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Fantasy The Near-Forgotten House and the Abandoned Village

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Thanny

The Destined Undestined
(This is a 1x1 Harvest-Moon-style thread between Clairikins Clairikins and myself. Fun stuff is expected, so stay tuned, I guess! =D )

How did it get to this? She was taking a taxi down a potholed road toward a town -- or was it a village? -- that she had never really heard of, nor any of her friends. The only mention of this place was through her uncle who had passed away and left a house -- a house! -- up to to her. For some reason it did not go to her mother and father who she thought was close to her always visiting uncle, but her? That was tough to imagine. Perhaps he wanted to leave the building to someone who would love to live separate from her parents. If so, she supposed he struck the nail right on the head.

The taxi's hitting a pothole nearly drove her head into the window as she stared out of it, and she bit back a grimace as her chin was sore from the balled fist she was resting on jumping into her jaw. This road could use a lot of work. Reduce the pavement so that you only had a dirt road and most of your issues are solved. The potholes may be of issue still, though, but at least the town would not have to spend money there.

And then she saw the state of the town. Delapidated was certainly the word for it. Some of these buildings were ancient by her standards and not exactly desirable. She recalled the town's name being covered by coiling vines. "Welcome to ___________". At least she knew of its name.

The taxi came to a stop, and even the driver seemed confused about the location. There was no doubt about it, though. This house was the right place. It was older than the photo attached to the will had showcased, as houses often are, and the garden had well grown since then, but her view was almost exactly like the photo.

"Would you like me to wait for you?" the taxi driver asked, voice low and serious. He was surprised to go to a place like this, so far from the big cities where she and he was from. The bill was three digits long, but she expected this and produced a small wad of cash, mostly twenties. She did not have much left if that was the only amount of cash on her person. "I don't know your business, but I can take you back free of charge, Miss . . ."

"Anisa," she replied, smiling sunnily. "Wait for me for fifteen minutes, and if I don't come back go on without me. Thank you for your trouble. This was a long drive."

The driver took the cap off of his balding head, smiled at it, flapped it back to stiffness, and placed it on his head again.

"You are welcome. I hope you will find what you seek, though I don't know what. Family? Friends?"

"A home, and not one I know very well. I inherited this place."

A black, fuzzy, caterpillar brow lifted up on his forehead before a smile touched his lips.

"Congrats, though sorry for your loss. If you can, let me know everything is okay before I take off. I want to ensure my customer's safety."

Tossing a well-meaning smile his way, Anisa exited the car, pulled her luggage out of the trunk compartment, and stared up at the building. For some reason it felt as if it were staring back at her. A home with eyes. How preposterous. Chuckling to herself, she made an attempt to get close, unknowing that her life was very much going to change for the better.
 
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Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
"-like look at this thing; is it supposed to be a language?" Emily pulls another book off the shelf, opening it up and using her hand to fan away the dust. "I don't think it's in Chinese or Japanese like the others were..."
"Pass it here." Sundrop is sitting on the floor, a pile of books sitting to one side of her and a box loaded with books on her other side. "Looks like we got another one for storage." She takes the book Emily hands to her and looks through it as well. "...I think I'd summon a demon or something if I even /tried/ to read this."
"You can READ that!?"
"...maybe? It's not a Fae language, for sure... maybe some sort of Orc? ...ancient Orc, if anything." She places it in the box with the others.

The two have no idea that their little bubble of safety and solidarity is going to be popped, and the road is far enough away from the house that they couldn't hear it either, not over their conversation.
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
The garden was behind her, and Anisa looked up to the door with a sense of forboding. Come to think of it, her uncle did not provide her with a set of keys! How was she supposed to even enter the place? Perhaps the door was unlocked all of this time since her uncle had left this world in search of the next? She somewhat doubted the possibility, as one of the first orders of business in the death of someone, she surmised, would be to lock away the house so that there was no theft.

Even still she went up the short stone-and-mortar staircase that led up to the house and dared a knock out of habit. What if there was someone else in here? She did not recall if her lovely uncle had wed or had children. In fact, she was fairly certain he would have left the house to them in the case of his death, so that could not be.

She waited, wondering if anyone was to come to the door, or call out, or something. If nothing seemed to happen, she would knock again in an attempt to be polite before attempting to open the door. Meanwhile, she admired the old-fashioned style of the door knocker, the brass lion's mouth holding the swinging piece also made of brass.
 

Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
"Oh, I think I know this one- a book of nursery rhymes... something about... um..." Emily blushes as she reads it, dropping the book only for Sundrop to dive over and grab it.
"Oh come on- was this the one you got all worked up about? It's just nonsense, don't take it serious-" both girls freeze as they hear the sound of footsteps on the stone steps leading up to the house.

Emily runs off to grab a hat, and Sundrop goes for the door, ready to fight off an intruder- no wait, they knocked?
Sundrop prepares to explain that she's not about to go back and fight- it wouldn't be the first time someone from her old life tried to call her back.

Sundrop opens the door, her long blonde hair glimmering in the sunlight, her five foot frame unimposing, and her beauty shining in the daylight- beauty enough to turn the hearts of men and win wars, if applied properly. "Yes? I am not going back. ... at least they were smart enough to send a woman this time."
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
Anisa looked perplexed when the door opened and inside was a distinctly lovely girl, her features exuding radiance of every kind. Her blonde hair complemented her face and the very sun, which was incredible, but the words Sundrop gave her merely confused the youth.

"Going back?" she inquired ponderously, almost in muttering fashion before she quickly shook the confusion from her face. "Um, sorry, I think this was a bit of a mistake. I am here because my uncle Symond who owns, or owned this place passed it down to me, but . . . are you new tenants, or did you know him?"

She chewed her lip worriedly, uncertain. It was the right building, but did someone snatch up residency here while her good uncle was being laid down to rest? Then again, she said that she was not going back. Did that mean she was previously asked by some job headhunter at this place to go elsewhere?

"Ah! Where are my manners?" she piped, recalling that she had not yet made herself known. "I am Anisa Carlow. It is nice to meet you."

A light bow swayed her shoulder-length hair forth-and-back from in front of her pinking cheeks. She hoped her stating her name would provide trust and maybe a connection linking her and her uncle, however slim the chance may be.
 

Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
"Symond!?" A white-haired girl tumbles out from around the corner, wearing a sun hat with a little string tied under her chin to keep it on. She stumbles over the books as she makes her way to the door. "What do you know about Master Symond?"
"Looks like this girl's your new owner." Sundrop sighs, "Well, it was fun while it lasted." She eyes up the woman, reading her to see what she knows. "Hmph. Fine, come in. Em, look over the paperwork and let's get back to the books." Sundrop walks back to the bookshelf, picking up a book and flipping through it.
"Right... so, what do you know, again?" Emily asks the stranger, adjusting her hat- it seems uncomfortable for her.
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
"What do I know? Owner?" she rapid-fired in alarm, the two questions together seemingly quite shocking to her, as if her uncle was in the habit of owning people. As if she were to own people herself. Preposterous! she held up her hand to her forehead in an attempt to relieve the shock.

Recuperating slightly, she hesitantly looked over to the white-haired lass before marvelling at her hair, impressed that she had kept up with dyeing it so well. And, then again, the question reared its head.

"I don't know much, to be frank," she answered as honestly as possible, perhaps too much so, as she stepped inside the building. She was of the habit of overexplaining. "Uncle Symond visited my family for years, always at our house and never his own, which struck me as odd. He was always kind and doting at least to me and my brother, but now I am uncertain if I knew him well enough."

She lifted her eyes toward Emily, an attempt to be brave in face of what she intended to ask.

"Do explain to me: what do you mean by 'master?' "
 
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Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
"I thought you were Anisa" Emily giggles, holding a hand over her mouth and testing the waters to see how this stranger would react to her little joke. (at the 'to be frank' comment)
"I- um." Emily takes a little step away, turning away from the woman who apparently didn't know as much about the man who used to live here as she had thought.

"Emily was a stray." Sundrop comments from the bookshelf- there are a few bookshelves lining the walls of this entry room / living room, with a couch against one wall and a hallway across the far wall of the room. "More or less, at least. Your uncle took her in, gave her food, treated her injuries, all of it. Emily was also the only one who held out hope that he would one day come back. It's admirable, in a way, but we all have to face the light eventually."
Emily tugs on her hat a little...
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
Anisa felt introspective, wondering about the reason behind Emily's giggle and did not know what to think, at least at first, and fell into a span of silence. Did she say the wrong name? But she was certain that . . . oh, Frank! At this sudden realisation she laughed a note or three behind a finger, a smile reemerging on her face where a recent frown had been. She liked Emily already, especially regarding the final description of her. Her uncle had a heart of gold, then, as she had hoped to hear, and so did those who he spent time with in his house.

"I'm glad," she spoke, tossing back a strand of hair that fell from her ear. "When I heard about it, I could scarcely believe it myself. To me he seemed so youthful and kind that he could never leave, so I understand that all too well." She lobbed another quick smile toward Emily, then toward Sundrop, before dropping it altogether. "I had thought that this place would be vacant, but you both are here. Would it be too much to ask if I stayed for the night, and to look around?"
 

Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
"It's not much, but it's home." Sundrop mutters.
"Ah... right. Right this way!" Emily takes Anisa's hand and pulls her across the room! "Over there we have the kitchen, and, um, the bedroom is over there." To the left of the living room is a nice enough kitchen, complete with a cauldron in the fireplace!
To the right, one bedroom has been cleared out, complete with a big mattress on the floor and a variety of blankets. "Sundrop and I just sleep here. The um... the master bedroom is upstairs, and..." there is a LOT of overgrowth in the unused areas, including the stairs going to the second floor. "It has kinda been a while... I think the plants are magic or something, because we haven't been able to deal with them."
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
Anisa blinked in surprise when Emily took her hand and tugged her along, but was quick to find merriment in it and laughed under her breath. She was getting a tour of the place!

It was not much, but if it was home for these two then it was good enough for her. She had slept on the floor several times at friends' houses growing up, and a mattress offered more padding and give than any sleeping bag or clothed back. She could only assume that it offered the same amount of comfort, but maybe not the luxury, of the standard bed. It was unfortunate, however, that the girls did not have much in terms of accommodations. She thought about giving the master bedroom over to them, but maybe the plants were enough of a deterrent.

"Magic, huh? Vines are sticky boogers no matter where they go, but this is the first time I have seen them grow so far into a building. Usually they stick to sunlight, as that is what promises growth for them, so I can probably see why you say they are magic," she brought to voice upon looking at the plants, perhaps over-explaining things again. Such a bad habit, she thought to herself, wondering what was thought of her. Hopefully nothing bad. "I'll see what I can do. If this place is getting overrun, then I'm going to help you both in sprucing things up. As a future homeowner, I would happily make that my responsibility."

She beat her chest once with a fist as a sign of good faith, a smile on her lips. And then she looked around quizzically.

"Er, where can I find the pruning shears?"
 

Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
"Pruning sheers?" Emily asks. She is more of one for domestic chores than anything related to the outside- cooking and cleaning and laundry and whatnot, not something like gardening. "What are those?" She leads the way back to the living room to continue the job of sorting out books!
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
"They are kind of like oversized scissors with long handles. They cut through almost anything that is a plant! Very helpful," Anisa answered happily, liking having someone to talk to.

Emily was easier to discuss matters with than the other one. Sundrop, was it? That was a peculiar name, but she was a peculiar woman, especially if people were wishing for her services. She wondered if they would warm up to each other over time, Sundrop and her. Anisa would admit that she was a mite intimidated by the person who opened the door for her.

"Out of curiosity," Anisa started, looking closely at Emily's head covering, "why do you have a sunhat indoors? It did not seem particularly sunny outside, and not so much in here as well. Do you like hats very much? Oh, speaking of outside, I left my suitcase outside and have to tell the taxi it is okay to leave! Hold that thought!"

When she was close enough to the entry she flashed a good-natured smile towards both Emily and Sundrop and jaunted over to the door to complete her tasks, leaving the two alone in the meantime unless they craved to talk with her more.
 

Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
"You think we can trust her?"
"I think you can try"
"I think she's nice!"
"It's up to you to trust her or not; I can't make that choice for you."

Emily sighs, taking off her hat and waiting for Anisa to come back inside, showing off her cute kitty ears, rubbing them with her thumb and forefinger cause they got all sore under the hat.
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
After finishing her matters with the taxi driver, letting him go off with a smile on both her and his faces, Anisa grabbed hold of her luggage and rolled it inside. Carefully closing the door behind her without banging the container against the door, she was completely clueless for a time of Emily's presence until looking up into the gloom of the building and spotting one of the two people.

"All set!" she called out in chipper manner. "The guy was very friendly. If you ever need to get a taxi, I recommend Ral--"

She paused, finally catching notice of Emily's catlike ears from outside of her hair. She was confused for a second, not exactly sure what this was. Was she a cosplayer or something? It kind of made sense. She seemed of the right age, though this was a--no, those looked too real, even in this lighting. One of them even twitched like a cat's ear. Were those real? Was . . .

She realised that she was staring, and was ashamed of this. Setting down her luggage to a resting position, she laughed nervously and looked down sheepishly.

"I'm sorry. That took me by surprise" was all that she could say.
 

Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
Emily lifts a hand to her head to partially cover one of her ears a little. "Well, at least she isn't calling the scientists." she jokes to Sundrop.
"Just have to hope she can keep a secret."
"Yea... Anisa? You /can/ keep a secret, right? Your uncle kept it to himself, and I like living here... but if people found out that a cat was real..."
"A catgirl, specifically. The scientists would want to take you away. Happened to me."
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
"Of course I can keep a secret!" Anisa replied, blinking rapidly. "It's just that, well, you know, it is a shock, learning that someone who has cat ears like this exists for real and not out of some dream of work of fiction . . . unless you are fooling me." A realisation struck her as she looked closer, wondering if this truly was a trick. "They are real, right? I'd . . . I'd like to look at them up close if possible. I've been fooled before. Not from the same thing, of course, but even still."

She bit down on the inside of her lips, uncertain if this was some sort of weird elaborate ruse. The last time this happened within a group of friends, she was so convinced that it was hard to even trust them again.
 
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Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
Emily just stands there, hands on her lap. "Y-you can touch them if you'd like..."
She isn't normally so good with people petting her out of the blue like that, but if this woman is going to be her new owner- and if they're going to be sleeping together, then she's just going to have to get used to being close. "Just... be gentle..."
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
"Really?" Anisa asked, looking at the ears with full attention. Emily was not dodgy in the slightest, even accepting of the possibility of her touching them. Plus the ears looked so fluffy. A little feel should not hurt. "If it's okay. Don't worry; I'll be gentle."

She had experience rubbing cat's ears before, being very fond of cats and having a few friends who had cats. Those pets loved being rubbed and lightly scratched on the ear, so maybe that would be a good start. Walking up tentatively, chewing on her bottom lip ever so slightly, she offered the slightest pinch on the outside of her ear with her thumb and forefinger, followed by a rub. There was no doubt that they were real. They were warm and soft and fluffy, with the feel of pliable skin and cartilage beneath them. She definitely sported ears!

"You weren't joking!" Anisa exclaimed, pulling her hand back and looking at Emily in awe. "A catgirl in the flesh? Amazing! You're amazing!"
 

Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
Sundrop chuckles to herself at the girl's excitement- she's glad she doesn't have wings anymore, or this girl would try to grab /them/ too.
"We're not /that/ rare..." Emily mutters. "We just aren't allowed to be in public..."
Sundrop sighs, "people like us get kidnapped off the street if we get found, and brought to an underground laboratory. A few of us have escaped, thanks to your uncle- don't get me wrong: I had nothing to do with him, I just found this place. Emily is bad at explaining it."
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
Anisa was certainly an if-I-can-touch-it-I-can-believe-it individual, and was still marveling over the feel of fur on a person's ear, but blushed at the comment of their being more common than she thought. So she was not a rare case? That was both gladdening and saddening, gladdening because the world needed more diversity and saddening because of the horrors that must have been done to these peoples.

"So you are also hunted? Is that why . . . never mind." She was going to comment on why Sundrop answered the door as she did, but thought against it. More important things should probably be discussed, she assumed. "I am sorry to you both. I had no idea about any of this, but you can rest assured that your secret is safe with me." She offered a smile. "My uncle sounds like a very good man, one who had inspired me before, but I feel more inspired to follow in his footsteps."
 

Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
"Good. Maybe you can clean out the basement when it comes down to it. And the rest of the house." Sundrop walks her book over to set it on the pile. "Emily can't go to town because of her ears, and I can't go because I'll cause a commotion. I'm not human myself, in case you hadn't guessed." She walks back to the shelf and pulls out another book to check out.
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
"The basement sounds like a good idea. It is probably stuffed with hidden treasures," admitted Anisa, looking around for the basement door. "I can do the shopping and outdoor stuff no problem. I like being outside and going places. What do you do about food? I have some provisions in my pack, but nothing that can last more than a few days. Is there a store nearby? Farms? I did not see much of anything coming into the village."

She had so many questions as she excitedly daydreamed of what possibly could happen here in an unprecedented state of being. She can always return home, but making a living here seemed like a marvelous adventure in and of itself.

"Right!" she exclaimed happily. "I have a number of things I want to do before the end of the day. I will unpack my things, check out the basement, maybe shop and meet the town, and tidy up a bit if that is all right with you. Where do you keep the cleaning supplies here, and the pruning shears while I am at it? I want to trim those plants in the stairway."

It was possibly a lot of things to do in one day, but Anisa felt full of energy, ready to try life out here, as weird as that may seem to the others.
 

Clairikins

Lesbian Extraordinaire
"There's a field out back, but it's just as overgrown as the house."
"Sundrop has a garden outside; we just eat from that."
"It's good enough for us, but you're going to have to clear out some room if you want to eat too. ...and we don't have pruning sheers- you might be able to find some in town, but it's a long walk from here."
"We have some knives in the kitchen." Emily offers. "...for cutting the plants."
"Yea, that's how we cleared out what we got so far- it's brutal on the knives, though."
"And the cleaning supplies are in the kitchen- in the pantry, at the bottom."
 

Thanny

The Destined Undestined
"Hmm, then I should grow another patch of crops to support at least three, though I am not sure how many months that can take. I will have to consult a library or you both for tips," Anisa voiced, as if to herself at first, then directed toward her two new acquaintances with a questioning look. "Regardless, I should head into town. The right tools for the right job will save on wear and tear, so those knives can stay where they are in the meantime."

She looked down at the was of cash she pulled from her pocket and frowned. It was not as much as she hoped, but is should last her a bit on her own and buy a good set of pruning shears to do some housekeeping. Of course, a machete could be even more useful, but what garden shop has a machete?

"I will check out the basement to find anything useful before I head to town to make some purchases if available. Need anything from a store?" she asked the others.
 

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