Hapar, spring, 2020
Anthony is 38, Susie is 34, Robin is 13, Starling is 11 and Palila is 10. Olivia Humphrey is 14, Vivienne Humphrey is 13 and Jasper Humphrey is 5.
With eight mouths to feed, decreasing student enrollment and pay freezes, it seemed like the Wren family was always one step ahead of an utter breakdown.
They still made sure to let the children know that they were loved, severely, intoxicatedly, loved.
For Jasper's birthday, Olivia made a cake under the watchful eye of Susie. She was showing more interest in cooking and now that she was 14, she was officially hired at Flora & Scents.
She mostly cleaned the shop but she was also responsible for some of the simple floral arrangements. With the official job came an official paycheck and Olivia always brought home her salary. Anthony and Susie long stopped trying to refuse it. She would always find a way to tuck simoleans into a purse or pocket. Now they had an arrangement, becuase Olivia was "too busy" to go to the store, she would leave a very short list of items she wanted and asked them to buy something for the other kids as well.
Instead, Anthony would take a large portion of the tiny paycheck and deposit it into the bank. For her future, he said. Olivia didn't talk much about a future, she really just wanted a nice simple family without any drama and enough money not to be hungry again. Things like university and careers were not something she daydreamed about.
Robin has started her training. After a few basic lessons, they leave her for a little while to decide which path she would follow. Robin decides to pursue the path of darkness. It frightened Susie, who wanted to convince her to change her orientation.
Anthony was the voice of reason, he said that the world needs a balance of good and evil and that standing in her way is useless. However it does little to comfort Susie and she still worried. Anthony reminds her that all dark power isn't always used to cause bad, just as all light power doesn't cause good.
He reminds her that darkness can be used for good to stop others who are of a greater evil. Besides, one can't cure the world with an abundance of butterflies alone.
Their focus is quickly changed when Vivenne wakes them up one morning so excited. She had a dream that they found gold in the backyard and insist that they dig that very day. There wasn't anything to lose by digging, so they take turns in the backyard. They dig for hours and are about to give up when Anthony finds heavy chest with old gold coins.
It ends up being worth $5000. With the funds they are able to add bedroom for Jasper and expand the bathroom and pay overdue bills that have threatened for repo. Anthony can't help but wonder if maybe Vivienne has powers as well?