Well I'm Baaaack! Lol.
I have now reached the squirrel on crack portion of lack of sleep. Which makes my OH shake his head and start hiding the coffee. But as promised I have brought you the second part of Off the Path, my current voices in head compulsion.
**disclaimer** Since I know quite a few of you are endowed with green thumbs let me say that I'm researching any and all plant and herb references as I go, so if I get it wrong I'm sorry and just let me know and I'll correct it =)!
Off The Path Part 2
"Stupid ..huff..hick town...huff... in the middle of... huff.. nowhere."
Tiffany was starting to get a little breathless as the path she was following weaved in and out of the forest and rose towards the base of the mountain. As she leaned against the trunk of one of the trees that line the path, she wiped some sweat away with the bright crimson scarf she had looped around her neck. She took a few moments to catch her breath.
As she pushed off from the tree and began walking again the sun just started to slip behind the mountain.
Tomorrow she was going to have to go to school. This was where the real suckiness started for Tiffany. Always being the new girl got old real quick. Especially when you had the kind of baggage she carried around. The vultures would be circling by lunch time.
She flopped on the bed in her room. The cottage had two bedrooms and she had moved her three suitcases into the spare one and found it nicer than a lot of places she'd been. The bed wasn't too small, the room was clean, and she didn't have to share it. The pale gold walls and gold and pink patterned quilt had made the room feel welcoming and comfortable. All in all a step up from the closet sized place Rita had had her staying in.
She had to share a bathroom with Sarah, but if she were being fair she was kind of intrigued by the strange glass bottles that Sarah kept in her bathroom cabinet.There were none of the designer labels that Rita had to have, or the cheaper knock- offs that some of the people she'd stayed with had kept. These were weird glass bottles, with different shapes and colors. There were no labels at all, and when she had pulled the little plug out of the tall blue one the smell had been great.
The last few days had gone by pretty uneventfully. Sarah spent most of her time during the day out in the garden. After about three hours of wandering around the cottage and looking at the strange figurines and drawings that were all over the place Tiffany had given up and gone out to join her. At first she had leaned against the wall by the front door and watched as Sarah bent and clipped, or bent and pulled different plants and flowers. At first she thought that it was haphazard but after a few minutes she noticed a pattern in what plants were clipped and which were pulled out.
"If you are at loose ends and want something to do you could help me."
It was said in an offhand manner, and Sarah never turned around to see how she reacted. She just kept clipping an pulling, while Tiffany stood and watched. And thought.
Should she just go back inside and stare at the walls in her room? Should she even bother to getting to know Sarah, or would it be a waste of time since she would most likely get bounced somewhere else? Either Sarah would get sick of Tiffany or Rita's newest what's-his-name would get sick of her. She never got to stay anywhere long enough to settle in.
She had just started to push off of the wall to head back inside when Sarah sat back on her heels and pointed to the plants she had been clipping.
" These orange blossoms here are Calendula. They can make some decent healing aides as well as being one of the ingriedients for the facial cleanser that is in that tall blue bottle in the bathroom. If you want I can show you what else is in there."
Now she did turn to look at Tiffany, and the steady measuring in her gaze stopped her from heading directly into the house and holding up in her room. instead she walked over to where Sarah knelt on the ground and settled next to her in silence.
That had begun a good vibe that had pervaded through the afternoon, where Tiffany learned about a few of the plants that sprouted everywhere around the cottage, and through dinner and the evening, when Sarah curled up in front of the fireplace with a book. Tiffany had headed to her room, to brood about her life, and go to sleep.
The next day Sarah had taken her on a tour of the village while she did her errands. As they had walked around to the various shops and places of business people had stopped to stare at them, and a few had whispered. Great, they had all heard the little snippets that her relatives had felt like passing on to Sarah. It made her want to crawl into her own skin and hide. She hated being stared at. That was the only good thing about going anywhere with Rita and her guy of the week, there was a guarantee that no one was going to be staring at her.
It's not like she was interesting to look at or anything. She had dyed her mousy brown hair a few months ago, so there was a strip of brown at the top of the black, but that wasn't so remarkable. And her big clunky glasses weren't hiding anything spectacular either, just plain old greenish brown eyes. Since they had that crazy no red rule she had put on a black sweatshirt and black jeans, nothing spectacular, but she seemed to be the only one they ran into that was wearing any black at all. Apparently these people hadn't heard the memo that black was the new black..
It was all so small town too. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, and the country feeling of the buildings came through loud and clear in the people. She would be willing to bet a large amount of money that she would not be fitting in very well here.
When it started getting late she and Sarah had headed back to the cottage and Sarah had fixed dinner. As they ate she had warned Tiffany that she would be teaching her how to help her cook. Then Sarah had settled down in the living room to read.
When Tiffany had sat restlessly in the other rocking chair, Sarah had taken a book off of a shelf and handed it to her.
"This is a group of stories from the area. Kind of like legends. I think that it might help you understand the people here. You can tell a lot about someone from their superstitions."
Tiffany looked at the thick book in her hands and figured-why not? She had nothing better to do. So she settled in to find out what bogeymen the people of Cottington had hiding in their collective closets.