Harvest Moon: the Smell of Lilacs


Returned from the Void
Original poster
Invitation Status
  1. Looking for partners
Posting Speed
  1. One post per day
  2. 1-3 posts per week
  3. One post per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
Preferred Character Gender
  1. No Preferences
Urban Fantasy, High Fantasy, Epic Quest, Sci-Fi, Time Travel and World Hopping, Steampunk, Action/Adventure, Modern Drama, Mystery, Slice of Life, Romance, and many more.
"That should do it."

Aaron surveyed his work, yet another parchment now flapped on the town's noticeboard.

Full Time Hired Help
Wages are share in farm profits
plus share of produce
plus room and board
apply at Fanya Farm
End of West Rd

"Finally caving, huh Stumpy?"

Aaron flinched at the familiar voice behind him. The insult probably wasn't meant as such, but it still sent a twitch through where his right arm used to be.

"Just looking to make my life a little easier."he replied calmly without turning around. Isaac the grocer was one of very few people in the town who got on Aaron's nerves. Built like an ox and about as tall, Isaac was a self-made merchant who had seen a golden opportunity in rebuilding Lilac Town, and had a bad habit of holding the absurdly high standards that had boosted him up to everyone else. The man believed that strength was the key to everything; be strong enough and nothing is off-limits to you. Therefore, Aaron, with his laid-back attitude, rather scrawny frame, overly achievable ambitions and missing arm, was an enigma of contentment to him. "So in other words, you could 'Use a HAND'?" he asked, before laughing uproariously at his own joke and slapped Aaron's shoulder, making the contraption of wood and steel that substituded flesh and blood rattle.

"s'pose so."

Aaron carefully brushed at his shoulder as a cue for the other man to get his hand off it, and surveyed the message board once again. The rebuilding had started not too long ago, and everybody was clamboring for attention to get a start. The grocery, of course, needed no signs. Isaac had cheap suppliers already en route with the first shipment of goods, but the butchers bakers and candlestick makers all clamoured for customers, repairmen, or anyone with a hammer and some free time to tear down the old and build up the new.

Aaron had been fortunate enough to cast his sights on Fanya Farm. Fanya, he understood, came from an old regional dialect that meant "silver mist". He'd found out why the first morning he woke up and looked through the window to find a glimmering cloud settled over the little bowl his small patch of land rested in. As the sun rose higher in the sky and peeked over the mountains, day by day it would flash gold and red and orange, and then melt away. He decided not to change the name.

Getting started wasn't as easy as all that though, half of the farmhouse had been burned down, and while he'd manage to seal that part off so that his room stayed mostly warm, there was a giant ashen hole in his kitchen, and a hole in the corner that, if he ever got his hands on a ladder, he might be able to make a cellar entrance out of. Then there was the field. It had taken some doing just to FIND the field under all the weeds, and a hoe was easier to operate when both his arms required a normal amount of energy. The artificial limb WORKED, but gods was it tiring. Metal substitutions, which could handle more strain and worked more smoothly, were expensive beyond a small-time farmer's means, and besides, the village barely had a pharmacy.

But new folks were coming in on ships every day to snatch up whatever land was left. Everybody wanted a piece of Lilac Town, hopefully someone would settle for poor little Fanya and its dark-haired cripple.
Sarah would like to think this was all a dream but the more she sat on her suitcase, which was on its side, and looked at the scarce acitivies, she realized that everything was real. As much as she hated to admit the truth.

Lilac Town. She never even heard of such a place yet the people she was around on the ship seemed to know, they were bustling with talk and excited at some new oppurtunity that could happen in this dead beat town. All right, so she wouldn't be having so many hostiles thoughts about this place if it wasn't for her brother, the traitor. Leaving her at one of the ship ports, taking most of her hard earned money that came from selling some artwork, and running off after some rich chick as if he had some chance of wooing the witch.

Sarah was strong, pushing her limits sometimes a bit too far. She believed in hard work whenever it presented itself to her and although it was a bit silly, she used to dream about living on a farm. The idea of having and watching livestock graze and actually growing crops from her own bare hands used to be a thrill. It still was.

But it wasn't like anything was going to change. She would always be stuck moving from place to place, selling anything she could.

At least she had her things and a thin mule that was bridled, but not exactly useful at the moment. All he was doing was gently nudging her shoulder and nibbling the sleeves of her dress whenever he liked. Fortunately he didn't chew it down to pieces.

So Sarah forced herself to stand, picked up her worn out suitcase, and took hold of the mule's reigns. Her light brown hair blew around in the wind despite the bandanna on her head and she smoothed the invisible wrinkles in the skirts of her red and cream colored dress. Some people glanced at her, others did double takes at her eyes. The right one was a dark forest green color while the left was a light blue. The lighter colored eye happened to be the one that was going blind. Slowly but surely. Not a lot of people knew that though, especially not after one look.

And if they weren't staring because of her eyes, it was because of the skinny mule lumbering beside her. That or they were too busy to even spare a glance.

Eventually Sarah had made her way around the town that seemed to be building itself to look more stable rather than just cracked bricks ready to cave in. After a while she managed to stumble upon the town square and for some reason pictured a nice fountain placed in the center. Actually she could imagine this place springing to life, cleaner and more attractive than it was now.

She quickly pushed the image out of her mind, thinking it was useless to dream about a town she wasn't planning on staying in, and surveyed the surrounding area. She wasn't sure what to do now that the ship was gone already. Perhaps stay until the next one arrived? Sighing, she moved to edges of the square so she wouldn't be in other people's way and set the suitcase down in front of her.

The mule stood along side her looking quite dumb. Although he was much smarter than his appearance let on and that quality had captured Sarah's attention when they first met. Her brother didn't want another mouth to feed but he didn't object when she brought him on the ship which boarded animals too, thank goodness. Well it kind of had to considering Lilac Town was styled for country living.
Aaron gave the rest of the notices on the board a cursory scan and, determining there was no one looking for farm work at the moment, turned to carry on his other business in town.

Fanya Farm wasn't so far down the road that most metropolis would refer to it as being ''out of town'', but with more than enough work to fill the hours between dawn and dusk, coming down the road into town for anything required enough time set aside to qualify as a trip. He supposed it would calm down marginally once he'd gotten the house liveable and the field tilled at least, but for now pinning up a notice and visiting the pharmacy was all he could afford time to do.

The false arm rattled a bit with each step he took, hanging lifeless without any effort expended to move it. Movement of his other arm, however, was natural movement, and set the false one in harsh contrast. Long sleeves were unthinkable as Spring grew warmer and eased its way into summer, and while the short-sleeved shirt and long, thin vest left his false arm open to gawkers, he preferred it to heatstroke and besides, he didn't plan on going anywhere, people around here were gonna have to get used to both him AND his handicap.

Several businesses were slowly but surely beginning to show signs of life through the ashen ruins, and people were busy all around - many only on temporary basis, paid to help with the reconstruction. Still, a newly painted florists shop and a few ragtag boquets of wildflowers sat in front of one sunken structure, and someone was driving a sign for a smithy into the earth at an already cleared lot, an observance that cost Aaron dearly, as he turned his head back to the path before him, only to find the path before him rushing up to his face.

He groaned, rolling over off of his formerly good arm, which, with some tentative testing, was still quite useable, if scraped and bruised. The curbs and streets were rather less of a priority than the buildings at the moment, and Aaron really had wished the first hole in the cobblestone would be the last one to snag his foot in it.