A New Beginning

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lillian Gray, Aug 27, 2014.

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  1. A New Beginning

    A one x one between Lillian Gray and Sansa Stark
    A Harvest Moon Story


    Here is a link to the town map.
    #1 Lillian Gray, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014

  2. Face down in the dirt was the way Annabelle decided to end her day. Her bike broke down a couple miles back, and she didn't want to wheel it around any longer. The road signs all pointed towards Willow's Landing, counting down the miles until she'd arrive, but as the day dragged on the numbers were just words, and the words useless writings on wood.

    It's so hot.

    The heat of summer beat down on her back, so she rolled over and smacked her lips a few times. If she took a nap, then started up the next day, she figured it would hardly take any time at all for her to reach town.

    Then? It started to rain.

    "Oh, stop it now!" She called, the southern twang in her voice rang clear as a bell.

    She knew she had to get up, but that took so much effort. The girl was ill prepared for the trek, having thought she'd be able to make it in one trip without any supplies. She was tired, and the rain did feel nice against her skin after a tedious day peddling. It wasn't hardly her intention to end up in Willow's Landing, but, if she made it she was staying at least for a couple of days.

    After basking in the rain, she pushed herself up off the ground and continued to walk. The rain poured ceaselessly on her skin, soaking her to the bone. Her tight white camisole was doing the imagination wonders had anyone been there to look, and so she crossed her arms over her chest to keep prying eyes at bay, because she'd finally stumbled inside what looked like an inn. Gods she hoped it was.

    "Hello, welco-"

    Exhausted, she collapsed to the ground with her arms spread wide in a comical fashion. She didn't even get to ask the man's name who'd so politely welcomed her inside. Inside it was warmer, safer, and the rain didn't feel so cruel.

    "Ma'am are you okay?"

    "Can I..." Her voice was muffled by the carpet on the ground, another welcome. "...a room."
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  3. Gasps of shock and confusion echoed through the cozy interior, a restaurant and downstairs inn jam-packed into one rectangular space. Bystanders and guests of food, shelter and company began to gather around the newly drenched arrival and whisper concerns for her health and safety, and in the center of the growing crowd two women were attempting to break through.

    "Move along!" one shouted above the small-town buzz. "Please, excuse us! We need to get through!"

    Neither woman could blame the people of Willow's Landing for being so initially curious and bewildered by an informal arrival such as this, but neither of the topics were concerning to Koyo and Jocelyn and the two would stop at nothing to reach the cold stranger.

    Once allowed the freedom to kneel by the newcomer's side, Koyo, a small woman from the Far East, placed two of her fingers along the girl's neck.

    "Pulse seems alright," she judged with a confident grin. "Eyes are moving, skin is a healthy color...I think all she needs is a warm meal and a fire to sit by."

    "Good." The opposite woman, Jocelyn, pulled out a small coin purse from the pockets of a silk dress and handed them to the man in charge. "We'll take the suite tonight, Brandon."

    "Of course." The man willingly took the money and placed it within his register, gesturing for the three women to make their way upstairs. "I'll give Flannigan a call too, just in case."

    "Great, thank you so much."

    Koyo, completely uninvolved in the conversation, placed her hand gently behind the stranger's neck and lifted her head just a bit. "Hello," she said softly. "We're going to help you. Can you sit up, please?"​
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  4. She groaned. An irritating noise which parted from her tired lips. "I just want to sleep."

    It wasn't long before a stout, white haired man came through the doors. He spoke quietly with Brandon before making his way over to the trio by the door. It seemed to the girl as if they were all readily acquainted. Her eyes would hardly stay open, and the more she forced them, the harder they pressed to stay closed.

    "Miss, my name is Dr. Flannigan." He informed her. His hands swiftly moved to where Koyo's were, replacing her gentle hands with his. "What's your name?"

    "Annabelle." She blurted.

    "Here, let me help you." Flannigan offered, wrapping an arm under Annabelle's so he could more easily help her walk. "Miss Koyo, would you be so kind as to...?"
    #4 Lillian Gray, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
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  5. "Of course."

    She handed her purse to Jocelyn and wrapped her arm around the waist of the girl named Annabelle, hoisting her to her feet with the help of Doctor Flannigan. On three, the trio tackled one stair at a time while Jocelyn rushed to the top and unlocked the door to the suite. It was terribly slow-going and the look exchanged between Koyo and Jocelyn was one of regret, wishing the two had traded places considering Koyo was only four-foot eleven and Jocelyn was a much taller five-three, but when the unlikely bundle reached the top and crossed the threshold into the honeymoon suite, all the Willow's Landing residents were filled with instant relief.

    "I'll light a fire," Jocelyn said in a hurry, grabbing a few piles of wood and clumsily tossing them into the fireplace before making a spark with a fussy lighter. It was clear she had hardly done such things before.

    Koyo snagged a blanket off the bed and wrapped it comfortingly around the stranger's shoulders, rubbing them softly to create faster warmth and a sense of comfort she was clearly missing. "Annabelle, hm? That's lovely. I'm Koyo, that's Josie, and this is Doctor Flannigan." When she gestured to them, they both waved respectively. "Do you know what town you're in?"

    Jocelyn folded her hands in front of her dress and sat on the small ottoman across from the soaking girl, frowning ever so slightly.​
    • Love Love x 1

  6. "I-I'd say it's nice t-t-to meet you b-b-but." Annabelle shivered terribly, rubbing her sides as Koyo rubbed her arms. She tried to utter a thank you, but her teeth were chattering too much. Instead, she opted to nod her head a few times with an awkward smile on her face.

    "Annabelle, I know with an old man like me around it might be strange, but you should get out of your wet clothes if you're able." The doctor smiled kindly towards her. It was his job to be straightforward and honest. He was just a doctor after all. "For now, how about you sit closer to the fire? Hm?"

    She hadn't even answered Koyo's questions. Annabelle opened her mouth to speak but Flannigan stopped her.

    "Let her rest for a bit, Miss Koyo." He told her.

    "T-t-thank..." Annabelle resorted to nodding again. She moved to the fire and held out her hands, sighing as the heat warmed her bones. "That's m-much better."
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  7. Koyo gave a sudden and respectful nod, standing back as she was told to do, before the realization suddenly dawned on her. "Doctor Flannigan," she stated with concern, "where are all her things? How did she get here?"

    The question was enough to raise suspicion with Jocelyn as well, Koyo could read it on her face, but there was no room in her soul for second-guessing. "Not a clue," Josie stated. "Could one of you text Kohana and ask him to ride down the road and find what was left behind? There had to be something for her to make it this far, the nearest town isn't for another fifteen miles off and I'd hate to think she walked all that way with nothing."

    "I will," Koyo complied, pulling out her phone. The inquiry was justifiable enough.

    "Okay. I'm going to find a nice hot meal for her." Jocelyn stood, brushing off her skirt as if something had happened to it. "Would you like that, Annabelle? Maybe some potato soup and a glass of cider? The summer rains in this area can be dreadful, really. I'm glad you found this place in one piece."

    She smiled warmly, a maternal glow about her.​
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  8. In all honestly, Annabelle wasn't really sure why she'd left. The adventure of it, the prospect of finding some new town, that all called to her, but she didn't actually remember leaving. Fifteen miles seemed a lot longer on foot as well. Had it really been such a long trek? It was so hard to believe.

    "Potato soup?" Annabelle perked up, a smile on her face as she nodded vigorously. "I'd love some."

    Now that she wasn't stuttering, the obvious Southern accent was clear in her voice. Her small upturned nose and strawberry blonde hair made her look like quite a Southerner. When she smiled, it was genuine, pure and simple. She'd gotten over the 'yall' phrase at some point in the past, she rarely used it in public any more. It surely made its way into her vocabulary then, though.

    "Y'all are so sweet." She giggled and nodded her head towards the three kind members of town. Flannigan, Koyo, and Jocelyn. They were all so kind to her even though she was a complete stranger. It was true Southern hospitality.
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  9. Koyo's ears perked to the sound of something so strange. The way this woman spoke, it was different than the English language she was accustomed to. More broad and soft pronunciations. She turned to the doctor, who had begun packing the small kit he had brought with him from home, and back to the young woman again.

    "Sorry. What?"

    "She said she'd like some," Jocelyn replied with a small chuckle. "A beautiful sound, isn't it? Her accent? Ah. I'm sorry. I'll get on that soup." The brunette gave a pleasant wave and skipped off to prepare the meal, leaving the Eastern woman alone with the newfound stranger.

    "Potato soup," she reiterated to fill the silence. "It's very good here. I'm sure you will like it. Where are you from?" Carefully, she began to pour two cups of cider from a nearby pitcher. "I can tell you are not from around here. If you don't mind me saying."

    Where is Kohana?
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  10. "My momma came from the South, and I picked up this little ol' accent from her." Annabelle explained. She accepted the cup gratefully and slurped it down despite the scalding feeling in her throat. It was hot and it was the only thing she picked up on, the heat in her system rapidly spreading back to her sore limbs and digits.

    She blushed heavily and tried to change up how she spoke for Koyo's sake. "My mom is from the South. They talk different there." It still had that twang hidden in the notes, she just couldn't help herself. "I'm sorry, I know it can be just a lil' hard to pick up on, sweetie."

    Again, the redness came back to her face. She'd never felt self conscious about her accent until someone pointed it out. It was different, rather strange compared to anyone else, and she was certainly a minority. Besides her own family, some miles away in their own little town, there were hardly any other people who shared the same vocals as she did.

    "I love potatoes." Annabelle changed the topic of conversation entirely. "Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew, but mashed is the best for sure." She wiggled her toes, stretching her legs out until she felt the need to lay flat on her back in front of the fire. The same white camisole that was soaked through was only damp, her straight jeans were still thick with moisture however. To help speed along the process she kicked off her cute little cowboy boots and sighed happily as the fire found her bare feet.

    "What about you, Koyo, where are you from?"
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  11. Koyo watched the young girl kick off her peculiar boots, wiggling a pair of small wet feet before the fire. She was reminded of her own childhood back East, when her father would come home with a large batch of fish and lay it before the fire while she and her brother gathered around to have a small meal. Those were simpler times in simpler places, however, and certainly nothing to be spoken of. She shook her head and brought herself back to present times.

    "The South." Koyo repeated. "I don't know where that is, but it sounds lovely. Your accent is very nice. I like it. I think my sons would, too." That was a much nicer thing to think about. "They are five years old, and they likes to hear things they haven't heard before. Maybe if you stay awhile, you can meet them."

    That would be nice indeed.

    "Do you have any children, Annabelle? A family nearby?"​
    #11 moffnat, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
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  12. "Children?" She was shocked. "Heavens no! I'm just barely twenty!"

    Annabelle wiggled her feet a little longer. Her jeans were useless in keeping her warm. As much as she wanted to take them off, she didn't dare do it the presence of such an interesting stranger. She must have been from the East. The air about her was somewhat oriental, her accent reminisce of someone from those lands.

    "You have twins?" Still surprised. "What's their names?"

    Jocelyn returned with a plate of soup in her hands. Annabelle was all to willing to accept it. She would've eaten on her side if she could've, but again, the presence of strangers prevented her from being her normal goofy self. Instead, she sat up, acted proper enough spooning mouthful after mouthful of the hot potato soup into her starving mouth.

    "Thank you." She muttered between mouthfuls.
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  13. "What're you guys talking about?" Jocelyn asked with the friendliest of smiles, a quality she was well-known for. Being the socialite of the town certainly had it's perks, especially when it came to newcomers and those who needed a bit of persuasion. There wasn't a single person in Willow's Landing who couldn't claim to be friends with the Lady Jocelyn, a noble from some faraway court, and she would always use her kindness to the advantage of her family, herself, and others.

    "We were talking about children," Koyo chuckled in reply. "My twins are Shino and Toshio. I was older than you when I had them though, that is certain."

    "Oh! That's a fun subject. You won't meet a bad-natured child around this town, that I can promise you. Everyone keeps their children well-educated and well-mannered. It's nice." She sipped at a small cup of cider that she poured herself only moments before. "I have two children, myself. Judah is three and Jeyne just turned one on the first of Summer." She crossed her legs politely, sitting like a lady ought to. "But I suppose that's a bit personal for just meeting someone, hm? Apologies. It's a small town, we all tend to get to know each other pretty quickly."

    "Mhm. Agreed." Koyo chuckled. "When I first came here, I remember when there were only ten of us in this little area. Now there are fifty. Seems very small compared to other cities and settlements, but it is nice. I will never move anywhere else."​
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  14. "You both have children?" Annabelle had to set down her soup in order to keep herself from spitting it right onto the carpet. Koyo looked no older than twenty some years old! Although, her lineage made her look younger than she let on. But Jocelyn? She couldn't have been but a year older than the new comer and she already had two children!

    Where she came from, people didn't get married until they were in their mid twenties. Children didn't come until their thirties, and they had a terrible mid life crisis in their forties just when their children were old enough to know the difference between a quarter and a ten dollar allowance. Her slack jaw proved her disbelief, what kind of town was this then?

    "I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude." Annabelle mumbled, going back to finish off the last of her soup. "It's just that, well, I've never even been in love with a boy to begin with."

    They were getting personal, and so she could admit a little gossip herself. Boys just weren't attracted to her. She was messy, dirty, liked to be rough in the mud with the rest of them, but she'd only be a boy in their eyes. A girl was supposed to be sweet as sugar, polite as peaches, a reach fruit punch. That wasn't what she wanted though. Boys, as she knew, just never wanted someone who was only interested in mud and dirt. They seemed to have some standards.

    "Now we're even then, alright?" She smiled. "Don't you worry now, sugar."
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  15. "Eee!" Jocelyn clapped her hands together. "Good. I like getting to know people on such a personal basis. Now we're friends, see? You have two of them." She chuckled, patting Annabelle gently on the shoulder. "Annie, the southern belle."

    Koyo smiled too, though much more introverted than Jocelyn. "It's true. She's always been the friendly type, but it's nice to meet new people around here. We are a tightly bonded community, but as you can imagine people don't come this way very often. I promise we aren't scary or anything. I don't know the stories you Westerners tell."

    "Mhm." Jocelyn chuckled. "Anyway. We should let you get some sleep. Kohana brought your things and your bicycle, he said he's going to fix it up for you and all that. We're going to let your things dry and talk to you in the morning. okay?"

    The Eastern woman nodded in agreement and rose from her seat. "Unless there's something you need from us first, before we leave."​
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  16. "No, I'll be alright." Annabelle shook her head then bowed it as she usually did. "Thank you, I really appreciate your help."

    What would have happened had she not stumbled upon the town? The rain was pouring down worse than before, shading out the space beyond the windows. If she'd been outside, it would have been much worse. At least now the only thing which could happen was the poor girl might catch a cold. That was easier than dealing with the torrential rains outside along the paths she'd previously been walking.

    Not only that, but this mysterious Kohana was going to fix her bike! He'd even brought back her bag. Inside, although doused with the rains, were a few sets of clothes and her purse. There was also some food, thankfully wrapped up to keep water out for that very purpose, so most of the items inside were intact and well! The roll of bread she'd bought wasn't well off. She pulled it out and set it uselessly by the fire, hoping the flames might restore its soft interior.

    "I'd like to thank him, Kohana. He really didn't have to do any of this."
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  17. "You will soon. You can meet him tomorrow," Jocelyn said assuredly. "He's kinda shy so don't expect much from him, but that's alright. He's not so bad when you get to know him. A real sweetheart, he is, but he looks like a giant out of some sort of fairytale. It's kinda intimidating," she chuckled, "to be honest."

    Koyo nodded. "Ah, well. Jocelyn had better stop talking or you'll never get any sleep." The two women chuckled and exchanged teasing glares before waving the young stranger a goodnight, sweet dreams and everything that went along with it, convinced that things would work out for the better.

    They always did in Willow's Landing.​
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  18. The morning came just like that, the sun woke her instead of an irritating buzz at her night stand. It was a welcome change. She even thought that somewhere in the distance a rooster crowed with the coming dawn, and it struck her as a quirk of the town. She giggled imagining that everyone woke up this way.

    Annabelle dressed herself in something a little nicer, knowing that she'd probably be running around meeting people left and right. In place of her white camisole from yesterday, she threw on a clean top. It was the nicest thing she had with her, the only thing that wasn't covered in mud and dirt from the previous night's rain. A plaid button up shirt with her jeans and cowboy boots made her look the part of a rancher almost. Although she'd never worked a farm in her life, she just liked the mud.

    She packed up what little she owned, somewhat annoyed the bread had simply not warmed up during the night. The girl headed downstairs, her strawberry blonde curls bouncing after her. The inn was quiet still, only the man from yesterday remained.

    "Good morning." She said politely.

    He stood at attention after hearing the voice and instinctively stuck out his hand for introductions. "Oh, you must be the lovely Miss Annabelle everyone is talking about!"

    I guess news travels fast. She thought.

    "Yessir!" She did a little bow for him after shaking his hand.

    "My name is Brandon Ray, I run the inn here." He explained. Annabelle nodded to every word. "Would you like something to eat? Lorenzo over there can help you."

    "Don't mind if I do, thank you!"

    She spent the morning chatting with the kind Brandon, and curious Lorenzo, a man from Italy with nothing better to do than serve the small town residents delicious Italian food. Not that she minded, having pasta for breakfast sat just right with her. Annabelle only wanted to get out and thank this Kohana character though.
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  19. The sounds of raucous laughter echoed through the room as she opened the door to hear what was going on. A small group had gathered around the infamous Lorenzo, the town's comedian, chef and stereotypical "old lonely codger," or so her husband had once referred to him. Mayor Ray remembered the day she first met the crotchety old man and witnessed all his charm and humor, and she remembered it well. It seemed even age had not stolen his personality.

    And, of course, Willow's Landing was eternally grateful for that.

    She scanned the group of townsfolk before her in search of the one everyone seemed to be speaking of. Her husband, Brandon, the innkeep, had described her as a "small white thing blonde hair and freckles". He always had a way with words, that one. Brandon had rushed into their bedroom in the middle of the night ranting about how some strange woman collapsed on the floor of the inn and how much of a blessing it could eventually be, should she wish to stay in town. No one knew better than Suzie Ray how much her town needed a bit of excitement and outside stories to fuel the happiness that seemed to spread so easily within city limits, and this Annabelle character could be the key to that.

    At least, she hoped.

    "What are you goin' on about over here?" came her soft voice, and heads turned to immediately greet her. "You'd better not be smooth-talkin' our most recent guest, Lorenzo, or I may have to ask you to leave." A jest, of course.

    "Forgive me, lady mayor!" he called with excitement, "but this lovely young lady is so charming, I can't seem to contain myself. Much like when I first set my eyes on you."

    Suzie laughed. Lorenzo was harmless, honestly. "Of course, of course. Where is this new girl everyone's talkin' about? I've gotta make my introductions, naturally!"
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  20. Annabelle had been enjoying her morning, happily munching away on the courses Lorenzo served up. After her first course, she realized how empty her stomach felt after wandering the woods for the entire previous day. With each rumble it brought about a chuckle from his lips, and another hot dish. She was starting to worry about how she would pay, but he simply told her, "Next time."

    What it meant, she was hardly sure, because with each new dish, he'd say it again. Perhaps he didn't intend for her to pay at all. As quietly as she could, she slipped what she could in his direction on a napkin, a silent exchange between the two as he accepted her payment.

    A new woman came in, dark, confident it seemed, she melded into the growing crowd easily with her charm. Annabelle discovered she was the mayor and her manners kicked in. She stuck out a hand, jumping off the chair she was sitting in so she could stand, and firmly shook. Her smile was more radiant than it'd been the night before, probably because she was so full now.

    "My name is Annabelle Richards, ma'am." That twang, everyone heard, and must've found cute due to the small little smiles on their faces. Lorenzo especially seemed to like it. "I stumbled in last night, I wouldn't mind stayin' for a time."
    #20 Lillian Gray, Aug 30, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2014
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