Archive for category Savvy’s Diary
We got back on the horses and ran about taking pictures of the observatory for Olaf. We handed him the camera and he looked over it, humming about how nice the pictures were.
I looked at Misty and shrugged.
He hemmed and hawed and then pronounced that we would build a Gondola Lift! Tunneling was out and the mountain was too steep for a road. He was an engineer. He was right! Or, so he said. We just went along with him. Apparently there had been a gondola lift there at one time, there were foundations going up the mountain. He thought if we were lucky we’d be able to use them. He gave us some GPS devices to put next to them. As we rode away from Olaf and towards the foundations I heard it again, the mechanical clanking, just like a chair lift going up a mountain.
I stopped and looked around and even looked up. This was insane. I shook my head, but the noise wouldn’t go away. Misty was looking really worried.
Maybe I just had an overactive imagination. We placed out the GPS, the last one was really hard to get to and neither Heart nor Evening liked going that high on the mountain side. We were careful going back down. Olaf looked over the GPS and declared that while the foundations were in good spots, they were too old to use. They had to go. He gave us dynamite.
We’re teenagers. I’m sixteen. Why am I being given dynamite?
He had a brochure with how to use it. Apparently, once we read it, we knew as much about it as he did. The idea was set it, light it, run. Those were some pretty concise instructions. Misty looked white as a sheet.
I looked at the foundations marching up the hill. “If we get to the next one before the first one blows, we should be safe behind it.” I swallowed hard to try and hide how nervous I was.
Misty couldn’t believe we were actually doing this. But what choice did we have? I set the dynamite near the first foundation and Heart must have sensed my urgency and fear because she broke off into a gallop towards the next foundation. I counted “One potato,” and when I hit “ten potato” and we were safely behind the next foundation, the first one exploded. The ground shook and little pebbles fell out of the sky and it was terrifying.
One day, maybe, I’ll be able to look back at this and realize how awesome it was. Today is not that day, diary, I swear, my hands are still shaking with nerves.
Misty set the next one and away we raced up towards the next foundation. We did this all the way to the last one and then we raced at break neck speed back down and didn’t stop until we got back to Olaf.
The guy laughed. It wasn’t funny. It was scary!
While we’d been risking our lives, he’d found a lift from the Alps. All we had to do was get out the letter to buy it. I took it with shaking fingers. At last, something that wasn’t going to get us killed.
We rode sedately back to the village, I admit, I was shaking still as I passed Derek the letter. At first he was all business, going on how lucky we were to make it just before international post, which was by helicopter of all things, then he saw my pale face.
“Dynamite.” I said.
“You were the one doing the explosions!” His eyes widened. “Are you okay? Did you two get hurt?” He grabbed my hands and started to rub them. “Was it fun?”
He grinned at me. “You should get an answer tomorrow about the lift.”
I nodded at him, tugged my hands from his and got back on Heart. We had papers to deliver to Marley.
Marley was happy to see our papers, he thought we’d been fast. I don’t know about that. But then he broke more bad news. He needed permissions to run a race and so the track had to be inspected. Carney was apparently a licensed inspector. Marley needed us to ride and ask him to inspect the paddock. That didn’t sound legal to me, having family inspect your track. But I was more than happy to head back to the winery, then I could collapse on my bed and finish shaking.
We rode back to the winery and well, Carney got huffy when we requested he go to Marley’s. I don’t think I worded it correctly. He huffed he’d do it when he had the time. I was too exhausted to care by that point. We went and got the horses fed again and then when we got to our room, I collapsed on the bed, tucked Roarzor under my arm and Cinnamon settled onto my chest so I could pet him.
Never again. Not if I could help it. No more dynamite. That had been scary.
Misty took a shower. Water seemed to calm her down. She always seemed to seek it out when things were highly emotional. She got out and came into the room to snuggle with Snowbelle. Only when we were both done shaking, did Misty and I go get dinner.
We were walking to dinner when Misty started hugging herself. “I yelled at Josh today,” She blurted out.
I think my jaw dropped to the ground. I turned to stare at her as she continued on about giving him an ultimatum. Misty? Misty? Who was so quiet and could be so shy had grown a little backbone and yelled at Josh? She clapped her hands over her mouth and I realized she’d been babbling. I’d missed most of it in my shock.
I glanced about. This wasn’t something we should talk about around the other girls. I shook my head. “Outside. We’re eating outside tonight, and talking in the closest thing we have to privacy around here.” We grabbed our meals on some of the disposable trays the Baroness kept in her dining room and headed out past the wine cellar and across a bridge to one of the vineyards. It was quiet, out of the way and had picnic tables.
At first I didn’t know what to say and I just stared at her. “I can’t believe you did that. I mean, you gave Josh an ultimatum!” I breathed.
Josh was being a pain according to her. I told her we could sick Derek on him if he kept being dumb. That made us both giggle. We lapsed into silence for a bit. I wasn’t really sure what to tell her. I mean, I knew less than she did. We were both teenage girls and it wasn’t like there was anyone we could trust who was an adult to talk about relationships around here. I just didn’t know and that’s what I said. We had to keep going to the race. I mean. It wouldn’t be fair to Star and Bright not to go to the one of the few races they were suited towards and really enjoyed.
I guess my face gave my uncertainty about Derek away. Because, Misty pressed and I had to fess up. I had no idea what was going on between Derek and I. I didn’t know if he was a natural tease or if he liked me. I mean, we should be beyond this pulling pig tails kindergarten bullshit. I mean, that isn’t really teasing, that is torture and abusive. He worried about me. I worried about him. Did he just want to be friends? Or was this going somewhere else? He was also so much older than I was.
We were both in tangles.
Misty changed the subject. She brought up all the different horses we’d seen riding around Jorvik and how would we ever choose which ones to buy, provided we did buy any more of them. I agreed. There were so many beautiful ones and though I hadn’t seen one of my favorite breeds yet, the Arabian, there were also a lot of black horses. We chattered about them. It cheered us up.
It didn’t solve our problem of boys. Of all the things going on in Jorvik, we’re the most tangled up over boys.
Tomorrow was another day.
2471 SC, 17,794 – 14270 Heart’s Gear = 3524 JS
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.
We trotted back to talk to Gilbert. Bad news. Gilbert knew nothing about paddocks. We needed to talk to Mr. Bucket, but Mr. Bucket was gone and had been gone for several days. Gilbert said Mr. Bucket was worried that the workers were using illegal means to build a tunnel north up at North Link. And that if we wanted to talk to him, we’d have to take the West Jorvik Highway North and go there.
I checked the GPS. That wasn’t remotely near Mario. We promised Steve we’d do his stuff first.
Misty and I moved away from Gilbert to debate about when Donald ran around the corner, panting and told us that he was glad he’d found us before we left. He wanted to thank us for all the wool by making us a riding vest, but he needed dye. He’d heard about special flowers in Valedale that had pink pigment. Elizabeth Sunbeam would know about it. We promised him that we’d talk to her about it.
That settled it. We had two reasons to head north towards Valedale and only one to North Link. Besides, Elizabeth would probably be able to give us better directions than Steve to the Observatory.
Misty and I chatted about the horses at Steve’s all the way to Valedale. Elizabeth was more than happy to help us with the dye. Apparently the flowers that we collected the tears from Aideen from were also the source of the pink pigment. She told us that they were protected and that we were to only gather the withered flowers for her. They were out with the cows and I hoped the cows knew that the flowers were protected and accidentally munch on them! We gathered the flowers and returned to Elizabeth. She said she needed until tomorrow to make the dye.
I asked her for better directions to the observatory. She actually blushed a little, but I showed her the GPS and she told me that if we went through the cow field and followed the mountains, it would be easier to find the path than it was from the woods. We thanked her and headed that way.
I wondered to Misty what that flush had been about. Elizabeth seemed to know the way to the Observatory pretty well for it being so out of the way and all. Misty giggled. She thought that maybe Elizabeth had a crush on this Mario. I laughed. Wouldn’t that just figure? Adults could be as bad as teenagers.
I saw some little rocks steaming along the road on the way up to the observatory. I wondered what they were and if they were important.
As we got closer to the observatory and went across the bridge, I heard this odd mechanical clanking noise. I stopped in the middle of the bridge to try and find the source and couldn’t see anything, but it wouldn’t go away. I looked at Misty? “Do you hear that?”
She seemed mystified.
It had to be my imagination. I decided to ignore it. “Never mind.”
Mario was blonde and very French. He said Bonjour and thought our names were coquette and tres chic. It’s was ‘bravo, bravo’ for braving the path. We told him briefly about Steve, and while he assured us he could help us, it would have to start tomorrow since he had the telescope fixed on a very important juxtaposition of planets for that night. Why is it always tomorrow, diary? But while we were here, could we find some fallen stars for him. He’d been watching the stars when a beautiful shower of meteors had burst above him, he rambled poetic about nature’s fireworks and sparks of the great smith or like petals from a dancing girl before he got to the business of whether or not we could get these stars that had fallen on the mountain for him. You see, the terrain was rugged and he had no horse.
It turned out that the little steaming rocks I’d noticed had been meteors. Misty and I ran about on Heart and Evening, reaching over to snatch them up and laughing as we found them. We returned to Mario and he thanked us profusely giving each of us one as a gift. They were worth 700 JS a piece. I might keep one as a souvenir but if he asks us again, I’m selling the rest!
I could still hear that mechanical clanking noise. I bit my lip. I didn’t want to appear crazy but I was beginning to feel it.
Mario thought the meteors were breathtaking and then started going off about something else that was breathtaking. He swore in French. Mon Dieu! The winters were horrible and he couldn’t get down and no one could get up and he wanted company! I restrained a giggle. He probably wanted Elizabeth’s company. Avalanches! Snow storms. He couldn’t take it anymore. He’d written a letter of protest to Councilman Gilbert and yesterday he’d received an answer. The council was going to do something about this and since he couldn’t leave his telescope, he wanted us, the first people he’d seen in ages to go to the Councilman and inquire about what was to be done.
We rode back down the mountain, Misty giggling over the Frenchman and as I poked gentle fun at him, mocking his manners and such. Gilbert was happy to see us and that we had news of Mario. He had news for Mario as well, but since we were here, maybe we could help him. The council had hired a construction company to help Mario out. The head of it was in the town square. He needed to see the Observatory.
We found him in the town square. He was the only guy wearing a construction outfit. He knew right away that we weren’t Mario. But Master Builder Olaf was willing to work with us instead. He told us that he needed pictures of the site and while we were taking pictures he’d get a ride up to meet us at North Link.
I looked at Misty. Now we had two reasons to go to North Link. This mysterious Mr. Bucket and now Master Builder Olaf.
We rode up West Jorvik Highway, Marley’s farm was to the left and Landon was to the right and just as we turned a corner a huge bulldozer tried to mow us down. We both screamed and darted out of the way, jumping fences into Landon’s field. Holy shit! My heart was pounding and from the looks of it, so was Misty’s. I suggested we ride up the field the rest of the way. Goodness knows what else was on the road. She agreed. I mean. Come on! A bulldozer, really?!
We found Mr. Bucket on top of a hill overlooking some sort of work site. When we were about to say something, he gestured us to be quiet and to get off our horses. We got off and explained in whispers about Marley’s desire to build a paddock. Mr. Bucket didn’t seem impressed. He had more urgent business. The construction site was using GED-O-Gel, a hazardous industrial adhesive, to shore up the walls of the tunnel to build faster. He just needed proof. If we would get him proof, he’d get us the papers for the paddock.
Figuring the horses would be a bit too conspicuous, we left them with Mr. Bucket and headed into the construction site. They had containers and piles of concrete and more digging vehicles than you could shake a stick at. We really needed to get a vest to blend in better. We rummaged through containers until we found some packaging and snuck back to Mr. Bucket.
He was furious. He started right away jotting on some papers and muttering about lawyers. It’d only delay the construction by a few days, but it was better than nothing I think in Mr. Bucket’s opinion. He handed us the papers for Marley. He’d done them while we’d been rummaging. I’ll admit, he knew his stuff.
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.
Linda was back at the castle, looking up at it. I don’t know what she was thinking but she looked sad. When we greeted her, she did seem happy to see us. She had a lot to do now that she was back and all, but was happy we were able to meet with her before we got caught up in all the little adventures that happened around Jorvik.
That, diary, was the biggest understatement I’d heard in a while.
She had a few messages for us. One of Carney’s brothers needed our help with a new show jumping track. Linda gave us his location and then mentioned that Thomas Moorland had texted her. He wanted to talk to us.
Misty and I agreed that we owed Thomas because of Justin. So, we trotted over to Moorland first. Thomas looked happy to see us, even though we were partially the cause of his son being kidnapped. He seemed to know all about our adventures. But if his mother was the Baroness I guess it made sense. There wasn’t any word of Justin yet and they didn’t have any clues.
But, that wasn’t why he’d called us there. James in Fort Pinta was having tourist trouble, the little punk. Thomas wanted us to go check in on him. I think with Justin gone, Thomas was being a bit more fatherly than necessary.
When we got there, James was fretting, taking his hat on and off, running his hands through his hair, playing with his fingers. Three of his tourists had disappeared. He was frantic. Could we track them down for him? He swore up and down that he’d given them the sweetest tempered horses he had. His face looked like curdled milk. I almost felt sorry for him.
Apparently today was the day of riding in a big circle, because the tourists had been headed towards the castle by way of Doyle’s Abbey and Steve’s Farm.
Well, since they hadn’t been at the castle when we talked to Linda, and we hadn’t been dilly dallying like tourists looking at the scenery would, my bet is that they were somewhere between Doyle’s Abbey and Steve’s Farm. Misty agreed with me and we told James we’d send his tourists back when we found them.
His face regained some color.
The first tourist was by Doyle’s Abbey. He was German, by the name of Gunther, bald, a bit portly, and also missing his horse and the rest of his party, Helga and Gretchen. He told us his tale of woe, bumblebees and horses do not make good friends. He figured his family had gone on without him and could we find his horse. He thought he’d heard it by the Abbey ruins.
Misty and I rode around the stone fence until we found him. He was fine, settled down and munching on some grass. Misty got a hold of his reins and began talking to him. I got off and making soothing noises myself checked him over, including his feet. He seemed okay. We led him back to Gunther and he promised to go straight back to the Fort and inform James that we were on mission.
The fort was within sight range, so I figured it was safe enough to let him go. He trotted off and we continued onwards.
They weren’t along the road. In fact, we didn’t have any sign of them until we were headed towards Steve’s and Misty happened to look over and saw them in the field. We picked up the pace. It was Helga and Gretchen all right. Gretchen looked in near tears and Helga was patting her back. I introduced ourselves and Helga looked relieved to hear that Gunther was fine. They’d had their own troubles. Gretchen’s horse got his leg stuck in a hole.
Misty and I got off our horses. There was more than one deep hole. And this was near Steve’s race. Misty reassured Gretchen that we’d get her horse out of the nasty hole. We both went around to check it and it was really stuck. Helga wondered if the farmer had a shovel we could borrow. So, we led our horses around the hole and down the little hill to talk to Steve.
Steve was really alarmed. There were big holes in his field and there was a horse stuck in one! Of course we could have a shovel. A person getting their foot stuck in a hole was bad, they might get a twisted ankle, but a horse was worse. If the horse’s leg broke, we’d have to put them down. He gave us a shovel and told us to go get that horse out.
Misty showed Gretchen how to talk to the horse, as Helga and I carefully worked the dirt away from the horse’s leg. When we were done, Misty came around and put her hands on the horse’s leg. The horse seemed to perk up and we led him away from the hole. He wasn’t even limping. It felt like a major miracle to me. I wiped my forehead with the back of my palm and told Helga how very lucky she and Gretchen were.
They decided to head back to Fort Pinta and we returned the shovel to Steve and told him what had happened. The holes were everywhere. Of course, Steve was upset. He grew wheat in that field! And horses were a big deal in Jorvik. He asked us to go scout the field. We left Heart and Evening in the barn and tried to sneak up to the feeding station. I swore something had their heads poked out of those holes, way too big to be mice or moles but as soon as we got close, down they went.
We went back to Steve. We were just too visible. They would hear us or sense us or see us before we could get close to them.
Steve had an idea. There was an observatory up in the mountains run by a guy named Mario. We should go there and see if he’d let us borrow his telescope to see what was in the holes. Well, we didn’t have any better ideas.
Misty suggested that since we were nearby, we better go find Carney’s brother before we made a trek north to the mountains. That sounded like a good idea to me. Who knew where they’d send us next!
I waved at Derek as we trotted past. He seemed a bit put out that we didn’t stop to talk, but there just wasn’t time.
Carney’s brother had a farm just a bit North of the village. It was set down a hill. We took it easily but before we could see Marley, we had to check out the horses. Misty squealed. They had Tinkers! There was a white one and a black one with a blaze down her nose. They were so pretty. It was tempting to buy one right there and then, but I decided to put it on my wish list. He also had a bunch of paint horses, some appaloosas and a black American Quarter Horse. One of the appaloosas reminded me of Star! My wish list has three new horses on it and I don’t even have names.
We couldn’t coo at the horses forever. Misty was eyeing one of the paints and the white tinker with raw longing. We went over and introduced ourselves to the owner. His name was Marley. And he’d bought the paddock we saw on J-Buy and hadn’t looked into the necessary permissions until after he set it up! He wanted to make a beautiful show jumping track but didn’t dare until he had the paperwork in order. He needed us to go to Gilbert and get it for him.
Well, that didn’t sound too hard and the village was on the way north to the Observatory Mountain anyways. We told him we’d get on it. He thanked us profusely.
I made Misty stop at the store I saw before we left though. I wanted to squeal. There was a perfect purple, black and white plaid skirt that would go perfectly with Heart’s new gear. And it had a matching coat for when winter came. I didn’t have enough money to buy it, but I took a picture and noted the price. This was definitely on the to buy list. I think there was a purple crop top at the mall that would look great with it. I wasn’t wearing pink. Heart could have the pink hearts, but I would wear purple.
I think I was boring Misty.
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.
Day Eleven: April 13th, Wednesday
The name for my rabbit came to me in the middle of the night. Misty and I decided to head to the pony race first this morning. I think Misty needed to work up her courage to see Josh again. Misty had put Bright in his new nautical themed gear. He was so happy about it. I couldn’t help but giggle at it. She was wearing some nautical theme things too. They were very her style. She looked a little worried at my laughter and I reassured her that she and Bright looked great, very coordinated. That made her relax enough to get on with our day.
So, as we went through Silverglade Village and stopped to check our mail. I plopped my rabbit onto Derek’s desk and went “This is Cinnamon.” Derek’s eyes widened and he took a step backwards. My brown bunny with white spots wasn’t about to have any of that. He scratched his ear, then did a few somersaults, stood on his head and then when he rolled back to his feet, he held out his paw to Derek. “He does tricks.” I said as deadpan as I could. I heard Misty giggle behind me.
Derek started to laugh and then winced, keeling over in pain.
My eyes widened. “Derek!” I wanted to jump the counter, but leaned over as best I could and held my hands out. “Are you okay?”
He shoved my hands away and slowly stood up. “Josh punched me.” He said.
My jaw dropped. Misty gasped.
“I’m fine.” He said and then smirked. He shook Cinnamon’s paw and then scratched the bunny on top of the head, slipping him a carrot stick. Star snorted, shoving his head forward. He wanted a carrot stick too. Derek passed one over to him.
I pushed my pony’s nose out of the way. I knew all about Derek’s tendency to tease. My eyes narrowed. “Okay, what did you do?”
He coughed. “Nothing.”
“He punched you! That doesn’t count as nothing!” I protested.
“Oh, that,” Derek batted his eyes and tried looking innocent. “He’s being such a mother hen and all.”
I groaned and put my hand over my eyes. “You didn’t.” He’d picked on Josh. Oh good God. “You deserved that.”
“Hey!” Derek protested this time.
I swept up Cinnamon who was finishing up his carrot and lifted my nose. “Thanks for the carrots.” I said and got up on Star. “Good day.”
“Savannah!” He whined.
I nudged Star into a trot and headed out of the village.
“Lunch, sometime!” He shouted after me.
I flushed. He wasn’t going to let me forget that.
I told Misty I couldn’t believe Derek had done that. Then on second thought, I said, yes, I could. He was such a boy! Why did I like him so much again? Misty didn’t have an answer for me, though she was willing to tease me about him.
Cinnamon seemed to like going over the jumps. Star was careful not to splash in the water. We didn’t want our bunny friend to get wet! Salty fur. No good.
I should have known of course, that given Derek’s smug attitude, the fact that he’d picked on Josh hadn’t been all that had happened. There were a few girls coming away from the pole bending area with shocked looks on their faces. They were all whispering. As we came closer, though Josh had his hat tugged down low over his eyes, it was pretty easy to see why. His hair had been dyed black. Not a deep black either, but a grey kind of wishy washy black. I bit my tongue and gestured for Misty to go first.
She did a good job of pretending to ignore him. Though his eyes were quite wide and puppy dog looking. As she wove through the poles, I nudged Star closer to him. “Nice color, and sweater.” I said. His sweater was awful looking. It looked like something my grandfather would wear only if nothing else in his closet was clean.
He gritted his teeth and glared at the ground. “Someone put ink in my shampoo.”
I choked. I knew who that someone was. “What does your sister think about it?” I asked.
His head snapped up and he stared at me. Like it hadn’t occurred to him that I should know that Loretta was his sister. Then he flushed and cringed. “She finds it pretty funny. Probably wishes she thought of it herself.” He muttered.
Misty was headed back down the course at a hard gallop. I shifted in Star’s saddle and raised my eyebrows. “So, you planned on ever telling Misty that Loretta is your sister.”
He didn’t get a chance to answer me as Misty and Bright charged over the line and halted. He had to consult his stopwatch. I smiled at him and kicked Star into gear.
Misty I think did her Queen of England impression until I got back. Or she was trying, Snow Belle had about jumped out of her bag to nuzzle Josh. I heard Misty mutter. “Traitor.”
I coughed to let them know I was present. Josh flushed and stuffed Snow Belle back into the saddlebag. He read off my time. As he was looking down, Misty reached over and snatched his hat. “My hat,” she said and replaced her helmet with it.
I had to bite my cheek to keep from laughing. She lifted her nose and nudged Bright.
Josh managed to find his voice. “Hey! That’s mine.”
She just giggled, touched the brim as she looked over her shoulder at him. “Mine now.”
I tugged the brim of my new purple hat. “Good Day, partner.” I said in my best fake western drawl. I caught up with Misty. I looked over at her. “You took the hat because he punched Derek.”
“Yes.” She said.
I burst into giggles so hard I could barely breathe.
“Savvy!” Misty stared at me.
“His face!” I gasped.
Then she burst into giggles too. We laughed all the way back to the winery. We were still giggling sporadically as we mucked out the stalls and got the horses ready. Just as we were about to go, the Baroness came to us and asked us to help her find some pearls she’d lost off an heirloom network. She’d recently gone on an inspection of the winery and been wearing the necklace and somewhere it broke. She’d found most of them, but there were half a dozen or so still missing and they could be anywhere.
She gave us her route and Misty and I split it in half, agreeing to meet up near the back of the winery where Pauline was. We both scrounged through a whole bunch of spots. When that old lady took a walk, she took a walk. We found them all, right where we were to meet basically. We should have started there. Isn’t that just the way of it! We took the pearls back to the Baroness and in return she gave us a mid-weight yellow trench coat type jacket. We thanked her and went on our way. We needed to meet with Linda!
I waited for Misty, she huffed a little, but she had a couple boxes of clothes. We waved at the Janitor, who seemed fond of us under his scowl and took off.
It was a lot of fun. We got adjoining dressing rooms at the clothes shop and tried on all sorts of things, giggling. There was an awesome leather dress. There were school uniforms and all sorts of stuff in a rainbow of colors. There was even a pretty dress in champagne yellow. I think Misty liked the pink version of it better, but that yellow is so hard to find! There was a black ruffle skirt. And a pair of black cowboy boots with white stars on them that I was positive Star would like.
We went up to the equipment store next, and they had the full set of purple with pink hearts that Heart wanted! Alyx’s face lit up when I asked her to put a set of it on hold for me and gave her Heart’s measurements to make sure it’d fit properly. I swallowed hard at what it was going to cost me in Jorvik Shillings, but if Heart wanted it. Then I might as well get it. She wouldn’t leave me alone otherwise. I tucked away enough of the Jorvik Shillings to pay for the entire set. The saddle wasn’t western, so I didn’t feel right getting the western bridle so ordered the regular one instead.
Misty ordered the Sailor set for Bright. Alyx was gleeful when we were done. She even had a set in Bright’s size in stock. So Misty had it shipped to the winery.
There were a lot of ribbons and bows and leg wraps at the decoration store, but nothing that would go with Heart’s gear. Oh well.
By then, I was ready to go. I hadn’t actually gotten anything yet, but I didn’t know I’d have such a demanding horse! We picked up our stuff from the janitor, who seemed like he wasn’t happy we were going. He even said we could come back, as long as we wiped our feet. We discussed our purchases on the way back. Neither of us were willing to wear anything without washing it. James almost didn’t give us the reward we promised. We had to exert our looks on him and he stuttered and tossed a pink vest and shirt at each of us from the boxes. Misty liked it. I was going to sell it.
But just as I was about to head to Heart so we could get back to the winery. Misty grabbed my hand and dragged me back towards the courtyard. She started begging me to go into the pet store with her. A pet store? She’d noticed a pet store? I let her drag me. I mean, pets are cute and all. And it’d be relaxing after the clothes. We were on holiday. Not that I was going to buy a pet or anything.
There was a saddlebag shop outside, but we bypassed it to go into the shop first. Misty cooed over the kittens. And they were cute and soft. Just, they’d have to have their nails trimmed or else they’d shred everything in our room! I did rub bellies though. The puppies were just so bouncy. Misty sat down and the lady handed her a white rabbit with floppy ears. She asked if I wanted to hold one too, but I demurred. I wasn’t so sure about rabbits. They were hidden menaces with wiggly noses and what was with all the animals anyways! Kittens and puppies I understood as pets. Rabbits, not as much. So, while Misty petted and cooed the white rabbit, I watched the rest of them.
Most of them were pretty happy to roll over on their backs or scratch their ears with their hind legs. Pretty much like every other type of pet I’d encountered. And though I was attracted to the black rabbit with the white spots, there was another rabbit who caught my eye more. He was brown with white spots, just like the black rabbit, with a big one over one eye. He looked at me and then it was like he started doing tricks. He lifted and lowered his ears. Then did somersaults. He got up on his back legs and clapped. I had to laugh. He was so cute and smart! The lady picked him up for me and handed him over. I adjusted so he could stand on my arm and he went up onto his hand legs and put a paw on my cheek.
“All right,” I said. I adjusted him in my arm and passed over the star coins.
Misty had already bought the white rabbit she’d been cuddling. She promptly named the rabbit Snow Belle.
My rabbit was such a smart little fellow, I couldn’t decide what to name him. Misty dithered at the saddlebag stall. My purchase was pretty easy. They had a perfect match for Heart’s new gear. I’d be able to appease her until the rest of it was ready. It wasn’t that badly priced either, 25 Star Coins.
Misty told me that she couldn’t buy Evening anything unless he approved it. I laughed. Heart had made her wishes known on the subject. We went back to the horses and introduced the rabbits to them. Evening was indifferent about Snow. I held up the rabbit to Heart. Her ears laid back and I was prepared to have to give her a little lecture about making friends, when the rabbit reached up and patted her nose. Heart blinked twice and then nuzzled him and well, just like that the two were the best of friends. The rabbit rubbed her nose in some sort of kiss. I struggled not to roll my eyes. Heart pranced in place and whickered happily when I showed her the saddlebag for the rabbit and informed her that I’d ordered her gear.
We rode back to the winery talking and gossiping. So after dinner we spent the evening doing laundry, gossiping with Nikki while she played with our new pets and we sorted through our clothes making outfits.
Then Nikki dropped the bombshell. Loretta was Josh’s sister.
Holy shit! That explained so much. Misty looked shocked and then incensed. Josh could have said something! I have a feeling that the snubbing of Josh was going to continue. Just, now for different reasons. Oh what a tangled mess, but it made me giggle. We’d of course, have to verify this information with Jenna, May and Tan or whoever else was willing to gossip. I mocked Misty’s accent and said how absurd the whole thing was. She threw a pillow at me. We had a little pillow fight and broke it up.
It took us a few minutes to find the rabbits who were sensibly hiding from our hilarity. We all fell into bed giggling though. It was really nice to have friends. I let the soft patter of rain of the roof lull me to sleep. It’d been a great day.
2471 SC, 16367 – 14270 Heart’s Gear = 2097 JS
Since we were going anyways. Of course, there was a hitch. Sure, it was great that James had sold a lot of goods and needed to go pick up more. (Apparently he was the manager of all the shops in the courtyard or something. That is a very scary thought.) BUT. We had to have a bus ticket. And he couldn’t loan us his because it only worked for the people who bought it. (Which sounded like bull to me, but you know what, I was willing to let him get away with it this once.) So, we’d have to purchase our own tickets from the Notary and activate them in the machine behind James. Then, we could go to the mall.
Well that was pretty easily done. 110 Jorvik Shillings later and a run through the machine, we each had our own validated ticket that would get us to the mall whenever we wanted! James said that the bus came in on the other side of the bridge. I shuddered. I wouldn’t want to take a bus over that rock bridge. It was hard enough taking Heart over it. And, well, I wasn’t about to leave Heart standing in the hot sun without anything to nibble or drink while we went to the mall. So, we took the horses back to the stable and left them there. This time I gave Heart a bit of a lecture under my breath about how she couldn’t come with me since this involved wheeled noisy conveyances that were just too small for her.
She huffed but seemed content to settle down.
Misty and I went to the bus stop on foot. It appeared the bus came every three minutes. I fidgeted as I waited. But, soon the green and yellow bus appeared and we were on our way to a city! The music on the bus was pretty happy and loud. I figured we wouldn’t be overheard. I turned to Misty who was looking out the window. I took a deep breath. “Do you ever sense Evening’s emotions?” I asked her.
She turned white.
I hurried on. “I feel like I’m going crazy. I can tell when Heart’s happy or sad or when she really wants something. She just doesn’t act like a normal horse all the time either. She’s too smart.” I bit my lip. “I’m afraid she’s going to start talking to me next.” And if she did, I was going to hyperventilate and scream. I’m not sure how I would do those at the same time, but I would certainly be trying! “Star does it too, not to the same extent as Heart does. I mean, he doesn’t seem as smart, but I can still tell his emotions!”
Misty reassured me it wasn’t just me. And I wasn’t going crazy. We compared notes the entire ride to the mall.
We got to the mall and before we’d barely stepped off the carpet onto the floors before this big beefy guy started yelling at us. I got between him and Misty. We’d just stepped on the floor, jeez. That’s sort of what we were supposed to do. Turns out he was the janitor. I told him our mission from James. He didn’t look happy to see us at all. He accused James of being too cheap to buy his own ticket. That sounded like the James I knew. He told to run off. He wasn’t about to help us. I figured we didn’t need his help since he was being so grumpy. But Misty spoke up and asked politely with please and thank you and if that big guy just didn’t melt from being grumpy to just a teddy bear.
I need to figure out what Misty does. Yeesh.
Of course, we had to earn his help. He had us scuttle about both floors of the mall putting out signs to indicate the floor was wet. Despite the fact that floors are made for walking on and mopping them is sort of his job. I didn’t mind. It gave us a chance to check out the mall. The first floor had a café, the horse equipment shop and a clothing store. There was also a small stage. Apparently, we’d arrived in time to meet Raptor, a R&B Rap type artist who’d just put out a single. I asked one of the ladies standing around. She gave me a t-shirt and when I got close to Raptor, he assumed I was there for his autograph and gave it to me. Eye roll, diary, eye roll. The second floor seemed to hold an event space, a wall of lockers and a horse decoration store.
It was an okay shopping center I guess. Half the stores seemed to be closed, and there was a whole upstairs that was closed off. I went up there anyways since the sign was down and poked about. Just a bunch of boxes and cement mixers. Weirdness.
When we returned to the Janitor, he accused of thinking we were done. We were just lazybones. I had no expectations and I took a little offense at that. We weren’t lazybones! Well, he insisted we prove it. Walked straight into that one, bad me. So, he had us go around and pick up the trash. I don’t think this guy does as much work as he claims he does. I bet he passes it off to random mall goers he thinks he can intimidate. If we weren’t on a mission for James, that little toad, then I’d tell janitor to shove it and do it himself. The janitor wanted to shut the whole place down so that things would stay neat and clean. If they did that, he’d be out of a job. Logic, people, logic! After we cleaned up the trash, then he was willing to help us.
The janitor couldn’t make up his mind though if James had a ticket or not, but seemed to be the reason why James really wouldn’t come to the mall. It’s not a good idea to get on the bad side of the doorkeeper cum janitor. I mean, the Janitor has a mop and James is really little. He told us to talk to Gordon and Alyx to get James’ orders. Misty offered to talk to Gordon while I went to Alyx. That way we could get it done faster and have a chance to browse.
I went inside the horse equipment store and looked around. Alyx immediately welcomed me, of course. There were plenty of people wandering about looking at things, but she still seemed a bit sad that I was there to pick up James’ order and not to shop. I eased her pain and told her I’d be back in a bit to browse, but I wanted to get James’ stuff out of the way first. That made her smile as she saw potential sales.
What is it with store owners? I mean, yes, I understand you want to make a profit, but the pressure on the customer. I just want to have an easy experience looking about, which means, being left alone.
Turns out James’ order wasn’t there and that Alyx had sent it by truck. Well, crap. Alyx was confused as to why I was doing this. So was I, but hey, we’d promised. She told me the driver, JB was probably still at the café getting coffee. If I hurried, I’d probably catch him and could get James’ order.
There was only one guy in a construction like driver outfit at the café. I approached him and he made me wait! Then he got all upset because the lady served him tea instead of coffee. I didn’t know the difference, I drank hot cocoa. Surely, if the tea was made in the same machine as the coffee, they’d both taste the same! Well, he insisted that I was to get him coffee. High handed, grumble. I turned to the café owner who was in a bit of dither over the fact no one stayed in the café to drink her coffee tasting tea and could I go collect the dishes for her since she was all alone in the shop? I told her I’d get her dishes if she’d have a coffee with milk ready for JB when I got back, no charge.
I wasn’t about to spend my money on him.
She offered me better and said not only would she have the coffee, she’d have some jorvik shillings in it for me as well. Hell, as long as I didn’t have to wash the dishes. I grabbed a tub and ran all over the mall looking for the dishes. I waved to Misty. Looked like she was searching for something too. We shared exasperated looks. I returned with the tub full of dishes and brought JB his coffee with milk.
Then he was ready to leave on me. Something about having run off the Fort Pinta bridge three times last month and I got in front of him. There was no way I was going letting him take James’ stuff to toss it off the bridge. I told him firmly, that I would take James’ order. He seemed agreeable, almost relieved actually. He shoved the box at me and disappeared.
I tried to pick it up, couldn’t and shoved it with my foot all the way to the Janitor. He stashed it under the balcony behind him. At last, I was free to roam the mall.
Misty moved her leg a little, I think to get it more comfortable. The cushions on the chairs weren’t that great. I tried to keep my voice idle but I was curious. I said something along the lines that I hoped her leg would get better soon. That way Josh could stop fussing about it that is if the two of them were ever going to start talking to each other again. I wasn’t sure what was going on there.
She turned red and sputtered at me. She was pretty quick to turn the tables about Derek too. I didn’t let her get away with it for a second though, pressing her about Josh. She finally admitted her crush but then I was afraid she was about to burst into tears as she went off about Loretta. Well, I told her then and there that if Josh was stupid enough to let Loretta lead him about the nose and not see what a sweet girl Misty was then he wasn’t the guy for her. I swore though that Loretta was all hung up about Justin Moorland. Misty wailed that it made it worse. Well, we would just have to do a little digging and figure out what the hell was going on in Moorland that wasn’t related to G.E.D. and Dark Core. It’d be a bit of a relief for once. It wouldn’t be life or death and surely someone would be willing to gossip. Tan would know. May would forget we asked in five minutes or if we wanted the sensible version we could talk to Jenna. Misty hiccupped and giggled.
But then she made me talk about Derek. She wouldn’t let me wiggle out of it either. I think I dithered too much. I mean, he’s handsome but he’s such a boy. And he couldn’t be that much older than us right? Misty thought Derek worried about me. Well, I certainly worried about him! You’d think running the post office would be relatively safe, but not with people like that creepy Mr. Sands about. No wonder there was that idiom about going postal. I shuddered. It was hard for me to tell if he was simply being friendly or if he really liked me. I did not admit that Derek had cornered me sort of kind of into a lunch date and it was all my own fault. Misty said that at the very least I didn’t have anyone else to compete with. My eyes widened, just all of the other campers and girls in Jorvik.
She rolled her eyes at me, I swear.
I saved the carrot sticks out of my lunch for Heart and ran them to her. Misty kept half an apple for Evening. As she munched, I told her I was going shopping and that she probably would want to stay here. She snorted at me and as I went to leave, she tugged the halter from the hook and followed me! I glared at her, led her back to the stall and went to leave again. She followed me again! I gave up. I told her that this was going to be boring. But she wasn’t paying the least bit attention. Evening seemed content to doze in the stall! Why couldn’t she? I needed another shirt. I stopped at the Fort Pinta Gear stall first. They had a couple of purple bridles, but I couldn’t decide if I liked them or not. I moved on to the next stall which sold T-Shirts designed by Moorland Summer Campers. Heart didn’t follow me.
Of course, I didn’t notice until after I paid for a new shirt and heard the previous stall owner shouting. I turned and flushed.
Heart was poking her nose in the stall to look at something. I dashed back over and grabbed her neck. “Heart,” I said. “You’re upsetting the man. Back up.”
She whickered at me and stuck her nose inside again and pushed at something. I peered beyond her head to see what it was, a purple saddle with pink hearts on it. My eyes widened. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” I told her. “No. It has pink hearts.”
She went to lip it and I grabbed her halter. “No mouthing the merchandise!” I hissed. “I am so sorry.” I told the man. “She’s not usually like this.”
Heart backed up. I let her go. Only to have her trot around the stall to get a better look at the saddle. I hoped I wasn’t attracting too much attention. “Spiderheart!” I hissed, ran after her, and grabbed her halter before she could start lipping at the saddle again. She sniffed it and made pleased noises. The stall keeper gave me one of those looks. I backed her up.
“I’m afraid you need a bit more experience,” He said. “Before you can buy that saddle.”
“See,” I tugged on her. “I’m not ready for a saddle like that. And it’s pink and lavender.”
She pointed her nose at a white blanket with pink hearts on it.
She snorted at me.
“Come on,” I said and tugged her away. “We’ll talk about it.”
Heart let me lead her away, but she kept looking over her shoulder at the saddle and making mournful noises.
“Fine,” I said. “When I’ve got enough experience, we’ll see about getting the saddle.” I told her.
Her ears perked up and she whickered.
“But I am not wearing pink.” I said and marched towards the store with the dance lights next to it. “Now, if I drop your lead will you behave?” I asked.
She whickered again and I took that for agreement. I let her go as I came up to the shop. It was really neat. They had all sorts of disco wear. I made notes about what I wanted. Though I couldn’t find a t-shirt in that shop to go with the pants. I’d have to find one elsewhere. We moved on. I was avoiding the stalls with the horse accessories. I didn’t want another mouthing the merchandise incident. I found a pair of awesome and, as per the description, gorgeous aviator sunglasses at “Eyewear Fort.” They were more stylish than the pair I had and might actually have darker lenses. I was willing to shell out the 69 Star Coins for them. I immediately replaced the ones I was wearing with them. Heart seemed to approve.
Fort Pinta clothes was the place where I’d bought the shirt I was wearing. They also had a cool purple cowboy hat, 1670 JS. I bought it and stuck it on my head. I asked Heart what she thought. Heart whickered. I took it for approval. It was better than the helmet and didn’t make my head nearly as hot. They had an aqua dyed hat I had my eye on for later, it was labelled “Special dyed.” It looked like it would go with the pants from the dance store. And at the Fort Pinta VIP shop, I’d seen a white midriff t-shirt with an aqua whale on it done in sequins. It’d been designed by Lisa of Jorvik, whoever that was. All I needed were some white gloves and some white shoes, and there, I’d have a dance outfit.
But, I couldn’t buy any of that just yet, because somebody wanted a lavender saddle with pink hearts on it. And I had to save my shillings to make sure I had enough to get her that very special saddle.
I met back up with Misty who kept looking at me and Heart and giggling. I flushed. We talked to James about going to the mall, which he insisted was a Shopping Plaza. It sounded like a mall to me. After a debate of semantics and slang, he admitted he needed to go himself but he, of course, couldn’t take time away from his customers and could we, pretty please, do it for him.
We are such suckers.