Preparing for Disaster: Episode 9

Evvie tries to give a good impression of a Gumgeeville farm wife bent on shopping as her husband brings the wagon to a halt in front of Hannard's Ford's specialty fabric store. She wishes that Gumgeeville had such a store, but in this instance, the chief appeal of the shop is that it's conveniently close to her final destination.

Evvie: Now boys, it's going to take some time for me to choose the right fabrics. It'll just distract me if you're hanging around looking impatient, so you might as well get the rest of the errands run.

Yorn: Yeah, Ma.

Sam nods silently. He knows his wife.

Yorn expects he can manage to get away from his parents long enough to do what he's really come into town for.

Evvie: Sam, don't forget those extra hooks for the kitchen, and Yorn, you ought to order a new pair of boots. Those won't last to the end of winter, and with the wheat sold, we can afford it. Barely.

Evvie is scrambling down from the wagon as she speaks. She reaches into her apron pocket, where she's sequestered her egg money.

Evvie: Here. I have a little extra. Make sure you buy quality -- they'll last longer.

Yorn: Sure, Ma.

Yorn is almost eighteen, and while he hasn't yet achieved his father's strong silent style, he's closing in on it.

Sam: Hooks. Sure.

Evvie would not ordinarily have given Yorn so much for boots when she's still got to buy the fabric for the new shirts they all need, but she expects to have a little extra soon enough.

Yorn pockets the money for the deposit on the boots.

Evvie: Now, off with you, and mind that you don't forget anything on the list.

Evvie was careful to put at least an hour's worth of errands on that list, to make sure that she will be able to achieve her main objective and still buy the cloth by the time her menfolk return for her.

Sam fetches a stub of pencil out of his pocket and adds "hooks" to the list in question.

Yorn eyes his father, wondering how fast he can get his feet measured, without looking like he's up to something.

Evvie hurries into the fabric store, with the attitude of a woman bent on examining every bolt of fabric in the store. She has, in fact, a very good idea what she wants, since her friend Zinnia brought over the swaths she purchased on her last trip to Hannard's Ford.

Yorn: Whatcha want me to do from Ma's list, Dad?

Sam: Go get the boots first. Then find me. We'll split it then.

Yorn nods. He figures that "find me" is a pretty open-ended undertaking, timewise.

Yorn: Cobbler's just down the end of the block, right?

Sam nods again.

Yorn slides down from the wagon seat.

Sam: Don't take too damn long. But don't rush it either. Boots have to fit.

Yorn: Sure, Dad.

Yorn heads down the street, trying to stride like a man, but somewhat unsure of himself in the big town. He would like to spend some time looking in the window of the tailor's shop, but his dad is watching him. He hopes to buy some good clothes to impress certain young women at the Year's Turning party.

Sam gets down from the wagon, hitches it up, looks once more at Yorn, and heads off down the street. However, he passes up the hardware store and instead makes his way roundabout to the Sime Center's front gate.

Evvie has the requisite bolts spotted as soon as she enters, although she doesn't yet have the money to purchase the yardage she requires. She takes another good look around, as she waits for the wagon to move off and her son to be out of sight, and spots two fabrics that would make a very nice skirt and apron, respectively. She figures she'll probably have enough to treat herself, after the necessities are taken care of.

Yorn studies the sample boots in the cobbler's window display, and decides to get another pair more or less like the ones he's wearing. Girls don't look at your boots, anyway.

Evvie stalls a moment, and when her menfolk are out of sight, she slips back out into the street. Not without an anticipatory gloat back at the fabrics she's selected, of course. She mentally adds a bit of lace for the collar to her stash. She has it on Zinnia's good authority that her donation payments will keep going up for a few months.

Yorn is pleased that the cobbler isn't busy and can measure his feet and take his order right away.

Sam walks up to the door and is unsurprised to find Cristal opening it for him, as this is his third donation. So far so good, though the other two times the family wasn't with him.

Cristal: Come in, Mr. Flint. It's good to see you again.

Bibi: Hello, Mr. Flint. We can go right in now, if you like.

Sam nods to Cristal, bows shallowly to Bibi, and goes right in.

Bibi follows. She's glad she doesn't have to fill out the paperwork more than once for these strong silent types.

Cristal follows Bibi.

Sam: I know I'm early.

Bibi: A few days is all right, although you may not make quite as much money. I know it's not easy for you to come to town very often.

Sam: Nope. Had to slip away from the wife and kid, too.

Bibi smiles, sits on the transfer lounge, and offers her hands.

Evvie skips up the sidewalk of the Sime Center, a bit out of breath in her haste to finish this errand and be back at the fabric shop by the time the men come looking at her.

Cristal does the usual Donor thing.

Evvie slips inside hastily, looking around for Bibi, who was waiting the other times she made this stop a part of her Hannard's Ford shopping list.

Sam sits down too, extends his arms, waits to be tied up, and bends over Bibi.

Evvie sees the waiting room is empty.

Evvie: Drat.

Bibi makes the contact, pleased at how rapidly Sam has become comfortable with the process, and takes the donation. She manages to upgrade the donor to GN-2 this time, which should please him.

Evvie starts pacing the room ~~ impatiently ~~.

Sam notes the process is taking a bit longer than usual, but -- as usual -- says nothing.

Bibi: There you go. I managed to take more selyn than previously, this time. You're now what we call a GN-2, and will be making more money from now on.

Evvie doesn't feel like availing herself of the refreshments, as she envisions her menfolk arriving back to pick her up too soon.

Bibi fills out a voucher while she's recovering from the functional and hands it to the donor.

Evvie sees the door to the donation room open, and approaches it briskly.

Bibi zlins Sam's wife Evvie in the waiting room as soon as he opens the door, and wonders whether she should drop hypoconscious. She didn't realize Sam meant that his wife and son were in town with him when he said he had to slip away from them.

Sam is intent on cashing his voucher and making his way out, so he walks into the waiting room without really paying attention to anything there.

Evvie: Bibi, dear, I know I'm a few days late, but...

Evvie's jaw drops, and she is (momentarily) silenced at the sight of her husband.

Sam blinks repeatedly, shakes his head, and generally tries to get rid of the obvious delusion in front of him. He's reminded of the days before he got married when he was still a serious drinker.

Evvie: ...Sam? What are you doing here? ~~ shock, astonishment, and embarrassment ~~

Sam finds these tactics aren't working, and decides to act as if Evvie's real.

Sam: What in the Sam Hill are you doing here? I thought you were buying bolts, or whatever you call them.

Evvie: Bolts? What about my hooks, that you were going to get for my kitchen?

Cristal extends ~~ support ~~ to Bibi as soon as he hears loud voices.

Yorn trots up the walk to the Sime Center, glad that his parents are occupied with their errands. The wagon was still tied up in front of the hardware merchant, and his mother takes forever to choose anything in a store.

Sam makes a half-placating, half-shushing gesture which winds up looking more like someone trying to hammer a nail with the flat of his hand.

Sam: Time enough for that later. I've gotta buy the level anyhow, after that boy ... ~~ anger ~~

Evvie: Yes, and what about "that boy"? Don't tell me he's running around town on his own?

Sam: Nope. I told him to find me after he bought the boots. 'Acourse I'da been outta here by now.

Yorn is ~~ inordinately pleased ~~ that his parents decided to make this trip exactly a month after he first donated, when he went into town with some friends, who had been donating since that Zoll guy was in Gegg's barn.

Evvie: Well, if he gets himself into trouble, it'll be your fault, Sam Flint.

Sam grumbles his reply.

Sam: Everything always is. Huh. What's a man spozed to do.

Evvie puts her hands on her hips.

Sam: [louder] He can't get into any harm here, not real harm. This ain't the city, y'know. Anyhow. I was gonna ...

Bibi zlins Yorn approaching, and steels herself for further nageric fireworks in the waiting room.

Sam is cut off by a loud knocking on the door.

Bibi figures if this escalates into a real marital dispute, she'll break it up by inviting Evvie in to donate. Other people's arguments give her a headache.

Evvie is also reluctant to carry on the argument, with an audience of possible strangers, and so she chokes back her scolding in mid-harangue.

Yorn hopes he can get the donation over and get out fast before his parents realize he wasn't in the cobbler's shop all this time. He opens the door and steps in.

Yorn: Oh shit. ~~ massive sinking feeling ~~

Sam ~~ slaps his head violently ~~.

Sam: Aw, man! Now this hadda happen?!

Evvie turns in ~~ shock ~~.

Sam: [sweetly] Guess who's here, Evvie.

Evvie: Yorn Flint, what are you doing here?

Yorn: Uh...

Yorn is doing a better silent than his dad, but a worse strong.

Sam holds up his hand in the usual "stop" gesture.

Bibi is glad she's got Cristal to protect her nagerically.

Sam: The question is, what's he doing with the money?

Yorn: Uh...

Sam: ~~ angrier ~~ Well, say something, boy!

Yorn: Uh...

Evvie: Yes, Yorn. Just what have you been doing behind our backs? Besides the obvious, I mean?

Evvie gives her son the dreaded Look.

Yorn: Uh, I only did this once so far.

Sam: And the money?

Yorn: In a sock under the mattress. I'm saving it.

Sam nods. At least it wasn't spent on marbles or something.

Yorn isn't going to mention the several beers he had with the friends he came into town with.

Evvie's own stash is hidden in the bottom of her sewing basket, where her menfolk would never dare to search.

Sam keeps his with the rest of the money he gets from carpentry jobs.

Bibi: Miz Flint? Would you like to give your donation now?

Sam waves his wife onward. What the hell, money is money, and what she makes, he won't have to dole out to her.

Evvie's tirade stops at this forcible reminder that she, too, is guilty of clandestine donations.

Evvie: Well, I might as well not keep you waiting, Bibi. You two stay right here. I've more to say to you.

Sam figures the hasty exit is pointless at this point, so he plonks himself down on the couch and turns his attention to his son.

Sam: We certainly do.

Evvie nods her head sharply, and walks towards the donation door.

Bibi waits for the donor to enter, then closes the door.

Yorn puts his hands in his pockets and tries to look innocent.

Sam: [softly] Huh. Don't tell your mother, but you got gumption coming here.

Yorn smiles.

Yorn: Yeah. Good money, innit?

Sam won't smile back, but he does nod.

Yorn: Uh... lots of the other guys are doing it too. I figured Ma would get upset if she found out.

Yorn goes over to the refreshments table, fills two mugs with tea, and takes a few cookies. He offers a mug and some cookies to his father.

Sam takes them and munches morosely on a cookie.

Yorn eats the cookies with more appetite and washes them down with the tea.

Cristal opens the door politely for Evvie. He really has come a long way.

Yorn stiffens slightly, but tries to look strong, silent and manly.

Evvie strides into the room, rearranging her sleeves.

Evvie: Now then, where were we?

Bibi follows Evvie out and beckons to Yorn.

Yorn nods to his father, silently, and follows the channel into the donation room, ~~ relieved ~~ to be away from his mother.

Evvie looks after her son with ~~ concern ~~.

Sam: Boy'll be okay, Evvie.

Evvie: I do wish he'd told us.

Sam's speech overlaps Evvie's

Evvie goes to sit by her husband.

Sam: Sure.

Evvie: So. How long have you been coming here?

Sam: It's my third time. I'm a bit early today, but ...

Evvie: Ah. That wheel you said was coming loose?

Sam: Yeah. You?

Evvie: The time I said Zinnia was doing poorly. That channel was still living in Gegg's barn then, so I didn't have to go so far.

Sam quirks a half-smile.

Sam: Clever, kiddo.

Evvie: Well, I lost those three hens to that fox, and the egg money wasn't enough.

Evvie is a little ~~ defensive ~~, even though Sam is hardly in a position to be critical.

Sam holds his hands up.

Sam: Whatever it takes.

Evvie: I suppose so.

Sam puts one arm down and the other on the back of the couch behind Evvie, in hopes that she isn't too angry.

Evvie makes grumbling noises, but that doesn't prevent her from leaning back against Sam's arm.

Sam smiles inwardly.

Yorn opens the donation room door and emerges ~~ uncertainly ~~ into the waiting area. He ~~ brightens ~~ as he sees his parents looking calm and amiable.

Yorn is basically a good son, and is much ~~ relieved ~~ that the inevitable revelation of his selyn-related activities is not going to result in a lot of hassles with his parents.

Yorn: Uh... I'll go cash my voucher...

Evvie: Just one moment, young man.

Yorn: Yeah, Ma?

Evvie: You did at least order your boots, before hurrying off here?

Yorn: Yeah, guy wasn't busy, took my measure right off.

Yorn smiles, or is it smirks?

Yorn: Boots will be ready in a month, he says.

Evvie: Good. And since you have plenty of money to pay for them, I'm sure you can manage to return my egg money.

Yorn: Sure, Ma.

Sam: Awright. Let's go cash out and back to shopping.

Evvie: Yes. I still have to buy the fabric, now that I have the wherewithall.

Evvie is ~~ blithely unconcerned ~~ with the contradiction implied in her interrogation of her menfolk on whether they had completed their errands before donating, when she hadn't herself.

Sam: Okay. You go do yours and we'll split this list. Then we can meet up at the Klestral Inn for lunch, eh? My treat.

Sam figures he can afford it with the new pay scale.

Evvie: Yes. Those thin egg pancakes are delicious. Oh. And add two dozen of those curtain hooks to the list.

Evvie spotted some fabric that would be just perfect for the living room.

Sam gets the pencil out again and adds "curtain, kitchen" after "hooks"

Yorn turns towards Nattin's office, a grin gradually growing on his face.

Yorn: Family that donates together eats crepes together?

Evvie: And hangs drapes together.

Sam: And acts like apes together. Let's go.

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