Larch Fisher’s in trouble now/The Other life part 5
Don’t get me wrong. The move was nice. I think we all needed to get away from that old cottage deep in the woods behind the mountains.
It’s just, well, when you go from a house made of logs where you barely hear anything louder than a bull’s bellow, and then you hear honking, clapping and...stuff you never heard before and can’t even begin to name, it stuns you. Badly.
As soon as we got to the city, it was an immediate culture shock. There were buildings that, up close, looked as big as Mount Mitchell. We stopped at a stoplight on a street called Tempting, and it had more people walking up and down it than I thought existed in the world.
When we got to the huge building we would call home, dad immediately had us all on unpacking duty. I grabbed some of the totes my mom filled with clothing and headed to the entrance. When I headed to the building, my little sisters followed.
They’d been waiting for mom and dad to go in first, but when I headed over, they felt entitled to be just as brave as me, just as at-home here as I felt.
Or how they thought I felt.
As soon as we got in, I looked around at the place.
Carpet was under my shoes and I really wanted to take them off right then, just to know how the soft maroon fur would feel on my feet. To the right were stairs leading up to the first floor with rooms on it. To the right of the stairs were some bathrooms and a couch with a rectangular table near it.
To the left I saw some kind of kitchen where people were cleaning up and tables sat near it. Two were booths while the rest were little tables in the shape of a circle with 2-4 light blue chairs pushed into them.
Down my natural line of sight I saw a counter made of fake wood with a lady standing behind it. A huge fake wood rectangle seemed to hang over her spot and even though looking extremely heavy, seemed to stay in place.
I walked up to the lady. She hardly looked older than me. She was drawing something. It looked like a dog.
I stared dead at the counter. “You know this is fake wood, right?”
She looked up, her brown eyes staring at me as if I were a little bug on her desk to be studied. “Yeah. What about it?”
“Nothing. I just thought you didn’t know.”
“Well I ‘aint dumb. Of course I know it’s fake wood. The wood on them’ booths n’ the kitchen is fake as well. Think I didn’t know that too?” she snapped at me.
Before I could answer I heard a “Larch, what are you doing?” and I turned and saw my mom right behind me with dad behind her.
To my surprise, she was amused.
“Just talking to the lady at that counter.”
“Do we have a problem miss?” my dad asked the girl. He didn’t speak to her unkindly, but I bet he heard her snapping at me just a few moments before.
Which is why I think she looked a tad embarrassed. “Oh, no,” she answered slowly to my father. “It’s just… well I thought he thought I was dumb. He was asking me if I didn’t know that all this stuff in the lobby is made of veneer. Which of course I do know, but y’know…uh,” she quickly glanced at me. “Sorry I raged at you. Sometimes this job is demanding and I’m only seventeen and… oh, I'm rambling, sorry. Again.” and that ended her speech.
Dad and mom looked at me as if I was supposed to say something so I quickly sputtered “oh.. It’s okay. Sorry I… provoked you?” I asked more than said. That was hardly like me. It was going to be awkward, but we thankfully avoided that when dad spoke.
“Yeah, this is my son Larch. he’s from the country and it’s his first day seeing other human beings. You know, besides us. He’s seen trees all his life and this is his first time seeing faux wood. He might still be in shock of us moving.” dad said for me.
And that ended up being more embarrassing. Never trust your dad around other people around your age.
I wann’ed to say I’m not in shock! But talking back to my dad is the biggest crime there is in my family. Besides talking back to my mom.
“We applied for an apartment online and we’re here to pick up the key,” dad told the lady.
“Oh! Y’all must be the Fishers! Mrs. Betty told me about you! She said y’all would be here today! Let me go get that key.” she said, turning to a bunch of drawer-like boxes on the wall behind her. She opened one and gave a small envelope to dad. “Your place is on the thirteenth floor, all the way at the end of the hall, across from the elevator. Number sixty-five.”
“Woah, their are sixty-five rooms here!?” Locust’s mouth dropped.
The lady smiled knowingly at her. “Oh there’s more than that. that’s only up to the thirteenth floor!”
We all walked over to this strange-looking wall. Dad pressed a button on what looked like a wall made of steel.
The crazy thing was that the wall opened. It split down the middle, parted to the sides, and I did whatever mom and dad did, which was go in.
A man talking to someone at the register turned our way. He had carrot orange hair and big, round, black-rimmed glasses. He was smiling until he saw the elevator slowly closing and then rushed our way. He made it just as the elevator was going to close, but my dad quickly held out a hand and it opened back up for him.
“Thanks,” the man said, glancing at my father.
When the elevator closed shut, Sugar Maple gasped and I could tell Sycamora wanted to scream, but she kept her mouth shut while her eyes rapidly searched the little box we were now locked in.
“Kids, this is called an elevator. It’s supposed to close when people go in so that they don’t walk into the wrong floor or fall into the shaft.” Dad told her.
“Fall into the shaft!? That’s an option!?” Sycamore squealed. Though she was trying to be quiet, I knew she couldn’t last too long. Sycamora’s mouth hardly ever stopped moving.
Dad huffed. “No Sycamora. People have been making elevators centuries. This is completely safe. Why would I take you to somewhere you weren't safe?”
“Coming to this city after WW3 doesn’t even seem safe!” Sycamora mumbled a bit loudly.
“Have you ever been on an elevator before?” Locust queried.
It must have been awkward for Orange hair to have to listen to us fret over the elevator like that.
Dad groaned, clearly rethinking this whole move, when Orange hair spoke again.
“Their first time on the elevator?”
“Yep.” Dad answered for all of us. “My kids have never been to a city since the war started.”
“Oh yeah, I know how that feels. My daughter was scared to even get on an elevator. She was afraid the building would be bombed or the elevator ropes would snap with us in it.” he shared with us.
“Aw, poor thing. She was in between the whole ordeal, huh?” mom asked.
I knew mom was talking about the war. She never said the word ‘war’ outright. WW3 was ‘It’ or ‘The Ordeal’ with mom.
“Sadly.” Orange hair answered. “Long story short, she had to grow up fast. We fled this city a little after the war started. Then came back once we heard it was over. Her mom died during the war though, and it’s taking her a bit of time to recover.”
After that, the ride up was even more awkward. Once we got to the thirteenth story, dad said it was our stop and Sugar Maple was the first one to rush off the elevator.
“Just think, one of these will be our new home!” Sycamora said looking left and right of the hall we’ve just gotten to.
“Just look for number sixty-five.” I said already walking down the right side of the hallway, which was where the numbers on the doors seemed to advance.
I was the first to get to the door with a cool looking 65 on it in this cool cyber blue color. Dad opened the envelope and pulled out a card. It looked like one of his old credit cards he let me play with when I was really young. Since we lived in the country and grew his own food, he said he didn’t need to buy anything anymore, thus his credit cards were obsolete. But now he had another?
“She said she would bring you a KEY, not a credit card.” Sycamora said what I was thinking.
“This is our key for the house.” dad explained. Then he slid the card into the slot that was below the doorknob, a light on the slot turned green and the door made a ‘BEEP’ noise and there was a snap coming from the door. Dad opened the door and we tumbled in.
We walked right into a kitchen that looked nothing like our kitchen at home. For starters, our old stove had burners.This one had no burners. It only had four spots with burner-shaped swirls on it. The fridge was black and shiny, with a screen on it and an Ice dispenser. There was a peninsula counter that had four stools on it. Psh. Barely enough for my family.
The living room was cool. It had a modular couch that, right now, was set up in a u-shape, with the main two pillow-cushions in the middle having two sitting cushions going outward so that you could really lay out. There was also a big, curvy, black…
“No way.” I said staring at what was across from the couch. There it was. On the wall of my new home. What I always dreamed of seeing.
“Is that a TV!?” Locust said. She sounded close. I jumped out of shock. I was so lost in the shiny black screen I didn’t see my younger sister skip up beside me. “I have to watch it.” I said dropping the clothes tote and picking up the remote.
“At! Hold up!” dad said taking the remote from me. “We’ve got unpacking to do.”
“And you're in trouble, mister.” mom said looking at me with the ‘you know what you did’ face.
So I pinned her to the couch with saran wrap when she was napping. We’ve traveled 210 miles! can’t she forget that happened already?
“Young man, for that saran wrap prank you tried to pull at home,-” dad started his lecture. Sycamore and Sugar laughed at this, but dad ignored it.
“Tried to pull?” I asked. I’m pretty sure that prank happened. It wasn’t an attempt. If you’d been there to hear my mom scream, you’d know the prank went through.
But I forgot about the talking back crime, and being precise with your father is a grave mistake. My dad stopped and looked at me, his eyes slightly wider than they were before.
Too late to say sorry.
TO BE CONTINUED
the other life is a story series that I have been posting, and you can find the other parts on my blog page!
The other life- in case you have no idea what this series is about, here is a quick summary of The Other Life; The governments of the world tried to enslave the people, and when the people rebounded against them, chaos erupted. Of course World War 3 broke out, And this story follows what happened 7 years after the war ended. Find out what happened in that war and how it shaped the world the Fishers know now. the story is mainly seen through the five Fisher kids' eyes. See how they take on life in the city after living their whole lives in Exile near the mountains (to escape the war), and just seven years after World War 3 changed the world.