Graham Whittaker looked around his new plot of land in Oasis Springs. He was one of the lucky people rewarded with a free tract of land here. The object of the Government Land Grant was to get people rebuilding the towns that had lost so much three years ago. There were no homes to speak of, and there were no businesses other than a new burger restaurant. Graham scanned the horizon and saw bill boards and old carnival attractions in the distance. Old reminders of happier times and days long gone.
Graham pulled out the requirements paperwork. The house he built here had to be a certain size and had to meet specifications laid out by the town planning department. The property value was to be §30,000 or more. It was also supposed to be a starter home with at least one bedroom and one bathroom. The grant paperwork indicated it could be more, but these were the minimum requirements. He had signed Graham Whittaker with a flourish at the bottom. ‘No problem! Shouldn’t take long at all for me to meet these requirements!’
‘At least there is a stream near by. I can catch some fish for my dinner.’ Graham thought cheerfully. He made his way down to the stream and cast his line.
It wasn’t long before he felt a tug. ‘This is so easy! I seriously cannot believe more people didn’t take advantage of this deal. It’s not that rough out here!’ he thought confidently.
Over the next several days, Graham came to understand exactly why so few people had applied for the Government Land Grants. Roughing it was much harder than he expected. He found himself scrambling to keep himself fed. He was doing a lot of fishing and if he wasn’t fishing he was looking for old fossils he’d read online that could be found in these parts.
If he wasn’t looking for fossils, he was checking dark damp areas for frogs. The pet store in Windenburg fed the frogs to their snakes and he could sell the frogs for a small sum.
Graham had no where to sleep other than an old bench that was still standing. At least it kept him out of the sand.
He used a bush near the back of his property when nature called. He really hoped none of his neighbors saw him!
Of course he hadn’t seen more than a few people walk by the lonely stretch of road since he’d arrived. He’d been far too busy these first several days to even introduce himself. The days sped by and he had very little to show for his effort so far.
He had foraged a few seeds from the surrounding plants and decided to put them in the ground. He gathered water from the stream in one of the capsules he’d found and watered each of the new seedlings carefully.
One afternoon Graham was finishing tending to his small garden when he saw a teenage girl walk by. He may not have even noticed her if it weren’t for her bright hair and outfit.
“Hey there!” he called out and ran up to her. “My name is Graham Whittaker I’m new here.”
“Oh, hey there,” the girl drew back a bit as Graham approached. She pulled her bright headphones off of her ears.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to startle you. I haven’t seen many people at all since arriving! I really am just so glad to see someone!”
“That’s ok, I had my headphones on and you did startle me a little. I get lost in my own world sometimes. I’m Yuki by the way. Yuki Behr.” the girl introduced herself.
“Yuki, I’m sure you have no idea how nice it is to talk to someone! I was getting ready to start talking to my plants!” Graham laughed.
“So cool, you like live here and stuff? Where’s your house?”
“I haven’t built it yet! That’s my plan though. To get my own house out here someday. Right now I’m just sorta drifting along though day to day.”
“Mister, I hate to say it, having just met you and all, but you really could use a shower!” the teen laughed.
“Actually I just ordered a portable camp shower a few days ago! It has a water reservoir I can fill from the stream so I’ll be able to shower. It should arrive today!” Graham had been so thrilled to find a shower on an online camping and outdoors type store that didn’t require actual plumbing. “So, once I’m showered and presentable, what do you people do for fun around here anyway?”
“Well, my sister spins at clubs in Windenburg. You should come out if you’re able to get a shower today!”
“Spins? Like what, tops?” Graham asked with a laugh.
The girl laughed. “Mister, you’re a riot. Candy is a DJ! She’s also in the Spin Masters club. My sister is one of the best in Windenburg. She really can drop a beat. Give me your number and I’ll text you tonight where Candy is spinning.”
The two exchanged mobile numbers and Yuki went on her way promising to text later when the party was happening.
Later that afternoon a large package arrived for Graham. He was delighted to pull out the collapsible tent poles and the long drapes of tarp. He quickly assembled the shower and then walked to the stream and filled up the water reservoir. He put the water bag under his shirt for a while while he was harvesting nearby plants and looking for more fossils and crystals. The warm sun quickly had him sweating.
When he was finally able to take a shower, the water wasn’t warm by any stretch, but at least it was tolerable. He was so happy to feel the water rushing over him that he burst out singing!
After his shower, Graham finally felt like this place could be a home. Now he just needed to get out and meet some people!
A/N – My first purchase with Graham was the party bush! I seriously fished the entire afternoon until I could afford the bush. He never even had bladder failure! I was so proud of that. Next was the camp shower. He really was starting to get a little funky by the time I could actually afford a shower. I left him in this state for a while then. Sleeping on the bench and using the party bush and camp shower. I wanted to save the §1000 in cash on hand needed to travel so I could start going out places.