This is Davenport Manor. It's very generous. Legend has it that the men who are raised here are just as generously-bred.
Atop a hill on the manor, a lone hardwood tree grows. One would expect it to get hit by lightning more...
There are many water features on this manor. That makes sense. This county hosts the crossings of many riverine bodies of water; Dawson Creek, the River Dale, and Cold Brook.
Twin stone pillars guard the front gate. A Cupid sculpture perches on the arch that joins them.
From up the autumnal road, a grey sedan approaches. It pulls over, and parks on the roadside.
A girl gets out. She's in a plaid skirt. She attends a very nice school. Most times, though, she doesn't feel like she deserves to be there. She's always been better with grades than with classmates...
The same cannot be said for the boy she's delivering a parcel for. Alas, she's shocked that his relationships are high-quality at all. He sure can't seem to nourish the right ones...
The gate is open. Riri carries the parcel through it, and proceeds up the drive. It's a long way from here to the front porch. Riri still can't believe she's doing this for Tristan.
In her absence, the car sits. The monotony of the autumnal forest surrounds it...
From the forest, the monotony is broken. A crazy doe storms from the shadows. She runs into the car, and bounces off of it.
Into the car, she leaves a dent. The car flips over, onto its top. The roof caves in.
On down the road, the doe runs. For once, it seems the car's taken a bigger toll from the deer encounter than the deer has. There's just SOMETHING about compact cars...
Several porcelain Virgin Mary statues sit on the front porch. Riri pauses, to survey them. She scoffs, and ascends the front steps. She hits the buzzer with her thumb, and waits.
Tristan's burden gets heavy. She starts to set it down in the front porch swing...
Before she can, though, the front door opens. Struggling, she rushes to the man who answered it.
To her half-dismay, it's Tristan himself. Sad; she'd hoped for his butler.
"Hi, Mary," he says, running his hand over his hair. "SO glad you could come over."
Don't get Riri wrong; she loves staring at Tristan. Alas, she's not the only girl at school who's into him. Also, there are cheaper boys in her own neighborhood who she likes a bit more.
"I never get used to you in that skirt," he adds. "Sure makes your butt look nice..."
"I've," she interrupts him, approaching him with the parcel, "brought you your school work. You're behind. Your teachers thought you could afford to catch up."
He takes the parcel, and sets it down inside the front door. "I can sure afford you. Care to come in for a bit?"
Riri remembers all the Virgin Mary statues all around her. She knew Tristan couldn't call her by her real name, but... This seems a bit obsessive...even for him...
"I...really have to go. Bye." With that, she flips around, and leaves.
Tristan can't stop staring at her butt. But then, her real name is REAR-y...
"Hey Mary," he shouts out. "I really miss you, when you're not here."
She turns back around. "My name is Riri! And I'm never here!"
"Yeah, how did you find me? As much as I like you, I don't recall sharing my address with you."
She sighs. "Not with me," she groans, "but you were required to share it with the Headmaster when you enrolled! You know, for a superior man, your memory sure has a lot of defects!"
"Well geez, I never..."
"Tristan?! I have to go. PLEASE don't follow me. And if you can avoid cat-calling me on my way back to my car, PLEASE DO!" With that, she spins around, and proceeds back to the front gate.
Tristan scoffs, and shakes his head. "What a Mary," he mutters. "I SO need her around more." With that, he closes the door and locks himself in.
Moments pass, before Riri realizes that she's been locked in, too...by the front gate. Somehow, it's closed since she last left it. Crap; if she didn't know any better, she'd dare allege that Tristan was trying to...
About now, two things happen. First, Riri gets bitten on the leg by a passing copperhead. Second, her car explodes, just outside the manor hedge.
Riri falls over, and looks at her leg. Yellow light shines through the bite marks.
Confused, she looks around for the copperhead. She's just in time to watch it slither away.
She sighs, lies on the ground, and tries to remain calm. As much as she can afford to, she shouts for help. Alas, she's so far from the house. Even so, there's nothing she dreads more than becoming a damsel in distress that TRISTAN comes to the rescue of...
Spontaneously, she rolls over on her side...and faces eye-to-eye with a black cat. Her heart freezes...even though she doesn't see the cat as a threat.
The cat's eyes light up, with the same bright yellow light from the snake bite. Riri's own eyes reciprocate the same light. Around them, time slows. Neither the cat nor Riri can stop staring...
From the lone tree on the hill, a leaf falls. It appears suspended in midair, for as long as it takes for either the cat or Riri to blink...
At last, the cat blinks. He meows, and lumbers off, leaving Riri too exhausted to argue.
Even so, she blinks, and takes a nap. It doesn't seem to bother her that this drive couldn't remind her less of her own bed.
Back up the hill, the leaf falls at its regular speed...and joins the much foliage surrounding the tree's crown.
A sign is posted, just near the tree. It reads, THIS TREE WAS INSTALLED BY LUCAS SCOTT, ON 9/23.
In the drive, Riri sleeps. She'll be in MUCH more danger than she is, when she wakes...