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  • Cynthia's Song

     imladir updated 8 months ago 2 Members · 54 Posts
  • mercy

    Member
    June 11, 2019 at 2:19 pm

    [B]08:10, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle[/B]

    At Cynthia’s question, Peter chuckles and Magwen just looks at her. Peter motions with his arm to the huge trees they are gliding past. “This is our paradise, Miss Cynthia. Why would we want to live anywhere else? Living with the gators and snakes and everything else is just part of living to us. I suppose part of it is just being used to it all and another part is that we are too stubborn to move. We are the descendants of escaped slaves, some from the very plantation you now own, and we are proud of the life we have carved from the mangroves. The Loa have been very kind to us. We are just a small part of your plantation, but we can be useful in several ways, and that is why we wanted to get you out here. I think that you will be pleasantly surprised.”

    Magwen nods at Peter’s comments then answers Cynthia’s other question, although her accent makes it difficult to completely understand her. “Yes, I am from the village. I came to trade for supplies and James thought that we should show you where we live.” Her eyes get a bit brighter as she describes the different trees and other vegetation the boat passes. She points out several “floating logs” that are really alligators, as well as several varieties of snakes and birds. The massive trees provide a canopy that serves to dim the sunlight, which only gets even more noticeable the further the boats travel.

    21

  • imladir

    Member
    June 12, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    [Cynthia Rawson – 08:10, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle] #1225

    Surprisingly – or maybe not? – Cynthia didn’t look all that convinced. Oh, that some people would like it here… Maybe. Ok, sure. If it was the only thing you ever knew and didn’t really want to see what was beyond. And in a sense, life was simple here. Not easy, what with the alligators, snakes and whatnot, but simple. There probably was some attraction to it. For herself though… She’d be bored out of her mind alarmingly fast.

    “Well, the guys in town have a saying… What was it again…” Cynthia thought about it for a second then snapped her fingers. “Oh, right: ‘[i]Il faut de tout pour faire un monde.[/i]‘ I suppose it’s fitting. And as long as you’re happy…” She shrugged.

    Cynthia seemed about to answer to something Peter had just said, but nodded to Magwen. “I see.” In a very different tone, she repeated an “I see…” when pointed at a gator. She wanted to ask if they ever tried to snack on the people in the boats, but decided she didn’t want to know.

    At some point, she came back to a point she had wanted to talk about. “You know, you don’t [b]have[/b] to be useful to me. If you want to live here and never see my face or have anything to do with the house in general, that’s fine by me. So do not feel like you absolutely have to do something. If you want to be left alone, I’m happy to go with that. If on the contrary you want more I’m not unwilling to hear about it. Will I be able to actually [b]do[/b] what you’d want or need is another problem entirely of course, but… Well, I guess what I’ saying is that my door is open. Sort of…”

  • mercy

    Member
    June 14, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    [B]08:10, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle[/B]

    Magwen gives Cynthia a strange look then nods her head slowly. “I was told that you are not like the previous owner. Are you co-owners of the same mind?”

    22

  • imladir

    Member
    June 14, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    [Cynthia Rawson – 08:10, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle] #1226

    “Uh… Probably?” Cynthia shrugged. “You’d have to ask them. But…” The girl looked away for a second or two. Finally, she simply smiled wryly. “Consider things like this: first, Claudia is nineteen and she has two years on Sandy and I. Being responsible of anyone is not really the kind of things we want, especially on top of everything else we have to deal with. And believe me, there’s a lot, quite a bit major than being a teenage girl or deciding what to wear in the morning.” Considering that some whose name she wouldn’t disclose would be fine answering ‘nothing‘ it wasn’t saying much though. “So if you want to be left alone, that’s fine by us.” She cocked her head to the side, frowning. “Well, unless it goes against the house and all, I suppose we can’t have that.”

    A second later, she shook her head. “Anyway. If, on the other hand, you want us to do something for you, or help, or… If you want anything from us in general… We’ve learned yesterday we were responsible for a cotton and sugar cane industry, what’s a little village more? That’s not to say that we’re going to agree to everything – or anything really – but listening doesn’t hurt anyone.”

  • mercy

    Member
    June 15, 2019 at 4:00 am

    [B]08:15, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle[/B]

    Magwen nods and remains silent for a couple of minutes then points off to where a large alligator is laying on the bank under a huge mangrove tree. “That there is Old Seth. He is probably the second largest of his kind in these parts, although there are rumors of some even larger than him out in the deep groves, where only the foolhardy or desperate go wandering.” She waits until the boat glides past the sleeping gator then looks back at Cynthia. “We don’t need much, Miss. It is more what we can do for you that the last three owners decided was not worth the effort. The first is the creatures here abouts; the gators, snakes, fish, birds, and even some deer. Besides some really tasty meat, there is a good bit of hides we can provide you. Second, there are springs at the village and near to it that provide some of the best drinking water you will ever taste. Third, we can whip up some shine that will rival anything store bought. And we hold no care as to your ages. The House accepted you and that is enough for us. What you need to decide is if we are good enough for you or if you will leave us isolated in the groves, like your predecessors did.”

    “What we can use is more of the common supplies for living, along with what it will take to get any water and whiskey ready to ship to markets. That will be up to you and the other owners.”

    23

  • imladir

    Member
    June 15, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    [Cynthia Rawson – 08:15, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle] #1227

    Cynthia watched Old Seth with some trepidation. The beast was huge. Thankfully, the beast appeared lazy, or at least satiated for now, and didn’t move an eye. “There are some even larger? Uh…” Those people were definitely crazy…

    Once Magwen has explained what they’d like to her, Cynthia nodded. “Oh that… Well, I already had an idea of creating a small corporation to sell the products derived from the cotton and sugar cane fields, like candies, clothes, [i]etc.[/i] I don’t see anything wrong with adding meat, water., whiskey, hides, etc.” She sounded a bit doubtful there, but maybe the rich would find appealing to drink some fresh water, straight from the source. Unpolluted source. “The more we have, the better diversity we have, the easier it’ll be to find a market and more importantly, the more robust it will make the whole enterprise.”

    She’d really need to get more business lessons though. She knew a thing or two but managing a corporation, even a small one, was way out of her depth. For the moment at least. “But if we want to do this, I will need hard numbers. That you could, right now, provide x bottles of whiskey and water, that you’d need that list of supply a month, that you have those kind of medical needs, [i]etc.[/i] You can include what you hope to be able to produce in the right circumstances, or with this or that investments – again, numbers for the investments – and it will be really useful, but what I really need is to know what you can do right now. Oh and samples I suppose. Once I have all that, I can start formulating a business plan, decide how to go about it.” And hopefully, that would give her time to figure things out… “And don’t be over-optimistic with the figures. Do not try to oversell it, it’d be the best way to sink everything. What we need is a strong foundation. Once we have that, we’ll be able to build on it, but if the foundations are shaky…”

  • mercy

    Member
    June 17, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    [B]08:15, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle[/B]

    Magwen nods to herself and Cynthia sees a slight smile cross her lips. “I will get you a list of these things you have asked about. As it is, though, we are pretty small, since we have had no real reason to produce a lot of extra. I will keep the projections realistic. Thank you, Miss.”

    Peter chuckles but does not say anything. Before too long, the small flotilla passes another boat with three men fishing. Waves are exchanged and Cynthia can see them pulling in their rods and preparing to follow her boats. Soon, they come upon two more boats that stop what they are doing and follow along.

    24

  • imladir

    Member
    June 18, 2019 at 7:28 am

    [Cynthia Rawson – 08:15, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle] #1228

    Cynthia wasn’t concerned there wouldn’t be much to sell just yet. “It’s fine if you don’t have a lot. In fact, it would probably be best if you didn’t ramp production up just yet. A small production is more than enough to sell a bit and see how it goes. What kind of people are interested, for how much we could sell it, [i]etc.[/i]“ She paused briefly. “And that would give me the time to think about how to distribute the products. Given that it’s traditional products, it would be best I think to avoid common networks, maybe a couple of small shops would be best.” She grimaced slightly. “Problem is, I’m pretty sure we could sell everything to the rich, but that means we can’t exactly expect them to come to the suburbs to buy. Which means a high rental cost.” She thought about it for a moment more, then shook her head. Now was probably not the time to think too much about all of that.

    When she noticed everyone starting to follow, she asked “Is there a reason everyone is coming with us?”

  • mercy

    Member
    June 18, 2019 at 11:45 am

    [B]08:15, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle[/B]

    Magwen nods. “We can keep the production low if you like. That would let us expand slowly and get things right.” As the other boats begin to follow them, she nods at Cynthia’s question. “Yes, Miss. You and your fellow owners are something unusual and there is a lot of interest in you. I imagine that the men in the boats do not want to miss out on anything. Remember, we have not had an owner here for a long time. We should be at the village in a few minutes, now, provided Peter does not ram us into one of these trees.”

    The last comment gets a chuckle from Peter as he expertly guides the boat past trees that appear to be getting larger and closer together, sometimes almost seeming to form a wall in front except for a narrow channel of water.

    25

  • imladir

    Member
    June 18, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    [Cynthia Rawson – 08:15, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle] #1229

    “Mmmh.” Cynthia glanced back at the group of boats they were collecting, but didn’t comment more on that. While she wasn’t particularly happy about it, she could understand curiosity, and she supposed it made sense for them to want to know her. Or Claudia, Sandy and her.

    “As long as the tree doesn’t have teeth. Though, uh…” She looked a bit embarrassed. “I should probably mention that I don’t know how to swim…” She didn’t pay that a lot of attention though, focused on the trees. “It feels like another world…” And for all she knew… Well, with all the oddities surrounding the house and the town in general, would she really be surprised?

  • mercy

    Member
    June 18, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    [B]08:20, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle[/B]

    The boat passes the first houses without Cynthia even being aware of them. It is only when she sees movement above her that she realizes that the houses are all built as tree houses, hanging from the tree branches. The dwellings are built to take advantage of natural camouflage and would be difficult to spot if you is not looking for them. Small boats bob in the water beneath the trees, but even these are mostly hidden among the roots and hanging moss. Many of the trees are connected by hanging walkways that cross the waterways.

    As the boat nears a particularly large grouping of trees, Cynthia spots several hanging houses and a group of people who seem to be waiting for her. Magwen points to three men and a women standing apart from the others. “Our leader and his family. He is a bit rough, but can be friendly. He is waiting to see what you will do with us, as is everyone else. Remember, though, that you are among friends here, if you want it that way.”

    26

  • imladir

    Member
    June 18, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    [Cynthia Rawson – 08:20, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle] #1230

    When she first saw the houses, Cynthia started. “Uh… You must not have visitors particularly often…” Though it probably was the point after all. Or it had been at any rate. She didn’t want to think about the size of the mosquitoes in summer, but maybe they were too big to even be able to fly around the trees?

    She nodded noncommittally when Magwen described their leader. She didn’t really care if he was rough. Her mom… her adoptive mom had wanted her to be a princess but she had been less than successful. As long as he wasn’t aggressive she’d manage. Plus, at the end of the day… While it wouldn’t be a bad thing to part as friends, it wasn’t like she had much of anything at risk if it weren’t the case: they needed her, not really the other way around. “I’ll remember that.”

    As Peter took their boat in, Cynthia stayed in until it was safely secure: it wasn’t that she wanted to wait until the last moment to meet those people, more that she really – as in really – didn’t want to fall in the water. Once on safe ground – more or less anyway – she waited for Claudia and Sandy before they went to meet the locals.

  • mercy

    Member
    June 20, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    [B]08:20, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle[/B]

    Once the small boat is tied up at the dock, a young boy scampers from the crond and ties it off to a piling. Peter casually steps from it and holds out a hand to assist Cynthia then Magwen, who nods before going up to the small group standing apart and embraces first the older woman then the oldest of the men. She turns and nods back towards Cynthia, talking rapidly in her local dialect. The older man nods and steps forward as Sandy’s boat pulls up to the dock.

    Claudia is grinning widely as she steps from her boat. “Did you see that huge gator? I bet it could have eaten any of us in one swallow. And I saw some very large snakes…………” She realizes that she is babbling and goes quiet as the older man steps forward with Magwen at his side.

    The man nods his head at the three women and holds out a rough hand. “Welcome, Misses. We are glad to meet you. I am named Jacques Montard and am the leader of this village.”

    27

  • imladir

    Member
    June 20, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    [Cynthia Rawson – 08:20, Sunday June 16th, Swamp, Serenity, Cajun Town, Seattle] #1231

    Cynthia nodded emphatically. “He’s huge right? I’m so glad he didn’t stir at all, I bet he could flip the boats without even trying!”

    When Jacques approached, Cynthia turned to him. “Good morning, thank you.” She looked at the offered hand and took it, albeit with her usual discomfort: she didn’t have small hands per se just…well, girly ones. Feeling it being completely engulfed in a man’s paw always felt weird. She waved at the two girls with her. “This is Claudia, and this is Sandy. I’m Cynthia.”

    After a second, with a cheeky smile, she asked. “So, business first or you want to take us on a tour to make your own ideas about what you heard about us and whatever Magwen reported to you?”

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