Sandy baked a brand new pecan pie for Jill with Miko’s help. Miko thankfully was the kind of person to see the chaos Sandy left behind in the kitchen and immediately offered to start cleaning. Otherwise Sandy would have had to to clean it all up herself before turning in that night. This job was definitely harder than the one she used to have. Long hours in the 7th Avenue diner were always cut short by the train schedule. If she missed all of the trains, that day and the next were ruined and her manager understood that. But here in Kemono Café, everything was now Sandy’s responsibility no matter how long it took. Sandy had the time to reflect on all of this with Miko nearby to talk to. Somehow extra hours in the café didn’t feel as intense. There was a feeling of ownership in every mess and Sandy loved the fact no one ever yelled at her and never had the opportunity to do so.
The two women locked up the cafe together. Sandy felt an immense surge of pride that her first day went so well. It was complete chaos in the morning, but nothing truly bad happened. She rose to the challenge Maxine had given her.
Their journey took them north a short distance to Fable’s farms and ranches. Sandy admired how far you could see over them all and the beautiful backdrop of green woodland beyond. Walking in Fable reminded Sandy of dioramas back in grade school with sharp brightly colored in layers sliding past as they walked.
They passed Pageturner Ranch on their right, walking a long empty road up to the slowly growing woods. Sandy had seen a forest once back home and it definitely did not look like this one. The trees grew aggressively high as they approached and immediately looked thick and impenetrable. At a glance, they looked like a solid painted wall of thick trunks wider than Sandy was tall. They reminded Sandy of stories of great redwood forests, but she didn’t know enough about trees to know if this was one too. A thin muddy path led between the trees and winded into a thin layer of fog, which crept between the rays of sunlight that pierced the dense canopies. Sandy was excited for a hike in such a beautiful and ominous place, but something Miko said didn’t sit quite right with her…