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Day in the Life 18: A Song of the South FanficChapter 18: The DanceYear: 1891Age: 15 yearsMonth: OctoberBr’er Fox took a sip from his cup, tasting the bitter whiskey go down his throat and looked around. There were a lot of juvenile critters at this social, most of them standing around with their friends, chatting and gossiping about whatever it was young’uns’ talked about. There were a couple of groups inside the barn dancing and he was pretty sure he saw a few wander off. Shaking his head to get that thought out of his mind, he took another drink, happy that despite the abundance of adolescence, there were still alcoholic drinks available. It seemed to be the only reason the adults were at this thing anyways, if the crowd around the table was any indication. It had been a couple years since he’d had a drink, at least at public gatherings. He was always just a tad worried that he might have a little too much again and end up with another ‘accidental surprise.’ He loved Farryn, but the thought of potentially having another stubborn kid to raise was enough to turn him off drinking for a while. He was going watch his intake to try and prevent such an issue. Turning away from the table and taking another drink, he accidently caught eyes with a female grizzly bear, who began to bat her eyes at him. Oh brother. He thought rolling his eyes. Said sow, was Miss Honeybear, who lived in town, although he’d never really seen her before until recently. He first bumped into her when he was at the market in town and the first thing he noticed was her strange demeanor towards him. He didn’t think too much of it at first until he starting seeing her around more and every time she saw him, she would bat her eyes and flirt with him. He tried to ignore her, but that seemed to make her more aggressive with it. He started to get uncomfortable with it; he was still technically married. Even though they didn’t have the best relationship, he was still at least honorable to his wife. He tried to explain this to her, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. She even asked him if he would be her date to this dance. Caught off guard by that question, he sputtered that he was already escorting his wife, which wasn’t exactly a lie. Didn’t stop her from making flirty faces at him every time he glanced in her direction. “She quite infatuated wid ya, huh” Becca said, walking up to him with a couple of blueberry muffins. “Don’ know why. I’se already ‘splained t’ ‘er dat ah ain’t eliagable” he grumbled while taking one of the muffins. “I don’ know why eitha. You ain’t as charmin’ as ya think you is” she said chuckling to herself. “You didn’ think dat sixteen years ago” he said scowling at her. “I didn’ think alotta thangs sixteen years ago. Yet, ‘ere we are.” He took a bite of the muffin before he spoke again. “Why don’ you go ‘n’ ask ‘er why she ain’t listenin’ t’ me. She pro’lly tell ya, since you a woman ‘n’ all.” “I doubt it. She don’ seem to like me ver’ much.” “Not like ya? What fo’? I didn’ think dat she ‘ad a mean bone in ‘er…large body.” “I don’ think she like dat I’se yer wife.” “She pro’lly don’ like dat you’se de mother o’ my child den” he snorted out. “Speakin’ o’ which, ya know where she is? I done tol’ ‘er t’ stay where ah could see ‘er.” “You don’ ‘ave to keep an eye on her all de time, ya know. She old ‘nough to take care o’ herself.” She sighed. “Not old ‘nough t’ live on ‘er own. Derefo’, she still need t’ do what I ask. Where she at?” “I think she in de barn wid ‘er friends. Don’ be goin’ in dere ‘n’ causin’ a scene now!” “I ain’t gunna cause a scene! I jest wanna know why she ain’t out ‘ere” he said slightly annoyed and heading towards the barn. He wasn’t going in there to yell at her –he’d do that at home. He was just going to give her a stern talk about not listening to him. Again. He didn’t even want her to come to this thing, but she begged and pleaded him to let her go. Her friends were coming and she was going to be the only one not there. As what usually happened, he got annoyed enough that he gave in. He gave her two rules that he expected her follow in exchange for letting her come; stay away from the beverage table and stay where he could see her. She protested that last one, but she either accepted both or she didn’t get to come. There were plenty of boys that came to this social from outside of town and he had to be sure that none of them went near her. He walked into the barn to see that more folks had decided to come inside. There was some band towards the front that was playing a mix of classical and folk music. Several lanterns were hung to give the place some light after the sun went down an hour ago. Most of the critters were dressed in much nicer clothing then their usual wear. Not him, of course. His usual shirt, vest, pants and hat combo were good enough for him. His wife did make him wear him a bow tie in an attempt to clean himself up. Some of the critters inside clearly had a little too much to drink, as they were bumping into everything, laughing, and reeking of alcohol. Thankful that he was naturally skinny, he was able to squeeze past others without bumping into them and spilling his drink. He did his best to scan the area around him, trying to look for a dark purple dress and large hair bow. He finally spotted her, sitting on a hay bale near the make shift stage –and talking to a reynard fox. What was it with male foxes coming around town all of a sudden? He froze and widened his eyes, before studying the critter talking to her. Maybe it wasn’t one. It didn’t quite look like a red fox, like them. This one was darker –much darker. In fact, it looked more silver in color with black speckled-like areas, a black muzzle, black arms and legs, and a black tail. At the same time, it did look like a fox –same long muzzle, pointed ears, and the tell-tale long, fluffy tail. In all his years of living, he’d never seen one quite like that before. It’d certainly be interesting to chat with him. If he wasn’t talking to his daughter. Narrowing his eyes, he started walking in their direction when he was stopped by someone grabbing his arm. “You said dat ya ain’t gunna cause a scene!” Her mother said, hands gripping his arm as tight as she could. “Dat was ‘fore I knew she was o’er dere flirtin’ wid boys! Now leggo o’ me woman!” He hissed, still glaring ahead. “She ain’t flirtin’! She talkin’! Dere ain’ no harm in dat!” “Dere is when dey goin’ t’ dance! Look!” Sure enough, the male was bowing towards her, one hand behind his back and the other out in front, offering to help her to dance. She giggled lightly and accepted it, placing her hand in his as he led her to where the other folks were dancing. He could feel his fur start to bristle. “Dey holdin’ paws now!” “He jest bein’ polite ‘n’ leadin’ her! You bein’ ova’protective agin!” “I’se ‘er father! Dat’s mah job!” “No, yer job is to support, provide, ‘n’ be dere fo’ her! If you go out dere ‘n’ embarrass her, she ain’t gunna like ya!” He didn’t pay any attention to what she was trying to tell him. He was too busy glaring at them and watching as this boy lifted her right hand with his left. She put her free hand on his shoulder, while he put his on her back, just under her shoulders –where it had better stay for his sake. He let out a low growl, one not quite like any other he had made in the past. Shaking his arm loose from her hold, he started heading in their direction again. “I’se goin’ o’er dere ‘n’ you can’t –“he was cut off when his wife grabbed his vest and pulled him back into a kiss. He was caught off guard by this and was trying to protest against it, but she wasn’t letting up. Trying to push her off with his free hand, he felt her let go of his vest and before he could react, she knocked the cup out of his hand, spilling it on his shirt and pants. She finally pulled back and gave him a sly look. “I ain’t ‘bout to let you go ‘n’ embarrass our daughter. Might wanna go ‘n’ clean dat up now. Ya look like a slob. ‘N’ whiskey stains doncha know” she said quietly, smirking at him. He turned his glare towards her now, shaking his arms in a poor attempt to get the liquid off of them. Aware that several of the critters around them were watching, he glanced back to where the two were still dancing, oblivious to what had just happened. She was laughing at something he apparently said. Exhaling loudly out his nose, he turned back and stomped off towards the entrance of the barn, wanting to get the alcohol smell off of him before it did indeed stain his clothes. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------“Stupid woman. Always gotta ruin e’erythan’. Always gotta embarrass me in front o’ othas’.” Back at Chick-A-Pin-Hill, Br’er Fox was scrubbing his shirt on the washboard, trying to stop the whiskey before it stained. He scrubbed his pants as soon as he got home. They didn’t take too long to clean; most of it had gotten on his shirt. He was still fuming about everything that went on at the social. He was simply trying to put a stop to it when her mother decided to intervene. He wasn’t being overprotective. He knew what went through an adolescent males’ mind; he’d been one once. And he was not about to let any of them take advantage of her that way. He heard the door open and someone humming happily to some song that he assumed was played at the dance. Music was the furthest thing from his mind when he was there. “Howdy, Pa!” She said with a sing-song voice. “I didn’ see ya at de dance.” “I was dere ‘til yo’ damn mother spilled mah drink on my clothes” he mumbled, giving up on trying to scrub his shirt. He wiped his hands on his clean pants and looked up at her. “’Ah sho’ had an awfully fun time dere. Talkin’, dancin’, seein’ my friends.” He felt his hands clench slightly. “I thought I tol’ ya t’ stay where I could see you.” “I was!” “Last time I checked, I can’t see through walls. Why was ya in de barn?” “We got cold! It was warm in dere!” “So you thought dat dancin’ wid some’un would warm ya up?” “I t’weren’t dancin’ wid nobody!” “Lissen ‘ere, young lady. I ain’t in de mood fo’ any o’ yo’ attitude. You tell me who you was wid dis instant!” He said rather loudly, glaring at her. For once, she wasn’t glaring back at him. “A’ight” she sighed, not putting up a fight strangely enough. “‘Is name is Samuel Silverton. He ‘n’ ‘is Pa is in de railroad business –conductors. A new track is gunna be built near Critter Country ‘n’ dey decided t’ move down ‘ere from Philly t’ be a part o’ it.” Of course he was some northern city-slicker. Probably down here looking for a Southern Belle to take back. There weren’t many of them down in this area. Was going to have to go north into Atlanta or Savannah if he wanted one of them. She sighed again, lovingly this time. “He so charmin’ ‘n’ handsome, Pa. Sho’ is funny too! Tol’ some amusin’ stories ‘bout de north.” “Last time ya said some’un was ‘charmin’ ’n’ handsome’, you was all mopey fer a week” he said, still scowling at her. “Well dis one is dif’rent. He eighteen, so a co’se he gunna be mo’ mature!” What? Eighteen? That was practically an adult. She might have matured some in the past couple of years, but she still acted like a child sometimes. He still saw her as one, even if she was beginning to disagree with him on that aspect. “Eighteen? You’se only fifteen! Ya can’t be ‘round eighteen-year olds! He an adult!” “Ain’t dat much olda’! I’se almost sixteen! ‘N’ ah wish dat you’se quit callin’ me a child!” “Sho’ act like one most o’ de time.” “DOES NOT!” She yelled before realizing that shouting at him was doing nothing to help her case. “I’se puttin’ a stop t’ dis right now” he said as he started to stand up. “Please Pa, can’t ah least be friends wid ‘im?” She asked, hands clasped together and putting on the most pathetic and sad look she could muster. He really hated it when she pulled that look; he was a sucker for it almost every time. He had no idea where she learned it, but he really hated whoever it was that taught her. She never used to pull it when she was young, instead choosing to try to argue her way out of something “He awfully innerestin’ 'n' 'spectful o' me. Mebbe one day we could git married, even!” He shot her another glare, causing her to bite her lip slightly. “You ain’t gittin’ married ‘til ya twenty-one. ‘N’ certainly not t’ some’un ya jest met t’night! “I was jest thinkin’ out loud, Pa. Don’ mean nuthin’. Ah would like t’ be friends wid ‘im though.” He looked at her through narrowed eyes. It was clear she really liked this boy. He wasn’t too happy about it, especially if he was from the city. He didn’t trust any of them city folks. He’d heard they were bad news. If he told her no, he knew she would do it anyways. Maybe the best way for her to see that this young man was up to no good was for her to find out the hard way. It was harsh, but sometimes it was the only way for her to learn something. “I’ll think ‘bout it. But, you’se grounded fo’ a week fer not followin’ my rules.” He saw a smile spread across her face as she ran up and hugged him. “Thank ya, Pa!” Funny. He’d never seen that reaction for a grounding before. Hell, he hadn’t even said yes. “Ah promise dat you gunna like ‘im!” “Don’ push it. I ain’t said yes yet.” “Yes, suh. Night, Pa!” She said happily before letting him go and walking to her room, happily humming the same song from earlier. Br’er Fox ran his hand through his hair. He was starting to get a weird feeling about this whole thing. He wasn’t for sure what it exactly was yet, but he had feeling he was going to lose his daughter to this boy within the next couple of years....
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