This article was originally published at Another-Castle.com
I know I haven’t written for a long time, but the truth is that until recently, nothing much had been happening. Until I moved out on my own, my life was uneventful but what’s happened over the past few months has been so interesting that I’m glad I can finally write it all down. I’ll just start from the beginning.
Moving house is a difficult task. Whether you are just moving somewhere local or overseas, you always find out you have a lot more stuff than you thought and clearing it all out feels like a task that will never end. Luckily, this time I had nothing more than the clothes I was wearing and not a bell on me. It had been a lonely train ride but as the trip was coming to an end I was joined by a friendly and rather talkative cat. It was mostly small talk, he wanted to know a bit about me and where I was going. For a while he seemed to be confused about my sex but I soon corrected him (her?) on that. The conductor soon announced our arrival and I said goodbye to the friendly cat.
I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone when I got into town, I planned merely to find a place to live and to look out for any odd jobs I could do. To my surprise though I was met by most of the town who all seemed to be expecting me. Not only were they expecting me, they thought I was their new mayor! And all I was planning to do was get a job in a shop or perhaps catch and sell some fish. I tried to correct them all on this but to no avail and I was soon in conversation with yet another friendly animal who seemed to be a secretary in the city hall. I was shown around town and soon gave up trying to convince them I wasn’t mayor and just went with it. It seems their previous mayor, an elderly turtle, had retired and moved over to a nearby island resort.
I was soon not just lumped with the task of finding a place to live, but also choosing where I wanted my brand new home built. It meant a short stay in a tent, but I was thankful enough considering I had already found a job and a place to live where once I had naught a bell. I met up with my friendly secretary one more time, made some arrangements with a shifty raccoon real estate agent and soon found myself free to do things on my own. I frankly wasn’t much interested in doing my mayor duties at first and soon began collecting fruit around town, selling it for a shovel, a fishing rod and eventually a bug net. I spent a good deal of time catching different fish and bugs and found I could donate many to the local museum. Any they had I just sold and I soon had my humble little house paid off in a lump sum. Conveniently I could pay it off at the ATM in the post office. The real estate agent was next door and I decided to go in there and have him extend my new home as I’d already filled it up with furniture.
Every few days something seemed to happen in the city. Some new shops opened up, the trashy looking store in the shopping district renovated and some new villagers moved in while old ones move out. A tree that was planted in the plaza continued to grow as these things happened. Eventually I met the retired mayor near the ocean who invited me over to his island resort. The next day a boat was waiting and I took the trip over with an old sailor who just loved to sing. The island seemed to have its own currency, which I could earn by participating in the various activities on offer. I mostly spent time by myself diving for sea creatures and catching some tropical fish before heading back to the town. Thankfully the island had a large storage box that I could use to put any items I got which were then transported back to the mainland.
I continued to neglect my duties as mayor (which didn’t seem to pay anyway), and next got addicted to the local stock market. Turnips are a big deal in town and the prices fluctuate daily. I played the market very well and used the profits to continue expanding my house. One week I got caught out with a low price, and desperate to unload my turnips, I travelled by train to a friend’s town and was able to at least break even. I had other ways of supplementing my income. Every day I managed to find a rock that spat out bells when I hit it with my shovel. I also found another rock which would break open revealing precious material like emerald, diamond, ruby, silver and even gold. Why the other villagers have yet to find this out, I don’t know. They are all far more complacent than I am.
Eventually I decided that I needed to do some more work as mayor. I started by changing the flag to a snazzy rainbow colour, and found I could commission building projects for bridges, park benches, lights and other things that can help beautify the city. I started by having a bridge built near my house. This may seem corrupt, but I wasn’t exactly getting paid for my job, and the funding for the bridge came out of my pocket anyway. I also had the chance to have the villagers sign a petition for an entrepreneur wanting to open a music club. The villagers were enthusiastic and I soon had the required number of signatures and the club opened a few days later. And every Saturday night, a dog comes to play, handing out a free copy of the song he sings. I also found his music in the shopping centre one day but it was way more expensive.
Something I continue to be particularly keen on is donating to the local museum, which is administered by an owl who is either fast asleep or talking too fast. It was the biggest and emptiest museum I have yet seen. My daily digging for fossils has seen a large part of the museum fill up, and I also found plenty of fish and insects to donate. I have been trying to acquire artwork, but the art dealer who visits weekly has ripped me off with a forgery on all but one occasion. I perhaps should stop going to him, but he unfortunately seems to be the only one with access to the necessary markets.
Outside of all this, I have been finding the occasional lost property and returning it to villagers, shooting down these strange presents tied to balloons with my slingshot, and collecting strange furniture and clothing I have won from fortune cookies. The latter is particularly addictive as I’ve won giant coins, futuristic race cars, spaceships, some weird gold triangles and even a large sword in my ever expanding house.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but every day, week, and month seems to have something new, whether it is a new neighbor, shop, or fish I pull out of the ocean. The funny thing is, with all that has been new in my life, I still have this strange sense of déjà vu.