Claire carried out her duties mechanically. Feeding her chickens and ducks was something that she did not allow the Harvest Sprites to do. Some of the ducks were a bit aggressive and pecked Claire often, so she would not allow the small sprites to go into the bird coop.
Carefully she gathered fragile duck eggs. Ducks were moody birds so did not lay eggs often. The creamy shells looked stark in the gloom of the bird coop.
'What should I do today?' the blonde said out loud to no one in particular.
'You could talk to the birds?' came Wooly's cheeky reply.
Claire grinned. The sprites always managed to do something that lifted her perpetual gloom for a little while.
'Or you could fire all of us and do the farm work by yourself?' came Misty's optimistic reply.
'Been there and done that.' Claire said with a smile to the little sprite. Wooly and Misty were her favourites and talked to her often.
'Well gotta get back to work, those plants won't water themselves!' Misty said as he eyed his Team Leader nervously.
'Have to get back too, Ribbon will have my hide.' Wooly said as both of the sprites teleported back to their work station in a shower of bright little sparks.
Claire slowly walked from her farm, letting her feet take her where they may. Her feet led her to Inner Inn. Ruby would love some fresh eggs.
'Morning Ruby!' Claire called as she walked in the door. Ruby was in her usual place behind the counter.
'Mornin' Claire,' the inn owner greeted warmly in her purr of a voice. 'Got anything good for me?'
'You know I do,' replied the farmer with a smile as she handed over the duck eggs. How fake it all felt.
In all the years that Claire knew Ruby she could not recall once that the inn owner had raised her voice above a purr.
After a hearty breakfast Claire left the inn and wandered toward the edge of town. Finding a quiet spot along the beaten track that led to Mineral Town the farmer just sat down, wondering how, why she was so terribly lonely.
She had everything...yet she had nothing.
Another shortish chapter.
Next one will be up soon.