Ranger - U049
The longer Gerblin walked the more irritated they were getting, which was honestly irritating in itself because the walk was supposed to be calming them down, not riling them up even more!
It wasn’t her fault though that apparently others couldn’t be bothered to throw their garbage in a proper receptacle. A receptacle that was not just the side of the path. Really now, hadn’t they heard of ‘pack it in, pack it out?’ Or ‘leave no trace?’ Had they no appreciation for nature? Had they no shame?
Wrinkling her nose as she passed a torn and discarded piece of clothing, Gerblin decided she wasn’t that far from home where it’d be too inconvenient. Turning around, they quickly made their way home and grabbed a large tote bag, then decided to grab a few more and a pair of tongs just in case, and headed back out.
Now, armed with the tools necessary, they set off on their walk again picking up the various pieces of garbage and refuse as they went. Mostly it was torn pieces of clothing or papers, they even found what appeared to be a whole– though it was soggy and falling apart so they weren’t completely sure– book. Pieces of foodstuffs were also relatively common but as they would break down or were able to be eaten by other creatures Gerblin left them where they lay.
By the end of her walk, Gerblin hadn't even covered half the distance she’s been meaning to and all the bags they had were already full.
‘I guess I’ll just have to do this again. Maybe I could get some others to help me.’
- - -
“I miss green things.”
Kaiju turned and stared at her friend, blinking slowly, “Gonna need more information to go off there Gerblin cause there are many ‘green things’ around.”
“I miss plants. Green plants. Trees with green leaves that don't shed like jerky strips.”
“What about cacti? Those are green.”
“They will also stab me and I don't want to be stabbed for trying to show my love.”
“You have been living near the Brouzet border for entirely too long. You're jaded. Just go visit a forest or something. It's not like Bellacoste is short on those.”
A hand flew up like Gerblin was about to go into yet another long winded and overly complicated explanation, when it stilled. In fact all of Gerblin stilled. Then she pursed her lips and their face scrunched up in what was clearly a thinking expression.
Kaiju waited it out.
“I usually am. Which part?”
“I have been living here too long.” A nod of satisfaction and Gerblin stood up, hands propped on hips and looked around their little house. “I should move.”
“Yes– wait, what?! Don't you think that's a little sudden?”
The concern was waved off like a stray piece of lint, haphazardly and without any additional thought to it whatsoever. “Yep! I should move. Maybe somewhere closer to Firsden. You know, cooler weather, still close to a city, and best of all lots of trees around! I can’t wait. Do you think if I smush my face into a tree hard enough I can just become one with a tree?”
- - -
It was soothing in a way. The manual labor of sweeping up seeds, dirt, leaves, and whatever other detritus that obscured the pathway around the city’s park wasn't something they really had to think about.
Actually if Gerblin was seriously considering it, their work as a volunteer groundskeeper was soothing in multiple ways. The repetitive movements were an easy form of non-thought or body taxing exercise, their ability come and go from the garden– which was a really relaxing place and turning into one of their favorite getaways in the city– for free of charge meant they had something to do that was enjoyable and didn’t drain their coin purse, and the constant turning of the seasons and nature of, well, nature, meant that they could both enjoy the place all year round and continue to have something to do.
“Ugh, I can’t believe they actually pay you to do that.” With all of the delicacy of a vomiting pippet, a sound that was sure to get any pippet owner leaping into action, the voice cut through Gerblin’s thoughts and they turned slowly to see a pouflon walking down the path with a bloom beside them. “See sweetie, this is why you have to go to school. So you can get big and smart and successful and not have to work a menial job like them.”
Normally, this would be the part where Gerblin would bite their tongue and smile at the rude customer, but being a volunteer had some perks. Not having to fear for job security for one.
“Actually,” they said, smirk crawling across their face and voice sickly sweet and ‘polite,’ “I did go to school. Graduated from Asterfall, with a degree and everything. So that’s an awful stupid argument to teach a kiddo about education.” The pouflon sputtered, half formed sentences about managers and jobs and ‘how dare you's’ tripping from her lips. Gerblin, however, continued as if she wasn't saying a thing and crouched down to be eye-level with the bloom, leaning on their push broom. “And I'll tell you an even bigger secret,” they looked left, then right, then back to the bloom who was watching with big eyes, “they don’t even pay me to be here. I do all of this for free.”
Gerblin gasped and cackling, stood up and twiddled her claws in a wave as the now irate mother hurried their bloom along.
‘Hmm, now where was I? Oh yes, the benefits of being a volunteer groundskeeper.’ With a large stretch they got back to sweeping.
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