The Summer, the Goldfish, and the Girl

Vana'diel date: 869/8/19
Place: West Ronfaure, Knightswell
Posted on 01 Jun 2012 16:49

It was a hot and humid summer evening. Occasionally, you could hear the sound of fireworks, shot from the walls of San d'Oria. The moon was shining somewhere above, but you couldn't see it due to all the trees. There were lanterns on the trees that lit the festivities. Endahren loved this. There weren't many opportunities to come out like this, but during the Sunbreeze Festival the Royal Knights kept the forest especially clear of monsters, so people could come out and play. You could see them occasionally in the crowd, sweating in their heavy armors, guarding the safety of the people. But this time, Endahren didn't really care about the knights. This was a festival, and they came around rarely enough as it was. Knights, you could see every day.
He was out with his family - well, mother and Ari, father had stayed behind to close the store and give last instructions to the hired guards, there to ensure no one would get bad ideas into their heads. He was set to meet up with the rest of the family soon, though. They were all wearing summer yukatas, as was only fitting for a family of their stature. Or so father said, Endahren didn't really care.
"Ah, a goldfish booth!" Arienne remarked, pointing to the sign with familiarly-colored fish adorning it. She was all decked out in bright colors. While Endahren didn't care about wearing a yukata for Sunbreeze, Arienne certainly did. She had worried over her appearance for tonight the whole day, dreaming about festivities and bothering their mother with questions about this and that. But this was one thing that Endahren wasn't willing to lose to her in.
"I want to catch one!" He piped up before Arienne had had time to say anything more. Then he glared at her. He could still remember quite vividly how last year, Arienne had caught two while he had caught none. He wasn't about to lose this year, too. He had practiced secretly all through last week.
Arienne glared back at him in response. The two raced to the booth, picked up bowls to catch the goldfish into and bought a scoop for each. While the two started catching goldfish, their father arrived with some aqcuintances of his that he had met on the way. The aqcuaintances had with them a small girl, who observed Endahren and Arienne catching fish for a little while. The process seemed to interest her, although Endahren couldn't tell if it was merely because of the bright fish. He was rather annoyed that the adults had come close to the pond and his location to discuss matters, he was trying to concentrate on catching goldfish. He scooped down, ever so carefully, trying to ignore the polite conversation behind his back. The fish stayed still. Just a little more now…
"Pretty fish!" The clear voice of a young girl ran through the background noise of the festivities. The girl had walked right up to the waterline and bowed down to get a closer look at what he was doing. He hadn't noticed, being too concentrated on what he was doing, and the voice startled him. The goldfish he had just been about to catch swam away, and he sighed in irritation.
"Yes, aren't they. I'm trying to catch one, you need to be quite to do that," he said to the girl, and winked at her, holding a finger to his lips. The girl looked up at him with big brown eyes, and quietly went "ohhh…" Endahren wasn't quite sure if she'd understood - who knew of little kids like that? She was barely more than a baby! - so he walked slowly to a new place and started waiting again. Soon, another goldfish approached, pretty and golden. He smirked, giving a sidelong glance to Arienne to make certain she hadn't succeeded yet, and…
"Ella want one!" The goldfish got away. Endahren felt like saying something really bad to the girl. However, she had already turned away, yelling at her mother and pointing at the water. "Want one! Pretty fish!" The girl's mother turned around.
"You want what now? A goldfish? Oh, Ella dear, goldfish are hard to catch. Maybe you should do that another year, okay honey? You'll only get a cold if you get in the water."
The little girl pouted. A crease appeared between her eyebrows. "Ella want pretty fish…" She looked like she was about to cry. And on top of everything, Arienne smirked at him, showing that her bowl now contained a little goldfish in it. Endahren felt like groaning. The distraction didn't seem to be resolving itself very soon. This needed drastic measures.
"Tell you what, young miss. If you sit down there, I'll catch you a goldfish." The girl's now watery eyes turned to him. She seemed to be sucking on her thumb of all things.
"For Ella?"
Endahren nodded and smiled encouragingly. Or what he hoped was encouragingly, he was seething inside. If this little brat didn't stop this soon..! "Yes, for you. Sit down there now and be silent, okay?" The girl nodded, still sucking on her thumb, and plomped down on the ground. Endahren turned around and sighed. Now, goldfish, goldfish…
It took a little while this time, but he was determined to catch the next one. But finally it appeared. He brought his scoop and bowl closer to it…just a little closer… a quick scooping motion later he now had a goldfish. He turned around and grinned proudly, raising the bowl. "It's a pretty one, too, this fish!"
The little girl giggled and clapped her hands. She almost ran to the pond to get a closer look at his catch, but her mother had come to her when he was occupied and managed to catch her in time. In fact… Endahren blinked. He seemed to have gathered quite an audience, with his parents and the girl's parents along with Ari were all standing on the bank.
"Oh, that's not just a regular one, is it? The fins seem too big." That was the girl's father. Endahren looked at the goldfish while wading out of the pond. Sure enough, the fins seemed bigger and were flowing around the bowl with the water's movements. Was it important?
"If I'm going to catch a goldfish for a girl, it had better be a special one," he remarked as he handed the bowl to the girl. If he had managed to catch something special, might as well make the best of it. And Ari certainly had caught only a common one.
The little girl giggled again and took the bowl carefully. The good deed for the day done, he guessed.

Category: Until It's Gone

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