Acropolis

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Chapter 2: Domain Private

“If those boats were alive and working I could escape,” Acacia Alexander thought to the ancient riverboats, steamers, and skimmers lining the river’s shore. The boats were Domain’s reminder of past pillages which sent the town under. But Acacia had no time to dwell on the past. She raced from the warm, sleepy bakery into the chilled night, passed the dim glisten of apple trees, passed the belfry tower, and across the campus lawn. Being last in line at the bakery meant watching the students scatter like sweat bees.

Domain Private College set strict guidelines with late-comers, sometimes counting “tardies” as absences. The warm oak of the classroom did not make the first day of English Mythic class any less chilling. With the town plummeting into poverty, and beggars lining up after their shifts some days, Acacia became worried about her one slip on the first day. She feared someday becoming a beggar. Her pegged “loose” reputation by teachers and parents did nothing to humor the situation.

No matter how many times she tried to convince her parents she didn’t have troubles with concentration they either accused her of making more excuses or feigned confusion.

“ADD is only a libelous and labeling statement. It over-simplifies the human experience,” she said each time.

Her parents thought she was twisting the words of her teachers. The truth was she only meant to mimic her upright friend Kazimir (who happened to be loved by many town adults). She may have been making things up, but the truth remained she didn’t know her genuine self. She gave up the argument after they turned their attention back toward the television. This is the way it had always ended.

“You don’t have to invent stories. I don’t know what your grandmother has done to your mind. We know the state you are in and we have tried to be accommodating and we know how tough it is, but this escapism has to stop.”

Those were the last words hanging in Acacia’s mind to every conversation starting with “why aren’t you trying harder?” Her mom repeated them many times, so she decided to divert to another thought. This one made her slow down. She raced harder and noticed a plaque on a stone which only brought another plague of memories.

‘We are in grand transition. Much hope and progress lie ahead for Domain’ but as for me, how would I know where I’m going? Acacia remembered the college’s mission statement with derision. She thought about becoming an explorer and how she would go about earning a degree in Exploration if not Literature, and if not Literature, Myth in-translation. However, she didn’t know how much hope or progress lied ahead for her.

When she snapped out of it, she raced harder to Mythology and Lit. in-translation. The mixture of rain, her medication, and hot kava made her shake. The faster she ran, the less she shivered but the harder it was to hold the umbrella, tea, and donut bag still.

She wasn’t nimble-minded. I have too much to think on— the truth about these boats lining the shores as skeletons, and why, like me, they were forgotten. This town has been left behind but I am more-so out of sorts and out of place.

She thought about Dominium Church after her grandmother Daphne Markopolis -Alexander died just three months prior and how that loss could affect her chances of staying at Domain Private.

The town will look at me less or look at me as less with Grandmother Daphne gone. I don’t want to work at the Alexander Family Fishery my whole life. It smells of mercury...or much worse!

Then, she thought about the town losing its grip on the economy and whether their relative isolation had anything to do with the matter.

No matter how settled in I become in class, I doubt my thoughts will shut up.

This thought lingered, stalling her movements. She cast herself into the warmth of the musky stairwell and careened toward the private classroom. Before entering, she threw off her frock. The professor raised a furry eyebrow, curious in his black, white, and brown tweed uniform and salt and pepper hair.

He stopped in the middle of retelling his incident with the rain and lawn mower and smiled—” and then my wife revved it up, but it started smoking,” but his smile quickly turned to a frown. Professor Mallard changed the subject back to Greek mythology but hesitated again the moment he saw Acacia, the drenched rat holding a full, brown paper lunch bag. “But it can’t compare to the smoke and thunder of the Gods!”

The clack of the door interrupted his climax. “Acacia you were late hearing my lecture. You will be excused if you have an extra donut.” His voice edged with concern over the honeyed sarcasm, but his words told another story. His lips pulled upward in amusement. He added an unnecessary note, “and I’ve talked to your parents. You’re allowed extra courses.”

The students couldn’t erase their pained expressions of emphatic embarrassment as easily as wiping a blackboard and no more could Acacia.

Change jangled in her black waistcoat pocket. She was convinced enough to smile, showing her slight amusement and irritation. “I do, but only if it’s enough. This is my dinner,” she said doubting he would care but adding words only to break the static-charged air.

Despite Mallard’s good humor, his eyes were gaunt and his skin pale. Maybe it was the rain wearing down his eyelids or maybe it was newcomers like her. Acacia set her tea down. She nervously sifted through her backpack for a syllabus, a pen, a notebook, or whatever they needed that day. She felt a few bugging eyes of classmates distracted from the lecture poking into the back of her head. For this, she wished the university wasn’t so dinky to the point everyone watched each other’s backs. She finally set her backpack down swiftly and smoothly turned around, but it wasn’t the backpack which caused the tipping of her tea—her elbow flung the brown liquid across her desk, leaving a waterfall cascading to the wooden floor. Large blots of tea inked all over her papers. She winced and tried desperately to find a place for her teacup, maybe some napkins, maybe some help, or at least, a chance to salvage papers. Some classmates sprung up in a late attempt to help.

“Oh no! I’m fine.”

Other, less mature freshman let out repressed giggles. After she salvaged her papers she banged her head on the desk not caring about the wet puddle or the staring.

“Alright, if that’s enough for you, then turn your attention.” Mallard almost envied the attention.

Acacia shook the rain from her umbrella and left a second puddle under her chair. She shivered, still glowering at Professor Mallard, who seemed to be in an unusually boggy mood. The students raised some eyebrows either at the professor or the incident but quickly forgot the quick entertainment once someone handed her some tissues and toilet paper and turned their attention toward the lecture.

She snuck sleep medication out from her furry thrift store jacket and then took a sip of the remaining tea to calm her down. As soon as she settled down she was certain the Professor seemed as lost as the students, but that didn’t seem unusual for Professor Mallard. His character assumed tired strength, but his thoughts were tangents. Suddenly the night class gave her a creative motive which made her momentarily forget the incident. The more she thought about the rain, the squabble of her family and their finances, the professor, and the other highfalutin authorities in town, the more ideas ignited for her journal assignment and the more she became aware—almost enlightened.

The professor stopped and cupped his ear. “Listen,” he paused. “I’ve read myths about the rain—myths that only occur under this type of downpour. ‘Sometimes rain cleanses our sorrows, sometimes it drenches them. The water spirits are held captive in the clouds only to fall from the heavens. Soon we would return to the heavens,’ wrote Hyas.” His words faded in and out like a lullaby. Acacia was still aware of what was happening around her, but if she didn’t take her medication in night class, it could take hours to fall asleep and once fallen asleep, the thought of her dead grandmother and her hidden will, and the loss of her family’s church, Dominium, stayed in her journal.

She blinked over to the other side of the classroom. Conrad, an increasingly, detached friend peered aguishly over what looked to be his own courtroom summaries and the college’s financial expulsion forms. Tears and raindrops of fatigue drowned the night. She only knew his troubles with his parents keeping the university, but his expression was even more troubling with the empathy for his loss. Domain was going under too. She knew it was only a matter of time before either of them withdrew enrollment if the school had the means to keep going. Despite Conrad’s dad being college president, his father hadn’t enough to keep going. Corruption was already happening in Domain.

Her medicine wore off as she relapsed with a sudden wave of buzzing questions. I can’t be the most important thing he’s about to lose. I might lose our church, but we still have the fishery. Will I be sent away? Will we move? Would I finish Domain? Will I see him again? How arrogant of me! Give him some space …but he’s not the only one with problems...I may even lose my old friends.

Acacia thought back to every subsequent year of school, her memories mixed with the fog of medication and regrets. Kindergarten she recalled collecting grasshoppers, caterpillars, and iridescent beetles one day after recess.

For part of recess, Acacia disappeared into a grove while the teachers picnicked and Kazimir, her best friend, was left calling her name and looking bored while Acacia met up with young Janus, known by Jason. Young Jason was not as cosmopolitan or sophisticated, but not as socialite, cliquish, and boring. Part of Acacia missed Jason; they met secretly in the woods filling the box with whatever crawled only to release Pandora’s contents in due time—perhaps nap time? Acacia didn’t care about the details of the plan—just that she had two friends to share life with—Jason for mischievous fun and Kazimir for serious support, yet Acacia was always in the middle and once the Pandora of bugs was unleashed, the class went screaming in all directions. Tibby pulled the fire alarm, Kazimir engaged in a wrestling match with Janus who always called Kazimir a goody-two-shoes, and Acacia finally joined in the fun pulling Janus’s hair and biting Kazimir.

Afterward, Acacia could remember being hauled into a strange, lavender-scented office which resembled a principal’s office with bohemian furniture like the furniture of her Grandmother Daphne—also bearing the same musty scent. Ever since the visit, all Acacia could remember was being sent home for medicines, somewhat bitter and sweet, nicknamed “berries.” The real name was a long one she couldn’t remember—riddle-something…but somehow it was the only detail which stood out as she was omitted from most counselor meetings for being too young.

When the counselor turned to her in a beamish smile she thought reserved for babies and asked, “What did you do that for?” all she could answer was “I was bored. Kazimir told on me. I bit him. Jason bit Kazimir. Kazimir bit me. I bit Jason for telling Kazimir to bite me for pulling his hair.”

The counselor scribbled some notes and that was the last visit. Acacia’s parents told the counselor the “berries” weren’t working, and so Acacia was put on sleep medication.

The medication worked too fast, too efficiently, and here I am today…an addict—an addict of calm, of patience, of escape. I knew my thoughts wouldn’t shut up but I long to know where the pillaging boats once took off! I long... she could feel herself drift into abstract dreams of color and sea.

Acacia teetered on two extremes. Her taxing ambition caught up with her deep spacey lust for wilderness and freedom. She was a dreamer or maybe it was the sleep medication. She was also a doer, and more-so than Domainians would agree.

Kazimir came to Acacia in preschool pretending to be a professor, handing out fake equations, and since then, he was the bane of her. He seemed to always know the right answers even if he was afraid to admit his ignorance whether it was in class or in rebuttal to her rants and petitions. However, his shown ignorance never admitted slippage. She always thought with determined acuity, Is he perfect or something? He’s so perfect he won’t even admit it. There must be some dirt on him or within him, I will find. I’m not trying to outdo him, am I?

On her way from night class, she saw him studying in the courtyard adjacent to the large stone staircase and in front of the tall and darkened multi-faceted window which resembled the inside of the town church. A willow and stone bench kept him company.

Janus, the mayor’s son, more commonly known by either “Jan” or “Jason”, passed Kazimir. He was prepared or expected in the least, to sneak up on Kazimir like an old joke, and as a long-acquainted study partner; but Janus turned then gave the pair an abrupt and disinterested look. Acacia shot Janus a look of apprehension. He almost returned the favor. From beneath Janus’s eyes, Acacia could sense his mind shifting.

Janus was almost as stressed as Conrad who stopped seeking attention from his family college of Domain Private, but she was in no rush to get involved with Jason and pry. With the entanglement of the family finances from loss of the Dominium Church to funding from Domain Private College, concentrating was not easy and nor was it easy for anyone in the current economy. No longer could she pay for school without money from her deceased grandmother and neither could her distressed and new friend, Conrad, after the Correlli’s lost ownership of the college. She pitied herself and always envied Conrad despite his loss because his family seemed to appear out of nowhere and triumph over Domain, but more she envied Janus for the entire town he would gain. It wasn’t a rumor he was mayoral heir to Domain.

It’s no use envying anymore. Conrad is embarrassed with his lost but always overwhelmed with flattery or help. Jason hates me now because he’s supposedly so old and important. Kazimir thinks he’s more important than he is, always.

Acacia felt she lost ownership of her friends more than her money or hidden will. She didn’t even admit to herself she was torn. The ownership of Domain Private would go to the miniature city-state, Domain, in which Jason’s family would inherit. She cared not to pry but since Acacia was losing friendship to power plays and manipulations of Jason’s popular authority, she feared destruction of her future and having no education, friends, or place at Domain Private, even a college stuck in high school mindsets. She found it increasingly difficult to be friends with Jason, so she suddenly saw why Conrad was avoiding her, yet she still cared for Jason. Jason had a suave swag full of fake maturity where once stood his traditional class; she could only foresee the harm his bonfire drinking ways could put on the already dwindling town. As soon-to-be mayor and heir, even Acacia thought he needed more self-control.

His gelled hair that rolled like a wave—at least that stayed intact.

Kazimir rested deep in thought but had not become despondent—not so much to become unwary of Jason. The crowd scattered but remained dense enough for spies in attendance. Acacia showed him her story from English class.

But Kazimir was too deep in study to conjure up any admirations. His inner world appeared calm. “Hmm, I could use a break from this class too. Night classes.” He shook his head, scoffing. “I’d never thought I’d say this about a class, or night classes, but they suck. Ah,” he yawned. “I was always early to catch the worm.”

Acacia almost laughed at the unintended puzzle irony.There were worms everywhere after the recent storms.

“So,” he regained himself. “I hope you saw Jason and how he awkwardly cocked his head at us? And Conrad—what’s his problem with you, or with anybody? Your families, they’re still generous toward each other…right?” He then added, “So, what is going on?” as if it wasn’t worse enough. His over-protectiveness was like having a parent for a peer.

Acacia took regard of his sudden bitterness toward Jason, a close friend both to Kazimir and Acacia’s families, but did not know whether her conscience should take offense. Since everyone needed her defenses, it only made it harder to remain unbiased. She needed an avenue to make clear her own conscience without taking sides. Kazimir’s questions were confronting and further complicated matters but she appreciated his concern. His level demeanor was unusually off.

She sighed. “Conrad is either too clueless or too prideful to glance in my direction. If Jason wants to be in charge of this town, as upcoming mayor, he should help himself or Conrad, but Conrad is as much a part of my family as his own whatever side Jason is on. I’m still afraid he might be cozying up to Jason, trying to sabotage me, if that isn’t too much paranoia. But I need none of his pity either. I just wish Jason and I can be together again.” She looked around to see if any old kin of her and Kazimir were peering near and whispered, “I want to be Jason’s friend and so, Conrad’s. Oh, if I had the professional degree to help Conrad! Or at least have my major switched to psychology! Conrad’s falling out with the college didn’t strike a chord with anyone but me. Before I fell asleep in class, I found evidence of his...his...papers.” She winked.

“Evidence? Now don’t tell me you aren’t acting for Jason? Because you kind of are acting like him…and sorry, but his falling out struck a chord with me.” Kazimir warned carefully.

“Yes, should I talk to him about it? He isn’t too afraid of me, Conrad, that I might side with Jason, is he?”

“Well, I’m not saying you scared him off, but you seemed angry every time you were talking to Conrad about losing the church or fishery, not that he already has enough to worry about losing the college, but your case lies with Jason. There’s nothing more anyone can do for Conrad. He has issues beyond our control and beyond losing the university—whatever his father’s plans to restore in him what he couldn’t have from Grandmother Daphne—him being new in town. Anton Drought is takin’ the college anyway. Insider’s business. I picked it up from my dad.” Kazimir tried to turn his attention away from Jason or his father because the mention of these names fired him up and he didn’t want Acacia to gossip either—if that’s what anybody could call it.

“And Jason, maybe he is not used to this side of you, then again. Assuredly, he wants your advice if he becomes the new mayor more than your family’s assets. I know it may be hard for you to believe but he looks up to you.” His voice rose in concern and interest. Jason wanted to help Acacia keep the church by purchasing part of it himself, but she didn’t want his involvement, for he could take the college away from Conrad then take everything from her! Jason was too young to inherit Anton’s, his father’s, noble title as landlord and mayor. Still what could Jason want with her assets (or so it was rumored through town)? Acacia immediately regretted the turn in conversation.

Acacia mused, “Aren’t you distracted by all this attention?” She turned her attention toward Kazimir’s paper. “I thought it wasn’t the attention you needed. Remember you told me that?”

Kazimir uttered a sly smile. “Oh, now we’re getting cocky? But hey, if I knew what your family could be, I should lie low too. Well, it’s about time I get finished with this calculus. I didn’t enter private school for nothing.” Acacia regretted her cheeky comment, but it did best to suppress her swirling thoughts; yet, Kazimir had other plans and she—this time— regretted her turn in conversation.

“And it’s about time I get finished with this journal, this time writing about Ondrea,” hoping he would stay at the mention of something school-related even if it was about her cousin.

Kazimir stretched to leave, hurriedly gathering pens and notes. “Is this a story or a page out of your diary?” His voice rose referring to her journaling assignment from Mallard.

“It’s none of your business.” She mildly quipped, or as mildly as she could settle things. Acacia walked away from the scene unsure of whether to quench the memory or think none of it.

She sat beneath a willow on a bench to commence her journal assignment. Her wispy hair billowed like her long, lacy bohemian skirt rummaged from her grandmother’s closet out of frugal curiosity. The pages were blowing and she was losing her place, unable to concentrate, but daren’t she pull out her sleep medication or the “berries” to ease the mind. She needed full alertness for the town was watching her.

Acacia stopped to collect wording. I am not lost, I have just lost everything. My grandmother construed many fairytales—I have not lost those—if they are real. Or maybe it’s my medication talking.

Just as the current rain seized its torrents, sheets of rain began to pick pace. The courtyard had enough coverage close to the main building and trees for students to do homework, but the iciness fell through the trees. A new surge of clouds billowed over the sky. The breeze swept her mind away with the feeling of being lost at sea. Storms were the only place to be alone and so the only place for calm.

Grandma once told me about Acropolis, many times and the town of Acropolis stood overlooking the panorama of a vast sea—a sea that fell from the stars. Acropolis had a watchful monastery or observatory hanging atop it, the center of Acropolian guidance. The town came from the other side of Domain. I was too young to go back to my ancestral land as I desired, though I could not remember a lick of it. Grandma taught me it was best placed in my imagination. The world was as wild as the townspeople, home to horned horses and Kirin lion, Acacia imagined. I believed she was just being odd but as I grew older I missed her lessons hidden in fables. An eccentric. A quack, people would call her. Jason and his many friends believed in her story before I, but they abandoned it before I had. Her other story, however, I caught as a warning.

“When I’m gone, fight for my world, and protect it, but never dabble with the magic fruit. It’s poison, and when used for the wrong reasons, puts you in a cursèd form not known to be dead or alive.” She reflected on her grandmother’s excitable whispers. Daphne’s voice seemed to bounce in through Acacia’s long, black curls. “The fruit looks like the others, but it equals twice their size and can ferment many barrels of deceiving wine. I hand it over to you, however, to protect. It will be hard to reach, but once you’ve reached it, you know how it will be useful.” The deceiving wine sounded to me like the drug known as “berries”, “Ritalin berry,” or tetrachloraberranoma, mumbo-jumbo basically, now that I look at the name on my pill box.

Everyone always thought I was crazy like my grandmother just because I was a kid. First, they would assign me names like ADD, ADHD, or bipolar so I tried my hardest to believe my grandma who always sided with me, that I was the normal one, though adulthood wasn’t showing any signs. My parents settled on the most common label, ADD. It was the only explanation for my wandering mind and wild ways if that’s how you want to put it.

Daphne’s ancestors founded Domain with Daphne and are still considerably wealthy. They were just as trusted and respected as Daphne and soon their line earned the rights as mayor. Jason’s father owned a vineyard and he poured his work into his wine, yet their ancestry was unknown, said to be lost with the ships until Daphne found them as feral vagrants scavenging for sea grape or, so the bonfire legends go. And so, the mayoral line was bequeathed to the Droughts.

Although they were highly respected, rumors had spread of Jason and his father who were both storytellers. It was rumored Jason could fool people into sleep with his deep wine to carry out spellful bedtime stories of lies. Though I couldn’t see an ounce of drunkard quality in him at the time, it could be he carried out his plans with natural and potent uncanniness. Once, I sided with him. Dominians loved to spread rumors and they had been jealous. But he became detached. I hoped despite his popularity, and despite his attention, Jason would become just as crazy as the rest of his poor, dear loser friends and family. The townspeople fell for his so-called trances, truancies, and tricks over and over again, but I didn’t believe any of these rumors and Jason and I remained friends though some of his tales were interwoven with Grandma’s and I couldn’t help but wonder.

I imagined my cousin Ondrea Fiore’s orchard possessed the magic fruit. Ondrea told me to never let the fruit fall into anyone’s hands, after assuring it wasn’t in the Fiore family’s hands. The Fiore’s were privileged then, being mediocre merchants, until my grandmother Daphne, disappeared. I wished their fortune would rub off on me, or at least their luck, but they took their word with every distant destination traveled, never leaving a word.

A portion of Ondrea’s, my cousin’s orchard was sealed with a deed. This deed was contained within the missing will. Yet I know not what is contained in either of them and I urged them to spill but my parents told me I can’t know, or I’ll spend all of it.

I believed Daphne—that her Old World was too dangerous —as I attended her funeral with the bodiless casket. Maybe, I see now: I had been protected. The funeral took place at Dominium Church, my church, the tower with many turrets, sculptures, and stained glass. The last of the cortège filed in after the ringing of the bell tower.

Janus (Jason) Drought and Kazimir Malevich were the two people there for me when the greatest tragedy of Domain fell. The death of my Grandmother Daphne.

The Malevich’s spoke at my grandmother’s funeral once after visiting hours. Kazimir’s family was still trusted clergy of the village and worked through Dominium. Daphne knew they came from our Old World, but Kazimir Malevich’s family never spoke of Acropolis. I doubt Kazimir knows anything about Acropolis.

Conrad, son of the laid-off college president and lawyer and heir to Domain Private, though a relatively new town’s member, was very supportive at Grandma’s funeral. He urged me to speak for her even if my words stuck to the back of my throat, yet as I stood, I spoke a eulogy: “My grandmother was a very wily woman. So, I can’t let myself take all of the credit.”

Welling laughs, although some were forced, coerced me to continue my reflections.

“She refused to marry even after having been arranged and wedded. Although I wish my grandfather was with us also, Daphne did not want to tie anyone down. She was a windless traveler to some, and fearless adventurer to many. Her wisdom founded this town and loved every one of us. Daphne would have died for this town, but if she had her way, she would die for the world, putting herself under our feet for the greater good.”

A few mournful claps pervaded the scene, some too mournful to make a noise, but eventually, the heart gave way and each guest applauded. She waited until the last applause to claim her seat. She managed to keep the words short before tears escaped, and before she sped into another room, shaking and panting, sobbing as much as her heart could put forth just to wait out the funeral. The funeral seemed staged. Artificiality came with the recentness of Daphne’s death. Perhaps it was only the falsity and meager sincerity of the townspeople. Perhaps the full blow hadn’t sunk in.

Why was I the only one crying?

“Thanks for the applause, and I send them to Daphne.” I concluded, the only audience myself. Instead of a closet or room, or outside, I ran back to my spot in the pew.

Jason and Kazimir both offered hugs. Showing emotion is said to be a sign of strength, or so Grandma Daphne told me; however, what did she have to fear? I waited to be strong once everyone left. Instead, I became fierce. Once I was the only one left my sobs shook me and all I could do was gush but the hot tears weren’t poison for Daphne; they were for me.

Acacia wondered if she should be opening up this much to her professor.

After finishing the first half of her reflection, the rain took a break with her. A light gray cloud moved, and God’s rays filtered through to return tears to the heavens, thus recalling the Hyas myth that Professor Mallard shared.

The Alexander case traces back to a capital next to a sea, on the other side of the passageway between Domain and a wild Acropolis. Janus and the Droughts founded the town of Domain which held the secret cellar of many orchards and treasures from Daphne, Acacia’s deceased grandmother, and Acropolis. However, it was suspected this was only part of the truth and Grandmother Daphne founded Domain after escaping her arranged marriage or whatever “ungodly behavior Daphne was supposed to be exampling to the town children,” according to Anton Drought. Also, Kazimir and Acacia puzzled together that the Droughts were only heirs to Daphne as a truce after what Daphne had done to the Drought’s ancestral prince, Razim, supposedly Acacia’s grandfather. Apart from the bonfires, Acacia only heard about Acropolis in mythology classes like Professor Mallard’s yet through her studies, she conspired such myth was laced in history and family history.

The orchard from Daphne was given to Acacia’s cousin, Ondrea. Ondrea was strangely closer to Jason than she. Jason was charismatic and used to be very close with Acacia until they recently went separate ways since rumors about him became more serious. Rumored, Jason could concoct the most languidly fermented wine from Domain orchards, including the Ondrea and Fiore orchards, that could hypnotize his followers to do anything for him brashly. The town’s people could believe any of his stories with a single bonfire glass (though Daphne’s stories seemed to have an ounce of truth). Daphne’s truth didn’t come from her wine, her elaborate bonfires, or words, but her deep-set eyes stormy as the ocean, conveying yet mysterious.

✷✷✷

Immediately after Daphne’s death, Kazimir agreed to help Acacia uncover Daphne’s will before it took to court while Jason unknowingly prevented his townspeople from another relapse of the Old Age of Acropolis by covering up slips and rumors with wines and parties. He also tried to cover up the existence of a will, at least as long Daphne was alive. Acacia’s cousin Ondrea supposedly had the will in the orchard and shared enough assets but not enough to support Acacia and the Alexander’s so Kazimir was let in on parts of the Alexander secrecy. However much Ondrea proved an alliance to Kazimir, Ondrea wasn’t to be trusted either. Times became more desolate for everyone as time passed with every fallen leaf from the apple trees. The treasures were in existence, as far as the Alexander secret slipped, but since more secrets were missing, Ondrea and Jason coveted more.

Night was peaceful and windy. However, nothing could be forecasted until the will was fought in court. The will settled hopefully and most likely with the Domain deed to the Fiore orchard in the family orchard. The deed had only been missing in the Domain minds, only rumors and sips at the bonfire. Maybe the deed was nowhere or nothing at all.

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