Guardian Angel – Chapter 8: A Vision

It’s been two days, and Chase has since recovered from his father’s death. I haven’t talked to Rachel yet, and I only have eleven days left, if what she said is correct. Trying to put all that she told me out of my mind is the hardest thing, but she’s away at the moment visiting her sick grandmother, so I have some more time to think. She’s coming back tomorrow, but I know by then I’ll hopefully have convinced myself that she was lying. It’s noon, and I finished my chores early. Ms. A had to go to town to pick up some supplies, and so I was left to myself. Chase is here, working extra hard for the generously raised pay to support his mother and himself. I’m in the shower, washing my hair, shivering as the water goes from warm to cold so often. Chase must be watering some of the animals. Then again, it may not be his fault. After all, the water here isn’t exactly reliable, and I’ve never figured out how or where Ms. Aston gets her water from. Yet another unsolved mystery about Miss A. The water goes back to warm, and I sigh with relief, massaging the last of the shampoo out of my hair. Suddenly, a loud horn honks, causing me to jump and fumble for the handle of the shower to turn the water off, but I seem to have lost my vision. The lights are out. Or the lights aren’t out, and the truck horn isn’t real… A bright light flashes, and I hear screams. I can see now, out of the same car window as usual, the normal truck skidding and starting to fall. It’s never gotten this far before. The truck begins to tip, and I hear a car door open, as if someone is trying to get out. Then, I collapse. When I open my eyes, I’m laying on the couch, shivering. I reach to pull up my covers, and snap my eyes open when I realize I’m not in bed, and I’m naked under the thin towel that is covering me. How did I get here? I don’t remember walking out… Chase’s voice comes from beside me, and I scream. “Get out of here! What the heck you weirdo!” I clutch the towel. He must have brought me out here, there’s no other way I could get from the shower to the couch.

Just as I’m about to scream (he won’t get up and leave), Rachel enters, running to my side. She chases Chase (no pun intended) from the room and sits down on the floor in his place.

“Jamie,” she says quietly, “Chase called me. He told me that he came to give you something but couldn’t find you, and when he knocked on the bathroom door and you didn’t answer, he said he waited down here for a while then went back up and found you passed out in the shower. Do you remember what happened?”

It takes me a minute to find my voice. “Hardly. Just another vision. Rachel, I’m scared. What am I supposed to do?”

She looks like this is exactly the answer she’s been expecting. “You have eleven days. Meaning you’ll need to leave tomorrow.” At this, she pauses, letting it soak in. I knew that I couldn’t avoid this, that after she told me about all this, my life would never be normal. “Have you gotten any clues? Maybe a license plate number off the truck? Or a building in the background?” I shake my head. “Oh, dear. Well, maybe tonight. Come on, let’s get you into some clothes.”

Once I’m dressed, Rachel, Chase and I sit in awkward silence, sipping tea and explaining to Chase what’s going on. Rachel confides in him that though she’s known him most of her life (he used to work for her family when he was young, and they went to the same school), she’s kept this a secret. He seems hesitant to believe her, as if she’s trying to make him out for a fool.

After a while, Rachel leaves, telling me that she’ll pick me up tomorrow at ten a.m. I’m not sure where we’re going…I guess just anywhere I feel a need to go. Me and Chase sit silently. Chase begins a silly yet awkward conversation about chickens, and how Harley always used to flirt with them behind the rooster’s back. I laugh. We talk for a short time before Chase changes the subject suddenly.

“I was…ah…wondering if you’d like to be my girlfriend.” His face is red and he’s not looking at me. “There’s not many pretty girls around here. But…” He pauses, rubbing the back of his neck. “Since you’re leaving tomorrow and all, I’m not sure how it’s going to work out. You don’t seriously believe Rachel, do you?”

I beam. “Chase, I fell out of the sky. What else am I supposed to believe? I just happen to have no identity? And the answer is yes. I will be your girlfriend.” I smile, and he smiles back. “Do you want to come with us?”

“My mother needs me.” He looks at the floor. “I really wish I could.”

I sigh and realize there’s something I haven’t said yet. “Thank you.”

He grins like he’s about to say “you’re welcome,” but decides to say it without words. He smiles like a naughty school boy, then presses his lips against mine. I feel the soft pressure and I want to forget everything that’s happened the last three months, to abandon trying to find out about my old life and start living my new one. But I know I can’t. I could never live with myself if I didn’t go on this mission.

And now I have another person to miss me when I fail.

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Day 107, A Mystery Afoot in Moorland – Spoiler Alert

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There are three characters who have started noticing something strange in Moorland; Mrs Holdsworth, Josh, and Conrad. You can visit them in any order that you choose. I’m going to start with Josh.

Get First Prize Without Even Winning

josh2

Hi Rita! So glad you’re here, I could really use your help right now…

What’s happened? Sigh… Someone’s stolen my trophies! Every last one of them! All the prizes I won from all my competitions, all gone…

You want me to tell you from the beginning? Okay, but there’s not much to tell…

When I got here this morning, everything was just like normal so I set up the pole-bending race as usual, cleaned up a little bit and got a cup of coffee while I waited for all the competition-crazy riders to show up. I had a little bit of spare time so I thought I’d get some stuff done in my wagon, y’know, organize some stuff a little and it was then I noticed that not everything was as it should be.

I keep all my things in that wagon, and someone had been in and trashed it all. Worse still, it was only when I tidied up that I noticed that all my trophies were gone!

The thief must’ve totally gotten away by this point, and I’ve got no idea who it could’ve been. The only thing I know is that he or she must’ve been here during the night, as I checked out the wagon before I left yesterday evening and everything looked fine.

If I’ve seen any other clues? Nah… But then I haven’t looked around that closely.

Wait! What’s that on the ground? Some kind of footprint in the sand…

Maybe it’s a clue, Rita!

You’ll follow the trail of footprints? Okay! Good luck Rita! Hope you find the thief!

Objectives: Follow the tracks and see if you can find the thief. Return to Josh afterwards.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Ride out into the pole bending track to see if the tracks lead you to any clues…

Return to Josh if you find anything.

josh2

There weren’t any footprints to follow? Sigh.

Suppose there’s nothing we can do about it then… What? You found a piece of fabric that could be from the thief’s clothes?

Quest completed

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Thief On the Loose in Moorland!

josh2

Rita, I don’t know what we should do with this bit of fabric. Maybe it’s an important clue, but all this business with mysteries and thieves isn’t really my thing.

Maybe you can chat to Jenna about it instead? She’s got smarts! If you and her work together on this, then I bet you’ll find out who stole my trophies for sure! Please?

Thanks Rita! Man, I knew I could trust you! My trophies are so important to me, so I’d be so grateful if you could find them for me… Thanks, and good luck!

Objectives: Take the piece of fabric to Jenna and tell her what’s happened.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Speak to Jenna inside the stable area.

jenna2

Hey Rita, how’s it going?

What’s that? Someone’s stolen all of Josh’s trophies?

Hmm… So there’s a thief on the loose in Moorland… I’ve had my suspicions for a while now, so it’s no surprise. I just don’t know how we’ll find out for sure who the thief is. If you find any clues, come back and let me know, yeah?

Quest completed

Now let’s go see what Conrad needs help with.

Small Tools Are Easy to Loose

conrad_marsdeen

Good day to you Rita.

I’m afraid I don’t have time to chat just now. You see, I promised to get these flowerpots finished for Jenna before sundown, and I’m already running behind schedule.

Hmm… This hammer isn’t the right tool for these flowerpots. If these are to be world-class then there’s to be no compromise! I need my tiniest hammer.

Why am I delayed? Well I’ll tell you all about it if you pass me my tiniest hammer…

Thanks. I suppose a very quick break won’t hurt, so let me tell you about the decidedly bizarre happening that’s caused my delay.

It was this morning, you see… Just as I was about to start work for the day, a strange man came walking towards the smithy with his hood up and sunglasses on. It was too warm for a hoodie and the sun was hidden by clouds, so I thought it was most peculiar.

Anyway, he seemed quite lost and asked me the way to Silverglade Village. I explained the route: head up the hill and head left at the crossroads, and he just looked confused. He said he didn’t understand. I couldn’t quite get to grips with it… Surely my directions weren’t that unclear?

Well, well, nobody can say that Conrad Marsdeen can’t give directions, so I decided to give him the best directions anyone had ever given anyone, anywhere, ever.

I told him all about where exactly he should walk, pointing at the castle and telling its story so that the importance of the landmark on his route couldn’t possibly be forgotten. So that he could definitely be one hundred percent certain, I told him absolutely everything about the history of the castle, from Jon Jarl’s time to the present day. I even took seasonal weather conditions into account when calculating his route. It took me the entire morning to describe it all to him in this level of detail, and these directions had to have been a masterpiece that no soul could ever have misunderstood.

When I turned to ask him if he had any questions, he’d disappeared. I imagine my directions were so precise and so detailed that he didn’t need to hear any more to be able to find his destination.

Ah well, I felt as though my pride was restored and this man was quite clearly satisfied with my works, so I didn’t think any more of it.

That said, it caused me some considerable delay, but at least it was in doing a good deed.

Now then! I’ve rested quite enough on this little break. Will you fetch my smallest hammer for me now, like you said?

It’s on the table over there by the smithy.

Objectives: Look for Conrad Marsdeen’s smallest hammer on the table by the smithy, then go back to Conrad.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Uh, sir, I don’t see it….

conrad_marsdeen

You couldn’t find a hammer? Did you look on the table? Did you look properly? And down the side as well?

You couldn’t spot it, you say?

Quest completed

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Catastrophic News About Delayed Flowerpots

conrad_marsdeen

Odd. I’ve never lost a tool in my entire life… Has my memory finally let me down after all these years? Have I reached the ripe old age where I should call it all a day?

Sigh.

Rita, this is absolutely one of the very worst days of my entire life. I’m not going to be able to deliver an order in the agreed time. It’s the first time ever…

Would you be able to give Jenna the terrible news that her flowerpots won’t be finished today?

Thank you Rita. Now you must excuse me, I need to find that hammer now. Let Jenna know I’ll not rest a single moment until the hammer’s found and the pots are finished. I swear on my honor as a blacksmith. 

Tell Jenna what’s happened and please ask her to accept my apologies. Even if it’s a stain on my impeccable record that may never be removed…

Now I must be off Rita, away I go to wonder what to do next since my career is obviously in ruins. I haven’t even had time to teach a trainee to take over the smithy.

Is this how it all ends? Hmm? My life’s work in flames like this?

This is truly a day of tragedy. Tell Jenna that.

Objectives: Tell Jenna that her flowerpots are to be the victims of a delay.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 20 with Moorland Stable

Shit happens, dude. Don’t get so melodramatic on me, now…

Tell Jenna you’ve found out about more weird goings on.

jenna2

My flowerpots are delayed?

What flowerpots?

Oh! Flowerpots! Yeah, I asked Conrad a while ago to make me some flowerpots but I’d pretty much forgotten all about them, haha! Yeah, well it doesn’t matter if they’re late, it was mostly just a bit of fun.

Any special reason Conrad’s running late?

He gave directions to some odd man and then couldn’t find one of his hammers, you say…

Weird… I’m not sure it’s just a coincidence, Rita… Something fishy’s going on here in Moorland. If you hear of anymore weird goings on, come and tell me!

Quest completed

Mrs Holdsworth seems to be upset about something, let’s go check it out.

How to Turn a Pie Into a Broom

mrs_holdsworth

Hello Rita.

Why do I look so miffed? Hmm. Someone swiped my freshly-baked pie earlier. Brazen doesn’t begin to describe it! Probably that Tan or her friend Loretta who took it.

Why do I think that? Well, just a few days ago, Tan was here asking if she could have a bit of pie. I said to her that I’d happily offer pie in exchange for her popping out to grab my mail for me since I’m not as quick on my feet as I used to be. Guess what she did next?

She screwed her face up and said she wanted the whole pie and that I should be happy someone wanted to eat my disgusting pies at all!

Then I got my broom out and drove her off good and proper. Sure enough, she disappeared fast as lightning off in the direction of Moorland Stables. Ooh, I don’t remember being that angry in a good long while, Rita. Rather a refreshing little feeling as it happens, but a little bit uncomfortable… I’m not one to get angry, really…

You’re going to ride and ask Tan who stole the pie? Thanks Rita, that’s nice of you. If I did it, I’d surely get just as wound up as last time, and I think I’ve been angry enough to last me for a few decades now. 

Thanks for helping, young Rita.

Objectives: Ask Tan if she’s taken a pie from Mrs Holdsworth.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Time to confront the thief!

tan2

What? Pie?

I haven’t taken any pie from that old granny! Nobody likes her pies anyway, they’re gross! Ha!

Quest completed

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Tan’s Awesome New Watch

tan2

I’m no thief Rita, I swear!

Must’ve been someone trying to set me up… Loretta, no doubt.

Why I think it’s Loretta? Yeah, well I got a brand new watch the other day, the one I ordered online. It is just SO fetch! So awesomely awesome!

Anyway, Loretta was totes jelly, just like I thought she would be, haha!

Never thought she’d sink so low as to steal it from me though. She won’t even admit it, and it’s like, she’s so out of line, you get me? Now she stole that pie from Mrs Holdsworth, and it’s all just ’cause she’s so jello of me.

You’re gonna talk to Loretta?

Umm, yeah, great. Great news. Good luck and whatever. Just tell her I want my watch back or else we’re not BFFs anymore.

Objectives: Ask Loretta about Mrs Holdsworth’s pie and Tan’s watch.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Hmm, maybe Loretta’s the real thief?

loretta2

What?! Tan said I’m a thief?

I haven’t touched a thing!

No way! No gross old crust pies and no trashy watches either! Pff!

Quest completed

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Rumor Has It Loretta’s Like Totally a Thief

loretta2

That’s like, so obvious. Tan loses her ugly trashy watch and she blames me?!

Why would I want such a cheap, ugly pathetic supermarket watch anyway? The only way I’d have something that disgusting on my arm would be if I shoved my hand down the drain. I wouldn’t even leave the house with that joke on my wrist! If she doesn’t get that, then she’s double as dumb as I thought she was.

As if I would steal such a vile waste of time as that ‘watch.’ Oh what?! No way! I wouldn’t got near one of Old Granny Holdworth’s pies either! Wow, they’re like the grossest thing ever. Tan totally took that, she loves her dusty old pies even though she’d never dare say anything.

It’s only when she didn’t get any to stuff into her big dumb mouth that she started saying they were horrible… Haha! Like, Tan’s never gonna get any pie again now that she said that. What a dweeb.

Who do I think took the watch and the pie?

Um, no idea. But you have to tell Jenna it wasn’t me, because like, Tan is totally gonna spread it around that it was me and you shouldn’t even listen to Tan because she’s just so basic and awkward.

Everyone knows Jenna, so if she says I’m innocent, then it won’t even matter what Tan has to say and everything will just go back to being fine. You’ll tell her it wasn’t me?

Sweet, Rita. Thanks!

Objectives: Tell Jenna that Loretta is no thief.

Rewards: 20 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 20 with Moorland Stable

Got another fishy incident to report to Jenna.

jenna2

Hey Rita, what can I help you with?

Loretta says it wasn’t her who swiped Mrs Holdsworth’s pie? And she hasn’t touched Tan’s watch?

I didn’t even know anybody had stolen these things. So weird Rita, these missing things are just a small part of something bigger, I can feel it.

Hey, come back if you hear anything else going wrong here in Moorland.

Quest completed

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Thief On the Loose in Moorland (We’re Sure This Time)

jenna2

Rita, I believe there’s a thief on the loose in Moorland.

Conrad’s hammer, Josh’s trophies, Tan’s watch, and Mrs Holdsworth’s pie. All gone in a mysterious fashion. Not a coincidence in my opinion. You agree?

Hmm… Something in their stories should tie together and tell us who the thief is, I can feel it.

Do you remember what they all said?

Conrad said he was visited by a mysterious man. It must’ve been the thief. Sadly, Conrad also said that the thief had a hood and dark glasses, which means he couldn’t tell us any more about how the thief looked.

Hmm… Then we’ve got the green fabric you found at Josh’s place, which must come from the thief’s clothing, don’t you think? A thief leaving the scene of the crime will get away fast, and not necessarily get away smart. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the thief was less than careful and got some clothing caught in the escape.

Tan didn’t have anything to tell us about how her watch disappeared, but I wonder if it was the same thief who took Mrs Holdsworth’s pie? It’s not very valuable, but I guess the thief was hungry and no doubt caught a whiff of Mrs Holdsworth’s sensational pie as it sat cooling on the windowsill. There’s an important clue in her story, I can just feel it.

Hmm…

Rita, we need to put our heads together and think if we’re going to solve this mystery. Come on, let’s kick some ideas around and see what we come up with.

Objectives: Talk to Jenna and see if you can hep her work out who the thief is.

Rewards: 30 Jorvik Shillings, 20 XP

Reputation: 30 with Moorland Stable

Remember the facts:

The thief wore green fabric, wore a hoodie and glasses, and was close to the beach, close enough to smell Mrs Holdsworth’s pie.

Debrief with Jenna until you figure out all the clues point to…

jenna2

HA! Of course! Obvious when you think again!

Quest completed

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A Crime Wave From the Sea

jenna2

Rita, you’ve also figured out where the thief comes from, right?

Exactly! Dark Core’s camp down by the beach. It must just be one of the shady types who are always hanging around down there.

They have green hooded tops. They always wear dark glasses. Plus, when the wind blows towards the sea, then everyone can smell Mrs Holdsworth’s baking.

Rita, everything points toward the thief being some crook or other involved with Dark Core. Now we just need to work out which one of them it was… You can hardly tell the difference between them, so I don’t suppose it’ll be easy.

Hmm… What should we do?

There’s no definite plan here, but I think the best we can do is this…

Rita, you ride to Dark Core’s camp on the beach and see if you can find any more clues. If anyone tries to stop you, tell them you’ll ring the police if they’re unhelpful.

Why not just ring the police straight away?

Well I don’t think they’d have much of a chance in this case, do you? It’ll take time for them to get here, and by the time they arrive, the thief will have made a getaway.

Our only chance is to try and solve this one ourselves as quickly as we can!

Ride to the beach Rita, and good luck!

Objectives: Ride to Dark Core’s camp by the beach below Moorland and look for clues.

Rewards: 15 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Find a shady guy who perhaps looks especially shady.

shady_guy

Errr, what do you want?

You’re looking for a thief?

No thieves here! Dark Core does not tolerate any illegal activity, especially not illegal activity that gets you caught.

Umm. Forget I said that last bit.

Get out of here now!

Quest completed

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An Unusually Crooked Crook

shady_guy

Hey you! One of us here is supposed to be a thief, huh?

Have a word with yourself, girlie! If you don’t get out of here double quick, I’ll cal the police and report you for trespassing. Haha, what do you say to that?

You think I should go ahead and call them?

Oh.

Okay, well forget it. We don’t need to get the police involved, I’m sure we can sort this out between ourselves, just you and I.

What was it you had in your mind?

Hmm… You say someone’s stolen things from a bunch of different people in Moorland and all your clues point to it being someone from here? I understand, but it doesn’t sound like you’ve got any evidence. Or have you?

Fingerprints? Pictures from security cameras?

So, okay. You’ve got no evidence at all?

Haha what a shame…

You know what? I’ll take a closer look at this. Perhaps there’s something in what you’ve got to say but now it’s a matter for Dark Core to handle internally. So, yes. Thanks for your help but I’ll take it from here.

You can put this whole thief story behind you now and focus on your little horsey instead, how does that sound?

Thank you very much for bringing this all to my attention, now get lost and let me do my job.

Go on! Scram!

(This crook seems unusually crooked, even for a crook. You decide to keep your eye on him and see if you can find out a little more…)

Objectives: Stay hidden and keep watch over what the crook is up to…

Rewards: 20 Jorvik Shillings, 25 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Dismount your horse and find a place to hide so that you can follow the crook without being seen. Once he moves, follow him at a safe distance, but don’t get too far behind that you lose sight of him. Follow him between the containers on the beach, and up onto the Dark Core barge.

Watch as the shady guy goes for the phone. Get close so you can hear what he’s saying

shady_guy

Boss. We’ve got a problem…

There’s a girl here who’s figured us out. She knows the thief is one of us. What should I do?

Take care of it? How?

Haha! You’re a smart one, boss! Great idea…

Okay, boss. You can rely on me. It’ll all be over soon.

Huh?

He’s seen you! Confront him and tell him you heard the whole call.

shady_guy

Did you hear that?

Grr…

Oh well.

Seems there is a thief here at Dark Core’s camp, you were right.

Hmm… I could probably use a little help catching him, if you wouldn’t mind helping?

Great. Great news.

I’ve had a tip-off that he’ll strike again tomorrow… Come back then and I should have some more exact info from my secret source about what he’s got in store…

Quest completed

Return to the shady guy tomorrow.

Guardian Angel – Chapter 7: Death and Amnesia

The rest of that day is torture, and that night I lay awake in bed, wondering what to do. I have to talk to Rachel and get some more information. I’m not sure she’ll give it, as she had seemed somewhat cautious in telling me all that she had, but it’s worth a try. Creating an orderly list in my mind, I come up with a few questions I decide are the most important; So I’m dead? What will happen to me once I save the person? How do I go about disappearing and never returning, leaving Ms. A wondering what she’d done wrong? I stay awake almost all night.

I’m awake before the rooster at exactly 5, and finish my chores by two in the afternoon, leaving just enough time for me to ride down to see Rachel and be home for supper. Ms. A allows me to go, and before long, I’m cantering down the road on Rose’s back. I love Jorvik, and for one reason alone: horses. Everyone and I mean everyone, owns a horse, and they’re more common than automobiles. More fun, too, if you ask me. I’ve only ever ridden in a car twice, and that’s Ms. A’s. Perhaps in my old life we owned a car, but if we did, I certainly don’t remember. Of course, I remember nothing, so that’s no surprise. At two forty-five, we arrive at Rachel’s cottage, a little stone house sitting on the edge of a pond, the only one around. Rachel’s family grows crops, they’re not animal farmers, but of course, they own horses. My favorite of her horses, Checkers, a big Paint stallion, nickers from behind the fence in friendly greeting. I tie Rose’s reins to the fence and walk up to the big wooden door, hoping with all my heart Rachel is home. To my great disappointment, it is her mother who answers the door and delivers the news that Rachel is not home – she is in the City visiting her friends and running errands, but should be home by eight. I thank Rachel’s mom and ride back home, stressed and sad.

The rest of the day puts me in a foul mood. Left with nothing else to do, I visit the stream, where I find Chase, sitting on the bank. He seems to be talking to someone, though who, I’m not sure. It’s not until I get closer that I see what’s in his hand: a cell phone. Not just any cell phone either: an iPhone! These are considered a treasure and a rare one at that on this island. Jorvik has been for so long cut off from the outside world that cell phones and even something as common as cars have become a nonentity, or so Ms. Ashton puts it. The desire to touch the screen and actually hold the phone in my hand wins over and I tie Rose next to Simba, Chase still unaware of my presence. Slowly, I walk over and sit by him, eyes glued in front of me. He jumps a little, then says he has to go and hangs up, casting me a suspicious look while doing so.

“You eavesdropping?” he asks, his tone hard and cold. I can tell he just got word of something he’s not too happy about, because, besides his temper, his eyes are filled with tears. He seems to realize I’m noticing, because he looks away. “My father. He just died,” he says softly before I can even ask the question.

“Oh, Chase…!”

“It’s fine. I don’t want a bunch of ‘Sorry to hear that’ from people who don’t even know how it feels,” he sobs out the last few words, then laughs and says he must look like an idiot. I tell him that it’s alright, it’s just me here. I can hardly believe it’s me talking, as I’m normally unsentimental.

Trying my best to comfort him, I say the only things that make sense to say. Sure, I may not know a lot about death, but at the same time, I do. In some ways, I’ve dealt with it, too.

“You know, I don’t remember my parents, or any of my brothers or sisters, if I had any at all.” I pause until he looks at me, and I see a tear roll down his cheek. “It’s pretty much the same as them being dead, except I don’t have the memories to make it hurt as much…but it still does hurt. Gosh, it hurts like heck, but I know there’s nothing I can…” Nothing I can do. But I can. I can find my family! They’re still alive, out there somewhere, and I’m with them. Never did I think I’d be jealous of myself.

Chase seems to think I couldn’t finish because of my emotions, and he is mistaken. He offers a smile and says he’s sorry for coming to my private place – he just likes it because it’s so calm. I offer to show him around a bit, and I teach him how to catch crayfish with his bare hands, and he teaches me how to make a fishing pole out of a stick and some string. We pass the time together, laughing and wading in the water, catching a dozen silvery fish and just talking. Suddenly, in the middle of cornering a crayfish, something buzzes, and he pulls out his iPhone. I had completely forgotten about it, and I decide I’ll ask about it some other time.

“Shoot!” Chase cusses, jumping out of the stream and pulling on his shoes. “It’s four thirty! Best be heading back. I have to be home early tonight.” He looks somewhat less depressed, and that makes me feel better. “I’m probably not coming tomorrow, or maybe until next week. Mom…she’ll be awful lonely.” I understand.

As we ride home, I feel comfortable enough to ask Chase why he wasn’t more upset about his father. I understand it’s a delicate subject, and I ask it kindly, giving him a full two minutes to answer. When he does, he tells me his father had been an abusive man, and though he doesn’t go into detail, when he’s done telling his story, I can hardly believe he’d shed even one tear over a man like that. He says he feels more sorry for his mother, because though she had hated the abuse, she had still loved Chase’s father, and he had kept the family out of financial trouble. Now, their future was in major jeopardy.

That night, I say an extra prayer for Chase and his mother. For the first time since I woke up in the hospital, I feel sad for someone who isn’t me.

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Day 106, Preparing for the Party

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Speak with Donald to see if he’s finished Loretta’s ghost decoration order.

Donald the Pessimist Can Do It

donald

Hi Rita.

Surprisingly enough, I managed to finish it up, and the needles from the blacksmith were fantastic! I’m really shocked actually.

Here’s Loretta’s order, can you bring it to her? There’s probably a better chance that it will reach her if you’ll take it than if I’ll post it.

Thanks, now I’ll have to continue the work.

Objectives: Give the order to Loretta.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Return to Loretta at Nilmer’s with her order from Donald.

loretta2

Wow!

This actually turned out really well. I have to thank Justin next time I see him. I was right about Donald being good. But Justin is always right, he is totally perfect. That’s why we fit so well together.

Quest completed

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A Bit Better, A Bit Fancier

loretta2

I started thinking about the invitations while you were gone, Rita.

Why do you look so surprised? What kind of a loser party is it if there’s only two people? Of course it can’t just be me and Tan that’ll show up.

You know, the invitation says it all, what kind of party to expect. One for losers, or one for us Bobcats – a little bit better, a bit more fancy. I’d be seriously embarrassed if I didn’t have a proper invitation. It can’t be boring, like an old person wrote it, and it can’t be dorky or old-fashioned either.

It’s actually pretty hard to be cool, even if there are few people that really get it. You should be happy to get the chance to help me with this, there’s not that many people that get a chance like this in life.

Can you help me fix up the envelopes for the invitations so they’ll be as cool as the actual invitations? 

Thank you so much!

Objectives: Help Loretta get the invitations in order.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Dismount your horse and use the pen from your inventory on the envelopes Loretta placed out on the barrels nearby. Speak to her again when you’ve prettied up all of the envelopes.

loretta2

Wow! Awesome Rita. It seems I underestimated you. This turned out really well.

Quest completed

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Invitation for People With Style

loretta2

We’re getting there Rita, there’s not a lot of time left until the party gets started.

Now we just have to hand out these invitations and make sure they get into the right hands. We don’t want any lame people at the party after all, duh! That would like, ruin EVERYTHING. Gosh, how embarrassing if some lame-o would hear about the party and show up. Tan would like, think I hated her.

Can you take these invitations and hand them out? And Rita, I’m counting on you only inviting cool people.

Objectives: Hand out the invitations to people in Moorland. Be careful who you hand them out to.

Rewards: 15 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Cool People Only Club.

Choose wisely, if you hand an invitation to someone who isn’t cool by Loretta’s standards, you will have to start over, and like, imagine how embarrassing that will be!

Soooo Fetch [cool people]
– Josh
– Any Bobcat Girls (standing outside the stable and near each of the stable gates)
– May

Soooo Not Fetch [ew old people]
– Conrad
– Mr Moorland
– Mrs Holdsworth

When you have handed out all the invitations, return to Loretta.

loretta2

Awesome! Thanks for the help. What a great team we make, Rita!

Quest completed

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Best Decorations Ever!

loretta2

Now that all the invitations have been handed out, we have to get everything ready for the party.

Seriously, you’ll never guess but I’ve found the best decorations EVER! I mean, what’s a party without the decorations? Especially since we’re trying to scare Tan.

The decorations are laying in the boxes I’ve already taken out. It would be awesome if you could help me put them up?

Thank you so much! Just be careful, I’ve found some super scary decorations. Make sure you don’t get scared to death!

Objectives: Decorate the farm, then talk to Loretta.

Rewards: 15 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Click on each of the three boxes Loretta has left out near each building on the farm. When all the decorations have been put up, return to Loretta.

loretta2

Thank you so much! So, what do you think? Best decorations ever or what?

Quest completed

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Creepy Lights

loretta2

Have you seen the nice cressets I found? Can you take them outside?

Thank you so much. Seriously, those cressets outside will create a really scary atmosphere. Just let me know if you start getting scared. Haha.

Objectives: Bring the cressets outside, then talk to Loretta.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Place the lanterns on the ground near the entrance to the farm, then return to Loretta.

loretta2

Thanks! So nice of you to offer to help me with this! It’s almost worth an invitation to the party.

Quest completed

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Present Panic

loretta2

Oh no! Seriously Rita! This is a total disaster!

What should I do?!

I have one word for you: Panic!

I’ve forgotten Tan’s present down by the stables. She’s gonna show up any minute now so I won’t have time to ride down there to get it. How could I have forgotten the present? I’m like the worst friend ever.

You think you can get it? Are you sure?

Oh, so nice of you. If you do this you can definitely stay for the party, you’ve earned that… But only if you manage to bring the present here in time!

Objectives: Ride down to the stables and get Tan’s present.

Rewards: 15 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Race the timer down to the stable, pick up the present, and run back to Nilmer’s, all before Tan makes her way there to the party.

loretta2

You found it! You’re the BEST! Now you can definitely stay for the party.

Quest completed

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Best Party Ever!

loretta2

Woohoo!

CONGRATULATIONS TAN!

Haha, you wanna stick around, Rita? Of course you will, it’s gonna be super fun! Now you can relax and have fun.

Objectives: Talk to Loretta.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Enjoy the party, you’ve earned it!

bobcat_party bobcat_party2

 

loretta2

Best party ever!!!

Quest completed

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Just the Fun Clean Up Left

loretta2

You have to agree that the party was a total success. I don’t know if I managed to scare Tan exactly, but maybe a little? Haha, she seemed really happy and pleased, so thanks for all the help Rita.

Now it’s just the fun part left… Or not. We have to clean up everything now. Sigh.

Can you be so nice to stay behind and help me?

Great! If you start taking down the decorations and the cressets, I’ll do the rest.

Objectives: Clean up after the party, then talk to Loretta.

Rewards: 15 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Click on the boxes to put away the decorations and pick up each of the lanterns, then return to Loretta.

loretta2

Thanks for all the help Rita! I wouldn’t have managed without you.

Quest completed

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A Thank You Present? Or Leftovers?

loretta2

As a thanks for all the help, I’ve gotten you a little present. Actually, I think it should’ve been enough that you got to stay for the party, but anyway, I had this riding helmet I didn’t want to keep. I got it when I ordered a new pair of shoes, but I already had one like it at home, so you can have it. 

I have it down by the stables, ride down there and meet me there so you can get it. 

Objectives: Talk to Loretta.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP, Pink Bobcat Helmet

Reputation: 10 with Bobcats

Ride down to the stables and meet Loretta by her usual spot.

loretta2

There you go!

Thanks for all the help and I hope you had as much fun at the party as I did. If you want to have as pretty clothes as I have, you can buy them in our cool Bobcat shop next door. 

Before I forget, talk to the other girls in Bobcats if you want. They probably have stuff they need help with. 

Quest completed

Help the other Bobcat girls to unlock their quests as daily tasks with which you can begin to build reputation with their faction.

Racing for Racing’s Elite

sophia

Hey! I never found time to introduce myself, but I saw you at Tan’s party. My name’s Sophia, and you’re Rita, right?

I talked to Tan and Loretta, and they both agreed with me that you should be allowed to try our new all-terrain track, as a thank you for all your help with the party. Since you got an awesome helmet from Loretta AND got to come to our exclusive party, I think you should feel pretty honored.

Objectives: Get to the finish as quickly as you can.

Rewards: 20 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP, 125 Horse XP

Reputation: 50 with Bobcats

This new track is the original Bobcats’ track in reverse, with lots of more obstacles that you can either jump over or run around.

Speak to Sophia when you complete the race.

sophia

Wow! You’re pretty good! Not as amazing as me, of course. Duh. But yeah, not bad. Just say if you wanna try again because this track is perfect for all-terrain training!

Quest completed

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You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours

tan2

Hey Rita!

Thanks for the party! Loretta told me you helped out, it was amazing!

It was pretty bad timing though. Sigh.

We’re gonna have a competition against another club soon, and it’s really important we win.

Oh yeah, like when I say “we,” I don’t mean you, no offence. It’s not like you’re not a Bobcat, but you’re only a novice.

Yeah, like, don’t take it the wrong way or anything. Sure, you’re a Bobcat and sure you got to come to our party, but you’re still just a little amateur. Plus you’re not as cool or as awesome at riding as I am.

I totally like you though, you’re like nice and stuff. If you carry on helping me and the others like you do, you might get to climb up the ladder someday, maybe you’ll even be club champion… Hahahahahaha!

Anyway, back to reality, I need some help taking photos of the route the racetrack takes for one of the competitions we’ll be riding in. We. Not you. Yeah, so we’re gonna use the pictures to check out the course and see which parts are the hardest, so we can do extra training on those bits. Wanna help with that?

Sweet! Thanks for helping!

Objectives: Photograph the race course for Tan.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP

Reputation: 25 with Bobcats

Follow the route of the racetrack and use the camera on the indicated locations. When you have enough photos, return to Tan.

tan2

Are these the pictures? They’re perfect!

My thoughts about you aren’t totally wrong… You belong here in the Bobcats.

Quest completed

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Climbing Up the Bobcat Ladder!

julie

Hey!

You’re the one who helped Loretta with Tan’s party, right? What was your name again?

Rita? Cool name. I’m Julie.

Listen, I heard that you help a lot of people around here. Do you fancy doing me a really big favor?

Nice! It’s not really that big a deal, I just need you to groom all the horses in Moorland Stables, it’ll go like super fast, don’t stress.

Why can’t I groom them? Umm, hello? Why do you think? Duhh…

You blind? You can’t see my awesome new trousers? Anyway, I’ve got more important things to do. Daddy’s in town and has promised me a whole new wardrobe so we’re going to Jorvik City Plaza to shop. All my clothes are like, so last year. Can hardly bring myself to leave the house wearing some of that stuff. Probably should make him get my nails done as well, they need looking after… So you’ll groom the horses, Rita?

Pleeeeease? Super cute awesome beautiful Rita?

Thanks!

Objectives: Groom the horses in Moorland Stables, then return to talk to Julie.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP

Reputation: 25 with Bobcats

If sitting at the top of the ladder means being a total spoiled brat, then I’m not sure that’s a ladder I want to climb….

Dismount your horse to use the brush on each of the stable horses, then return to spoiled bitch Julie.

julie

Oh nice! Thanks so much! We’re gonna be good friends, you and me!

I’ll put in a good word for you with the girls. If you keep this up, you’ll just keep climbing the Bobcat ladder, haha!

Quest completed

 

Guardian Angel – Chapter 6: Welcome To Where?

I spend the next day pondering what Rachel told me, wondering what this means. Either it’s true – in that case, I’m screwed – or she’s completely lost it. It makes me sad, knowing that I can’t even trust my best friend. Why does the world have to be so cruel? I know I have to choose who to believe: Rachel, or my common sense. Common sense isn’t always right, but neither is Rachel.

Miss Ashton sees something is bothering me and tells me to take the day off, what with Chase being around now. I decline her offer out of manners, but she insists everything will be fine. Soon after, I’m on Rose, trotting through the forest. I know I’m not supposed to be here, and I know that if she wanted to, Ms. A could easily prevent me from ever coming here again. But for some reason, she didn’t stop me, and as I was leaving, I thought I saw her waving. I lay on the ground by the creek, using Rose as a pillow while she lays next to me. Everything about this place is so calming – the birds singing, the soft flow of the stream, Rose’s breathing, the smell of the flowers growing nearby. It all makes me want to forget my troubles, relax and put the world on hold. But I know I’ve still got a problem, and it can’t be ignored.

So many things are bothering me: what Rachel said, my amnesia, even Chase. I guess the last part is only normal for a 16 year old girl, but what worries me is that I know nothing about myself, and I’m wondering: can anyone ever love a girl who doesn’t love herself? I scold myself, telling myself I hardly know Chase, but I know I have to face the facts. We both felt something right away, and there’s nothing I can do except stand by and watch as we fall for each other like in some corny love movie. And we all know what happens in corny love movies…. Something bad.

Chase is the least of my worries, I realize. I’ve got two weeks…thirteen days. If what Rachel told me is true…

I’m not able to finish my thought. Out of nowhere comes the sound of a truck horn, a long, low moan, accompanied by screams and cries. Then comes the vision of a truck, skidding on pavement. I focus, though it hurts to watch. I can’t seem to take control and look around, but I can see out the window. There is the truck, and a few other cars. The road. Street signs. But what’s that, in the corner? A sign, this one reading Welcome to…

The vision quits, and I’m left shaking on the ground. What did the last part of the sign say? “Welcome to” where?!

I mount Rose, and I make my decision: I believe Rachel.

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Day 105, Who’s Afraid of Ghosts?

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Speak to May to see if she got Lynx back from the blacksmith.

A Disappearing Horse

may

Rita!!

Honest to goodness, this is a total disaster!!

Aaaaaagggghhh!!

A mega catastrophe! I knew Lynx was a character, but I never thought this would happen…

Sorry, Rita, you’ve got no idea what’s happened… Lynx has disappeared!!

Lynx wasn’t very calm when he got back with his new shoes, so I left him on his own for a while to relax. But then one of the stable girls needed my help with something and I swear I couldn’t have been away for more than like a minute but then he’d disappeared…

He was gone… Totally without a trace.

Aaaaahhh, how am I ever gonna find him? He could have run off absolutely anywhere! What am I gonna do?! What’ll I tell my cousin?! “Hey cuz, listen, just so you know, I’ve lost your horse…” NO! I can’t say that! Seriously, she’d lose her bananas and never talk to me again.

Ohhhhh my gosh…

What? You would? You would help me find him?!

OH MY DAYS, you’re like the best! Any idea where we should start looking?

Great idea! Let’s ask around! Someone must’ve seen something. We’ll split up and I’ll see you back here in a while.

Objectives: Ask around Moorland Stables if anyone’s seen Lynx and then return to May.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Ride around the stable area and speak to the various people standing around. Maybe someone saw something? Report back to May when you have investigated enough.

may

Okay, so nobody saw anything?

Not exactly helpful…

Quest completed

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Tracking the Tracks

may

What do we do now? Nobody seems to have seen anything. How can you not notice a runaway horse?

Or, well, I supposed I missed it, but seriously though. Someone should’ve seen him!

You have an idea, you say?

That’s great, Rita! Can’t believe I didn’t think of it myself. Let’s see if we can find Lynx’s hoof prints. Since he’s got new shoes, his tracks should look different from all the others around here.

Objectives: Look on the ground around Moorland Stables to see if you can find Lynx’s hoof prints.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Search the areas around the stables until you pick up on Lynx’s track.

self

You find hoof prints on the ground…

They seem different from the others… Could they belong to Lynx?

Quest completed

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On the Trail of Lynx

self

You’re not completely sure, but following the tracks feels like it’s worth a try. Like May said, they differ from the others.

Objectives: Follow the tracks and see if you can find Lynx.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Where could this trail lead?

self

You found Lynx!

He stares at you and doesn’t look particularly interested in following you back…

Quest completed

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The Race to Return to Moorland

self

Just as everyone says, Lynx seems like a stubborn, cheeky, and lively horse. No way is a little bit of sugar going to lure him back.

What are you going to do?

His eyes meet yours and you suddenly realize: to get Lynx back to the stable, you need to challenge him to a race. A horse like Lynx loves competition, and would never back down from a chance to win.

You and Summerblaze start to limber up. Who’s the fastest? You and Summerblaze or Lynx? Who can get back to the stable first?

Lynx snorts eagerly. He’s ready for the challenge.

…But are you?

Objectives: Compete against Lynx. Who’ll be the fastest back to Moorland Stables?

Rewards: 15 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP, Black Spring Shoes

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Quick as the wind, my trusty steed!

may

Wow, that was fast! I felt the breeze whoosh past when you flew in through the gates. 

Thanks for finding Lynx and bringing him back.

Now I just need to make sure I keep an eye on him! As a thanks for all your help, you can have this little present from which I got from my cousin for looking after Lynx, but you deserve it more. Now I need to carry on working, I’ll chat to you later!

Quest completed

Tan seems to be a bit jittery, let’s go see what is up with her.

Loretta’s Ghost Story

tan2

Hi Rita! Hey, I have to ask you something.

Has Loretta talked to you about a ghost that haunts the abandoned farm?

Exactly! The one up in Nilmer’s Highland. Did you know about that already?

Okay, maybe she just hasn’t had time to talk to you yet.

But you see… The reason I ask is that Loretta and I talked about the ghost before, and she told me that place was haunted.

Ha. Ha. Yeah, but like not because I believe in ghosts or anything. I mean, who does? Maybe a five-year-old. Ha. Ha…

But like, not because I believe in ghosts or anything, duh! But Loretta said she’d lost her warm riding gloves at the farm and I promised to get them. Since I don’t believe in that kind of stuff.

But jeez. It just feels so silly, why should I ride up there just because she believes in ghosts? Boy.

You don’t look like you have that much to do, Rita, can’t you ride up there and see if you’ll find something?

Ha, let me know if you see any ghosts.

Objectives: Ride up to the abandoned farm in Nilmer’s Highland to see if you can find anything.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Poke around Nilmer’s and see what you can find. Let’s hope you aren’t too afraid!

Return to Tan when you have found something.

tan2

Wait! Those are Loretta’s gloves! You found them at the farm, you said?

Then she was telling the truth…

Quest completed

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Invisible, Like a Ghost

tan2

Sorry Rita, I was just thinking out loud…

But like seriously, I don’t know what to think. Loretta said she’d lost them here, because she was running away from a ghost. I thought she was kidding at first, like she was trying to scare me or something. Like I’d fall for something like that, duh.

But at the same time, would Loretta leave her clothes behind? I mean nobody in their right mind would abandon an item of clothing… As long as it wasn’t outdated, dorky, or just generally ugly of course.

Seriously, promise not to tell anyone but Loretta has been behaving strange lately. I don’t know how to explain it, she’s just been strange. Like all that talk about a ghost, or that she didn’t want to tag along to Jorvik City yesterday!

Rita!

Quiet!

Loretta is coming! Can’t you follow her and try to find out what’s going on?

Awesome, I knew I could count on you.

Objectives: Follow Loretta without being noticed.

Rewards: 15 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stables

Follow Loretta; don’t get to close so that she’ll see you following and don’t get to far behind so that you lose sight of her. Let’s see what this sneaky girl is up to…

loretta2

And what exactly are you doing? Do you think I’m stupid or something? You don’t think I noticed you followed me the whole way here?!

Quest completed

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Can You Scare Someone Nicely?

loretta2

You’ve talked to Tan, right? Admit it, Rita!

HA! I knew it!

Seriously, you can’t tell Tan anything, promise me that! I can only tell you if you promise not to say anything.

Thanks!

Tan’s birthday is coming up soon and I, as her BFF, was thinking about planning a surprise party for her.

I got the idea a few days ago when Tan and I were watching a scary movie. It was really unpleasant actually… But Tan just thought it was silly and was like, dying of laughter because I thought it was scary. I was like, HELLO, mature much? Like I can help being easily frightened.

But anyway, I thought I’d have a bit of fun with this. Call it revenge, but it’s a pretty sweet revenge if you ask me.

I thought I’d trick her into thinking the farm up here was haunted.

Oh, did she tell you about that? Did she seem to believe that?

She just needs a bit more convincing. I thought we’d decorate and make it seem creepy and ghostly up here.

When everything’s ready we just need to trick Tan and come up here and get her to believe it’s haunted so we can finally start the party.

I think it’ll be awesome, or what do you think?

Sooo, you want to help me or do you want to help me?

Objectives: Talk to Loretta.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 5 with Moorland Stable

Maybe it’s the little bit of the sadist in me, but I love scaring people ;p

loretta2

You’ll help? Awesome!

This is gonna be the best party ever!

Quest completed

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Rent-A-Ghost

loretta2

So nice of you to help me!

I’ve done tons of shopping for the party and everything is nearly ready now. We’re just missing a ghost that Tailor Donald was gonna sew.

I probably would’ve bought something online instead, feels safer. But Justin has talked about how great he is, and if Justin says so it MUST be true. 

Donald promised he’d post my order when he was finished, but I haven’t gotten any package yet. I hope it hasn’t gotten stuck somewhere on the way.

Can you ride to Silverglade Village and ask Derek if he has the package over there? Then I don’t have to wait for the post.

Awesome!

Objectives: Talk to Derek.

Rewards: 10 with Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Find Derek ever diligent at his place in the Silverglade Post Office.

derek

Whoa, hey Rita! Awesome you came, I’m just about to have a total crisis here!

Quest completed

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Don’t Say a Word!

derek

Whew!

How luck it was you who came Rita. I’m guessing you’re here to pick up Loretta’s order. Ugh, imagine her reaction if she was here now…

You have to promise not to tell her anything, but there’s been a ton of problems. First the delivery guy was delayed, then he had an accident on the way here. One of his wheels came off and most of the goods in the car fell out.

You don’t have to worry, Rita, nobody got hurt, but the delivery guy had to take the car to get it fixed. The fabric Donald was going to use for Loretta’s order is presumably lying somewhere along the road.

I would’ve gladly gathered up all the parcels, but I couldn’t leave the post office unattended. I managed to gather up quite a few, but not all of them.

Would you be able to help me gather up the parcels?

Thanks! If we get it done quickly nobody needs to know anything.

Objectives: Pick up the package, then talk to Derek.

Rewards: 15 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Ride out towards Steve’s Farm and look around the road for the missing packages. Return to Derek when you have collected all of them up.

derek

Thanks so much Rita! Whew! Now I can breathe again.

Just a sec, I’ll just…

Quest completed

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No Marks or Holes as Far as the Eye Can See!

derek

There we go! I had to wrap the fabric up into a new parcel, as the old one picked up a pretty big hole.

Just gotta keep our fingers crossed that the fabric wasn’t damaged!

Could you take this package to Donald?

Thanks! Hope he’s not too upset that it’s late…

Objectives: Leave the package with Donald the Tailor.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Let’s go see how Silverglade’s favorite hypochondriac is holding up with life.

donald

Hey Rita! You’ll never guess how much bad luck I’ve had… A package for me?

Quest completed

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All Fabric and No Needles

donald

Thanks!

I thought my light fabric order was gone forever. Could barely manage to think about all the sad and disappointed customers I’d get.

Sigh.

But the fabric is here now so it doesn’t matter anyway. I had needles before but no fabric. And now when I have the fabric, I can’t seem for find my needles…

The blacksmith? Like he has time to help me fix new needles. I think he has a lot more important things to do than to help me. And how would I even get there? I can barely be outside without getting a sunstroke, break my legs, or get lost.

Sigh.

It’s not like I can forbid you asking him, but you know the road to Moorland is very dangerous, right?

It’s a wonder anyone survives, without tripping over all the stones and falling to their death.

Objectives: Talk to the Blacksmith.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stables

Ride to Conrad Marsdeen and ask him about making new needles for Donald.

conrad_marsdeen

Good day to you Rita! How’s my favorite rider today?

Sewing needles for Donald, you say?

Quest completed

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The Waiting Game

conrad_marsdeen

Of course I can make sewing needles! You know I can Rita, it’s just the pessimist Donald who thinks the world is against him.

Before I can help you, I have to finish another task. Would you mind gathering some wood for me in the meantime? We need to heat the fire properly to be able to make the best sewing needles.

Thank you so much Rita.

Objectives: Gather firewood then talk to the blacksmith.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Gather firewood from around the forge, then return to Conrad.

conrad_marsdeen

Thanks for gathering firewood for me! Now we’ve got enough to get down to business.

Quest completed

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Is He Eating Needles?!

conrad_marsdeen

Now I’m ready. Donald needed new needles, you said?

What does that man actually do with his needles? Does he eat them or what? He needs new ones like every five minutes! Hmm…

In order to make sewing needles of the highest quality, I would need your help. Can you help me?

Thanks! Can you ride down to the beach and see if you can find any dark Jorvegian amber? If I melt that together with the ore I have, I can create one of the most durable material there is.

Objectives: Gather dark Jorvegian amber from the beach and then talk to the blacksmith.

Rewards: 15 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Ride to the beach behind Mrs Holdsworth’s house and collect the amber pieces you find. When you have enough, return to Conrad.

conrad_marsdeen

This is great Rita! Just what we need for Donald’s sewing needles!

Quest completed

______________

Lethargy Which Can Destroy Everything

conrad_marsdeen

Here we go! Now we have everything and we can start with the sewing needles.

Mixing ore with amber is a very difficult and time-consuming task. It’s enough to lose concentration for just a moment and you have to start all over again. I’ll have to have complete focus when forging the needles so they’ll be perfect, so it would be great if you could assist me?

Thank you so much!

I’ll tell you what you have to do. If you just listen carefully, everything’s going to turn out great. Are you ready?

Objectives: Assist the blacksmith with the manufacturing of sewing needles.

Rewards: 20 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Dismount your horse to be able to start this quest.

You must be quick with your actions; if you leave Conrad wait too long, he will lose concentration and you will have to start the quest over.

Keep your inventory screen open so that you can quickly access items when you pick them up to hand them to Conrad.

When you have successfully forged the needles, speak to Conrad again.

conrad_marsdeen

Thank you so much for helping, Rita! Look at how beautifully the needles turned out! I couldn’t have done it without your help.

Quest completed

______________

I Could Eat Up My Own Tools

conrad_marsdeen

There! Have you ever seen such well-made needles? I wouldn’t think so. If Donald isn’t satisfied with this, I’ll eat up my own tools.

Haha, you don’t have to look so horrified, Rita. Of course I’m only kidding around. Could you take these to Donald, so that he can continue with his orders?

Thanks! Hope you’ll have a nice day!

Objectives: Give the needles to Donald in Silverglade Village.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Hopefully Donald won’t have a happiness overload and keel over…

donald

Oh my! New needles? Who would’ve thought. Thank you so much. Just as well I’ll get started, not that I’ll ever get finished…

Come back tomorrow and we can see if I’m finished then.

Quest completed

Return to Donald tomorrow.

Guardian Angel – Chapter 5: Fallen Angel

I invite Rachel inside, and Chase leaves for the night, muttering something about missing his favorite show because he had to babysit a 16 year old. Personally, I think he enjoyed it. Good to know one of us did.

Rachel is Chase’s age, 17, but she acts a lot older. A lot of the time, I think of her more as an adult than someone nearly my own age. She sits down straight, and though she’s still struggling to catch her breath, her pride doesn’t seem to have wavered. When she can finally speak, she tells me that what she’s about to say will change my life; I need to be strong and listen, and above all, don’t be a skeptic. I can tell that what she’s about to tell me is important, and it worries me.

“Jamie, you’re no normal person. Just listen,” she says, holding up a hand when I try to say something. “When someone…young…dies, the Keepers of Aideen… Oh, you don’t know who they are. Well, basically, they watch over this island. Keep it safe. Anyway, when someone young dies on this island, a lot of times they’ll be given another chance – a chance to save someone else from the fate which they themselves endured. And…more often than not, that person will lose their memory, and be dropped into a time zone they are not familiar with.”

I stare blankly at her. “So you’re implying that I’m one of those people?”

She leans forward, her eyes sparkling. “Jamie, do you remember anything? A date of the month, someone’s face…maybe a television set? Anything?”

I pause. There is one date that has been popping randomly into my head since I woke up in the hospital: March 20, 2015. I tell her this, and ask what significance it has. She turns pale.

“Jamie…2015…that’s this year. It’s March 6 today. Do you know what this means?”

I tell her I don’t, and she explains slowly – and expects me to believe, apparently – that March 20 is the day I died, and that this is unusual. I ask her why.

“Look. When a young person dies and is accepted into the Keepers temporarily to save this person they’re meant to save, they’re usually dropped back onto the island anywhere from twenty to thirty years after they died, and never before.” She pauses dramatically, and my suspicion of her not being right in the head grows. She continues: “Why, you may ask? It’s all about time, like in those science fiction movies, when there’s a time machine and all that. Well, that’s all true. If you’re going to die in two weeks, then you’re still alive right now.”

“As far as I can see,” I say, showing her my hands.

She shakes her head. “I mean somewhere else. The you sitting here on the couch…this is the you after death. The you before death is still out there somewhere. You’re in two places at once.”

I stand up, startled. This is all fake, a prank to scare me. “Rachel, I think you should stay here awhile. At least until Ms. A gets back.”

“No, listen!” She grabs my hand, forcing me to sit back down. “Have you been seeing visions?”

The bathtub incident. Dreams. Yes, I have been seeing visions, and all of the same thing. But that has nothing to do with this. Does it? All the things Rachel is telling me…they’re not true. She’s crazy. Despite knowing this, I can’t stop myself from nodding slowly. Rachel looks even more convinced.

“Those visions…you’re seeing through the eyes of the person you need to help. A lot of times it’ll be an accident you’ll see, but that accident hasn’t happened yet. That’s the accident you have to save that person from. You need to gather clues from each vision – usually there’ll be a major landmark or something nearby. Just pay close attention next time you see a vision.” She stops for breath. “Now, this is where it gets complicated. You’re not dead, but you’re going to die. When the living you dies, the dead you will perish as well. This is a problem for two reasons. The first and more simple reason is that if the person you’re meant to save dies after the living you dies, you’ll already be gone. The more complicated of the two reasons is this: if the living you dies before you’ve saved the person, you’ll just keep coming back to this, over and over. See, when the living you dies, you will come back as a Guardian again, and the living you will live again. And then you will die again, and come back again. And so on and so forth. You need to save this person before the living you dies on March 20, or you’ll never rest in peace.”

I can hardly breathe. What she’s telling me makes sense, and that’s what scares me. Then I remember something I should probably tell her.

“Rachel…in one of my visions…March 20. A calendar. That date hasn’t only been in my head, I’ve seen it in visions, too,” I explain. “Does that mean the person I have to save is going to die on the same day as me?”

“It could,” Rachel says quietly, pondering. She looks like she’s been through this a million times.

I can’t help but ask: “You look like you’re used to this. How do you know all of this stuff?”

“Because I’m like you, only I serve in a different way. I died young as well, and I had been…doing things I shouldn’t have been doing. Drugs, stealing, all that stuff. Well, for me, when I died, just being a Guardian like you wasn’t enough. So, I don’t get to rest until I’ve helped ten people like you. You’re my second.”

When she’s done speaking, Rachel stands up and walks to the door. I stop her, insisting she stay until Miss Ashton returns in a short while, but she refuses, telling me she knows I think she’s bonkers, but that I’ll believe her soon enough. The last thing she says to me before disappearing into the inky blackness of night is “Pay close attention to those visions”.

I stare out the door. If what she is saying is true, then I have no life here on Jorvik after all. I’m dead. Going to die. Whatever. And if I save this person, I will “rest in peace”, which I’m guessing means I’ll die and stay dead. But if I don’t save this person…the “living me” will die and so will I, and I’ll be trapped in this time zone, going through this exact moment for the rest of eternity.

Being dead sounds better.

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Day 104, Catastrophes and Other Messes

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An exciting new visitor has come to Moorland. Speak to Jenna to see if she knows more.

A New Horse for May

jenna2

Hey Rita! Have you heard that we’ve got a new horse at Moorland Stables?

The horse belongs to May’s cousin, but May’s promised to take care of him for a few days.

I’ve got no idea what May’s cousin is called… Oh, right, you mean what’s the horse’s name? Haha!

I’m afraid I don’t know that either. Sphinx? Nah. Blinks? Mm, nope. Jinx? Nah, I can’t remember.

What I do know is that he’s so cheeky and adorable! You and Summerblaze should stop by and say hello before he goes home again. Like I say, I don’t know how long he’ll be here, but talk to May. She knows more.

Objectives: Ask May about the new horse.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 5 with Moorland Stable

Speak to May by the stable and ask her about her adorable new guest.

may

OH NO! No, no, no!

What do you want? I haven’t got time to talk…

Quest completed

______________

Mind Your Hooves and Feet…

may

I’m sorry Rita…

I don’t mean to be mean, but it’s chaos here right now. Total chaos.

A new horse?

Mm, that’s right. Well, not so much new, more I’m just looking after my cousin’s horse Lynx for a few days.

Really though, I’d love to stay and chat but I’ve got a little… Well, actually a massive problem. The three horses that are usually here seem to have run away. Sigh.

Seriously though, you’re not gonna believe what happened. I’d just taken Lynx into the stable when something went wrong. I don’t know if he was scared or just was causing a fuss or whatever. In any case, he managed to freak the other horses out and in all the fuss, one of them kicked over a glass bowl that happened to be just lying around on the floor. 

So not only do we have three runaway horses, but the whole place is covered in bits of glass! Great huh? Hmmm…

As luck would have it, Josh helped out. He took Lynx with him away from here so that I could get on with clearing up all the glass and look out for the other horses.

Why was there a glass bowl in the stable?

Well, yeah, that was my fault, I’d brought it with me to give it to Jenna. She saw it on a picture I uploaded to Jinstacam, and she fell in love with it.

Since I had two the same, I thought I could give her one of them. When Lynx arrived, I needed to put it down pretty fast and then there was all the distraction, so I didn’t have a chance to put it anywhere safe.

UGH! Why do I have to be so stupid?! I should’ve been more careful. I guess there’s not much I can do about it now though. The most important thing is to get rid of all this glass so that nobody hurts themselves.

You want to help?

Awwh, thanks so much! How lovely!

Take the brush over by the wall behind me and seep up the little shards of glass in the stable while I take care of the glass that got outside.

Be careful though, and make sure you and Summerblaze don’t cut yourselves. These little splinters of glass can be really sharp…

Objectives: Sweep up the glass on the floor in the stable and then talk to May.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Use the broom from your inventory to clean up the glass, then speak to May when you are finished.

may

Is all the glass in the stable gone now?

Thanks so much Rita!

Quest completed

______________

Runaway Stable Horses

may

How nice to have swept up all the bits of glass. Imagine getting one of them stuck in your foot! Ugh, I get the shivers just thinking about it.

Now we need to get the horses home as well; they can’t have got too far.

Aaaaa! Why do I have to be so clumsy, Rita?!

Sigh… Would you be able to ride out and look for them? You’ve already got Summerblaze all saddled and ready.

Thanks! Seriously, I owe you one for this.

Take these sugar lumps with you. Use them to get the runaway horses to follow you home.

Objectives: Use the sugar cubes to get the three runaway horses to follow you back to the stable, then report back to May.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Use the sugar from your inventory to get the horses to start walking, then walk with them back to the stable. When you have returned all three horses, speak to May.

may

Whew! 

Great, now all the horses are back. Thanks ever so much for your help, you really saved the day!

Quest completed

______________

Hope There’s No Glass in Their Hooves!

may

Excellent! You found all the horses!

Sigh…

Of course, we need to check the horses’ hooves and make sure they didn’t pick up any glass in there. If they did, then they could get a pretty horrible injury…

I’m so nervous, I can hardly look. Rita, you seem to have remarkably sharp vision. Like a wonderful eagle. Could you please look at the hooves?

Thanks! I really, really, reaaaaally hope there’s nothing in there.

Here, take my hoof pick and brush, that way you can check them out nice and gently.

Objectives: Examine the horses’ hooves to see if any splinters of glass got stuck in them.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Dismount your horse to examine each of the horses in the stable. Report to May that one of horses did not escape unharmed.

may

One of the horses has glass in its hoof? Poor thing!

Quest completed

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Mrs Holdsworth’s Healing Ointment

may

Argh! I’m so annoyed with myself. I should’ve just given that bowl straight to Jenna or at least put it down in a safer place…

Ah well, what can we do? We’ll have to help the poor thing somehow.

I know! Mrs Holdsworth has a special ointment that’s almost magic!

I’ve used it before, you just rub it in where you’ve been injured and it helps ease any pain and stops infections! Helps the healing process, as well…

I’ve never used the ointment on a horse, but would you be able to ride over and ask her for some so we can give it a try?

Awesome, thanks Rita! While you’re off getting the ointment, I’ll look after this poor thing and clean out his hoof. It must be so painful for him…!

Objectives: Ask Mrs Holdsworth for some of her ointment.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 5 with Moorland Stable

Mrs Holdsworth has all the best recipes!

mrs_holdsworth

Good day Rita!

You need ointment, you say?

Quest completed

______________

Herbs Growing by the Shoreline

mrs_holdsworth

Oh no! What’s that you say? One of the horses at the stable has stepped on a glass splinter? Poor thing.

Yes, I do have a recipe for a healing ointment! If you help me get the ingredients together, I can make a batch for you.

I don’t have the recipe to hand, but if I remember rightly, we’ll need beach crocuses.

The beach crocus grows by the water and has small, pretty pink flowers.

Ride down to the beach behind my house and take a look there.

If you get started with the flowers, I’ll look for the recipe and see what else we need.

Objectives: Find three beach crocuses and take them with you to Mrs Holdsworth.

Rewards: 15 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Flower delivery service, on its way!

mrs_holdsworth

Good job, you found three beach crocuses.

They’re not easy to find, I know. Sometimes it’s taken me hours to find just one.

Quest completed

______________

Dandelion Juice Sets Your Powers Loose!

mrs_holdsworth

While you were away, I found the recipe for the ointment May asked for. My grandma wrote it down for me after I managed to cut myself on a sharp rock when I was swimming in the lake. That was a while ago now though, haha!

Nope! Enough old memories, now let’s get to work. We’ve got beach crocuses, so what else do we need now?

Hmm…

Dandelions! We need dandelions!

Could you get some dandelions? We need dandelions! Dandelions Rita! While you get the dandelions, I’ll prepare these beach crocuses.

Objectives: Gather seven dandelions for Mrs Holdsworth.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Ride around Mrs Holdsworth’s house and collect the dandelion flowers that you find, then return to her when you have found enough of them.

mrs_holdsworth

That was fast! Now I just need to make up the ointment.

It could take a while, but I know it’s urgent and that May needs it as soon as possible. If you just hold on a little while…

Quest completed

______________

Healing Ointment for May 

mrs_holdsworth

So, the ointment is finished!

Take it to May and let her know that she should clean the hoof thoroughly before applying the ointment, otherwise it won’t work properly.

Objectives: Give Mrs Holdsworth’s ointment to May.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 5 with Moorland Stable

Return to May with the ointment.

may

Rita!!

Quest completed

______________

Check on Lynx

may

Awesome! Now I can take care of this little sickie right here.

Thanks for all your help, Rita. It was total chaos for real, and you helped. All because Lynx was…

LYNX!! I totally forgot about him! This is really unlike me.

I need to get to Josh! He was so kind to offer to look after Lynx and now I’ve just taken advantage. I should go and see him right now but I’ve got to stay here and take here of this poor fella with his poorly hoof…

Please, Rita, couldn’t you go to Josh and get Lynx? Conrad Marsdeen the blacksmith has promised to reshoe Lynx for me, so it’d be awesome if you could take him there afterwards. Please? It’d be incredible if you could…

Nice! Thanks so much! I seriously owe you one after all this. Haha!

Objectives: Talk to Josh.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 5 with Moorland Stable

Speak to Josh by his pole bending course outside the stable.

josh2

It’s great you came Rita. I hear May doesn’t have much time, she’s always got so much to do.

In any case, here’s the horse everyone’s talking about! Rita, allow me to introduce Lynx!

Quest completed

______________

Lynx for New Shoes

josh2

Isn’t he handsome? Haha, a truly proud and cheeky fella, this one!

I guess May told you what happened? Glass and horses everywhere! That’s why I took Lynx here.

In any case, I guess May’s busy and asked you to take Lynx to the blacksmith?

Cool! I’d totally have helped out, but I’ve got a few other things I need to be getting on with today. 

Never mind, Lynx needs new shoes and the smith has promised to fix him up. Now I’ll leave Lynx to you, so you can take him over to Conrad.

We can chat a little more some other time, I hope! Good luck!

Objectives: Take Lynx to Conrad Marsdeen, the Moorland Blacksmith

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

Ride along with Lynx over to Conrad’s forge.

conrad_marsdeen

Good day to you Rita!

Who’s this handsome fellow? is it Lynx?

Quest completed

______________

A Loaded Packhorse

conrad_marsdeen

May told me about Lynx. Apparently he needs new shoes, and of course I’m happy to help her fix him up!

Oh, you’d like to help too? Well, Rita, that’s just lovely of you!

According to May, Lynx is a lovely hose with a little bit of a naughty side, so it’s best I keep an eye on him. I hope it won’t be too much trouble getting his shoes on.

Hmm… That’ll have to be something I worry about later.

But since you want to help, you could do me a favor and ride over to get two sacks: those ones that are lying over by the wall there…? They’re pretty heavy so be careful as you lift them. Once you’ve got them, you can drop them off here in front of the house.

Thanks ever so much!

Objectives: Fetch two sacks from the pile by the wall, and place them outside the blacksmith’s house, then chat to him.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 15 XP

Reputation: 10 with Moorland Stable

The sacks are so heavy that you can only carry one at a time, so you will have to make two trips to collect both of them near the house. When you have both sacks set down, speak to Conrad again.

conrad_marsdeen

Thanks so much Rita! 

It’s been great you’ve been able to help me.

Quest completed

______________

Wisecracker…

conrad_marsdeen

Lynx is clearly a bit of a wisecracker…

Ha! I’ve got my eye on you now, Lynx!

I left him on his own for just a few seconds and you can guess what this joker did in the meantime…

First he picked up my box of nails, and luckily he didn’t eat any up, so you don’t need to worry about that.

After he picked up the box, he followed me. The whole time he was shaking his head so that the nails flew all over the place.

It wasn’t long before I caught on to what he was doing, but it was already too late, so now there are nails left, right, and center, spread out all over the ground.

Would you be able to help me gather them all up, Rita? We can’t leave them lying around… Imagine if some poor horse just trampled on one?!

Objectives: Collect all the nails Lynx spread out, then return to the smith.

Rewards: 10 Jorvik Shillings, 10 XP

Reputation: 15 with Moorland Stable

Someone needs to teach this horse some manners!

conrad_marsdeen

Did you find all the nails?

Thank you ever so much Rita! Now we don’t need to worry about anybody stepping on them and getting hurt.

Quest completed

______________

Waiting for New Shoes

conrad_marsdeen

Would you be able to ride to May and tell her that I’m busy with the shoes and that I’ll take Lynx back when he’s shoed?

Thanks!

Objectives: Talk to May.

Rewards: 5 Jorvik Shillings, 5 XP

Reputation: 5 with Moorland Stable

Return to May and tell her that Lynx is being taken care of.

may

Thanks for all your help today!

Seems like it’ll be a while before the shoes are finished, so you can go take it easy. Come back tomorrow if you’d like to see Lynx again.

Quest completed

Return to May tomorrow.

Jorvik Journal

I am so sorry that I haven’t posted for 2 months! The first month I was on holidays and I just couldn’t fit time into my schedule to write another chapter in the next month. I am really sorry, but I’m not going to continue Golden Leaves. But it’s alright! I give you the task of creating a finale chapter of Golden Leaves in this post’s comments. If it’s alright with Maggie Oldcamp, I will organise a VERY special prize for you if I think your finale chapter is good! There will be at the most three winners, and at the least one winner. So get writing: the competition ends in one week and entries MUST be 10-100 lines. Enjoy my next series! :D

Yes, the day of the absolutely boring update. Well, the update ITSELF isn’t boring but the wait to be able to play Star Stable Online is nearly unbearable. Ah well, I’ll just have to play another game. Animal Jam? Nah.. Pottermore? No… Alicia Online? I would, but it takes too long to download. Skype someone? Yeah, I might check if anyones online. Ok, one person’s online but they’re taking forever to decide if they want to Skype me… Wait! One of my accounts won’t let me play but the other will so I guess I’ll just have to play on my Fire Star account seeing as I’m bored. I’m riding to Firgrove Championships now on my level 15 Andalusian called Diamondblaze. I’ll update my diary when I’ve finished championships in Firgrove! -smiles-

Yay! I came 3rd place! I was coming 1st, but failed a jump. I have to log off now, but I can promise to write again tomorrow or the next day after tomorrow.

Guardian Angel – Chapter 4: Temperamental Teen

When we arrive at the farm, Chase offers to take Rose into the stable for me, but I hold the reins away from him, offended. I ignore him and walk into the stable, angry that he thinks I’m so weak and can’t do anything for myself. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I’m feeling strangely defensive, and I don’t really care. I lead Rose to her stall, untack her, and put the tack away, while Chase does the same with Simba. When I start to walk toward the house and find Chase following me, I wheel on him and let loose a barrage of angry words.

“Watch it! You’re a hired hand. I can easily have you fired, so why don’t you back off? I don’t need your help around here, so why not go home?” I yell. I’m not sure why I’m so mad at him, but I am, and I can’t help it. Whatever this anger is, it’s strong, and it won’t be ignored. He rubs the back of his neck, obviously thinking about this reaction, and seems to come to some kind of rude conclusion, because he snickers a little. When I realize what he thinks the cause of my anger is, I feel like smacking him in the face, but instead I turn back around and sprint to the house, my face on fire. Ms. A is waiting in the small, under-furnished living room, looking very pleased with herself. When I enter, she smiles and leads me up to my room, showing me a small cardboard box sitting on my bed.

I stare at it. “For you,” she says, her smile growing even wider.

“You didn’t have to…” I smile, then tear into the box. I feel my eyes go wide, and Ms. A claps and laughs. I pull out a white polo shirt, a riding shirt, no doubt. Inside is a note reading:

Surprise! You’re competing in the Annual Jorvik Young Hunters’ Competition!

I nearly pass out. In only a few seconds, my terror turns to confusion, and my confusion to rage. I turn on Ms. A, yelling, asking how she could do this, how she could enter me in a competition without asking me. She looks deeply hurt, and tells me she’s seen me jump and thought I’d like to enter, but I’ll have none of it. I yell for her to get out, and as she’s turning, I throw the polo at her. She catches it, looking more hurt than ever, and closes the door, tears in her eyes.

For a long time, I lay on my bed, staring at the ceiling, until I hear Ms. Ashton’s old car driving down the road, and I know she’s gone to the market. The fact that she left me behind hurts a little, but I suppose I deserve it. I find a note under my door that says Ms. A will be home late tonight, that she’s staying to watch the young hunters compete and that Chase will look after me. Right on cue, there’s a knock at my door, and I open it, only to feel the sudden urge to slam it shut. Chase stands there, looking at me expectantly. I ask what he wants, and he tells me Ms. A wants me to feed the pigs after dinner, which is ready right now.

Dinner is cold beef and milk. Nothing fancy, but then again, we do live on a farm. After supper, I wash the dishes while Chase brings the animals in, then I go to feed the pigs, and when I return, I find that it’s already 5:30. My skin and hair is dirty, but I’m also exhausted, so I decide I’ll take a bath tonight instead of a shower.

Chase comes back in just as I’m about to run upstairs. “Where you going?” he asks casually, and I hope he can feel me staring daggers into his back as he takes off his boots. I tell him I’m going to take a bath and then go to bed, and that I don’t appreciate him acting like a babysitter to me. I remind him I’m only a year younger than him, and that he better watch it, or I’ll have him laid off. He laughs a little at this, but not in a mean way.

“Well…when you’re done, don’t go to bed. I brought a movie.” He waves a DVD in the air, then goes into the kitchen.

Safely in the privacy of the bathroom, I pull off my dirty riding clothes and stare at the thin, scraggly girl in the mirror. Who am I? It seems that this question will haunt me until I find the answer, and there is no way I can live with myself until I find that answer. I relax in the warm water, letting it soak me through before scrubbing violently at my skin. After a minute, I stop mid scrub. I must be daydreaming, I must be, because an image pops into my head. I’m in a car…out the window, I see a truck…it’s getting fearfully close…I hear screaming…a horn… Blackness. Nothing more. I jump in the tub, startled, returning to reality. I saw all that in a split second, and I’m not sure what it was. I dismiss it.

Chase is watching a ball game when I come down in my nightgown, a towel in my hair, and sit down on the other side of the couch. He brings popcorn and we watch The Conjuring. When it’s over, I don’t want to go to bed, I’m so terrified, but he just laughs. I guess he thinks it’s cute that I, a mature 16 year old, am afraid of the dark, but I yell saying he can’t blame me after showing me that movie.

There’s a knock at the door, and I wonder who it is. It’s 8:45…unless it’s Miss A, who would be visiting at this hour? It turns out to be Rachel, my best friend. Her medium length blonde hair is tied up in a bun, and her green eyes have ugly, unusually dark spots under them. She looks like she ran all this way from her house three miles away.

“Jamie,” she pants, “I need to talk to you. It’s serious.”

______________

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