It was a foggy morning, rain pounding on the windows making them rattle with the notion that they would shatter into a million tiny pieces, The thunder, loud and making the house shudder. Shane lied there in his bed, sweating, his mind pounding from one of the worst hangovers he's had in years. He curled into a fetal position and winced as another round of throbbing occurred as lightning flashed outside his window, thunder roaring after. To say it was painful was an understatement, it felt as if a jackhammer was being pounded into his head, causing nonstoppable pain to shoot through his skull.
He shook, and gingerly slid his legs off the side of his bed. Holding his head, he sat up slowly and looked at the clock
“Two fifty three?…god…” He groaned, his voice gruff and hoarse and, shakily he stood. He stumbled towards the door and caught himself on the doorknob, slowly opening the door and stepping out of his room and into the kitchen. The kitchen was dark, the only light coming from the lone window at the opposite end of the room.
He wheezed and coughed catching himself against the wall, a feeling of panic washing over him as he felt a painful tugging in his stomach. His dark eyes widened and he rushed to the bathroom with a sudden boost of adrenaline which caused him to momentarily see black and slam his elbow on the countertop. With his attention on the feeling quickly rising up his esophagus he paid no mind to it and emptied his dinner into the toilet.
He gagged at the smell and sight then flushed, leaning back against the wall and slowly slid onto his bottom. He held his head in his hands, letting out a strangled sob. He shook, gasps left him as his diaphragm convulsed in between sobs. He curled his knees up to his chest, holding them and laying his head on his knees. He shook silently, finally succeeding in quieting himself. He tried to calm himself for a few minutes before he managed to just take a few staggering breaths here and now. He leaned back against the wall and let out a shaky breath before slowly standing up, hand on the wall for extra support, and looking into the mirror. His eyes were bloodshot, his hair was disheveled, he looked like a total mess. More so then usual. He swallowed, the lingering taste of stale beer still in his mouth. He grimaced before wiping his face with one hand, stopping at his chin. His stubble was getting out of hand, and his ever present 5-o'clock shadow didn't seem to be going anywhere. He needed to shave, but would he when his depressing life consisted of him waking up, getting slightly tipsy, working a 9-hour shift at Joja with barely any break time, going to the saloon and getting wasted.
He took another shuddering breath before flicking the light off and shuffling out of the bathroom. He looked at the window at the other side of the room. Dawn was just starting to show it's colors. He walked into his room and closed his door. He looked to his nightstand where a small pitcher and glass of water and some pills laid, which weren't there before. Marnie must have heard him. He flushed slightly and grumbled in embarrassment and quickly popped the pills, and taking a long drink of the water. He looked over at his bed apprehensively before sitting on the edge and pulling open his nightstand drawer, taking out a flask. This was for emergencies, he had said, for moments like this. He took a long drink from it too before closing and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. He put it back up and laid down, another day of hell awaited him the next time he will awake. He fell asleep slowly that night.
He walked out the doors of the Joja Mart, taking his cap off and stuffing it into his jacket pocket. He didn't try to fix his hair, he had no one to impress anyway. He started trudging towards the Saloon, hands in his pants pockets. The villagers avoided him like the plague, a few of the teenagers giving him looks as if he was just a cockroach underneath their feet. To them he was just a creepy old man, an alcoholic, piss-poor attitude, man no one likes. In a way, it was true. He sighed heavily and felt a little happier at seeing the saloon, the familiar wooded building giving some semblance of comfort. He opened the door, the chime sound once again gave him some semblance of comfort. He walked to the bar and placed his money onto it. Gus had already gotten his beer and once he handed it to him Shane made his way to his normal spot. The end of the bar, by the fireplace. He sat down at the table and took a long swig of the beverage, staring into its frothing bubbles afterwards. His slight reflection stared up at him, his eyes dead and glassy. It scared him, to know that he was beginning to look like that. He took another sip and sighed, cradling the drink in his hands as he let his thoughts wander. He listened to the chatter around him, picking up on a lot of expedient gossip.
"Yeah, old William Cooper's granddaughter is coming to take over the farm."
"Now, isn't that great news. About time too, the place is being overrun with growth."
"The new farmer? What about her? Oh yeah, old Will's granddaughter."
Shane blanched at the idea of a new person he'd have to see around. He downed the rest of his drink and ordered another with just a wave of his hand. He didn't need anyone new to be scuttling around the already small town disrupting the small, bland routine he had gotten into. He didn't need anyone else to push away. He didn't hate the town per say, but he couldn't stand the upbeatness of them all. Being in public places, crowded with people made him anxious and uncomfortable. He just couldn't do it. And with the news of a newcomer, his anxiety just spiked from there. He drank until closing.
He trudged out of the saloon, hands in his pockets and frown on his face. He stumbled down the road till he was at the ranch, walking into the house momentarily and quickly retreating outside once again with a twelve-pack in hand. He made his way to the dock in the Cindersnap forest, stopping when he heard...singing? He grunted in confusion and walked to the familiar dock. A woman sat there, silver hair into a tight bun atop her head and long strands in the front. She wore a military green hoodie and he couldn't see what type of pants she was wearing. She held a guitar in her hands, strumming unconsciously, a lit cigarette hanging from her lips as the lyrics were sung from her mouth,
"Like a river flows
Surely to the sea
Darling, so it goes
Some things are meant to be
Take my hand,
Take my whole life, too
For I can't help falling in love with you..." She sung, taking the cigarette and flicking in onto the wood beside her. She sighed and only then noticed the man behind her. She turned to look at him and Shane felt himself freeze up involuntarily. She was a sight, gorgeous hazel eyes looked up to him in surprise, she had two facial scars one on the left of her chin and one across her nose. Her silver hair framed her face, and he couldn't help but notice the small nose ring and tongue piercing she had when she spoke.
"Oh! You startled me," she started, putting out the cigarette out of politeness "Is this your spot?" She asked, standing up. Shane finally unfroze and cleared his throat,
"N-no...You're alright, you can stay there. There's enough room," he stated slowly, not sure if he should actually stay or not. He felt his anxiety spike as he sat beside her, pulling a beer out and quickly taking a sip. The woman sat back down hesitantly and gave him a confused stare, but she smiled politely nonetheless,
"Thanks. My name is Blythe Cooper, you?" She questioned him, holding out her hand. He looked over to her, vision blurry with his already drunken state of mind. He took her hand and gave it a small shake "...Shane...Shane Daniels," he finally spoke slowly. It took him a few moments to realise he was still holding her hand and embarrassedly removed his hand. It took him a few more moments to realise that the woman beside him, sitting in polite, companionable silence smoking yet another cigarette was the new farmer. He gulped and looked across the lake, feeling uncomfortable. He knew, that the next few months were going to be hell after meeting her.
Alright, so that's the first chapter! I'm sorry for the long wait and the shortness of it, but I only recently have gotten my motivation back to actually do things again. But I really hope you liked this chapter, and please, criticism and your feedback is one hundred percent welcomed! So please, comment away!
I can't promise when the next chapter will be, but maybe you guys support will help.
The hyperlink is the song she sang, and how I imagine her voice to sound.
The artwork you will see next chapter belongs to me!
I don't own Stardew Valley, if I did, it would be a lot more diverse and have more interactions, etc etc.
Have a great week!
Chapter 2: Side Chapter - Blythe Cooper
Just the picture I drew of her,