While my hair was drying from the shower, I laid out all the clothes I’d been given so far that I hadn’t warn yet, slipping into a less-clean-but-not-filthy shirt until we went shopping. Most if not all of it wasn’t things I would be caught dead in, and I saw no reason to hang on to them when I could sell them back to the shops instead and have more money to spend on clothes for the next few days at least that were to my taste. I had my savings, but it was just that. Savings. I wanted to stretch that out as far and as long as I could.
The shopkeepers were more than amiable to my plan and offered fair prices for things they had to see several of throughout the summer. I bought three shirts and a pair of nice jeans, which with laundry day being on Sunday, should be enough. For today, I found a green button up shirt with short sleeves and a black waist coat that I thought was simple but proper. Savvy had her eye on a purple plaid shirt with a collar that I rather liked too. It was, dare I say, fun to go shopping with someone my age, rather than with Mummy.
We took our time back to the winery rather than risk our new clothes. Savvy took the back way again, but it was much easier now that I knew exactly where the turns were. The baroness was waiting for us near the front steps of the manor. She was older than I was expecting, but still very distinguished. And very, very put out with something or somebody. I immediately tried the polite, helpful road and offered our assistance. She didn’t seem rather confident, but at least kept talking.
It turns out that G.E.D. stands for Global Energy Domination. They do realize that is illegal, correct? Or at least, monopolies were last I checked… Savvy mentioned the riding track, and the baroness quickly figured out both what Savvy was after and where she’d heard about it. At first, I worried that it was going to blow up in our faces, but surprisingly she suggested that we go check it out, even if it was to make sure that Mr. Kemball hadn’t taken over it along with her fields.
The slimy git actually had the nerve to be overseeing the fields. Well, Savvy wanted to go confront him immediately and I saw no reason why we shouldn’t let him know that trouble was on the horizon. He threw a tantrum worse than I had ever seen, and I had seen plenty at school! Apparently we had lost him a good deal of money when we threw a wrench in his Moorland venture. Well, that should be a sign there was something wrong with his business model if two teenagers could wreck his plans.
He tried to shoo us away, and while Savvy said that she was going to oblige him, I sniffed and said that I wouldn’t be seen around someone of such poor character and status. Evening snorted in agreement and turned around with a flick of his tail. I didn’t see Mr. Kembell’s reaction, but I heard this sputtering that told me my remarks had stung. Good, I haven’t forgotten his either. Savvy was humming the whole way to the track, and I was humming harmony, when I didn’t giggle over it.
The track was an utter mess, with chain link fence and supplies lying all around. But the gate appeared to be functioning, as I dismounted to fiddle with it. Evening nudged my shoulder rather hard, and I looked at him in confusion. But his eyes were on Savvy, and I could feel his worry…and I think Heart’s. She was shifting on her feet, but Savvy wasn’t reacting. I said her name, and she didn’t react. I gathered more air in my lungs and shouted her name, and finally she reacted.
“I must have zoned out,” she said. I bit my lip rather than say what I was thinking, because… She hadn’t looked zoned out. Her eyes had been tracking something, I just…hadn’t been able to see it myself. “Maybe we’ve been out in the sun too long,” she tried to reason, but I still wasn’t buying it.
Thankfully, she promised to get a drink as soon as we got to the winery. I’d have to start carrying things if this was going to become a thing… I told her the gate worked, but… “We can try the track, we’ll just have to jump over all this debris,” I said with a wrinkle of my nose. There was no help for it. But she squared up her shoulders and was willing to give it a try. Evening got his feet tangled up occasionally on the piping, but we both survived the run. It didn’t take that long.
On our way back to the manor, I kept an eye on Savvy in case she went in that strange mental fog again. She seemed to be okay though. The baroness seemed interested in what we had seen and done at the track, but otherwise was very quick to send us back to Judy. But she didn’t get all cold and overly polite, so I think we are in her good graces, or at least in the beginning of earning them.
There was still a lot to do around the stables, even I could see that. But Judy gave us the rest of the day to move and settle into our new rooms. It was my turn to call for Jenna while Savvy took a drink of water from the well. Back at Moorland, it was frightfully easy to get all of my things back in my trunk. I dithered for a little while, but I also took down the sign hanging on the front of our dorm room while Savvy was emptying her toiletries from the bathroom. Well, I doubt they would find another combination of names like ours, so it isn’t like they’ll reuse it… The guilt is still going to eat at me, I’m sure.
We had dinner at the dining hall with the other campers for the last time, and I realized that we had never really belonged here, not since our arrival. We’d been picked out, and I just wish I could understand why. I did see the race masters eating up at a table by themselves…including Josh, sans hat. I could have pouted over that, since I think the hat is quite dashing, though I applauded his good manners. But… He seemed to be teasing Loretta about something, and he was smiling and laughing and… I had to stare at my plate or else I would start crying, though I don’t know why it upset me so much. She was such a pretty girl, I shouldn’t be surprised that he was interested or already dating her…
Thankfully there was the distraction of loading the horses up again along with all their equipment and odds and ends, plus ours. Then paying Judy the stable fee for the move, and going to get settled at the inn. Judging from what I saw while we were carrying our things in, older girls who had been to Moorland one to five years or so ago were the other people staying there as sort of a second tier of campers, though not really. The last thing I did was hang the sign on the front of the door from a nail that was there, making it official that we were there. Savvy seemed surprised but pleased, making very glad I did it.
Savvy laid down and fell asleep rather quickly, but I dug out my stationary and wrote to Mrs. Kettle and to my parents, so they would know that I had changed mail locations here (when they finally get around to sending anything!). Then I ducked into the bathroom to brush my teeth.
And someone was already in there! I clapped my hand over my mouth to keep from screaming, and almost fainted. She held herself together better, only swearing softly in French until she calmed down, holding on to the sink for balance. Our room had been empty, so our neighbor hadn’t even thought about turning a light on, just leaving her door open (since apparently she had no roommate too). She was quite friendly once she calmed down though. Her name is Nikolette Diamondbrooke, though she insisted on me calling her Nikki. I managed to squeak out my name, though I immediately had to shush her resulting giggles before she woke up Savvy. It helped give me time to get over the shock of her hair. She’d bleached it blonde (I could tell from her dark brows that her hair had to naturally be brown), then dyed the ends purple. I couldn’t even imagine the maintenance.
We both wanted to go to bed, but she promised to show Savvy and I where to grab breakfast (and other future meals) in the morning. I agreed before I had too much time to think about it, then hurriedly finished and got out of there to go to bed and write all of this down. Honestly, I haven’t talked to so many people in a year as I have in my time here. Maybe this place is helping me grow out of all that… I sure hope so.
Money: 3475 SC, 1463 JS
Have a question for Misty about her experiences at Moorland or before? Ask her over at Ask Mountain Song over on tumblr.
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).