Day 025: What's the Story, Morning Glory?
Summary: Hanne is out in the early morning to watch something that an Arker has not seen in over 90 years.
Date: 16 June 2016
Related: None.

25 Days After Landing — Hanne's Medicinal Garden

All great and precious things are lonely.

- John Steinbeck -


The sky is a dappling of soft orange and violet, the rising sun causing the star-studded sky to melt from deepest black to the ever-growing hue of blue. A soft dew covers the mossy grasses and microclover, and it soaks her old canvas sneakers as she trudges into the deep woods some quarter mile from the camp. She knows that it is dangerous to go out this far, but Hanne Keats has become so used to being invisible, she assumes the Grounders won't see her either.

Her plain brown hair has been drawn back into a horrid mess of tangles and knots, leaving that ever-elusive lock of hair streaming between her shoulders — a lock that either escapes or just never quite makes it up into her hastily secured hair. She is holding tightly to the makeshift strap of her bag, which had once been someone's old long-sleeve t-shirt and has been knotted in various places it to turn it into a suitable bag.

She ends up in the small clearing, carefully peeking around a heavy hemlock truck to check for the coast being clear. No Grounders to be seen. She steps out into the glade, adjusting her bag as she ducks beneath the heavy branch of a strangely malformed evergreen. This glade has seen a lot of care as of late, mostly in molding it to befit a garden of wild, native plants. There has even been some small deterrents to bunnies and deer, though an actual fence will have to wait. Hanne has been working tirelessly, and apparently under a veil of invisibility, harvesting small seedlings and transplanting other plants into the glade to create what will one day become a rather impressive hedge garden.

For now, though, the wild garlic, wild ginger, St. John's Wort, and sassafras will do just fine. She has heard some inklings of some gardens in Coesbur, but as she has never seen the Grounder village, nor knows how to travel there, she doubts greatly she will ever get to ask after what the Grounders keep in their own medicinal plots.

She is not here to tend, however. She's here to watch the morning glories bloom. Shrugging out of her bag, and dropping it beside a rotting nurse log, the little Earth Skills nerd climbs up onto the gnarly stump of a recently felled tree. Climbing up the shards of wood are several slender, delicate green vines with leaves like dinner plates. She touches the soft greenery with a gentle, almost kind hand.

"Just us this morning," she murmurs to the flowers, the buds still tightly furled together in long, twisted fingers. She tilts her head up as the sky continues to lighten, stars disappearing in favor of a coverlet of soft azure and puffs of whitening clouds. She returns her gaze back to the flowers just as one starts to unfurl, turning its white petals into shocks of deep violet. She smiles at the natural beauty of the unfurling, and gently touches the edges of the petals. She has never felt anything so soft.

"Must be nice," she confides in the flowers, "to just stay closed up all night, quiet and away from the night cold, only to wake up for the sunrise. Seems pretty simple…"

She casts a dubious glance around the glade, and then looks back at the flowers. "Do you mind if I sit?"

The flowers do not answer, but shudder as they loosen the bits of dew collected between their petals. She lets a bit of dew settle on her fingertip, and fearlessly tastes it. It is sweet, perhaps lingering to a bit of nectar deep within the stamen. She moves to sit on the stump, careful of the sharp bits of wood from where its tree had violently fell.

She considers the violet blooms as more unfurl to meet the soft morning light. "You are the reasons that I don't mind this place," she speaks in soft confidence with the flowers. "I don't know about anything else." Her voice tightens a bit, and she looks down at her hands. "Don't tell anyone I said that though." She rubs the back of her hand against her nose with a soft sniff.

"If it's alright with you, I'm just going to sit here quietly," she politely asks the flowers, feeling a bit silly, but also kind of enjoying the quiet, lonely peace.

She is so caught up in her own thoughts, she doesn't see the shadow moving out from the forest behind her, or the brandishing of the blade.

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