Push the Sky Away

Fandom: Harvest Moon: Animal Parade

Summary: Abandoned RP for Candace. Julius, y u no save me ):

Char_kotomiIt was still early enough out that most of Harmonica Town’s residents hadn’t left their homes yet. The usually bustling country town was entrenched in a deep and peaceful quiet, with only the gentle sounds of nature occasionally intruding.

From the town’s only Tailor shop, a meek, somehow fragile figure dressed in soft blues emerged, cradling a thermos and a carefully wrapped package in her arms. Casting wide, uncertain eyes in either direction, she shut the door behind her with tremendous care, holding the handle down until the door was fitted firmly into the frame. As if she were afraid to make even the tiniest sound, and offend the silent morning.

With the frosty autumn wind tugging at her hair and clothes with cold and needy fingers, she reached up with one smooth, slender hand and pinched her lower lip – a nervous habit she was unable to overcome. It was something she had picked up after her parents had died; something she had seen her mother do whenever she was upset.

Something that Luna chastised her for constantly; she thought it was an ugly habit, to always be picking at her face like that. Candace thought it was just a sad reminder of what they’d lost.

Remembering her sister’s chorus of rebukes, she hastily dropped her hand away, using it to pull her cardigan tighter around her throat, instead. She had to try harder, had to keep her hands occupied. She never wanted to make Luna unhappy; she never wanted to make anyone unhappy.

She winced a little as her shoes clicked against the pavement; in the muted, sleepy silence, her footsteps sounded obscene.

“Sorry,” she whispered as she passed the mayor’s office and Simon’s building. Neither Hamilton nor Simon were out, yet, but she still felt guilty as she clomped by their darkened storefronts. “I have to leave early if I’m going to make it all the way up to Garmon Mines to see Mira.”

Especially since she was going the long way; the rickety mine cart past the church that connected Harmonica Town and Garmon Mines terrified her. She couldn’t even watch other people use it without feeling panicky.

She cringed as she trod across the bridge, her footsteps seeming to grow louder in spite of her desperate attempts to tread lighter; she sighed with relief as she stepped off the bridge and onto the soft, soundless dirt that would absorb her footsteps instead of broadcasting them.

There would be no more paved roads between here and the mines; she’d made it out of town without bothering anyone.

Her lips pulled up in a rare smile, but immediately fell back into their customary grim line when she looked ahead and saw the foreboding gray sky looming over the mountains. The weather channel had promised clear skies, but it sure looked like rain.

“Oh, please don’t,” she whispered, quickening her pace; the Mines were still so far away. She didn’t want to get caught in a downpour; the gifts she’d made for Mira would be ruined.

Clutching her cargo to her, she lowered her head against the wind and walked as quickly as her long skirt would permit. The thermos, full of hot, sweet tea, was heavy and warm against her breast; the parcel, full of freshly baked cookies and wrapped in purple, rattled worryingly in spite of her painstaking efforts to pack them in an orderly fashion.

She dearly hoped that she wouldn’t be delivering a box of tasty crumbs and cookie shards to Mira.

* * * * *

The first raindrop burst against the back of her head as she was crossing the wooden bridge into the Mines. She saw that they, too, were empty and quiet; she supposed it would stay that way, with the rain now. Nobody in Castanet cared to come outside when the sky wept.

She passed the carpenters and the general store without so much as a glance. To her growing horror, the accessory shop where Mira lived and worked was still dark and motionless.

“Oh, no,” she moaned, cupping her free hand to a window and peering inside. No sign of Mira anywhere.

Her eyes stung with tears and she pinched her lower lip until that stung, too. She’d considered the possibility of getting there early; she hadn’t considered the possibility of waiting in the rain.

She cast a despairingly look up over her shoulder and saw that the sky had turned an angry slate, smothered by fat, miserable clouds.

“What am I going to do?”

She slumped back against the door and began to cry.

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