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A Fool's Bucket - Ch. 12.2

by ExOmelas


After a quick jog across the south road of the valley, Buck reached the door of his mother's house. As he walked through, he heard a clatter in the living room. He chuckled as he entered, noticing how they all studied the place settings in front of them or whatever they happened to have in their hands.

He sat down at the table across from Hilene and said, "Relax, folks, I saw you all watching me from the window."

The tension in Hilene's shoulders dissolved. He loudly tapped the table in front of Buck. "Well then? What happened? Are you going?"

Buck thought about holding them in suspense for a while, and might have done had Hilene not been there. But Hilene was clearly about to explode with desperation to know.

He looked at each of them in turn and said, "The prince is to be married to Duchess Pires of Resador, and he is taking me with him. And also Myal I think. If Merhen doesn't give her permission she may well sneak away in the dead of night."

"Wow," Hilene said, quietly and without really looking at anyone. "So it's actually happening." He looked up. "You finally achieved what you were trying to do. It... worked."

Buck shrugged. "Well, it's not like I can take that much credit for it. In fact most of the crucial moments I was just sort of rambling. But yes, I guess in a sense I got what I came here for. I really do think it's the best thing for Erson, and it was his idea in any case."

"Uh-huh," Hilene said, tracing shapes on the table.

Buck glanced at Dorrea and Victane, but neither said anything. They were both smiling though, eyes fixed on him as they beamed.

"Buck, can I talk to you?" Hilene asked.

"Sure," Buck said. As Hilene stood up he realised he meant outside. He followed Hilene around the back of the cottage, where the ground continued the incline but the wall of the valley.

As soon as Hilene stopped, he said, "I'm not coming."

"Uh... okay," Buck said, giving himself a moment to process that. He knew Hilene had no love of Resador, but that was still where his job was. He could imagine the broad themes of the answer to his next question, but to buy himself more time he asked, "How come?"

"I never enjoyed living in Resador, not for my whole life. It's so much more relaxing up here. You can say what you like, and it just... floats away, never to matter again. Down there you let three words out a day and they still drop into this miry pit of gossip and complications and-" Hilene's eyes started darting around, his hands searching the air.

"Hey, hey, it's okay," Buck said. "I figured you felt something like that. Victane said you were never a fan of the scheming back in the city."

Hilene's eyes snapped back to Buck. "You talked to Victane about me?"

"Yeah, on that first night. Just like how I asked you about why he was so quiet on the walk out of the city limits," Buck said.

"See, this is exactly what I'm talking about!" Hilene exclaimed. "You're basically the closest I have to a friend and you talk about me behind my back then never speak to me for two weeks just so you can marry some prince off to some Duchess when they barely even like each other. Does that not just sound all kind of messed up to you?"

Buck frowned. "Well, I wanted to know why you were behaving so differently. And I'm sorry for being away, but I had to put in a lot of work."

Hilene groaned and looked up at the sky. "Work for what? Why do you care so much about this?"

Buck bit his lip. He cared quite so much because Resador was his home, which Hilene would never understand. But also, the prospect of his father returning - could he tell Hilene about that? It would be another secret for him to keep, but perhaps it would be easier for him to understand, a more personal motive.

Before he could make up his mind, Hilene added, "And if you wanted to understand me, you should haved talked to me! Me! I swear, Buck, you make absolutely no sense to me."

Buck jerked himself out of his thoughts and said, "I'm sorry. I really am. I never meant to upset you."

Hilene sighed. "No, I know that. I just wish you'd think about the way you are with people sometimes."

Buck didn't have a clue what to say to that.

"Look," Hilene said. "I'm going to stay here, look after your mum's farm. I still get the odd glance here and there but I know exactly what that's saying and I've figured out who to talk to to get it dealt with, swiftly and directly. Myal's fostered a good environment here."

Buck nodded along with what he was saying. "Wait, my mum's farm? Where's my mum going?"

"We've spoken about it," Hilene said. "Dorrea and Victane would go with you to Resador, if that were to be Erson's plan. And I would have a place here, to maintain the land and the cottage."

"Mum's coming with me?" Buck nearly started jumping up and down on the spot. That was really all he needed to make this homecoming even more special.

Hilene smiled. "Yeah, she's missed you."

"I've missed her too," Buck said. He hadn't thought about it much, since he'd been living with her for three weeks, but it was true. Simone was a wonderful companion, and he did tell her everything that was going on in his life, but he missed having someone who could respond, and tell him about their day too.

"I really didn't mean to be so harsh," Hilene said. "Just think about what I've said, please?"

Buck nodded. "Of course. I'm so sorry to have hurt you, and I'm glad you've found somewhere to be happy."

Hilene smiled, dipping his head. "Thank you."

"Okay, now, since you're going to be living here, do you know where I can find the horse master? I have to post a letter for Erson," Buck said.

Hilene chuckled. "I do, yeah, come on. Wait, have you been here this whole time and not sent a letter to Pires."

Buck's eyes widened as he started to follow Hilene. "Oh no."

Hilene burst out laughing as they walked back around to the front of the house. "Oh my word! She's been sitting there twiddling her thumbs this whole time?"

The tips of Buck's ears slowly heated up until he could hear the blood going through them. "Oh no."

Hilene kept laughing all the way to the horse master. It could have seemed rude, but if this was his catharsis, then Buck was happy to give it to him.


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Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:51 pm
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Getting through this one before I have to go take a break.

First Impression: *doing happy dance because he guessed correctly that Hilene would be the way that Dorea would come to Resador*

Anyway getting right to it,

He looked at each of them in turn and said, "The prince is to be married to Duchess Pires of Resador, and he is taking me with him. And also Myal I think. If Merhen doesn't give her permission she may well sneak away in the dead of night."


The Princess can just sneak out at night and leave. Seems unlikely.

Buck shrugged. "Well, it's not like I can take that much credit for it. In fact most of the crucial moments I was just sort of rambling. But yes, I guess in a sense I got what I came here for. I really do think it's the best thing for Erson, and it was his idea in any case."


This is some wonderful character development from where he started out doing this only for Pires but now he wants what's best for Erson as well.

As soon as Hilene stopped, he said, "I'm not coming."


The fact that this was on the cards was very nicely shown throughout the story. All those little hints about his personality did a great job of pointing in this direction.

"See, this is exactly what I'm talking about!" Hilene exclaimed. "You're basically the closest I have to a friend and you talk about me behind my back then never speak to me for two weeks just so you can marry some prince off to some Duchess when they barely even like each other. Does that not just sound all kind of messed up to you?"


So he's fine with answering questions about Victane but Victane telling things about him is bad?

"Look," Hilene said. "I'm going to stay here, look after your mum's farm. I still get the odd glance here and there but I know exactly what that's saying and I've figured out who to talk to to get it dealt with, swiftly and directly. Myal's fostered a good environment here."


Looks like he gets a good ending. *also dancing at having guessed correctly*

"We've spoken about it," Hilene said. "Dorrea and Victane would go with you to Resador, if that were to be Erson's plan. And I would have a place here, to maintain the land and the cottage."


Wouldn't that be a steep learning curve? From palace guard to shepherd? Or has he been training for this in the past few weeks?

"Okay, now, since you're going to be living here, do you know where I can find the horse master? I have to post a letter for Erson," Buck said.

Hilene chuckled. "I do, yeah, come on. Wait, have you been here this whole time and not sent a letter to Pires."

Buck's eyes widened as he started to follow Hilene. "Oh no."


Oh dear I believe a scolding lies in Buck's future.

And that's it.

Overall: Sets up what I assume to be the Journey to Resador coming next chapter very nicely. Looking forward to reading that and Chapter 13 when I come back from a short break.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Mon Jun 22, 2020 9:04 am
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IcyFlame wrote a review...



It's been a while since I've read this, but I've just gone back through the last few chapters to make sure I'm up to date. I forgot how much I love little Buck! I just want all the good things for him <3

I'm so glad Myal is going to be coming with them! I'm not ready to leave her behind yet, so I hope she's allowed to come - I don't want her to sneak out with them and then get dragged back home.

I think in this whole section here:

The tension in Hilene's shoulders dissolved. He loudly tapped the table in front of Buck. "Well then? What happened? Are you going?"

Buck thought about holding them in suspense for a while, and might have done had Hilene not been there. But Hilene was clearly about to explode with desperation to know.

He looked at each of them in turn and said, "The prince is to be married to Duchess Pires of Resador, and he is taking me with him. And also Myal I think. If Merhen doesn't give her permission she may well sneak away in the dead of night."

"Wow," Hilene said, quietly and without really looking at anyone. "So it's actually happening." He looked up. "You finally achieved what you were trying to do. It... worked."


You could do with having someone else speak. I know Hilene is the focus here, but you do a good job of showing that he isn't the only one there, letting Buck look at each of them in turn but how come nobody else says or does anything? It would make the setting seem more natural, I think!

"We've spoken about it," Hilene said. "Dorrea and Victane would go with you to Resador, if that were to be Erson's plan. And I would have a place here, to maintain the land and the cottage."

Aww, yay! It really seems like Hilene has gotten along with the two of them in Buck's absence, which is a really nice way of showing that the tine has passed without Buck there. I love how surprised Buck is when he realises he's missed people, too.

I think this was a little quick, but I'm also eager for them to get to Resador, so not complaining too much :)

Hope this was helpful

Icy




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Thu May 07, 2020 8:31 pm
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JabberHut wrote a review...



Ooooooh my gosh, you were so right. Things escalated real quick here, and it was Hilene of all people!

But honestly, it makes sense that it was Hilene! I think you did well setting this up because he's a very reserved character and rather blunt or straightforward, too. He never seemed to like beating around the bush, and navigating the tricky social circles of the city was probably far too ridiculous to him. So Hilene's entire stance made a lot of sense to me.

I do think pacing was a bit quick, but I feel like that's probably known as well because we really wanted to just get into the Hilene stuff. We never really interacted with Dorrea and Victane at all, but I almost feel like it worked really WELL because 1) it supports Hilene's point during this discussion and 2) it supports Buck seeming oblivious to how his friends and family feel due to his sudden absence.

Also, dude, I didn't even realize it was two weeks until it was said here. But Buck gets really caught up in what he's doing and goes all out, so I can see how he might not think to stop by his mum's house at all. XD

AND ALSO FORGETTING TO SEND MAIL TO PIRES HAHAHAHA omg buck

Gosh, I just love the plan Hilene told us, too. The idea of Hilene looking after Dorrea's farm -- this just tells us SO MUCH about how much time these people spent with each other the last couple weeks. Like this bit only lasted a few sentences, but it tells us everything about how the three got along so well, how they learned to manage her farm with her, they undoubtedly had this discussion several times -- which implies how they talked a lot with each other about Buck and the what-ifs that accompany that subject. Hilene has grown so much in just the last two weeks, and Buck saw very little of it -- and the little that he DID see, he was completely oblivious to or didn't fully understand.

Now Buck is back, and Hilene's feelings are unleashed -- even Dorrea or Victane didn't get to present the plan to Buck, Hilene's emotions were just taking over the whole conversation. (Also interesting how Buck swiftly changed the topic to himself traveling with his mother and Hilene had to steer it back in. Just interesting to see.) Honestly, this whole scene really put Buck in his place and I, as the reader, supported Hilene 100%. It was even his JOB to look after Buck and help him out, and Hilene and Victane didn't even get to do that! Two weeks! Goodness.

And Hilene even considered Buck as a friend!! (Or as good as a friend as he can get.) And Buck was STILL questioning whether or not he could talk to Hilene about his own father. Buck wrote a whole song about his father, and he wasn't quick enough to tell Hilene in just a few words. :( It's all just really sad!

So while this scene read a bit roughly and coulD use some work in regards to pacing, it really accomplishes a lot. I know you were building up to a moment like this, and I think you've laid out all the elements you need. I'm sure Buck's going to have plenty of heart-to-heart chances with Dorrea (and maybe even Victane), but I do wonder if we'll see Hilene again. I hope we do! I hope there's some resolution to their friendship! I feel like this will be key to some character growth for Buck, to be more aware of his loved ones and not always think about his career or himself. OHHHHHHHH THE MORE I KEEP BABBLING, THE MORE CONNECTIONS I MAKE. //sob




ExOmelas says...


I saw this review days ago but forgot to say anything - ah yes, fast pacing has become a bit of a theme for the last few chapters. I'm just so excited!!!! Like is it bad that they're going to reach Resador by the end of 12.3? Maybe I should have more interaction on the journey but the plan was to have an overview for most of the way there, then zoom back in for the half our or so until they reach the city, then leave on a cliffhanger there.

Thanks for the review :D




To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.
— Tony Dorsett