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Bluebell's Spring



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Sat Mar 02, 2019 9:38 pm
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Magestorrow says...



Bluebell's Spring

A Slice-of-Life Story

~March's Official Storybook~


Birds are chirping, flowers are blossoming, and the sun is shining – spring has finally returned!

As the suburban town of Bluebell eagerly moves past the winter that has just come to a close, excitement is in the air. Tourists are finally arriving on its picturesque streets, bringing new energy into quaint little shops and corner cafes. School is quickly approaching its spring break. Children play in previously snow-covered lawns, splashing in mud and puddles as their laughter rings throughout the air. And amid it all is the opening of Bluebell's first town park and green, something everyone in town have been eagerly awaiting.

As new stories begin and others come to their close, it's up to you to control how your new spring will go. You'll make new friends, new loves, and new accomplishments–but how they happen and what they are is all yours to decide.

Welcome back, spring.

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“You cannot get through a single day
without having an impact on
the world around you.

What you do makes a difference,
and you have to decide what kind
of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall
  





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Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:35 pm
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Magestorrow says...



A Morning in the Life of Remy Rose


The morning started like any other morning did in the Rose household – with Reynie completely ignoring her twin's very particular sleep schedule in an attempt to wake the up before the sun had even begun to appear on the horizon. And, like every morning, Reynie failed spectacularly. Remy refused to leave the comfort of their covers; they never sacrificed a good night's sleep. They would sleep as long as they could, and Reynie would just have to start getting ready without them.

But, eventually, they had to admit defeat, and they reluctantly emerged from the their blanket pile to start getting ready. By this point in time, their sister had already made her way downstairs and started making breakfast. The smell of bacon and hash browns wafted upstairs as Remy searched their room for their favorite hoodie. By the time they had finally gotten changed and packed their bag for their day, Reynie had already left the house to meet up with her friends before school – the only hint that she had even been downstairs was the recently filled thermos of hot chocolate.

Armed with their thermos and a pop tart they had grabbed off of the kitchen table, they headed out for another day of school.

xXx

Sky was waiting for them in front of his house, blowing his gum into a tiny bubble on his lips as he scrolled through his phone. Remy came to a stop beside him – they loved waiting to see when their friend would notice that they were there. They occupied themselves by watching a bird flit about in the nearby trees – its bright plumage was especially beautiful against the budding flowers and leaves.

Just as they went to retrieve their own phone from the depths of their hoodie and take a photo of the sight, Sky suddenly made a startled noise from beside them. Remy hid a small smile; it looked like their best friend had finally noticed that they were there.

“That must have been a good fanfiction,” they commented.

“How did you know?” he replied, his posture already beginning to relax. His phone was returned to his jeans, and the two started to head to the brick school building in the distance.

“Wolfstar again?” Remy asked.

He grinned. “You know me very well, Remy Rose – with them sadly never being canon, where else am I supposed to turn to for the stories I desperately crave?” He looked up at the blue sky above, watching the white, fluffy clouds as they rolled by in the gentle breeze. “I made some fanart for the campaign, by the way. I'll send it to you when I get on my laptop again.”

“I can't wait to see it,” Remy said, following their gaze. “...Do you see anything in the clouds?”

He shook his head. “Nope. Just looking at how beautiful they are, I guess.” He let out a content sigh and turned back to them. “So, is the movie night still on? I really want to watch Love, Simon again – even if it frustratingly doesn't follow the book all that well.”

“It is,” they confirmed with a nod. “We're meeting in the auditorium tonight.”

Sky gave an impressed whistle. “Mr. Peterson was able to score us the auditorium?” They nodded again. “Man, I thought we'd never get in there again with all the play rehearsals going on.”

Their smile grew as they approached the school building. Falling into step beside Sky as the latter hopped from one stepped to the next, they skillfully wove in and out of their peers. “Reynie said Ms. McMillan had something important tonight – there wasn't a rehearsal scheduled for tonight.”

Sky darted ahead and held open the door for them. As the two stepped inside, they were bombarded by the chatter of their peers. If they squinted enough into the crowd, Remy thought they could make out their sister standing at her locker with her friends; they didn't try to join her.

“I don't know how she does it,” Sky said, breathing out a sigh.

They looked over at him.

“Does what?” they asked.

It,” he vaguely said with a wave of his hand. “The whole, you know...popular thing. She does fencing and drama. It's not like our school really likes either one of those things – you know what they say about the fencing team.”

They snuck a glance at their sister as they passed; they were secretly grateful that their lockers weren't right beside each other like they had been in middle school.

“I think she was just lucky,” they said, and left it at that.

He rubbed the back of his neck with a free hand. “I guess. Well, see you next period – I got to dash if I want to make it to the art room before the bell rings.”

“See you later,” they agreed, then waved as he disappeared into the crowd.

They turned back to their locker.

With a sigh and a sip of their hot chocolate, they grabbed their books and silently headed to their first class.
“You cannot get through a single day
without having an impact on
the world around you.

What you do makes a difference,
and you have to decide what kind
of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall
  





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Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:58 pm
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LordWolf says...



MAE ELLSWORTH


Mae leaned over the counter doing math for the inventory, avoiding Laura’s knowing gaze and thought about the day that was ahead. He had asked Laura to come and watch the register for a few hours while he went to the school to see Bertha. Their interactions had been getting more and more peaceful, and now Mae was negotiating something on the behalf of the GSA.

Access to binders and medical tape for transgender and non-binary students.
Getting to help made Mae feel rather proud, even if he did have to stand in a room with Remy, the school principal and one of the four people he was ever voluntarily naked in front of. Martha barely even counted in that regard.

“You should tell Martha how you feel.”
“Hmm?”
“Mae, I know how much it troubles you and wouldn’t it just be great to get all of that weight off your shoulders. What’s the phrase I’m looking for?”

Laura’s head turned down to the pie in front of her, taking a sip from the cup of coffee and leaving a noticeable lipstick stain on the rim. A slight sigh rose out of Mae’s throat from the thought of having to scrub that off later. He set the cloth back down on the counter, continuing work on a pool of maple syrup, before turning back to Laura with a response.

“Sea of troubles?”
“I was thinking something about a deer tick and a porcupine, but that will do.”

She let out a noticeable laugh when saying porcupine and the laughter spread to Mae’s side of the counter. It didn’t last long but it was enough of a reminder of why Laura was so loved in their community.

“So, will you tell Martha what she needs to know already?”
“Tell me what?” The question came from the recently entered partner. Mae quietly bit his tongue and hoped she hadn’t been standing there long enough to hear Laura goading him into a declaration of love. Yes, he madly wanted to do so and follow it up by kissing her. But even with the knowledge that Martha George, the fluffiest pansexual that Mae had ever met, could feel attraction for him, did not mean that she would feel attraction for him.

“Oh Martha. I’m glad that you’re back from the store. Mae is just about to leave me for his appointment at the school nurse.”

Mae knew this tactic. Laura mentioning his interaction with his exes to hope it might make Martha jealous in some manner. It never worked, and it was purely coincidental that she placed an arm around his waist while Laura was talking. They were best friends. It was okay for them to be platonically touch each other and they very often did.

The hand stayed gently around his waist while she asked, “Oh, is this the one about getting binders and tape donated to the school?”
“Yes. This is just the interest meeting though and there will be many more to get it approved,” Mae paused with a sigh, slightly leaning into the hold Mae had on his waist.
“Well, I wish you the best of luck. You better get going, madam.”

Martha placed a small peck on his cheek and Mae saw the flicker of encouragement in her eyes. Now was not the time, no matter how good it would have been. This small sign of affection didn’t mean anything at all.

“Thank you” was all he managed to squeak out, so incredibly lovestruck and nervous for the first time in his life.

-

The walk to the school itself was short and now Mae was left to wait outside the principal’s office for Remy to make an appearance. They should be heading to the office right now. Mae knew he should be the last one having anxiety about this, but the combination of the day was not letting him be free of anything. He was soon pulled from his distractions by the exclamation of “Mae!” and someone pulling him into a hug.

Once his eyes refocused, Mae noticed Remy standing before him.

“I wasn’t sure if you were going to make it today.”
“I told you that I would be here and I am. It’s hard to leave the diner alone for long but I’ve got my two best people watching it.”

Remy sat down in the chair next to him and asked, “Martha and Laura?”
“Who else would I trust with my baby?”

There was a click from the nurse’s office across the hall, and Bertha quickly joined their presence in the hallway.

“Mae, you look well,” her voice caught on the awkward compliment, and Mae turned his compliment to being comforting.
“And Bertha, you look as perfect as you always do. Did you change your shade of lipstick?”
“Oh, uh, yes. I didn’t think anyone would notice.”
“The light salmon color is enough to be noticeable and not screaming pink.”

The principal’s secretary interrupted the exchange before it could go anywhere else, the young man giving a quick cough to alert the group to his presence.

“Ladies, this way if you would, please,” he paused to show the direction of the office with his hand. But Mae was already set off from the usage of ladies. Remy showed signs of discomfort at the blatant mis-gendering, and it set about the fire in Mae’s heart. A kind of response forming in his head that was slightly homophobic to the poor man, something like, “Are you including yourself in the ‘ladies’ category?”

Instead, he stepped through the door without a word, greeted the present staff and took out a carefully laid presentation.

“The matter brought to my attention by the GSA is one of the most important projects I’ve seen from this school.”

-

Mae stepped out of the meeting happier than he had been in a long time. The anxiety of the beginning of the day had settled and now that he was headed home, Mae took the time to stop at a flower vendor on Main Street. He would always be able to laugh at the fact that “Main Street” was not the central street of the town. It held the flower shops and the boutiques and the restaurants, but it wasn’t the true ‘main street’.

The new banner hung over the cart, proclaiming “Mara’s Flowers”, and a fine replacement for the tattered state of the old one.

“Mara, good afternoon.”
“Ah, Mae. What can I do for you?”
“Well, it’s been a long time since I bought flowers for anyone and I don’t her favorite.”

Mara turned away from him for a moment, carefully digging through the pile and placing a bouquet of tulips in his hand. The florist tucked a stray hair behind his ear and said, “These are Martha’s favorite.”
“Why do you think-”
“Please, Mae, do not insult me. Everyone in town knows that you’re in love with her.”
“Everyone?” The question slowly slipped out of his lips and was only answered by a nod from Mara. Mae placed the money down on the stand, saying a quick “thank you” and hurrying back to his apartment above the diner.

This was a state of celebration and he knew just the girl to celebrate it with. The revelation from Mara made it clear that he needed to do this before the courage managed to slip away from him. As he climbed the steps, Mae could feel the courage sinking from his heart but the sight of Martha’s shoes on the landing picked up the mood.
His own shoes went carefully next to hers and his bag was dropped inside of the door.

“Mae, I didn’t expect you home so soon. How did it all go?”

Martha’s eyes fell to the flowers in his hand, and Mae quickly put a plan together in his head. Talk to her about the meeting, reflect on the road so far, admit that his feelings for her occupied a lot of the road and then hope it ended with a kiss.

“It went brilliantly. And now I’m going to have to think about all of my experiences, and then actually talk to the kids more. Usually I just go in there for debates or explain how to be prideful, but this is something more.”

Her eyes were still on the bouquet as Mae sat the two of them down on the couch, taking Martha’s hand in his own, and blatantly admiring her.

“Oh and I picked these up for you.”
“For me?”
“Yes, Martha. For you. Because the more that I think about all of the time I have spent in Bluebell, the more I think about all of the time I’ve spent loving you. And not in any gal pals sort of way. Real love and I just need to ask you if you feel the same way.”

She didn’t speak right away.

It sent a pang of fear into Mae’s heart as she carefully moved the flowers to the coffee table. The silence continued but he soon felt a kiss from her recognizable lips. The ones that were always coated the in the stereotypically cherry lip balm and the ones that were currently over top of his own.

“Yes. It took you long enough to ask me, Mae.”
“What?”
“I thought I was making my flirtations pretty blatant the entire time, but you just kept taking it as friendship.”

Mae quickly tried to think of all of the movements and all of the conversations, but there were too many to clear out that quickly. Martha pulled him back to an embrace before he had enough time to devote any more energy to figuring out the attraction she had shown. He wasn't able to speak until they were once again released for the gathering of air.

"So you love me?"
"Yes, Mae."

They relaxed together on the couch, still locked together in several ways. He felt himself drifting to sleep but no longer worried with the comfort that came from being in her arms. Mae awoke in the evening to Martha tracing his tattoos and commenting on how beautiful the flowers were.

"Do you still love me?"
"I always will."
  





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Fri Jun 21, 2019 4:26 am
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niteowl says...



VICTORIA RAMSEY


It started out as a typical Saturday morning for Victoria, taking Roscoe to the center of town on his morning walk. As expected, she saw Sam with his client's dogs, which led to Roscoe yanking her in his direction.

"Well well well, fancy seeing you here," Victoria joked as Roscoe greeted his doggy friends.

"Hey V," Sam said, trying to keep the leashes from getting tangled as Jellybean jumped on Victoria. "First nice day we've had in a while." Victoria nodded in agreement. It had been a long winter and she was looking forward to sunnier days. Bluebell was so lovely in the spring.

"Yeah. Hopefully this means the park will be opening soon." They both looked in the direction of the square currently marked with caution tape and "Work in Progress" signs.

"The dogs are going to love it." Sam said.

"Oh definitely. And I bet your friend Ellie will love it too," Victoria teased. Sam had never explicitly stated that he had a crush on this girl, but the way he blushed when he talked about her gave it away. "Maybe you could have her join you on your walks sometime."

"She probably has better things to do on Saturdays," Sam replied, staring down at his feet.

"I'm sure she could find some room in her schedule for you," Victoria tried to be encouraging, but she knew Sam's world was complicated and yet completely foreign to her.

"Maybe," Sam shrugged. "So you going to write any Pulitzer Prize winning literature today?"

"Well...sort of. I'm setting aside the novels for a moment and working on a top secret project. I'd tell you but..."

"...you'd have to kill me. I know, I know."

"You'll hear about it by the time the park opens." Victoria could see it now, her fingers strumming the guitar, the citizens of Bluebell watching as they heard her voice, her real voice, for the first time.

As she said goodbye to Sam and walked Roscoe home, she thought about how much she'd missed out on. Homework, schoolyard bullies, classmate crushes...this was all part of the normal teenage experience that she had never had. Her mother had traded it in for her for a world of stage lights and tour bus secrets. Thankfully, her fifteen minutes were up and she was much happier in this tiny town where she could be just like everyone else. Even if she did have to put up with Aunt Cindy and the quilting circle.

Sure enough, Aunt Cindy was waiting for her on the porch when she got home. She liked to drop by on Saturdays for coffee, ostensibly to check up on her favorite niece. In reality, she liked having a soapbox for her opinions that wasn't her quilting circle, and Victoria was a captive audience.

As she poured the coffee, Aunt Cindy updated Victoria on the latest exploits of her quilting friends, including Heidi's weight loss surgery and Ruth's oldest daughter finally getting married.

"You know, dear, you're almost as old as Maddie. You should grow your hair out so you can meet a nice man."

Victoria rolled her eyes as she ran her fingers through her pixie cut. "A nice man would like my hair the way it is," she said, having perfected her comeback after so many similar conversations. She conveniently left out the fact that this hypothetical person wouldn't have to be a man. That was a can of worms she would prefer to leave closed.

"Well you'll never meet a man if you stay inside writing your stories all day."

"I don't always stay here. Sometimes I go to the cafe to write."

"That Petals place? I don't go there anymore. Not since Laura handed it off to those damn lesbians. They're a bad influence, you know, making girls think they're boys and other such nonsense..."

Normally Victoria quietly put up with her aunt's bigotry, but today she decided she was done with it. "Welcome to the 21st century, Aunt Cindy. People are allowed to be themselves, and I for one, think it's wonderful."

"Just don't get any ideas from them, Vicki," her aunt said as she stormed out, leaving a half-filled coffee cup. She knew damn well how much Victoria hated her old nickname. But apparently she didn't know the "ideas" she'd had since long before the Petals cafe transferred ownership.

After cleaning up the dishes, Victoria decided to go to the cafe and work. She was more productive on her novels at home, but something about the lively atmosphere of Petals energized her and gave her inspiration for her poetry and lyrics. Plus after that conversation, she could use a change of scenery.

"Hi V! Lovely Saturday we're having, isn't it?" Martha greeted her as she came in. "Let me guess, you want an iced vanilla latte with an extra shot."

"Ooh, are you psychic now? Or am I just that old and predictable?" Victoria laughed. "Say, you seem in a good mood today." Her eyes wondered to the flowers on the counter. "Oh my god. Did he finally put a ring on it?" Victoria remembered how surprised she was when she learned they weren't a couple. The way they looked each other just felt like something out of one of her stories.

Martha grinned. "Not quite. But maybe someday."

"Ooh, maybe you guys can have your wedding in the new park." Aunt Cindy would have thoughts about that, but thankfully most people in this town were more accepting than her.

Victoria had barely taken her drink and sat down when her phone rang.

"Hey Tessa! What's up?" Her bandmate was hoping to visit the town once the park opened and get some beautiful garden shots for Instagram. They'd been texting back and forth, but maybe she'd decided a call was faster.

"Uh...hi V. You sound a lot happier than I was expecting."

"Well it was a weird morning, but I'm excited to work on my stuff again."

"Oh...so you haven't heard."

"Heard what?"

"Um...well...go on TMZ. Now."

Victoria opened her laptop. Sure enough, the headline was there in all caps.

POP SENSATION SHAYNA SPARKLES COVERS "I KISSED A GIRL", ADMITS SHE "EXPERIMENTED" WITH ONE OF HER BANDMATES...BUT WHICH ONE?"

As if the headline wasn't bad enough, the article elaborated on Shayna's comments. Shayna had told the reporter that she had "fooled around" with one of her bandmates, but "not in like, a gay way". "It was just kid stuff. No one took it that seriously. Girls do it all the time." The article writer joked that next time, they should invite him to watch. The article also rated the girl's attractiveness, with Victoria being at the bottom.

Victoria quickly closed the tab and was faced with the fragments she'd been writing.

i was your most exquisite secret, you said.
no one can hear us, no one can know.
but darling my heart wanted to tell the world,
because every night i watched you dance,
i loved you more and more.


"No one took it that seriously? Well, that makes one of us," Victoria muttered, not caring who heard.

Her phone rang again. This time, it was her old publicist, scrambling to find a strategy to deny the inevitable rumors.

"Hey Jen. I really appreciate what you're trying to do for me, but I'm done hiding. If they ask--when they ask--tell them the truth."

"Are you sure? Do you want me to set up an interview? It could give you some really good press, help get your name back out there."

"I'm not interested in that. I just don't want to live in shame anymore. And I don't want other people like me to think they should be ashamed either." She looked over at Remy and the other kids who weren't afraid to be themselves. She'd never gotten the chance to live like that. Maybe now was her time. "You know what? I'll write a statement up for you. Don't say anything before that."

She opened up a new document and started writing. After several false starts, deleted sentence, and smashing the keyboard with jibberish in hopes of finding the right words, she finally had something.

"Concerning Shayna's statements, I can confirm that they are indeed true and that I am the bandmate in question. Though I was not consulted before her interview, I am grateful for the opportunity to speak out now. I have had beautiful and serious relationships with women and men, but I was told my whole life that there was only one way for my love to be seen as real and valid. In my years away from the spotlight, I have met so many inspiring people who have reminded me that that is not true. There is such a beautiful rainbow of sexual orientations and gender identities, and everyone deserves the opportunity to love themselves and be loved for who they are. I regret not having spoken about this sooner and letting fear and hate silence my voice. I will not be commenting on this further. Thank you."

After she sent the statement to her publicist, she got a text from Lauren linking to the article.

"So...what are you going to say?"

"The truth", Victoria replied, adding a rainbow and pride flag emoji. And with that, she walked back home, feeling lighter than she had in years.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

<YWS><R1>
  








In short, Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her.
— Kate Chopin, The Awakening