My fanfiction and other random ramblings

Srebrna, Skald Arkadii (and thoughts on writing)

DPDT – CH 02 – While still being so different

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Chapter 2: While still being so different

Their things were packed in a matter of minutes and their cabin mates regarded them sorrowfully (some, however, with hidden relief) as they trudged down the lane to the last cabin of the camp. It was separated from the other, lived-in cabins by a few empty ones and had the form of an old farmhouse – it had been there since the camp had been built, just after the war, most probably.


Mina crawled up the stairs, dragging her backpack, her shoulder bag and the guitar and immediately deposited them on the bed closer to the door.
Rose had to pull up a rolling suitcase, which took her more time and much more sweat. She made an annoyed sound, seeing the closer bed taken, but silently marched to the other bed and flopped bonelessly on it.
“You are expected in the kitchen in twenty minutes” they heard from the outside and groaned – for once in total agreement.

#

Mina was heroically chopping the cabbage for the big soup pot, trying not to smirk in amusement as Rose was getting dressed down by the main cook for being unable to peel potatoes. The poor girl apparently had never ever done anything in the kitchen but was more than unwilling to admit it.
Well, the cabbage was all chopped, and the carrots were waiting, but Rose was pouting in the corner, being set to wash the apples for the afternoon. Mina couldn’t really imagine a house in which a kid would not be able to peel a stupid potato by the age of fourteen.

#

Rose took delight in watering the plants. There was something immensely satisfying in tending to a garden. She was never allowed to do this at home – not since Aunt Catherine found out that one could actually get dirty in the gardens. Ever since, trying to get something to grow was a battle Rose waged on her own windowsill, covering the attempts at making a beanstalk climb with “school project”.
Mina wasn’t doing quite as well. She had managed to drop her seed packet, step in a molehill three times and almost sat on a rake. She was muddy, dirty and rather annoyed. And what was worse, Rose was absolutely perfect at that stuff, while Mina couldn’t wait to get away from the dirt, the poking tools and the weeds she was supposed to magically distinguish from carrot.

#

Rose was dying of boredom. Sewing. SEWING. There were machines in the world for a purpose. She couldn’t keep an even stitch and she never planned to need one. The idea of sewing a plush toy “for a sister or a cousin” was making her actually angry. She didn’t have anyone to give a plushie to.
Mina was in heaven. This was like all the times when Mom allowed her to dig up the bags of yarn and patchwork pieces and pick her own design. Mom never used faux fur, so this was even better because once she came home, she would be able to show Mom something only Mina knew how to do!

#

And so it went, hour by hour, sports, crafts, singing, field trips and kitchen duty. Each trying to talk to the other as little as possible, despite the fact that mostly they had only each other for company – including meals, as Mrs Hill managed to set up an isolation table only for them, too.

#

Mina was on a verge of strangling the pouty, huffing and mumbling Rose, especially during meals. She had never felt as much under scrutiny, even during the family dinners when Grandma discussed everyone’s manners with relish – usually focusing on Mina’s lack thereof – as when Rose looked at her elbow propped on the table with such revulsion.
On the other hand, Rose seemed quite unable to do anything by herself that was more complicated than brushing her hair. Every stuck window was a reason for complaining.

#

Rose wanted nothing more than for Mina to get lost in the woods. The superiority of the girl was getting on her nerves each and every second. She could do everything. Pull a splinter out with her tweezers – she had special tweezers in her backpack! Hang a rope to dry her clothes. Open stupid stuck windows.
Still, she ate like a little kid, forgetting to use her knife and sometimes trying to cut with her fork, being obviously too lazy to behave properly.

#

The cabin was rather draughty and they both sat on their cots, carefully wrapped in layers of blankets.
The day promised to be ugly and all sport and activities were cancelled due to the risk of heavy rain. Even the computers in the rec room were shut down, just in case a storm came later. Everyone took their food from the cafeteria and skipped trying to eat it in the windy barn of a dining room, taking the plates and cups to their cabins, with adults carefully not noticing that breach in camp rules.
Rose was nibbling on a sandwich, typing something on her tablet at the same time, when a gust of wind across their floor actually moved her slippers.
“All right, enough is enough” Mina said and stood up. “Come on, we need to fix it.”
As Rose stared at her in wonder, she pulled on her boots and marched out. Rose caught up to her at the back of the cabin.
“What are you doing?” she asked, looking at Mina in surprise.
“I’m quite sure that draught is not supposed to be that strong. Ah, you see? There is a plank that doesn’t sit between the others properly. Good thing the nail is still in it. Wait a moment. I’ll try to find another, so it sits better.”
She was back in a minute, holding a rather rusty nail and a complicated tool.
“That’s a multi-hammer” she explained. “Got it for my birthday, from my aunt. Best gift ever.”
She carefully placed the plank back where it was supposed to be and hammered the nail home, adding a few taps at the end to drive it as deep as it could go.
Rose nodded.
“I got pliers like this. But aunt Anne took them away. She’s not really that big on me doing stuff by myself. She fought against me coming here, too. I think she still feels I’m just a kid.”
“Crazy. We’re fourteen. It’s not like we’re toddlers or babies. I feel quite up to the challenge of spending two months away from home. And of using a hammer.”
Mina lined up the second nail and bashed on its head in satisfaction until it was flush with the wood.
“This should do it” she wiped her hands on her knees. “Dear auntie Jane, I have to tell her I used it for something serious, finally.”
Rose licked her lips.
“Aunt Jane?”
“M-hm.”
“Funny thing” Rose said “I got my pliers from an aunt also named Jane, just before she told me about this camp. And…” she pulled the hammer from Mina’s hand slowly. “My pliers look like they came from the same set…”
Mina frowned.
“Like what?”
“Well, they have the same kind of decoration and the handles are pink with these holes in them” Rose pointed. “That’s weird.”
She handed the hammer back to Mina, who looked at it, frowning.
“Let’s go inside. I have some cookies from my mom if you want…?”
Rose’s eyes widened.
“Sure!”

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