Harvest Moon: Dewdrop Valley

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Minibit, Mar 15, 2012.


    A breeze, cold from the north, twisted through the town of Dewdrop Valley, creating a stir of dust off the cobblestone streets.

    Lucy Greene, the local florist, used her apron to brush the newly raised offence off of one of the clay flowerpots outside the shop. Having done this, she looked down the street in both directions, and then leaned over to grab a stone from the doorway that was a little bigger than her closed fist. She used it to prop the door open.

    On both sides of the door, fresh flowers bloomed in bouquets; lilies, roses, moondrops - the local variety - goddess blossoms, even plain daisies were bunched with baby's breath, tied with ribbons and set in pots with nearly black soil, or in clear glass vases, perhaps with some colored pebbles in the bottoms.

    All of the plants were grown locally; most of them in Lucy's own garden, which was conveniently only seven minutes walking from the shop; her house faced the centre of the town, and its unfenced backyard was unhedged by other streets or buildings, and was carefully tended every morning and evening by the shopkeeper herself. Five minutes further from the house, was a gravestone under an oak tree, thirty-seconds over from the next grave-stone, which read 'Bronwyn Greene, Daughter, Sister, Dearly Missed Friend.' That grave always had flowers on it.

    Lucy had inherited the shop from her sister, who shared her love of gardening, but not of the city. In reverence for her departed siblings wishes, Lucy had dropped her classes in herbology in the next city over, and moved to Dewdrop Valley to take over Greene Blooms not quite three months ago. The business had grown quite successful under Brownyn's care, and while adjusting to the lower local-sales and the greater exports had taken some difficulty, the place was now plodding along at a pleasant rate.

    Dusting her hands on the apron rather than the skirt of her pale blue sundress, Lucy brushed her brown curls back from her face, fishing in one pocket for a string or ribbon to tie her hair back with. Looked like another slow news day.

    Turning around, she kicked the stone she had just placed away from the door, and pulled the 'out to lunch, back in 30 minutes' sign out from the windowsill, hanging it on the door, she whipped her curls into a pony-tail as she headed down the block to the local cafe
  2. Work at the café was gruelling and – more often than not – thankless, but there was little David Smith enjoyed more than the satisfaction of another well-prepared dish. Whether it was an omelette made with the native methods, or a batch of scones baked how they were back in his home country, he revelled in such delights. The looks on the customers’ faces when they particularly enjoyed a piece were never seen by him, being a chef and therefore largely confined to the kitchen, but had he experienced even one, a contented smile would spread across his face like wildfire.
    Lunch was always the busiest time of day, but David had somehow managed to get out of cooking for the time being, saying that he just needed a few minutes to catch his breath. And so, after hanging up the ingredient-stained apron and dusting his uniform of flour, he exited the kitchens and drank in the sight of the café once more. It was only after he brushed a strand of pitch-black hair, clinging to his forehead back into the pseudo-moptop, did he realise the stark contrast in heat between the areas. This, however, did not affect the stifled yawn he somehow managed to suppress, the result of an early morning and several hours of work, alongside his deep-brown eyes now baring a vaguely bleary look to them.
    “I wonder if the customers like my food…” he mumbled to nobody in particular, recalling how he’d been preparing cakes and whatnot in advance, but had been producing quick dishes like a breakfast fry-up on order. He was free of that, though, for the next ten minutes.
  3. A loud sneeze sounded over the sound of hot coals burning in the forge. Spring, one of the worst times of the year for Ralph Heimler, the town's youthful (at twenty), and slightly eccentric blacksmith. That was the time when the grass grew again and unleashed its natural weapon against their helpless victims: grass pollen. This was a bane of allergy sufferers everywhere, with the young blacksmith being one of them.

    With such allergies, one would have thought that he would leave the village for the big city but, in the blacksmith's own words, "I would rather drowns in pollen than sit at a desk everyday. Besides..." He couldn't deprive the village of their blacksmith, and their occasional village idiot. That would have been a cruelty not like kicking a litter of newborn puppies off a cliff. And so he suffers.

    "Damn grass..." He sneezed again before he resumed hammering a hoe back into shape. Damn thing broke before half a field was done... Oh well, it was his job to fix it anyway. At least until lunch. "LUNCH TIME!" A mechanical voice chimed, a little annoying alarm clock from the city. Loud enough to be heard in the forge, which was always something. That was the only thing stopping him from smashing the damned contraption to bits when it announced the time of day at night, though he did consider it when it kep him awake.

    "Alright, alright, I hear you. Shut up!" He tossed the hot blade of the hoe into a nearby water barrel and shut the damn alarm clock off. Time to do the routine. He streached, wiped the sweat off his face, did his best impression of a shotgun blast (not routine), and then removed the blackened apron that he wore before walking his barrel chested, six foot and change body to his usual spot outside the cafe. He waved at the window from his spot, never going into the cafe, if only to keep the smell of the forge out of the cafe. His hands were always covered with worn leather blacksmith gloves and today was no exception for Ralph, the blacksmith with a large scar through his eyebrow.
  4. The whirr of a sewing machine was the only sound in the small tailor's shop. Teresa Hollis had always loved fabric work, and was thrilled when she was finally able to open her own shop in Dewdrop Valley. Of course, she did get a little overwhelmed sometimes, since she was the only one working there, but that didn't bother her too much. It always kept her on her toes, for sure.
    A light breeze wound its way into the store through a window, carrying the scents of leaves and flowers from outside. As much as she loved working in her little shop, Teresa also enjoyed the outdoors and took walks whenever she had a chance. She stared down at the piece she was working on, a simple yellow shirt with a couple of frills on the shoulders. It had a large rip in the side, and she was trying to repair it.
    "Should I finish it later...? No, I should do it now, then I have longer on my break..." she muttered to herself.
    After a few minutes of silence except for the humming of the machine, Teresa held up the shirt, studying it with her soft blue eyes. The tear was nearly invisible; you'd only see it if you knew it was there.
    "Good as new!" Teresa smiled to herself as she folded the shirt and put it beside the sewing machine.
    She stood up and pushed in her chair, brushing back her wavy black hair. Walking into the area of the shop she lived in, she turned to the kitchen. She got out two pieces of bread, spreading peanut butter on one and strawberry jam on the other. Once she had assembled her lunch, she walked out to the main room of the house. Slipping on a light cotton sweater, she picked up her 'Closed' sign and hung it on the window before grabbing her lunch and heading out to eat under the shade of a tree.
  5. Rounding the corner towards the cafe, Lucy took a deep breath of the spring air; even outside her flower shop and away from her garden, the air was always fresh and cool with the smell of dew, flowers, and green grass, dampened with the chill of the mountain snows high above them. The valley, a little pearl of life surrounded by ice and stone, was a miracle in its own existence, yet entirely natural and self-sufficient. A rare spot exposed to the sun and its warmth, founded with soil born from the corroded stone and more scraggly plants from aeons ago, and fed by the snow-melt streams, it was a real-life Eden.

    "Afternoon, David" she called, raising one hand in greeting toward the cook who stood just outside of the cafe. "Aw, you're on break, does that mean I have to settle for someone else's cooking?"

    Lucy had been going to that cafe for lunch at roughly the same time six days a week since she came there; long enough to at least learn her favourite cook's name, even if they'd never spent time outside of his workplace, she was trying her best to fit in, and figured she'd start with getting to know the people she was going to see on a daily basis
  6. “It’s only for a few minutes, Lucy. You know how lunch is, what with all the people looking to grab something to eat. Though, if you really do like my cooking so much, I suppose such a trivial thing as my rest period can be postponed momentarily.”
    After chuckling lightly, David somehow managed to disguise a yawn as a sigh, thereby hiding his fatigue. As he was hardly in an ideal financial situation, any opportunities for extra pay were snapped up quicker than a saltwater crocodile would a chunk of meat at the surface. The extra hours may not have shown in the form of yawns, but the somewhat glassy look in his eyes and the slightly sluggish nature of his actions would betray such a fact – to the discerning observer, of course. There was one problem, however, that he had no had no immediate objections to revealing. “Come to think of it, I am feeling a touch peckish… Maybe I’ll go and fix myself up some Welsh rarebit. Oh, but where are my manners, I’m just blithering on. If you’re going in, I may as well. Anything on the menu you’d like, seeing as I’ll be getting something for myself anyway?”
    Though he was disappointed his stint outside was so short-lived, the youthful rookie needed to clear his head – as delicious as the smells of the kitchen were, the stark purity of the spring ir was a welcome scent.
  7. "It's fine, I can wait a minute, I gave myself a half an hour after all" Lucy assured him, approaching the cafe and stopping a reasonable distance away from David, close enough that neither had to raise their voices to be heard. "I just thought I'd like to smell bread and butter instead of violets for a while"

    She could understand the need for a breather, even if Greene Blooms was slow for walk-in visitors, flowers being plentiful and easily collected from ones backyard - if a little less fancy-dressed - actual bouquets were not a local demand. But that didn't mean Lucy had nothing to do all day; orders from the city came in on the supply wagons - which also left with exports from various retailers in Dewdrop Valley - every week, which meant she never had more than seven days to prepare orders that could range from ten to ten hundred boquets, many of which had special requests for not only which flowers to use, but with or without paper wrap, specifications for that and the ribbon and with or without baby's breath and length and sometimes they wanted vases and - oh, there came that headache from earlier.
  8. "Ah, quite the contrary for me. I've been working myself to the bone for-"
    Cutting himself off before revealed he had been up for far longer than need be, in order to obtain a slightly larger wage, David replaced the time he'd arrived with a seemingly natural "Long enough."
    The chef never got a good look at his customers, let alone a conversation with them, so he made a particularly strong attempt to become as good a friend as possible to the ones that did pay him any mind - in his own little way, of course. He could be rude, sarcastic, sardonic, but he wasn't a bad person, by any means. He had just been deprived of much human contact, and for the most part, had already formed an opinion on the world. It was the people like Lucy, however, that gave him the weak smile that showed he was coping. The people like his colleagues who'd provide the nice little things in life, like a friendly face or words of encouragement. "Oh, by-the-by, I hear we're going to be doing an offer on Sunday roasts from now on. All I know is, is that there will probbly be a lot more orders for roast beef."
    Despite the following chuckle to indicate it was a joke, rather than a concern, the amount of effort needed to make a decent roast dinner was staggering, as opposed to a slap-up meal he would refuse to serve.
  9. Sara sighed, wiping her brow with the back of her wrist as she walked down the dirt path, heading into the town for the beginning of her shift. Her grandmother's bakery was open and the elderly woman had been working for a few hours by herself as Sara had been doing some household chores. Her long brown hair swayed gently in the cool breeze as her emerald eyes stared contently ahead of her. Her shoes made a familiar scuff as she walked the dirt road and entered the small country village.

    She hummed softly, happy today had such nice weather. She adjusted the strap of her black tank top as the wind played with her soft pink skirt, she had lived here all her life and had just turned 18 in the past month. She had wanted to move out of the village and into the city her entire life, but now that her grandmother was getting older, and seeing as she was the last of her family anywhere near here, Sara had decided to stay and life a comfortable life out here.

    As she walked down the road, her eyes came upon the village's flower shop. An idea popping into her head, she leaned over to see the door to find out if Lucy had gone for lunch yet.

    "Oh rats." Sara said aloud, "I guess I'll have to try later." she shrugged and continued her way to the bakery.

    A few buildings down, she could smell the scent of fresh bread and other pastries baking, the smell had always made her feel comforted and relaxed. She hurried, opening the door as the bell rang, "Hello Grandma!" she said happily, waving to her.

    "Hello dear." her Grandmother greeted with a warm smile on her face. Sara wasted no time at all, she put on her apron, pulled her hair back into a long ponytail and got to work making an apple pie. She loved this job and could be quite happy doing it for the rest of her life, just like her Grandma.
  10. "You should bring some to the festival tonight! Like, maybe in rolls or beef sandwiches or something!" Lucy exclaimed, her eyes gleaming, David's cooking was always the best, she got the impression the man had to be a perfectionist, she had yet to find the slightest flaw in anything she'd ordered when he was cooking - and he was usually cooking - and she was a fussy eater, too.

    The flower festival preparations had kept her busy all morning and the past few days as well; the festivities started relatively soon, as well.

    However she was well-prepared, many plants and flowers were potted and prettied and ready to go in small push-carts behind the shop, it wouldn't take her long to set them up around the city square. The flower festival was one of Lucy's favourite holidays, so she didn't mind all the work. It was a fun afternoon/evening event, people brought picnic lunches and spent the day socializing and smelling the flowers; people often brought snacks or crafts to share among their neighbours; it was a rare opportunity for those who lived a distance outside of town, like the ranchers, farmers and others who required to be away from a metropolis, to come into the village and have a day off. It would be starting in a little bit, she should probably start bringing her part - being the local florist, a considerable percentage - of the blooms soon.
  11. "Ah, right, the festival. Come to think of it, wasn't the team doing something for that?"
    David had, in the maelstrom of work he had become engulfed in, completely forgotten the fact that there was a festival going on, which was made all the more surprising when one remembered the cafe he was working in was working their hardest to prepare food for the unfortunate souls who had brought nothing, and to share it with others regardless. Though it was mainly an advertising stunt, along with something to boost public relations, the individual chefs often felt they were genuinely doing something for the community. David was never sure how much his customers like his food, and as he was rarely let off work, he was often too exhausted to ask. Even on festivals, he would usually spend the day resting, and receuperating. It had not had much of an impact, seeing as sightings of him outside the kitchen were scarce at best, and he had moved to Dewdrop Valley around nine months ago. Nevertheless, despite the strain he anticipated, he hated the look of disappointment on people's faces, especially when he felt it was because of him. "I won't bring just beef, I'll tell you that much. There'll be crumpets, scones, if you're lucky we'll be sharing out a steak-and-ale pie. Don't let the name fool you, there's hardly enough ale in there to intoxicate a mouse. I've done a few experiments, and made it so it gives the pie a distinctive, tangy flavour. Quite how ale makes it tangy, I have no idea, but people seem to like it. I'll make sure you get the first slice of the finished product, if you like. And if you're quick enough."
    David's head-in-the-clouds rambling came to an almost comical stop as he changed to tone at the last sentence, almost as if it were an afterthought.
    It most likely was.
  12. "Oh, well it seems I timed my break correctly this time. Good afternoon Lucy, David." Ralph walked over to them, the smoky smell of the forge aired out enough that he was not loath to be in public with others. When outdoors atleast, indoors was where the smell was just a little too strong. Always killed the mood when he headed inside.

    It didn't matter to him though, he liked it outside. The natural sounds of nature were a large contrast to the rythmic sounds of the forge, as were the clean spring breeze when compaired to the smoke and fire smell of the forge. He was inside the forge enough, he didn't want to spend more time inside than he wanted to.

    "Seems like today is the perfect day for a festival. Your shop must have been emptied of flowers for this one, if last year is of any note. Still have some primroses, morning glories, and peony, I hope." The list of flowers was a reference to the simple arrangement of flowers that he bought every week for some reason. It was nearing the time for his next purchase aparently.

    ((sorry for the shorter post, kinda bleh right now))
  13. All morning had been full of work, setting up stands and putting together signs for the Flower Festival. A tall, tanned man named Duncan was wiping the sweat off of his brow as he finished the final stand for the festival. Duncan was the town lumberjack and carpenter. His family has lived in this town ever since it was built. His father's fathers built this town with their bare hands, and everything is holding strong. This made Duncan proud to continue the trade of carpentry.

    Duncan was in his mid twenties, making him a very healthy and capable carpenter. He loved his job, and he always did great work, since he knew his mother and father were watching from heaven. Duncan was a very happy person, and he loved nature, as most of the people in Dewdrop Valley did. If he caught a moment of spare time, he liked to sit out in front of his log cabin and whittle trinkets to give to the children of the town. Today, however, was a busy day. Not much free time at all.

    After finishing the last flower stand for the festival, Duncan caught the sweet smell of something tasty being cooked up in the bakery. Today Duncan had a sweet tooth, and an empty belly, so he placed his hammer and hatchet back on his belt, packed his other tools away, and made ambled towards the bakery.

    Duncan was pleased to see that the bakery wasn't closed, like most of the shops around lunch time. Duncan opened the door and smiled at Sara's Grandmother. "Afternoon, ma'am." Duncan said with a nod and a smile. "Just finished setting up for the Festival and I smelled something good comin' from the oven, so I had to make my way down here." Duncan looked over at the oven area. "I reckon since you're out here, Miss Sara is doin' the cookin' today. Sure does smell wonderful." He looked over at Sara, who was working away making sweets and delicious breads, and smiled.

    The brown haired, blue eyed man removed his black and white plaid bandanna, revealing his messy hair. He tucked it into his back pocket and walked over to the counter and spoke to Sara. "Might i ask what smells so good today, Miss Sara?" Duncan visited the bakery often, usually getting some bread and the occasional chocolate chip cookie. Chocolate chip cookies were his favorite, and Sara and her grandmother would know that by now.
  14. Sara was determined to make this the best apple pie she had ever made. Today was going to be the flower festival, and even though flowers were the main attraction, they did make a few extra dollars selling baked good at their bake sale stand, and if she made this apple pie great, she was sure it would attract more customers to their bakery. In the midst of making the pie, she had also been trying out some new recipes and old favorites. They included their famous (well famous to a few fellow villagers) chocolate ship cookies, raspberry rolls, ginger snap cookies, buttery french bread and a few other assorted treats. The young girl sighed, wiping her wrist across her forehead and looked down to her masterpiece, smiling as she heard the door open. She turned her head and her green eyes landed on the village's carpenter. She blushed deeply, looking back down to her pastries and quickly tried to find something to do with herself. She snuck a glance before realizing that Duncan had been looking over and quickly looked back, feeling more of a blush invading her cheeks.

    "Oh, hello Duncan. How are you today?" her grandmother asked kindly, offering him a smile as she looked over to the oven area as well, "Yes, Sara has been hard at work since about 10. She had a few things to do back at home before coming down here." the elderly woman said, smiling at her granddaughter. "But, I must go down to the bank, I have a few things to discuss with the banker there. Feel free to try out a few of the sweets." she said, waving goodbye to Sara and Duncan before leaving.

    Sara waved goodbye to her grandma, mentally telling herself to calm down as Duncan walked over to her. "Hello Duncan." she greeted, smiling as she looked back down to the pie. "I just finished making this pie, I'm going to be selling slices of it at the festival today." she said, then turned to the arrangement of sweets on the counter, "Along with these of course." Her emerald eyes looked back at him, she had the biggest crush on him since she could remember. He was a couple years older than her, but there was just something about him that she found extremely attractive.

    "I just tried out the recipe for these, would you like to try some?" she asked, holding up the sheet of raspberry rolls. "And of course you can have some chocolate chip cookies." she added, giggling softly.
  15. Duncan looked at the pie that Sara had just finished, then he surveyed the other pastries on display. Everything looked so good! The pie smelled wonderful, too. Nodding as Sara spoke, Duncan's stomach grumbled when presented with the raspberry rolls, and he blushed a little...

    "Haha I don't think I have a choice, they look too delicious to pass up! Of course I'll try one, and you know i can't refuse a chocolate chip cookie."Duncan reached out and grabbed a raspberry roll and observed it closely. It was a beautiful piece of culinary delight. The raspberry red swirl complimented the small bit of white whipped cream that sat atop the delicious treat. Duncan almost didn't want to eat it, but his stomach said otherwise.

    As soon as this piece of delicious berry goodness hit his lips, a smile couldn't leave his face. This was by far the best pastry he had ever had in his entire life! Better than any cake or cookie anyone had ever made him before! This cake roll was a true testament to the bakers of this town! Duncan couldn't even speak. He simply cried a little "Mmmmm" of joy, for the pastry was more refreshing than a crisp breeze wafting across a springtime meadow in the middle of heaven itself. It was like a high of sweet, decadent cream and berry romance dancing across his taste buds on a warm summer night. This pastry was delicious.

    Duncan smiled after quickly finishing the roll. "Miss Sara, you have outdone yourself! I love chocolate chip cookies...but I think I found a new favorite sweet! These are delicious, Miss Sara. I would take a cookie, but now...not even your grandmother's chocolate chip cookies can compare to these little things right here!...oh but don't you tell her I said that...it'll be our secret ok? Hehe." Duncan said that last bit in a playful whisper. Duncan stretched and glanced over at the window.

    "I have the stand assignments right here, I drew'em up earlier..." Duncan pulled out a small folded up blueprint that somewhat resembled the town square. "I have you positioned right here, but I think I might move you over next to my stand, haha...just so I don't have to go far to get another pastry." Duncan smiled at Sara. "Is that ok with you?" It sounded like he was joking at first, but with that question, it was obvious that Duncan was being serious.

    "If not, that's ok! I can leave my stand for a bit to come see you, no harm done. Besides, I don't think many people wanna expand their houses or build any barns anytime soon, haha!"
    Duncan sounded a little sad about that fact, but he laughed it off and scratched the back of his head. He glanced down at all the pastries Sara had made for today. She would probably sell most of them. People, especially the kids, loved Sara's pastries.

    "I can help you carry these out whenever you want to set up." Duncan said with a smile. "My stand ain't got much to it. Just a little catalog of blueprints, that's all." Lucas reached into his pocket and pulled out a little bit of money. "Oh, and here, before I forget. Thanks for the pastry!" ​Lucas placed the money on the counter and pushed it towards Sara.
  16. Sara could almost not contain her happiness as she studied Duncan's expression when he had the first taste of her new product. Her smile brightened as she giggled watching him savor the roll. It always made her happy to see someone enjoy her baking, especially Duncan. She blushed intensely as he washed over her with compliments, she loved when people enjoyed her baking, she just wasn't too good at taking the compliments.

    "Th-Thank you Duncan, that means a lot, really." She said, then laughed at him announcing his new favorite sweet. "Okay, I'll make sure not to tell her that, you know you are one of her favorite people in the village, if she found out you switched favorite sweets you might become her least favorite." she joked, smiling at the taller man, blushing at his whisper.

    'Calm yourself!' her inner mind yelled, forcing her cheeks to lighten a bit. The young girl looked down to the blue sheet of paper, studying it as he spoke. Her soft voice giggled quietly as she looked back up at him, until she realized he was serious about the sudden want of change. She blushed more as he went on, looking to the side and trying to calm her now fast beating heart.

    "N-No that sounds fine!" she replied as she smiled up at him, "It doesn't really matter where I am, and Grandma isn't going to be staying long, so she won't mind either. She will probably just stay for a couple of hours before she goes back home to check the chickens or something." she rambled, forcing her mouth to close before she embarrassed herself even more.

    She blinked at his offer of help, she had always brought everything out by herself, and it wasn't all that much really, but she would be thankful for the help. Smiling she nodded, "Sure, that would be great, thank you so much!" she replied, nodding slightly, making her long brown pony tail sway behind her as her emerald eyes looked to him with a grateful smile. "I just have one more batch of cookies in the oven, but they are almost done." she added, and as if on cue, the small little yellow cat timer dinged to signal the cookies being done.

    "Oh!" she said, turning to the oven that was behind her and opening the oven, placing a red oven mitt on her left hand she reached in and pulled out the cookie sheet full of fresh chocolate cookies with a smile on her face. "There, now these just need to cool, then we can go down and set up." she replied, moving back to the counter as Duncan placed the money on it.

    "Oh, no you don't need to pay, it was on the house, I insist." she said, smiling and tilting her head slightly, before bending down behind the counter and pulling out a few baskets and some colorful paper to use as a holder for the pastries.

    "So..." she began as she placed some muffins in the basket, "I was wondering...you know, if you have any spare time, if you could come over to the house and repair a bit of our barn. I think some wild animals were trying to get to our chickens, so the wood at the bottom of a wall is a bit wrecked, I tried fixing it myself, but I think I made it worse." she added with a laugh.
  17. "I think I can manage the speed, I'm going to have to be there early to help set up anyway" Lucy replied with an impish smile. The call from their local blacksmith turned her attention, and she looked over her shoulder to see who it was before turning.

    "You seem to be the only one interested in that particular combination, so probably" she responded to his odd statement. Ralph was one of very few in the village who regularly purchased cut flowers. Some people came in now and again for a potted plant, but never returned for anything more than fertilizer or a new pot or pair of gardening gloves. "You're coming to the festival, right Ralph?"

    It was a poor conversation starter, but it worked; it was just about a given that he was coming to the festival; in a town this small you couldn't not hear about it, and in a town this small you couldn't be too busy for it; especially since all your customers were going anyway.
  18. Sara accepted his offer to move next to him. "Haha! Great, as long as you don't think your grandmother will mind, then it's settled! You will be next to me!" Duncan switched the names around a bit on the paper and wrote "Sara" on the stand next to his. His blue eyes sparkled as he looked back at her and nodded at her grabbing the other cookies.

    When Sara said that the pastry was on the house Duncan shook his head and smiled. He knew that she wouldn't take the money. "Thank you kindly." Duncan replied to her refusal. The chocolate cookies smelled great too! Sara was really a wonderful baker.

    "So..." Sara started. Duncan raised his eyebrow, looking her in the eyes as she spoke. He listened to her words, she seemed a little hesitant to ask...just before she finished, Duncan gently placed his hand on her shoulder and gave her a reassuring smile. "Yeah I'll help. Don't worry about it." He said with a kind smile and let go of her shoulder. "So you think it was animals, hm...We should put up a fence too if that's the case..." Duncan scratched his chin. "And how about this, I won't charge you a dime..but you have to make me a few more of those roles! Haha!" Duncan smiled a bright, happy smile. He really just liked having work to do, and who better to work for that Sara. He liked her company a lot, and her baking was divine.

    "When do you think you could show me the damage? I'd like to just see what I'm working with."
    Duncan rubbed his chin as he thought. "It should be fine though. I'm sure it won't be too bad. I look forward to it! A hard day's work is rewarding, as is spending time with friends, like you Sara." Duncan smiled at Sara, admiring her beautiful eyes. He thought she really did have the prettiest eyes.

    Duncan rolled his shoulders around a bit, relaxing a little. "Enough business though...How have you been lately? Your grandmother seems to be doing well, so that's good. Are you excited about the festival?" Duncan ran his hands through his messy brown hair as he awaited a reply.
  19. Sara smiled at him as he spoke, scratching his chin every so often, she loved it when he did that. "Oh, I'd have to pay you something, not just with rolls." she said as she smiled, "And we would only need a fence if you think it's absolutely necessary. I wouldn't want you to do more work than you need to." she added seriously as she nodded. She paused for a moment, thinking about his question. "Well, you can come see what the damage is after the festival if you want..." she faded off as he went on, failing to comprehend anything after 'spending times with friends like you Sara' then following up with that amazing smile.

    She mentally shook her head after a few seconds, again cursing herself for acting like a love struck puppy. "Only if you want though." she added quietly, placing more sweets into baskets.

    She looked back up at him as he spoke again, rolling his muscular shoulders. Blinking she shrugged, "I don't know, good I guess. Yeah, Grandma's doing good." she said with a small smile, "We did have a bit of a scare a little while ago though, but everything is okay. As for me..." she shrugged again, looking over at the window of the bakery, "I don't know, I'm good, I think I've finally decided I'm for sure going to stay here in the village though." she said smiling at him again. A few people had known of her previous thoughts of moving back to the city, but she had just recently fully decided she'd stay. Nodding she responded to his next question, "Yes, I love the festivals. I think the flowers Ms. Lucy grows are really beautiful. I was going to pick some up before I came here for Grandma, but it was closed, so I'll have to get some during the festival." the young girl said, sighing happily as she put the last of her pastries in the baskets, then turning to the chocolate cookies, holding her hand above them to see how hot they were.

    Nodding to herself, she took the sheet, and grabbed the spatula to scoop them into the remaining basket. Once that was done she placed her flour-dusted hands on her hips, smiling at her creations. "There. All done, and with some time to spare too." she said as she smiled at Duncan laughing softly. "What about you?" she asked, "How have you been?" She turned to the sink, washing the flour off her hands as she watched him, then drying them and taking off her apron and hanging it up, revealing her outfit underneath; a black tank top and soft pink skirt.
  20. Duncan nodded as Sara spoke. He listened intently and noted Sara's longing as she looked out the window. It hurt his heart to think that she might have wanted to leave the village, but he smiled when she said that she think's that she might stay. She asked how he had been... "I've been doing well. Tryin' to keep busy so the days don't drag. I just enjoy being alive!"

    Duncan didn't seem too interested in talking about himself. He was more interested in Sara's decision to stay in the valley. "I'm happy to hear that you want to stay here, really I am. But are you sure that is the right decision for you, Miss Sara? You deserve to be where you're happiest, though we would all miss you dearly, myself included." Duncan stretched and walked over to the window.

    He spoke with a little sadness in his voice, "Yeah...town just wouldn't be the same without you..." He turned around and smiled. "How could I start my day without smelling the fresh baked pastries of your bakery? And that wonderful smile you have that just brightens this town!" Duncan's smile faded as he rubbed the back of his neck and looked down at the floor..."But there is a whole world out there beyond this valley...And if you want to see it, I don't blame you one bit." Duncan looked up at Sara again. "Just do what makes you happiest, Miss Sara. You deserve it." Lucas walked over to the window again and thought to himself...

    He wondered if he ever left, where would he go? What would he do? He didn't know anything but this little village, and he was happy here...but if Sara left...He physically shook his head and turned around with a smile on his face. "Would you like me to get that for you, Miss Sara?" Duncan asked, pointing at the large basket of pastries.