Not a soul stirred. It was early morning, before dawn and everyone was still asleep. The sun was just starting to rise over the tree lined horizon, the air just beginning to warm. Miles Gardener was slowly starting to stir from his sleep when the alarm went off, signalling a new day in Belladean. Miles rolled over slowly, catching a glimpse of the sun peeking over the tree tops and into his bedroom. Reaching for the clock, he accidentally bumped the wrong button, causing the alarm to increase in volume.
"Ahh! I'm up! I'm up!" He jumped out of bed and quickly turned the alarm off as to not disturb the neighbours. Sighing, Miles rubbed his eyes and headed to the shower to get ready for another long day of pruning and planting flowers and other plants.
After showering and dressing, Miles made his way to the kitchen for something to eat before work.
"Nothing in here or here." He spoke out loud as he rummaged through the cabinets. Miles checked the fridge and the breadbox, finding half a loaf of bread, some cheese, and a little butter. "It's not much but at least it's something."
After eating a not so pleasant breakfast, Miles found his coat with the patch on the side and left the house. His first stop was the Mayor's elegant house. Hidden behind an arch of roses and many more flower bushes sat a large house, compared to some. Miles made his way to the front door and knocked, hoping Jerval was up this early. After a few minutes, a short, rounded man answered the door in a robe and slippers. Yawning, he addressed Miles.
"Mr. Miles, early as ever." A forced smile was painted on his fat face. "What brings you here to my humble estate?" Mayor Jerval was always bragging about how beautiful his grounds and house were, even though he hadn't so much as lifted a finger to help build it.
"Mayor Jerval, you asked me yesterday to come to see your azaleas. You said something about them wilting?" Miles knew that Jerval could care for a plant about as well as his form. Mayor Jerval stuck his lip out in though before answering.
"I seem to recall having a conversation about something along those lines, but did I really say today?"
"Yep, you said first thing tomorrow morning I want you at my house to fix those plants." Miles explained for the man. "And now I'm here so can I start?" He was growing impatient, he did have other places to be.
"Fine, fine, but make it snappy. I'm expecting company." With that, Jerval shut the door and proceeded to make himself proper.
Miles walked around the side of the house to a small clearing in the midst of some spruce trees. At the centre of this clearing was a set-up of tables and chairs with lanterns hanging from the over-head branches. Around the setting were clumps of azalea bushes, wilting. Miles surveyed the damage, the results were that they were under-watered and lacking sun. He found the well on the property, filled a watering can and gave the poor plants a drink. "Drink up little beauties."
Once finished, Miles returned to the door to tell Mayor Jerval that he needed to move his azaleas or cut some branches from the trees. "Mr. Jerval it would appear that your..." Answering the door was a woman with short, spiky black hair. "I'm sorry, is Mayor Jerval home?" Miles wasn't use to not knowing someone in town, when you've lived here all your life you know everyone. The lady replied.
"You mean Uncle Jerval?" Ya, he's here." Miles lost sight of her as she entered the house to get her uncle.
"I didn't know you had a niece." Miles told Jerval when he appeared at the door wearing a pair of black pants and a white button-down shirt.
"She's from my first marriage, before Lucille passed." A look of pain flashed across his face. Miles remembered Lucille, she would always tell stories to the younger kids until two winters ago she died from a cold that nothing could cure.
"Anyways, enough dwelling in the past, what's the news?" Miles pulled himself back together.
"Well for starters, they don't get nearly enough sunlight as they should. They're either going to have to be moved, or the branches of the spruce trees will have to be trimmed."
"I don't have time to be moving my plants, do you think you could cut the tree branches?" Miles stared at him, was he serious?
"Sir, I don't think..." He was interrupted.
"I'll pay extra if it can be done in the next three hours." Miles was shocked. He had other clients to attend to today without cutting trees for the Mayor, but he knew if he didn't the whole village would shun him. He was about to agree that he would have it done, although he would have to do a lot of rescheduling to do, when Jerval's niece popped up in the doorway.
"I can help." Jerval spun around to confront her.
"You will do no such thing young lady."
"Come on, it's not like you're letting me do anything else today. So? Can I go help?" Jerval looked like he was going to refuse.
"Mayor Jerval, I promise I'll look after her. She won't have a scratch on her." Jerval studied him for a moment.
"Ok, but if anything happens to her, it'll be your head."
"Thank you Uncle Jerval." His niece kissed him on the cheek, before grabbing a coat from somewhere inside the door and joining Miles on the porch.
"Be careful." Jerval said before he closed the door on the two of them.