|Greta (pathofcinders) wrote in nevermore_logs,|
@ 2016-08-25 12:54:00
|Entry tags:||greta morgan|
WHEN: June - August
WHERE: Lebanon, Kansas
WHAT: A summer in the center
NOTES: I don't think anyone is actually reading these but that's okay, I just need to write my Greta ;)
Three months Greta had been in Lebanon, living as a different girl than before and trying to decide exactly what that meant for her.
It meant freedom, she knew that much.
It meant being able to breathe on her own, and stand on her own. It meant not looking over her shoulder at night. It meant that when she heard dogs howl somewhere in the distance, a part of her heart didn't long to follow the sound.
(Sometimes she missed the wolves though. She knew that she shouldn't, but she did. But she also knew that missing was different to needing)
Hakaru's house was a little place on Walnut Street, between two open stretches of grass. There was a lot of open areas in Lebanon, a lot of spaces where maybe people had planned to put homes if the town grew, but Lebanon never really grew.
Walnut Street was lined with trees, none of which were walnuts, and it matched the quaint names of the little towns other streets - Chestnut, Pine, Maple, Willow. Not one of those trees grew on Hakaru's street though, and the one tall tree that grew in Hakaru's front yard was a sickly Faber's fir, its branches ever drooping and sad.
"It's a Chinese tree," Hakaru had told her one afternoon as they sat on the porch. "I looked them up, and over there they grow in the mountains, really tall and thick, but here it never seems to grow at all. Maybe it knows if people realise it doesn't belong, they'll cut it out."
"Is this a metaphor?" Greta asked.
"It wasn't supposed to be," Hakuru admitted with a lazy half smile, leaning toward her just a little. "But it sort of went that way, didn't it?"
Hakaru worked for the small family-owned cattle ranch just on the outskirts of town, close enough that it counted for the purposes of magic and curses. Greta, who had no experience with cows, was obviously not going to get a position there but she couldn't do nothing, especially if she planned to stay here.
So she walked herself down to the little textile factory at the south end of town, down by the railway that only saw trains come through once or twice a week, and asked if the job she'd seen posted up on the community notice board was still going.
Once Upon a Time (because Greta couldn't quite escape her own story telling device) the factory had been huge and bustling, but now it was just one room of machines that ran inside it, serving small niche markets instead of the once impressive output it had shown. And all they needed now was someone to man the phones, and file the paperwork, and do all the customer service with the big companies out of town. At 72, the last woman to do the job had finally retired and moved with her husband to Miami - where Greta hoped they were enjoying every minute of their well-earned cliche and had a nice condo somewhere on the waterfront.
She started cooking dinners for Hakaru when he came home exhausted, and the two of the fell into comfortable routines together, making jokes where they called each other husband and wife. "Looks like someone's sleeping on the couch tonight," became a favourite between the two of them at the slightest of errors, but the couch (which had officially been taken over by Greta since her first night in the house) was far more comfortable than the backseat of her car.
In town he introduced her around as a old family friend, because it was the easier way to explain their sudden living situation than we are two strange, cursed creatures drawn together by unspeakable hungers.
Greta didn't crave the feeling of hot fur between her fingers. Hakaru didn't crave the taste of cold flesh between his teeth. They drank beer in the local pub and laughed along with everyone else at Harry and Sandra who ran the weekly quiz every Thursday. In Lebanon there wasn't much to do of an evening, so quiz night was always well populated. Greta and Hakaru called their team Rabbit Marmalade on the first night and it had stuck, despite neither of them having any memory of what it had originally been in reference to. Rabbit Marmalade had won once, but usually they were to be found somewhere in the middle of the pack, shooting playful trash talk at the tables nearby. (The closest of which was almost always Mothertruckers, a group of non-local truckers who tried to pass through at the right time to catch the quiz.)
Home cooked dinners and paperwork in a dusty factory and Thursday night pub quizzes. All in all, her new life in Lebanon was marvelously uneventful, and Greta left her other life sitting on the side of the road, collecting a layer of dust.
And if sometimes Greta thought she saw paw prints in the dust, she only had to close her eyes for a moment to find there had been nothing there at all, just a trick of the light under the shade of a Chinese fir tree.