The villagers had given me their old tools. I found them in front of the house when I went outside the day after I arrived and there was a note tied to a water can. It read:
Molly, it's not much, but we thought you might need these.
I couldn't believe it. These people have shown me kindness, I thought. I should do something for them if I ever get the chance! I couldn't stop smiling. I was very grateful.
Might as well put them to good use. So I did.
I started with the weeds and they were everywhere. They were overgrown and they grasped at my bare legs and scratched me. Their roots were so large and sturdy that I had to dig some of them out. The land was hard to plow through in certain spots, too. It seemed strange that flowers were growing there, but they weren't very strong, so I pulled them out and tilled them into the dirt. There were veggies growing there, too, but I left them alone. Might need those...
There was nothing I could do about the holes in the barn and coop roofs, so I worked on their doors.
Then the rest of the week I spent cleaning out the house. It was dusty, to say the least.
There were a few books on the book shelf, and the rest of it was filled with cobwebs and dead, half-digested flies. I wiped it all out onto the floor. I have to sweep anyway, I thought. I then moved onto to dust the table and chairs, the little nightstand, and the windows. The bedsheets and blanket were also very dusty, as well as the table cloth and curtains, so I took them outside and beat them against the house. I then rinsed them in the river and hung them on the line that hung on the front of the house.
When I finished with that, I moved back into the house. There was an old straw broom leaning against the kitchen counter, so I swept everywhere. I moved the bed, the table, the nightstand. I moved everything and swept all the dirt and dead bugs outside. There was a gentle breeze outside, too, so I opened the door and windows and let it flow through the old house, which seemed to give new life to it because it replaced the old, stale air with new, fresh air.
It was Friday, and I was done for the week. I worked hard fixing what I could, cleaning, and preparing the land for new plants, and I had torn most of my clothes doing all that. I caught my shirt on low tree branches, my pants on the barn door, and my socks had a hole on the big toe where I wore it down this week alone.
I wonder if there is a clothing store here... There has to be. Shelly said she was a seamstress. I bet it's in town somewhere. "I don't wanna goooo," I whined out loud. "I look horrible!" I really did. It was as if some great beast had attacked me and tried to take my clothes. They were torn and dirty. I am torn and dirty!
I didn't want to go, but I needed to. I couldn't keep wearing beat-up clothes. I had a little gold that I brought with me on my trip, so I went to town. I had to see the Mayor, anyway.
When Cain had brought me this way the first time, I didn't really pay attention to the surroundings. I was walking this time, though, so I looked at everything. There was a nice little path that led to the town from my farm, and berry bushes dotted the landscape. I picked a few and ate them. There was even a whole beach that I missed, too. An elevated path led down to it, where I saw shells and urchins laying about the golden sand.
I walked into town, across the bridge. The town hall was right there, so I went there first. . The mayor was sitting behind the desk, fiddling with papers or something. When I walked in a bell chimed, and he looked up at me. His hair is still in that crazy do. I wonder how much time he spends on it? I giggled to myself.
"Ah, Molly! I was wondering when you would drop by," he said smiling, looking me up and down. "Uh, are you ok?"
I looked down at myself. "Oh, yes! I've just been working. I came to town for new clothes, actually," I laughed.
"Oh, I thought you had been injured," he laughed with me. He asked how I was doing and if I'd settled in and what I had been up to. "Well, I asked you to see me because we need to talk about your house payment. You have paid all but the last 5000 gold. I am in no hurry to get it, I understand you are probably short gold right now. So whenever you have the gold, just come by and make your payment. I hope this is alright," he said.
Shit. I forgot about that last payment. "Of course! Thank you, Mayor. That is very kind of you," I said. He told me I was very welcome and told me to drop by whenever. I said goodbye and headed to the clothing shop.
It was a quaint little shop. Sonata Tailoring, what a cute name. It's kinda weird how everything is music themed, though.
I walked in, but no bell chimed, instead something that sounded like a music box played. I looked around, but no one seemed to be there. I figured Shelly was in the back, so I looked at some of the outfits on display. There were several cute dresses on mannequins, shirts folded neatly on a shelf, and pants folded just as neatly as the shirts on the shelf below that. On another shelf, there were baskets of several different kinds of yarns, and behind the counter, yards of material were stacked against one another, waiting to be used.
Maybe Shelly is out for the day, I thought.
"Uh, um, hello?"
I turned to see a blue-haired girl. She halfway hid behind the wall that separated the shop and their kitchen, and fidgeted.
"Hi," I said. "Can you help me? I need some new clothes..." I said, feeling a little embarrassed, but I didn't know why.
"Y-yes, I can try to.. help you," she stammered. She must've been embarrassed or just really shy. "I'm Candace."
"Molly," I said. "Um, I need some durable pants and some shirts. Maybe a hat, too."
She didn't say anything, but she went straight to the clothes, so I followed her. She picked a few pairs of light blue pants, and several different short-sleeved shirts. She held them up to me, I assumed trying to see if they would look together, but she asked if I like them. I told her yes and she took them behind the counter, where she pulled out a straw hat, much like the one I found in the old dresser in my house. She gestured to me, as if asking if I liked it. I didn't really, but I didn't want to tell her no, so I said I'd take it. She rang everything up.
"200 gold," she said meekly.
My jaw nearly fell off! Clothes are expensive here! I need these though, I gave in. I handed her the 200 hundred gold, and a few pieces fell out of her hand. I reached them as quickly as she had. I grabbed her hand, it was soft, delicate. She pulled away faster than light illuminates a dark room.
"I'm sorry!" we both said at the same time. I handed her the stray gold pieces, took my clothes, and left. I was embarrassed for embarrassing her. She was so shy, I felt like I had hurt her, even though I didn't really do anything.
Candace, I thought. Shy Candace... The more I thought about her, the more I wondered why she was so timid. Maybe it's simply because she doesn't know me. I mean, some people are just shy around strangers. Or maybe she was hurt before. I don't know. Shy Candace...