Location: Homestead -> Red Bridge
It was winter when Oliver Reed had gone to sleep and it was still winter when he awoke the next morning.
That didn't stop the mayor from ringing him at an un-goddessly hour, however. The first signs of spring were apparently in bloom and all were invited to see for themselves. Doubtful, but okay. That was still fine with Oliver. He truthfully had little to do today and welcomed the opportunity to leave home for a few hours. Cinnamon and Storm were his only saving grace at the homestead yet even they did little to ease perpetual anxiety. He hated
acting idle. Between throwing together a last minute dish and keeping social appearances, it would be hard to get lost in his own head for right now. Winter was hard like that, but spring was alright. Oliver liked spring for the most part. "Yes, of course! I'll be there for sure! I greatly look forward to what bounties our Goddess has blessed us with this year!"
The optimism was as fabricated as his carefully crafted life of lies. These people were fools to be excited by the first sign of flower petals, but who was he to ruin their fun? The least that he could do was throw together a dish of some kind as a peace offering. He was atrocious at baking and fishing, so those options were ruled out. There was other alternatives, however. "Pancakes? Those are easy to make and I'm sure that Ferris would eat them if nobody else did." "Yeah, pancakes. I'd have to be an idiot to ruin those."
The commentary was directed towards an oversized rabbit that was silently moving about the household. The poor thing was probably freezing from this cold - Oliver certainly knew that he was. Winter was literally the worst season to exist and he saw no benefits to it. When the chill came on his birthday ever year, he had grown to dread the coming weeks. Winter slowed certain businesses in Root River, killed crops, and came with snow that piled upon every pathway. He had truly hoped that spring had actually come if it meant returning life to this otherwise desolate town. "Alright, Cinnamon. I'll be back in a few hours with the ingredients. Don't die or anything."
He hated winter.
At least the thaw was obvious and most of the snow had begun to vanish by the time that he stepped outside. He still wrapped a scarf around his neck and grabbed a white winter coat to stave away the remaining cold. He had half the mind to pop in and see how Ferris was doing so far, but decided against it. The kid had likely already been awake for hours anyway. He was probably deep in the woods or offering a prayer of some kind. He was naive like that, but Oliver couldn't blame him. He was once a believer too and grief had always brought people closer to the Harvest Goddess' message. Helping people was, admittedly, why Oliver had pursued his career as a priest in the first place. He knew that it was probably heresy and he also didn't care. If the Harvest Goddess was real, then she could strike him down with lightning where he stood. Maybe then, he'd actually believe in her existence again. It was these idle thoughts that led him to the local red bridge on the first day of the new year, every year, like clockwork. He had hoped to catch a glimpse of Her, but he had come to terms with the brutal reality. He would never see her as she did not exist. " Ah. Good morning to you, Miss Peterson!"
Speaking of outlandish belief systems, there was the Peterson sisters. They were outsiders like himself, but had only come to the village within the past few seasons. Their food was delicious and he was a regular, but they themselves were rather quite odd. Eccentric, even. He was fonder of Astrid than her sister as the latter had the tendency to flirt with anything that had a pulse. Both believed in a deity or deities that were foreign to Root River, however. This much was reflected in their strange trinkets and accessories that were scattered across their dining hall. It looked like Astrid had her religious memorabilia on her now as well. How strange it was to come across one of them at the site of where the Harvest Goddess was rumored to be seen. Could this be considered heresy for them? "I'm surprised to see you here this early. What bring you to the red bridge today?"