All Alone

It had been two days since Hannah tried to steal the Escapade. The whole town was talking about her. Sandy remembered the whispered conversations just after Hannah robbed the bank. People were worried she could copy anyone and do it all over again. But eventually, the tanuki faded from memory like anything else. When Hannah appeared again in the Gecko Tail and so brazenly copied Fable’s villagers to take what she wanted, the fear was twice as strong as Sandy remembered. Hannah was annoying before. Now Hannah was dangerous.

Kona was very happy to see Sandy had gotten her watch back. She already was a joyful person, but now she was “laying it on extra thick” for Sandy. The watch represented everything Kona was in Fable. It was her purpose. So to get the watch back meant that Kona could be herself again. She hugged Sandy so tightly with those giant hands that her back popped… along with other ominous crinkling noises. She promised on the spot she’d thank Sandy as best she could. And she was serious. Maxine gave Sandy a long weekend to give her some time to process what had happened. And Kona used that opportunity to teach Sandy how to fish.

You got’em! Now pull! How hard? Will it break? HARD AS YOU CAN!

Sandy gasped and pulled back as hard as she could! She screamed as the fish fought back and had to really yank to keep it under control! She thought it would be like picking up heavy laundry off the floor but it really wasn’t! Something on the end of the line fought her like it was tug-of-war and Sandy was struggling to keep the rod in her hands! Then, with the same sudden give as tearing a piece of paper, the line rose sharply and a glistening, slimy, striped fish of some kind flew out of the water and into view of a screaming Sandy. Not to mention Kona was so happy that she was bouncing right behind Sandy. They’d been at this for hours and Kona had to just let it all out.

HEEEEEEEY! Look who just caught their first fish! Oh my gosh, finally! Get… get over… Uugh! It’s still dripping~ Eeeugh… I got it. I got it! Hold it by the string like this. It’s tradition to hold it up and show off your catch! I can’t believe it! I caught a fish, Kona! You sure did. How small is too small? Do we have to throw it back? Nah. It’s just big enough for the pan. I’ll show you how to clean it later. It is a little small to share, though. Let’s see if we can get a second one before we head back. A s-second one? Could you hold the rod this time? Yeah, yeah. I got you. When you get your own rod we can both do it at the same time. Make a bit of a competition out of it… Heh. Heh. Hehe… Maybe. I am glad we have something to do together now.

Sandy and Kona sat back down at the water’s edge and went silent for a while. Sandy’s back hurt a little bit from sitting and looking out at the sea for this long. But Kona had no trouble at all. She seemed at peace, happy with the day no matter how it went. Sandy was all nerves by comparison. The joy of her first fish left her quickly and she was hunched over after only a minute of silence. Kona noticed that quickly, despite not looking at Sandy too hard.

Something on your mind? I bet I know what it is. But still. Yeah. A lot of things. First… Wow, you were brave. Speak for yourself! You’re the one who beat Hannah and ran off after her. I mean… I had to fight. But you were like, bouncing right up to her like it was a boxing match. It was really cool to watch. I wish I could be like that. And I simultaneously don’t. Do you know what I mean? I do. Unfortunately life doesn’t just leave you alone. Even if you don’t want to start a fight, you should know how to finish one. And boy, can you! I need to talk to Liz about how to throw a kick like that. They say you put Hannah right through some boards into the street! S-sorry… I don’t want to brag about things like that. I just had to get the watch back. That’s all. I understand. You don’t need to explain. Do you think you’ll be okay? I will after I tell you what happened at the train station. Oh, you gotta tell me. I’m all ears. Har. Har. Hehehe… Anywho. Lay it on me.

Kona scooted up to Sandy and created the kind of closeness that said she cared. Sandy giggled brightly when she saw Kona’s thick fuzzy ears turn toward her like flowers that had found the sun.

Wow. You really were waiting for this. I bet the whole town is! They saw you run off and come back with my watch! And if I may add, you took it back from someone who laid out the whole town. How can I not want to know?! Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Hannah got to the train before me and tried to leave. It’s just that… The train didn’t go anywhere when she asked it to. So that was that. She was crestfallen and I sat there and talked to her a bit. Huh. My train didn’t listen to her? That does kinda make me feel warm inside. Maybe there’s more to it. Maybe it knew the watch was stolen and- I don’t know. Sorry. Keep goin’. I got a chance to talk to Hannah. She’s looking for her missing parents and tried to steal the train so she could find them. That’s… Well that’s a thing. Makes sense if they’re not from here. But why didn’t she just come to us? I didn’t ask. But I don’t think Hannah trusts anyone at all. She’s out there, right now, completely alone… She attacked us twice, Sandy. Because she thinks she has to. I don’t think she knows any other way to deal with people. You sure she didn’t tell you a sob story because the jig was up? I saw her when the train didn’t do what she was hoping it would. The wheels started backing up and she looked like she was going to die. I’ll never forget it. Well… I guess there’s more to Hannah than we know. I wish she had a better way of expressing herself, I’ll just say that much. I promised I’d help her. Whaaaaat… Oh, dang it. That sounds like something you’d do. I asked for the watch back and I said help her find her missing parents. I’m thinking about it all the time. Like how I’m going to find them even if the train can’t. Or if Hannah can’t, for that matter. And then I don’t have any ideas and I go back to my nice life with my friends, all while Hannah’s out there hiding in the woods all alone. I can’t stand it. Well, when you put it like that. It makes sense you’d want to help. You let me know if I can help and I will. Thanks, Kona. But I knew you’d understand. It’s Miko I’m worried about. Oof. I don’t know how to tell her yet. And the town’s not going to be sympathetic since Hannah stole all their money and wrecks anything in her way. What should I do? Tell Miko as quick as you can. She’s level-headed. But there’s no reason to let it sit. Yeah… Yeah. That’s what I thought. Heck. Maybe if Miko helps you find Hannah’s folks, then maybe- … Wait a sec. Something you said just caught up with me. Did the train move at all? Huh…? Like, did it stay there like a rock when Hannah told it to go somewhere? Or did it try to leave and then came back? Well… It made the portal as if it was going to leave, raced up to it, and then backed up away from it. Oh jeez… My train did listen to Hannah when she stole the watch! I beg your pardon? I had it do that to me a couple of times when I screwed up and said “Take me to Fable!” You know… when I was already there. ! Oh my gosh! It means Hannah’s parents are already here! Yeah… Or… Or…? They’re nowhere. I’m still going to try. You did make a promise. And I’ll be right there beside you if you need me. Thanks, Kona. No, thank you! You’re making it your business to help as many people as possible. And that’s the kind of person I want to help. Awww…