Chapter 1 – Revitalization
There were hands reaching out to me. I screamed as they gripped at my clothes, trying to pull me away. My body was trembling violently as an immense pain overwhelmed me. The tidy whiteness was engulfed by a cruel black mist. I sobbed. Voices called out my name. “Molly… Molly…”
“Molly!” a twittering voice shouted in my ear, “Molly, please wake up!” My eyes flashed open instantly. I was eighteen. It was early in the morning on the day after the Starry Night Festival, the 26th of Winter. Once again, I had spent the night alone. I wearily wiped the sweat from my brow, throwing back the covers despite the chilly winter air that greeted me when I did.
“Molly! Oh gosh, are you okay now?” the somewhat shrill voice demanded. I smiled a little, swinging my legs over the side of my bed. Alone… except, of course, I always had Finn with me.
“I’m fine, Finn,” I said, coughing a little to recover my voice; I had been screaming, it seemed. “Just the same old nightmare,” I muttered. Every damn year…
“I know,” he replied, wings beating quickly as he flittered around me, “I was trying to wake you for awhile. You were shaking and crying and… and…” Finn looked like he was about to cry just by recounting the horror I had gone through.
“Shhhh… It’s alright, Finn,” I whispered, cradling the little sprite in my arms. His little orange hat flopped to the side. I readjusted it and he smiled.
“I’m supposed to be the one comforting you,” he muttered.
I smiled at him, standing up tall. “I’m a big girl now, Finn. All five foot three inches of me. And you’ve been there for me for years! Don’t forget, ever since you came I’ve had the nightmare a lot less often. I used to have it nearly every night before! You’ve done your job well.” Finn blushed a little at that.
For the past nine years, I had lived at Miss Nancy’s Cheerful Children’s Orphanage. Neither of my parents had any siblings, and all of my grandparents had died when I was younger, so I was stuck with Miss Nancy and all her cheerful children. Looking back, it was actually pretty decent for an orphanage. Miss Nancy was extremely kind, and truly did care for all of the orphans. During my nine year stay, I saw numerous children come and go. Most had never known their parents, or had lost them at a young age, so they couldn’t remember them anyways. I was one of the few that were orphaned at my age. Most families only want younger children, and families that were interested in a girl my age could usually sense that I just didn’t want a new family. My constant nightmares also didn’t help when it came to pulling off the “cheerful child” look.
Four years of torture came to an end when Finn suddenly appeared on my thirteenth birthday. My mother used to tell me stories about Harvest Sprites, the Harvest Goddess, and the Harvest King. She also liked to tell stories about witches and wizards. My mother was a great believer in magic, and I had clung on to that belief my entire life. It made me feel connected with her. I was overjoyed when Finn appeared and told me that he was a Harvest Sprite sent by the Harvest Goddess to watch over me and guide me. He said that someone had a vision showing that I would play a vital role in aiding her somehow.
No one else saw Finn, so I had been afraid that I was insane, but he assured me that only I could see him because he allowed himself to be revealed to me due to my pure heart. He even played a few pranks on other kids, like flipping their hair, to show that he really was there. For a little while, some of the kids thought I was a witch. They were all eventually adopted, though.
Since then, I had a revitalized vigor for life. I always tried my best in everything I did, even after I lost my parents. It was how they raised me, and I certainly wasn’t going to throw away everything they had taught me. But Finn’s arrival gave me a goal I hadn’t had before. I was never sure where I was going in life, but then a clear path appeared and I took it, never once looking back to the uncertainty I had once faced. I would live out my mother’s dreams about magic for real… and I would do my best to help the Harvest Goddess!
I spent the last two days of Winter preparing for my journey to a place called Harmonica Town. The mayor had sent out an advertisement for the farmland near the town, requesting a rancher to move onto the established land. There was already a house, barn, and coop. All someone had to do was move in, and that someone was going to be me. Finn told me that the Harvest Goddess made residence around that area, and the ad was not a coincidence. It was all part of my fate that would lead me to help the Harvest Goddess.
On the night of the 28th of Winter, I left the city that I had lived in all my life. I boarded a train with one suitcase in my hand and Finn hovering over my shoulder, whispering words of encouragement. I would be riding the train through the night, but I couldn’t afford a bed, so instead, I found an empty row and leaned against the window, using my arm as a pillow. The train didn’t lead to Harmonica Town. The only way to get there through public transportation was by boat, but the seas had become too rough recently. So instead, I was going to meet up with a rancher named Cain outside of the town’s boundaries. He would take me to my new home. He would take me to what seemed to be my destiny.