know," said Lillia. "There's no name."
Popuri eagerly ripped open the package, and out came a beautiful porcelain doll.
"Oh mum," she said. "It's beautiful."
Lillia was silent.
"Mum?" Popuri looked up to see tears in Lillia's eyes.
"Mum, what's wrong?" exclaimed Popuri. Lillia shook her head.
Popuri worried. "Mum?"
"The doll is just like one that Rod bought me when we got married. The one I lost."
Popuri sniffed. "Oh."
After a moment of silence, Popuri said, "I miss dad."
"Me too, Poppy," said Lillia. "Me too."
"Poppy…That's what he called me," said Popuri. "That's what I'll call my porcelain doll. Poppy."
"Poppy," breathed Popuri. It was the only thing left that reminded her of her father, even though she didn't know who it was from.
"Poppy," she said again, hugging the doll.
"What are you doing?" asked a voice. Popuri turned around to see Rick standing at the door.
"Where'd you get that from?" he asked.
Popuri handed the doll to Rick. "Remember?"
Rick shook his head. Popuri sighed.
"The anonymous package…"
Rick gasped. "I didn't know you still had this."
The two siblings looked at the doll. Just like the doll that Rod gave Lillia. The only thing they had left to remind them
Popuri sniffed, a tear running down her cheek. "I miss dad."
Rick put his hand on her back. "Me too."
"MUM!" squealed Popuri. "Mum, look!"
Lillia sat up and Popuri handed her the porcelain doll.
"Rod," breathed Lillia. Tears filled her eyes. "Oh it reminds me so much of Rod."
"I want you to have it," said Popuri. "Because it's just like the doll you lost.
Lillia took the doll's porcelain hand, rubbing her thumb over it. "Rod…"
Then, the hand came off.
"NO!" cried Popuri, snatching back the doll. Her right hand was now missing. "Oh no…"
Then Lillia gasped. The doll's hand was hollow, and inside was a piece of paper.
"Read it," said Lillia.
Popuri scanned the piece of paper and gasped.
"What?" Lillia asked.
I'm sorry that I've been gone for so long. I haven't found a cure yet, but I will find it, I promise. I miss you dearly. This is to make up for the birthdays I have missed.
Rick, I hope you are looking after the chickens well. I miss you too. Take care of your mother and sister for me. We need a man around the house.
Lillia, I will find you a cure, I promise. I miss you so much. I wish I was back there with you. Take care, and I will be back. I love you.
Love your father,
Or your husband, in Lillia's case"
Lillia and Popuri stared at the piece of paper. Rick came in, read it, and then joined the unmoving group. Tears filled their eyes. That letter may have been two years late, but it meant so much.
Popuri hugged her doll. "Dad."
The porcelain doll really was from him. And that made it all the more special.
I hope you liked it.