[P] - Fire for the Hearth
#1
An odd chill crept through the house this morning. The sun hadn't risen yet but Calhoun could still barely make out the fog of his breath in the dim grey light. Folding the blanket neatly after rising, he moved to the window to see a fresh layer of snow coating the ground. The world seemed black-and-white. No color or complexity; only light and darkness. He wished everything could be so simple. His own thoughts were muddy and tumultuous of late. Images of his sisters, his parents, his mentor all floating before him as the cold air sunk in and finally made him dress.

A thick woolen sweater and breeches covered him from the change in weather. The young preacher puttered about the house until the sun finally peeked over the horizon. By that time his chores were done and he was sitting back in his room with a warm mug of tea. Orange rays streaking the previously gloomy landscape and making the snow shimmer as it started to melt around the bases of the trees. We'll need firewood soon he thought. The mill wasn't alone in that, most of Charmington would be looking for ways to keep warm before long. Closing his eyes and downing the dregs of his tea, he set the mug down and nodded to himself.

It was best to get a hard start on these things. Felling trees would only get harder as the bark froze and the snows came in heavier. He took a pair of worn leather gloves and grabbed an axe from behind the mill before he set out towards town. About halfway along the trail back to Charmington he turned into the woods and lazily looked from tree to tree, hoping to find one or a few that had already died and would be easier to cut through. The search didn't take long, a leaning pine that had roots half sticking out from being pushed over in a storm caught his attention. Should be easy to make it fall where he wanted. Even still, he took his time and started to carve a notch in the side, hacking loud enough to be heard all the back along the road. I'll make a good pile here, I can bring half back to the mill and head to town with the rest to see who's in need.
the graveyard's full, we're running out of earth
but we can use the bones to build another church
#2
The trip back home was met with lots of love from the children, but the Bella Dama’s time was cut short with them, as she realized she had more work to do. Del Ceneran’s would be getting colder and the days would be cut shorter, leading them into more long winters, and less readily available supplies’. She couldn’t see to it that her pack— that felt so different to even say— would be taken care of.

The time it took her to round up the children, and get them going for the day, perhaps took longer than she originally intended. An hour slid into two, and when Hosea had come home from...where ever it was he had been, she immediately asked him if he would watch the children. He had agreed, and with a quick kiss she left the three of them to begin a trip of her own today.

It would appear as though she had an entirely different mission today. Firewood, and warmth. Behind her, she led her brothers’ horse, of which was at her home throughout the night, considering the length of the journey it took to get to Charmingtown from their house. Behind Juanita, was a makeshift sled, which the equine pulled with a bit of apprehensive behavior at first. It evened out and the horse was most acceptable of it now, stopping every so often, she retrieved simple logs, not too wet from the fallen snow and continued on her way.

Peony was not alone in this mission either, for once she had gotten onto the main path towards Charmingtown a scent, and noise, caused her to veer off the path. Stopping the hoss in the middle of the road, she cantered a head towards that of Calhoun, one of the Tejada brood. With a gentle woof of her arrival, she offered the young male a gentle smile. In between the hard hits against the wood, and when he would finally stop she would cheekily add;

Hola Calhoun, gathering firewood?
WORD COUNT - 335
Dated for January 11th, after Peony’s return from CDC.
NPC: Juanita
#3
Sweat beaded across the forehead of the young preacher, breath coming in shallow pants with each swing of the axe. He found it almost cathartic to be able to clear his head with some good work. The tree had a sizable gash in one side. Notched and ready to fall as he started to strike the opposite side and weaken it into dropping. The sudden voice nearly made him jump. Calhoun wiped the sweat away with the back of his hand and peered through the skeletal forest to find the source.

Immediately, his expression softened. Ears perking up and waving with his free hand, he trudged through the snow to meet Peony halfway. Calhoun spotted the sled attached to the horse and scratched his cheek as he realized he didn't have a good way to transport the wood himself. Slightly embarrassed that he neglected to consider something that should have been obvious, he quickly chirped up. "Good morning, Peony! Good to see you." A warm smile spread across his face. "We needed some wood at the mill, and I figured I might as well cut some down for the village too while I'm here. How much were you looking for?"

A creaking sound from behind him brought his attention back to the tree he had been hacking away at. Quickly scanning to the top, it didn't look to be falling quite yet. However, he still ushered Peony off to the side to be careful. The last thing he wanted was to bring a tree down over the path or on his friend.
the graveyard's full, we're running out of earth
but we can use the bones to build another church
#4
Calhoun was a handsome young lad, one who had good work ethic and was always up to something. He would make a fine husband for someone, one day, and she couldn’t help but think of her younger sisters. Maybe one of them would be better suited with this brute. Ignoring the thoughts now, she shifted on her foot, and leaned in to glance over towards him, a pleasant smile upon her face.

When Calhoun scratched the horses cheek, those doey orbs blinked at him and let out a gentle whinny. It was nice seeing the young man so hard at work, once again, thoughts bringing themselves forward. “Wonderful to see you as well, Calhoun. And how is the family?” Hopefully it wasn’t a touchy subject, and her internal pain from knowing about Rafaela’s rocky demeanor from her parents made her heart yearn to shown everyone of them what it meant to be loved, properly.

Wood at the mill? Her brow hitched curiously and she let loose a gentle chuckle. “Why don’t we get the wood taken where it needs to go, then what’s left I’ll bring back to mi casa?” It was really a demand from the Braithwaite, and her ears shifted before she brought horse and sleigh towards the wood, and gave a gentle grin to him.
WORD COUNT -
sorry for the wait Murt
#5
The question took him by surprise. His face going stark for a second before he covered it up with another smile. "Oh... we're fine. The family is, good." He hoped she didn't see through his flimsy deflection. Calhoun did not wish to be untruthful, but the issues in the mill were not entirely his own and explaining the recent turmoil would undoubtably lead to more questions that he wasn't prepared to answer.

Calhoun gave her a nod and lifted the axe off his shoulder. "Right, good idea. This one's about ready to fall, we can start with this and see how much we get out of it." A few well-placed strikes later, the creaking turned into a loud crack and set the tree in motion. He set to work chopping it into logs and had enough to fill the sled before long.

"So..." he shouldered a log on each side and started loading them behind Juanita. "What brings you out here today? Besides saving my hide and offering me a helping hand?" A smirk spread across his face. His breath came in quick puffs as he went back and forth with the wood, trying to get as much done himself so she wouldn't have to get as dirty as he was. When they finally had filled the sled, he let out a long-satisfied sigh and wiped his brow.
the graveyard's full, we're running out of earth
but we can use the bones to build another church
#6
It came to no surprise that he was rather surprised at her question, instead of doting over that for too much longer, the Braithwaite decided it would be best to ignore it. Well; not entirely, split-second, Peony reached forwards and grasped the youth upon his shoulders. “If you need anything don’t hesitate to come to me.” Given the nature of his upbringing and his sisters’ it would take a village to create proper coyotes of society.

The axe was lifted off her shoulders, for a split-second another memory of whenever they battled the Del Mar’s flickered in her mind, and she almost went into defensive mode. Almost.

Bella Dama didn’t need to lift a finger, which was surprising but she stood a few yards back to allow the tree that Calhoun was hitting to fall down. Once that was done, she gestured towards the fallen log, and a small smile touched her features. “I didn’t bring another axe, but perhaps you have a spare one?” Or would he feel it wasn’t a woman’s right to do the “dirty-work” so to say. Instead of waiting too much longer, she began to load logs onto the little sleigh she’d brought with, and shifted her orbs towards him at the next question.

A chuckle escaped Peony’s maw; simple and short. “I am simply out wandering the lands, firewood was a necessity back in the days, so I figured mine as well bring some back after my... little joy ride, I suppose you could call it.” Such stoic expressions save for the humor in her eye.
WORD COUNT -
goodnesss I’m sorrryyyyy ;;;;


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