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Outside The White Mansion

Chapter Text

The lost valley near Hillsville has its seasons back again. When the next year comes, the valley will finally experience the long lost Spring, Summer, and Fall after the Winter that lasted for so many years. The four seasons returned back to normal. It’s all thanks to a simple, yet ambitious man named Pete. With his determination and encouragement for the people to get involved into helping him do the impossible, he finally brought the valley back to normal and at the same time beautified the place with hard work.

The first bloom of Spring has not arrived yet. It was still Winter. The white snow was still present at the valley. But after this, the regular flow of seasons will be back. The snowfall was also present at Hillsville, with cold, white snow blanketing the pavements and covered the leaves of the trees that possesses leaves that can withstand the cold seasons of Fall and Winter. It was very cold, and people started to wear layers and layers of thick clothing to keep them warm. The fireplaces were put into use again as people throw logs and light them up with fire to warm themselves and their own places. People were also consuming hot foods like noodles and warm drinks like hot cocoa. Some children felt lonely when Winter arrives due to lack of light and warmth, but some were very excited as they can play with the snow and make snowmen and snow angels.

Catherine’s mother returned during the second week of the Winter. She was happy to see her daughter again and resume her job inside the mansion, knitting some clothes appropriate for the season. Catherine helps her mother and even asks her new friend Pete to bring her some wool for her mother to use, aside from the gifts found in the valley that she wants to give her hardworking servants.

“So, Catherine… You’ve said you were going to the valley, yes?” Catherine’s mother talked to her daughter.

“Yes, mother. The place was stuck to Winter and people moved out there. But now, the seasons were brought back and people began to visit the place again. It’s a beautiful place again,” Catherine obediently replied to her mother.

“Is that so? I was wondering if you have made any new friends.”

“I hate to admit it, but I guess I DID made a new friend.”

“That’s nice to hear that you finally made friends! Ever since you’re young, you prefer to be inside this house. Now that your father told you to go to the valley, you’ve finally made a good friend!”

Catherine did a fake laugh. She can’t lie to her mother so she spilled whatever she experienced in the valley, and how she made a new friend in Pete.

“Is your new friend a boy or a girl?” Catherine’s mother asked while knitting a sweater.

“Pete’s his name. He’s a boy, mother,” Catherine answered.

“That’s nice. That’s nice that you have a male friend. I never had male friends.”

“I’m not really sure if that man is what I can consider a friend.”

“But you’ve been acquaintances, so the two of you are friends.”

“Well, he does consider me as his friend. I’ve been visiting the valley often and he keeps on greeting me whenever he sees me. It’s very annoying! But it can’t be helped that I always help him out. He’s quite a fool! Mother, you will be stressed out when you meet that man. But even if he’s foolish and quite annoying, I can see it in him that he has a pure heart.”

The mother just giggled at her daughter venting out. Then, the mother said, “What makes you say that he has a pure heart?”

Catherine blushed and got a bit nervous. “W-Well, mother, you see… I saw the determination in his eyes whenever he talked about bringing back the seasons to the valley and taking good care of nature. His face brightens whenever he talks about the things that make him enthusiastic! I still don’t trust him, but he won the hearts of everyone that visited and lived in the valley. Almost everyone here in this town that visited the valley and talked to him likes him. I really don’t.”

Catherine’s mother just laughed at her daughter. She thought that Catherine was being immature and proud of herself as always. She thought that being an only daughter, Catherine thinks too highly of herself that she doesn’t accept that she can be good friends with strangers that have a different background and way of living than her. She doesn’t want to lecture her daughter Catherine, so she only laughed at everything her daughter said. And then she continued to knit.

While Catherine didn’t understood her mother laughing at what she said because she knew that she was completely serious and she’s completely honest to everything she says, Catherine’s mother asked something to her daughter, believing that it could boost her daughter’s mood.

“Catherine, why don’t we give your little friend something to keep him warm during this season?” Catherine’s mother asked.

“Mother, I’m not sure if he’s going to like it. He’s a nice man, but he’s been talking to me negatively these days,” Catherine said.

“In what ways did he talked to you negatively?”

“He’s questioning my authority. He’s trying to sink my level to his! He’s talking to me like he doesn’t know that MY family owns the valley he’s living in!”

“Maybe you’re being rude to him, that’s why he’s being rude to you in return.”

Catherine kept quiet for a while, and thought of something to reply. “I’m not being rude! I am being perfectly reasonable.”

“You sound pretty rude right now, young miss,” Catherine’s mother said sternly.

Catherine’s mother tried to change the mood of the scene again and asked, “What do you think? Will a hat or a sweater do?”

“A sweater will do,” Catherine replied.

 


 

 

A new day arrived. It was a clear winter day in the valley, still cold as ever but the sky was beautifully blue and there were only trails of Cirrus clouds that were moving as the wind blew. Pete woke up early at 6 in the morning after hearing the loud clucking of his chickens. He did a little exercise of stretching and jogging around his house, and then a puff of a sparkly smoke appeared in front of him. It was the yellow Harvest Sprite Rowan. They told Pete that there will be a Starry Night Festival in the upcoming week and he should ask a girl out to spend the evening full of stars with him.

After taking care of the livestock and harvesting his strawberries, Pete went to Sam.

“Good afternoon, Sam!” Pete cheerfully greeted the travelling merchant.

“Good day, Pete. Nice day we’re havin’ huh? I heard dat Starry Night Festival is just ‘round da corner.”

“How did you know? My friend Rowan told me that there’s an event called like that, I don’t know about it besides that it’s like a romantic date night with the girl of your choice.”

“It’s about picking da girl youse like and taking her to a sweet, sweet place where youse can watch da stars an’ stuff. I know ‘bout dat ‘cause we also celebrate it on Hillsville.”

“I see… It’s the first time I’ve heard about it. And I want to celebrate it!”

“So, got da girl youse like? Youse shudda ask her out!”

“I will! I will ask Emily out!”

“Ah, Emily, da daughta of da owners of da restaurant! You’ve got an eye, my boy. Da two of you are a good match!”

“Thank you, Sam! I wonder if she’ll be here...”

Then Pete saw Emily and her mother Hanna sitting nearby the Blessed Tree. Sam nudged and encouraged him.

“Whaddaya waitin’ for? Go get da girl!” Sam said happily to Pete.

Pete walked towards the two ladies.

“Good afternoon Mrs. Hanna and Emily!” Pete greeted. “Mrs. Hanna, would you like to buy my strawberries? They’re freshly-picked today!”

Emily waved with a smile on her face. “Good afternoon, Pete!”

“Good afternoon, Pete! I sure would like to buy your strawberries. They look great and fresh! Just the perfect strawberries for a Stocking Festival Cake!” Hanna said, praising Pete’s harvested strawberries and buying them afterwards.

“So, it’s almost Starry Night Festival. Got any girl date?” Hanna asked Pete.

“Actually, there’s something I really want to say,” Pete said.

Pete faced Emily and told the two women, “I would like to take Emily on a date this Starry Night Festival!”

Hanna had a hearty laugh. She feels so proud of her daughter finally having a guy ask her out for such a romantic festival. She smiled at Emily and raised her eyebrows, like silently telling her daughter to accept Pete’s offer.

Emily had a smug smile on her face and snickered. Then she said, “Are you just asking me out because you have no date?”

“No! No! Not really! I really like you, you see… I’ve been paying close attention to your requests and I fulfill them all the time. You’re the best girl I’ve ever seen! Please go out with me!” Pete said, trying not to sound very desperate.

“I say yes! I’m accepting your invitation!” Emily nodded in agreement. “See you on the 25th, right in front of your house!”

“Hahahaha! That’s my girl!” Hanna said proudly to her daughter. “You should dress yourself nicely dear, you finally have a date!”

“Mooooom!” Emily whined to her mother for being embarrassing.

The next day, Pete went to Moon Valley after mining. He saw Catherine shouting at Doc, as the girl runs away from the scientist.

“Get away from me you creep!” Catherine yelled.

“What-? I just wanted you to try my latest invention! You seem like the person who will like it!” Doc said.

Catherine saw Pete walking by and hid behind his back.

“Miss Catherine, what are you and Doc doing here? I know both of you hang out in this place, but do you have a fight?” Pete asked Catherine.

“No! I want you to keep than weird old man away from me. He’s going to mess up my hair! Look at that device… It looks like a reject from a parlor!” Catherine said to Pete.

“Hello Doc! Good afternoon!” Pete greeted Doc. “May I ask, what is that thing you’re holding? It’s making our lady here freak out.”

Doc showed Pete and Catherine his newest invention with pride and joy. It looks like a helmet with a wire connecting to a lever switch.

“Aha! This! This is my invention! The Insta-Curl Helmet Device! It will make your hair curly in a snap! I thought Lady Catherine would like it so I showed it to her,” Doc explained.

“I think that would only give a person an afro,” Pete said.

“Setting the levers will determine how curly you want your hair to become! At the very bottom, soft curls! At the very top, afro, just like what you said!” Doc explained further.

Pete turned to Catherine.

“Miss Catherine, Doc here would be so honored if you will be the first one to try his invention out!” Pete said to Catherine in a peppy tone.

“No!” Catherine declined. Then she shoved a yellow, wooly knitted sweater on Pete’s face. “You’re JUST the right person to talk to! I wanted to give you THIS!”

Catherine stormed off the Moon Valley. Pete held the sweater and unfolded it. The sweater was too large for him, but it was thick and very soft. He saw a tag on the side.

“Please go out with me this Starry Night Festival,” Pete read.

“Well if it isn’t a nice pick-up!” Doc said to Pete, going near him. Pete laughed.

“Hahaha! Unfortunately, I already have a date!” Pete said to Doc.

“Awkward!” Doc said and laughed with Pete.

Then there was a moment of silence between the two friends.

“So… Do you want to try my latest invention or not?” Doc asked to Pete.