Day 5: More Ghost Talk, EEP! (Part 1)

April 7th, 20xx

Dear Diary,

Since it worked so well yesterday, I waited for the alarm again before I started my music again. I picked Adele today, since at least Savvy had heard of her. I didn’t pay it much attention, though. I was a little distracted. It had been five days, and not a letter from Daddy or Mummy. Normally they at least sent something by now, even if it was just a quick call on the phone (not that I expect an international phone call!). Something must have Daddy at least busy. Something will come soon, I know it…

Well, we both got ready about the same time today and we got the ponies ready to go without even discussing it. It must have been habit already settling in. Evening looked over the stall partition and heaved a great big sigh, but otherwise, didn’t make a fuss. Thank goodness. But now it was Savvy’s turn to have a little trouble. Her Heart was putting on quite a pout, it surprised me. And the way they interacted, I just… No. It can’t be. And I’m not sure I dare bring up that it possibly could be, or else I’ll be left standing there like the fool.

I insisted on Savvy going first before we even got the pole bending track. She and Josh greeted each other, and then she lined up to start while Bright approached at his slow little trot. I bit my lip and struggled to untie my tongue as he walked back, watching her run with a tilt of his head. Finally, I managed to murmur, “Good morning, Josh.”

Josh (when he isn't hiding under that hat of his)

Josh (when he isn’t hiding under that hat of his)

He twisted around in surprise, and his eyes lit up when he saw me, his mouth parting a little. I smiled at him, and he smiled back. “A Brit, huh?” he said, and I immediately turned bright red. I had managed to completely forget about my accent. I looked down at Bright’s mane, clutching at the reins.

I was shocked when suddenly there was this bigger, tanned hand suddenly wrapped around one of mine, the other grabbing Bright’s reins under the chin so he wouldn’t move suddenly. And oh, I could feel the warmth of that hand through my glove. I looked up at Josh, even the flush shocked out of me. “Hey,” he said quietly. “I wasn’t making fun, or anything. You have a real sweet voice. I wish I could hear more of it.”

My mouth moved, but no words would come out. And my hand twitched, and he seemed to realize what exactly what he was doing. Josh jerked back, and wouldn’t look at me, and I couldn’t look at him, and my flush came right back and…sigh… Thank goodness Savvy came back right then. I took the chance to bolt like a doe and Bright was eager to run the poles now too. Little bugger was almost prancing between the poles, and I got the feeling he was happy over me talking to Josh. That’s all I need, a matchmaking pony.

When I came back, Josh still wouldn’t look at me, muttering my time but overall seeming distracted by something and Savvy was in a mood. I don’t mean pout or sulking, I mean grouchy, cranky, Charles from that time when I deliberately made every painting and picture in the manor hang crooked, and even after that, wore my collar and ribbons crooked for days until Mummy scolded me about appearing slovenly, cranky.

Whatever it was, she was still upset about it all the way to the pony races and then back to Moorland. Star had to skip a little for her to remember to wave at Mary at the abbey, for goodness sake’s, and normally I’m the shy one! We traded out for the horses, and I could tell that her Heart was not going to tolerate this nonsense. Evening whinnied in laughter as we watched Heart take off on the Wild Bobcat Track like a grasshopper, and even I couldn’t help but giggle a little. He was a little more sedate in our run, though. I guess that he’s getting bored with running around the same area all the time.

We came back to seeing Heart doing a little dance, making me giggle again. Thankfully, Savvy was laughing too. I was glad her mood had picked up, especially since it was time to follow up on yesterday’s events. There was grain for Steve today, and we helped with feeding them. I didn’t see many, but then, Steve’s farm is quite crowded with visitors, both animals and visiting stable girls. We had to fetch more cheese for the mice, making me a little suspicious that there were a brave few that were managing to eat it.

What with all the fuss yesterday, we hadn’t really gotten to poke around the village…or so Savvy said. She also wanted to thank Derek for the map. Uh huh. I may be sweet according to some people and polite, but I saw that flush face. I’m familiar with it enough lately! I rolled my eyes, but smiled, happy for her. Lord knows, I’m dragging her to pole bending for my own motives too. But I wasn’t going to be another pair of eyes watching her flirt! I dragged Evening to actually poke around the village, ducking between the post office and the town hall to walk around.

There’s a well back there, which is good to know, and several little booths, most that sold trinkets like leg wraps and ribbons or flowers for the horses’ manes and tails. Evening didn’t seem to care for any of the wraps, and looked affronted at even the idea of the other decorations. He is such a boy! It made me laugh and shake my head though as we rounded the corner, though.

Savvy was already there, surprisingly. Had things not been going well with the post boy? (Post man? But he’s too young for that, isn’t he…? Hmm. Must think about this.) But now she was talking to Harold. Only it wasn’t Harold the baker at all, but instead the tailor Donald! The resemblance was just a little creepy, to be honest, as was the fact he knew both of our names. But apparently we were being discussed, and even the tailor had issues with the strange weather the island apparently had recently. He was completely out of wool and needed more, could we go get some? (He was far more pessimistic about it, seriously. A complete wet blanket if there ever was one.)

I suppose this camp or whatever my parents signed me up for really is focused on you doing errands and chores to earn clothes and spending money like the pamphlet said I found in my trunk. I can’t say I particular enjoy it. It feels a good deal like we are doing things that are going undone just because people are being silly or don’t want to do it themselves. I understand, a little, that helping out at Moorland with getting that awful git of a man, Mr. Kemball, out, but the rest of this seems more trying than should be asked of others.

And honestly, I don’t like all the attention it’s getting us. I’m the shy girl in the corner of the classroom, hiding in books and not really good for anything else except for a modest talent with horses and a stronger one for music but no passion for anything. I don’t like these people knowing my name without me being the one to tell them (even if I can barely say a few words at a time before my tongue ends up all tangled).

But I can’t say, “No,” very well. So we trudged over to the sheep meadow behind the windmill. I tried to put a smile on my face. Savvy, though, was cranky again, and I don’t think even Heart’s antics would cheer her up. The sheep herder is named Landon, and he hadn’t had time to do any shearing lately for…reasons I didn’t really understand. Savvy got quite put out for some reason, and took the shears from him and offered us to do it. I almost protested. I may be English, but I didn’t have anything to do with the sheep kept on some of the estate’s lands that Daddy rented out!

Savvy got a little uneasy once we actually had to deal with the sheep, so I put on my brave face and fussed over one as I did the first shearing. I was a little clumsy at first, but I figured out the rhythm soon enough. The sheep seemed to understand that we were trying to help get all that bulky weight off of them and behaved quite admirably. Between Savvy and I, we got through the whole little herd. Landon was quite happy with our results, but had to go and mention the awful Mr. Kemball and the oil he’s drilling for in the Everwind Fields. It made me frown and sniff, and Savvy seemed just as upset about it.

Fast Note: Either on this day in the plot or the day before (I can’t remember), you can start repairing the bridge which leads to Jarlaheim. However, this is a giant, massive plot hole and so we are moving it to where it actually belongs (or at least, our best guess).

Continue to Part 2…

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About Rebecca M. Horner

A spinner of yarns (of the story sort, though I do crochet...and sew, and learning to make armor...) View all posts by Rebecca M. Horner

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