Gym Days: Part 3 Sept 1, 2017 17:02:05 GMT
Post by Pally on Sept 1, 2017 17:02:05 GMT
Life at the gym was fairly good. Aside from the smell it was pretty easy going. I worked out a lot, tended my plants, tried to avoid being alone with Hank (he always turned up when least expected.), and on Fridays and Sundays I played for tips.
Sunshine was always super supportive when I played. Most times it was the same group of gym friends that watched me and left tips. I remember one afternoon Hank had showed up to listen and he and Blue Dustwind were having a conversation. I hoped he would take an interest in her and start leaving me alone. Heather B. walked by and I saw the way she looked at him and could tell she felt something was fishy about him.
He looked rather sad when he caught a glimpse of her face. I don't know, I guess he wasn't that bad of a guy. I really didn't know too much about him, except that he wanted me to 'like' him, and that wasn't going to happen. I played until I worked up an appetite and then went to make some potatoes. While grilling one of the Turbo Pumpkins came over and watched me while shoving a burger in his face. 'Too bad I can't make a manners cream', I thought later...while shoveling my potato into my mouth.
Later that evening I lit a bonfire and invited some of my friends to dance. Sunshine joined in and fire danced for us all. After the flames started to die down, he walked me over to the couch in the front of the gym and gave me a big hug. He was always giving me random hugs when we were together at the gym. But I wasn't complaining, it helped keep us close. Then he sat down with me and started talking and i thought he would never stop. I got sleepy and ate my trash fruit. I am not sure how long he talked, the rest of the night was a sleepy blur.
A few days later I had an idea to help with my cream sells. I invited a bunch of my friends from the all girl camp in Nukecrest to the hot springs. After greeting them all, I started to tell them about the creams and the benefits of using them between bath days. We talked over lunch and by the end of our discussion I felt they were all on my side. I hoped they would spread the word.
Later, when they had all left, I ran across the street to find a whole table full of untouched goodies. No one was around so I helped myself to some grilled chicken. I was always surprised to find fresh food just setting around. While eating, I noticed Brennachan over by a playground cleaning up the sidewalk. I wondered if she had made the food so went to ask.
She was happy to see me but said she didn't know who made the food. She was just out doing a job for the Mayor. We chatted for a bit and I told her some of my gym successes and failures. I also asked how she had been doing, as tactfully as I could, since the loss of Pookey. She said something about how she still felt he was with her, but just on a 'different level' now. I was curious about what she meant but it was getting late and she needed to finish her cleaning. As I ate my trash fruit I thought about Pookey and wondered if we would ever really see him again. Murkland was a strange place and anything was possible here.
A few more days passed, same routine. Workout, sell cream, tend plants. Then there was one night when I thought everyone had gone home. I was about to eat my fruit and go to sleep, when Hank of all people, came walking over and greeted me with a big cheesy grin. He started going on about how if I was his girl he would never leave me alone and always be around and such. "Nothing wrong with being alone now and then," I smiled, "sometimes we need to have quiet to think and, you know, sleep and stuff." 'Oh no! I'm starting to sound like Sunshine,' I thought to myself. But it got the point across because he left me alone and I was able to get some sleep.
The next day I was hosting a sale and Sunshine took a break from his workout session to talk. I told him I was feeling down again because of a sales slump. He gave me a little pep talk and cheered me up. For lunch that day I made potatoes, again. I had bushels of these things so I figured I might as well use them, besides, everyone seemed to love them. While eating with Ronni, I tried to persuade her to use some of my deodorant cream.
She just shrugged and said she didn't mind being murky as long as everyone else was. After our potato dinner, we danced for a little bit. When it started to get late, Willow and Sunshine joined me for a little chat. Both of them were covered in murkiness from exercising all day in the heat. I tried to talk them both into trying my cream. Sunshine just winked and said his lady liked his manly smell. He was sort of right, it didn't bother me, well not too bad anyway. Willow said she had never needed it before so why should she now.
I tried to explain how it could help her feel more refreshed between bath days and on those long weekends. She still wouldn't say yes. So I got the idea to challenge her to a dance off. If I won she would have to try it and if she won, I wouldn't ask again. Well It had been a long day and I guess my body wasn't in the mood to dance. I face planted on my first flip. She chuckled at me and then pulled out her lighted spin moves. I lost.
She gave me a hug and told me not to feel bad. "I ain't the only murky gal in Murkland. I'm sure you'll sell up all them creams real soon," she grinned. Then Ronni came back and told me the gym gossip she had heard that day. After they all wandered off, I was about to go to bed and ate my fruit. Then I remembered I hadn't tended my plants so down I went. I had just finished when Sunshine came down to say goodbye. No sooner had he walked in when Willow came through the door. "Hurry up and kiss her goodbye, loverboy! I wanna go home," She snickered at him. He sighed and we hugged each other goodnight.
Most of the gym goers had left in the early morning hours so the next day was quiet. I spent all of it making cream and then wanted to head to Granite Falls and collect more dragonflies. It was late when I got off the bus and I figured I better eat my nightly trash fruit before it got too late, only when I checked my bag, I didn't have any with me. I was so bummed out, not to mention starving after the long bus ride. I hit up the old camp cooler for a snack before catching the late bus back home. When I got back to the gym, I ate one of my emergency trash fruits and went to sleep.
The next morning I went to the hot springs to relax and get clean. This was Friday and I was going to play for tips again. I always liked to be fresh and clean when I had a crowd watching me. While soaking, I saw Alma walking by. It had been some time so I went to greet her and see how she had been. We talked about this and that and I mentioned some of my doubts about my gym goals. It was such a struggle some days. She gave me some advice and a hug. It was a great boost to my low spirits.
When I got back to the gym I changed into my fancy clothes and started strumming my heart out. Hank came jogging out to watch me first, followed by a very buff looking Ronni. I guess people grew muscles over night here in Murkland. I noticed Hank checking her out. Soon a crowd started growing. I played until my fingers hurt and made some good money.
Later that evening I saw Veegan walking by and went to greet him. We talked and talked. I asked him why he hardly ever came to the gym and he just said he felt that exercising the mind was better than getting a buff bod. He spent his free time at the library. But, he said that they had a book shortage and he had read almost everything there. I told him I had heard about it and had plans to try and help after I was finished at the gym. He looked surprised.
I grinned, "Murkland is my home now. I want to help where ever I can." He was happy to hear it and gave me a hug before he headed on to the library. I rummaged around in the bins for some dinner after he left. I was getting burnt out on potatoes again. While eating I noticed the mail carrier in the distance. I wondered if she had been looking for me. 'Surely nothing bad could happen from not paying the bills....' I thought. After my trash salad, I started making more deodorant cream.
I had only made a few bottles when Sunshine invited me to go to the Puffer Dome. I was still curious about the consequences of my bill skipping so I asked Sunshine about it. He was clueless and said Brennachan always took care of that. After we settled at the bar, he took off to the back of the restaurant, like he always did. I was enjoying a pretzel when, to my surprise, he came waltzing back and sat down. 'Maybe the bushes are all full,' I thought. He got really flirty and then all of a sudden said he had to go. I wondered if I was ever going to fully understand this man...
After he left, one of the waiters told me they had set up a little memorial to Pookey in the back of the restaurant. I guess he was the person who had went the longest eating the fish without dying. I couldn't help myself and started crying. I missed seeing that goateed face at my yard sales. It was getting close to midnight, and I needed to eat my trash fruit. I sat one down next to Pookey's stone, "This ones for you, buddy," I mumbled softly, and then ate my own.
I didn't feel like going back to the gym that night so I hopped on the bus to Granite Falls. I needed to make more energizer cream and I needed dragonflies to do that. The bus was full of strange people that night and we were all hot and sweaty by the time we got to the woods. I broke out one of my jars and slathered myself up in cream. I hunted the rest of the night but never found any. The next morning, behind the deep woods cabin, I saw a ranger standing by the stream and went to talk to him. I asked him about the best places to find dragonflies
He told me the best place to look was early mornings near the stream. But that they were becoming more rare and only showed up every other day. I was sort of put down by that and thought I'd go ask Kaci the Hermit if she had any tips on catching them. After I made my way through a cloud of mosquitos, I was finally in the mountain glade. But, instead of Kaci, I found someone else. Her name was, Kerri. She was taking care of things while Kaci was on a vacation. I was confused. "Why would she need a vacation from this paradise?!" I asked. Kerri just laughed,"We all need a vacation from our routine once in a while."
I told her I was hunting dragonflies and wanted to hang out around the glade to see if any showed up. She didn't seem to care so I wandered off and made some lunch and then waited and waited. I practiced my guitar some while waiting. It was getting late and no bugs had shown up yet so I went back to the deep woods and fell asleep on an old log. Bright and early the next morning, almost before sunrise, some dragonflies appeared. I caught 3 before the bus showed up to take me back home.
When I was back at the gym, I sighed. It was expensive to take the bus to Granite Falls and I only got enough bugs to make one jar of energizer cream. But it sold for the most money. It was a little depressing. I tried not to let it get me down. This was Sunday and I could play for tips. I got out my guitar and started playing a mellow tune. At first, no one was really interested, but soon I had a crowd. I played until I was starving and had to stop.
After I made myself a some lunch, Sunshine joined me. He had picked up on my low spirits when I was playing. "Hey Styles, you okay and stuff?" He asked, concerned. I told him about my dragonfly troubles. He told me to try and just focus on what I could do and not give up. I had come so far already. I felt happier. While we were talking, Hank edged his way over and started staring at Sunshine. I asked if they had met and they both nodded and smiled awkwardly at each other. I could tell Hank was feeling a little jealous of Sunshine. Then he challenged him to a game of hoops.
It was something to watch! Sunshine was really good. I guess all his time spent here at the gym was paying off. Hank did all right, but in the end Sunshine won. I was feeling much happier later that evening and fire danced around a bonfire. I was over half way done making the money I needed. It was just taking longer than I had hoped. But in Murkland, you never really knew what was going to happen next...