62 What must be done before winter part 2
The day after Franklin's dream, he tries to build the dummy himself. However, even gathering the proper materials was by himself was hard. The branch that he thought was the right size crumbled. When he tried to cut wood with a sword, they'd collected he splintered the wood. Not only did he not have the proper skills, but he also didn't even have the equipment. After half a day of work, he'd managed nothing.
Exhausted Franklin drops on to the ground and looks up at the clouds in the sky. He raises his hand up towards the clouds that soar above the heavens. 'Will I ever reach those heights?' Franklin thinks wistfully.
As Franklin lets his mind wander suddenly, a dark shadow covers him. "Ugh," Franklin gurgles as something substantial falls on his stomach. As he lifts his head to see what hit him, he bangs his form head on some sort of rock.
"OwWww," Laurel cries as she holds her head. She was just about to wake Franklin when Donna decided to help her.
"You woke up!" Donna yells with wide eyes.
The two older children look at Donna exasperated. Of course, when you tackle someone in the gut, they'd wake up.
"Did you think he was dead?" Laurel asks angrily.
Donna looks at Franklin with doe eyes and asks, "You dead?"
Franklin pats Donna's head with shaky hands as he recovers. "No, I'm not dead, don't try to kill me," he responds.
"See he's not dead!" Donna says smugly to Laurel.
"But I was the one," Laurel protests. "Whatever it's lunchtime stop playing and come eat," She harrumphs and turns away.
Franklin scoops Donna in his arms and stands up. Carrying her in a bridal carry."You made her mad," Franklin chastises.
"No, Laurel don't be mad!" Donna yells while reaching out with both hands.
"I'm not mad," Laurel says without looking back.
"She not mad," Donna tells Franklin.
"You're obviously mad," John counters as his longer strides catch up.
Laurel turns as they catch up and pinches Donna's cheeks gently, making her make strange faces. "No wu ah lau el," Donna sounds as her face is played with.
"You never play with me anymore you're always doing something dumb," Laurel complains at Franklin.
"This is important man work," Franklin replies and sticks out his chest.
"Playing with sticks isn't men's work it's stupid," Laurel reasserts as she swipes her black hair out of her face. They didn't have proper tools, so cutting hair wasn't a priority. She was so done with this stupid village.
"This is all for training John's technique you wouldn't understand," Franklin retorts.
"I understand that you don't know how to build anything, let alone something useful. If you really cared you'd ask Wilbur and Gregory. They've basically built everything here. Even Arron would be better than you!" Laurel criticizes.
This hit home, and Franklin's head dropped. 'Maybe I wasn't taking this seriously enough,' he laments. He forms a fist and looks at Laurel and says, "Thanks, I'll ask them during lunch."
Laurel bights her lip. "Idiot, I didn't want you to thank me," she snaps. Laurel then grabs Donna away from Franklin and says, "Let's hurry and eat all Franklin's favorite foods before he can!" With that, she runs ahead with a mischievous smile.
Donna pokes her head over Laurel's shoulder and yells back to Franklin, "I leave you some!"
"No, she won't!" Laurel commands.
Donna looks conflicted, and quizzically asks, "A little?"
"No," Laurel rejects as they enter the village.
During lunch, Franklin sucks up his pride and asks for help. Gregory, Wilbur, and Arron agree to take a look after lunch. They didn't have a lot to do since harvesting had already ended. In the end, most of the villagers decided to check out the construction. Only Mellisa Vickie and Marsha are missing.
Mellisa disapproved of the training in general. She especially disliked her daughter's fascination with Ellanor and Anna, so she refused to go. Vickie and Marsha had to clean up lunch and prepare for dinner so they said they'd look at it later.
"Hmm," Wilbur murmurs as he hears the description of the contraption. "I don't have much experience with wood. What do you think, Gregory?"
"I've built traps with axles and pulley systems before… So it's not impossible. But the problem is the lack of fine tools. To widdle down the wood with a knife will be time-consuming," Gregory says while rubbing his grey-bearded chin.
Arron pipes in, "It'll be winter soon, so time isn't that big a problem. But the cold and wet weather will cause problems."
Gregory nods, "That's true if it splinters and jams right away. It's like throwing all the work away."
Wilbur looks at Franklin and questions, "Did you ask John for advice?"
"Not since the dream," John confessed.
"I'm not a carpenter so I can't help with such things," John sends.
"Then how did you train?" Louis asks as he picks at the scraps of wood.
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"I had newbies in the sect be my dummies. If I needed to build it, I would have made the lay disciples do it," John explains.
"We don't want anyone to get hurt so we'll have to stick with the dummy," Gregory says.
"This is just the early training. Eventually, you'll have to practice with others," John reminds them.
After this, Gregory, Wilbur, and Arron start planning how to build the first dummy.
"We'll need solid wood that will last. This means we'll need to go into the forest," Gregory explains. He then looks at Anna and Franklin and says, "We'll be counting on you."
Laurel nods back with a smile. "We'll do our best. It's to help my son anyways," she responds.
"Besides that we'll need lubricant if it's supposed to spin. Any suggestions?" Gregory asks.
"I'd normally get grease from an alchemist so I can't help," Wilbur shrugs.
Arron suggests, "We should be able to get away with vegetable oil. Though it's a bit of a waste."
"No choice then. We'll have to endure Vickie's anger. Hey, Louis, you should butter up your mom. You'll be using this too," Gregory yells out.
Though Louis was ordinarily full of himself he no longer looked very confident. Everyone laughed from seeing the boys bitter face.
With the plan set they spent the next two weeks working on the project. The men taught the boys how to widdle and how to tell the difference between types of trees. For some reason Louis seemed to always be favoring his bottom as he worked. Still the whole village had a goal, and they rose to the occasion.