Drifter Challenge – House 4, Ch. 1

Moving to Willow Creek in the winter might not have been the best idea in the history of ideas, but here I was and here is where I was going to be staying.

Who am I, you ask? Well, if you’ve been following this story, you’ll know that I am Delia Caine, daughter of Caden, granddaughter of Britta and great-granddaughter of Austin Caine, who first began a daunting Mission to rebuild two devastated regions from the ground up. My fore-bearers each began with a Vision, which they used to guide them, blending research, botany and magic to accomplish all that they did.

I, too, had a vision, which saw me here in Willow Creek, making a life, building a home for myself an future generations. However, there are some advantages to being the fourth of my line in this world-saving business. I’ve been accepted into a position in one of the science labs which have spring up around my great-grandfather’s research. Given a chance to intern and to hopefully make a bigger impact on the region.

But first, I’ve got to do something about this…. snowy mess. I’m starting out on an empty lot and somehow, I don’t think a tent and fire pit are going to cut it.

I mean, let’s face it… there is nothing but snow out here, and people, who, like me, are walking around in it. That lady almost froze to death! I’m not collecting frogs, or fishing, or doing a lot of gardening anytime soon.

I do manage to collect a few rocks and crystals, which I sell for seed money. Also, since I left home on Winterfest day, there were presents waiting for me in the mailbox. How Aunt Dawn knew I was here already, I don’t know, but the note along with the gifts said, “I’m not allowed to send you money, but I know you need it more than useless items. Please sell these things for what you need getting started. “

So… I did. I’m not going to lie, but it seemed more practical to use what resources I could to get a shelter in place than to attempt to winter it out in a tent.

I between my starting shifts at the lab, I labor to break frozen ground for my hovel.

Luckily, I am able to sell everything from work, too – extra crystals, fossils and plants.

Between that and my first couple of paychecks, I’m able to get around a decent enough shack.

It’s not much, but it’s home sweet home for the unforeseeable future.

I get it done just in time for Spring to begin to thaw everything. There’s still plenty of snow, but now I can fish if I need to. Fishing is one of the things I learned from my father that I enjoy doing. In addition to food (which he didn’t eat because he was a vegetarian), they are good for both my research and to sell.

Dad comes to visit me often, and he encourages me to look beyond the little hovel and plan for the future. I am in a good place in my life, he says. I have a good career and a lot more advantages than he did starting out.

I don’t want to say anything, but I think that Dad is looking older than I remember him. A little more tired and careworn. He still has the same zest for life, though. But still, I worry.

At work, I give it my all. There is such a difference between working in the desert and coming home the the cold of Willow Springs. Even as springtime approaches, it is still chilly.

This is Salvatore Bjergsen. He is a colleague at work. We have met a few times outside of work, at the libraries and such. He is a nice guy and we get along well. We have had dinner a couple out times, as well. It’s nice to have a friend. Dad used to talk about how lonely he was all the time when he was first starting in his Mission. It sounded so miserable.

I guess I really am the lucky one.