Day 096: Fang Makes Something From The Heart
The snow falls lightly this afternoon on Coze Cove. Although the aesthetic is quite pleasant, the villagers stay inside. The perfect time for Fang to shine. When he leaves the house, he can hear the hammering and clanging from Whitney’s house. She must be building something elaborate. Something for somebody else. Even though they’re neighbors, living in their own secluded corner of the island, Fang worries that she doesn’t even know that he exists. But that’s nobody’s fault but his own. He keeps to himself more often than not, trying to keep up his grizzled, tough old man facade. It’s exhausting, but it’s worked for him his whole life. No use changing it now.
He’s gotta hand it to them, the island is decorated real nicely for winter. They brought back the garden lanterns to line the sidewalks and a lot of the pine trees are decorated with festive lights. Toy Day is only a couple of days away and Fang is dreading it like usual. He never had any good ones as a pup and it didn’t change as he got older. But that’s not to say that he doesn’t have to hide his warm satisfaction when he sees people enjoying it from a distance. He’s also fond of the idea of it. He enjoys the aesthetic of the crisp white snow falling among colorful lights. Maybe, just maybe, he actually likes Toy Day, but he’ll never admit it.
When he gets to town square, there’s nobody around except for Coze, who’s staring off into space from the DJ booth. He considers walking back home, worried that Coze would try to chat him up. But his favorite song, “K.K. Western”, is playing. He can’t help but stay a while and dance it out. After all, with the exception of Coze, he has town square to himself. There’s no Stitches or Dom running around like idiots, bumping into everyone. Maple is nowhere to be found, presumably walking vacantly somewhere else, looking at bugs. And Coze doesn’t judge. He’s a good kid. The town square is his for the taking. He stretches out for a hot minute. Tries to get his old, creaky bones warmed up.
And then he starts dancing. It feels like he hasn’t done so in ages, but the moment has arrested him. Suddenly he feels like a kid again. He feels invincible, like he could tackle any challenge. He could catch any fish, roll a perfect snowperson, even talk to Whitney. Okay, maybe not talk to Whitney, but he feels good regardless. He heads over to the keyboard and starts jamming. He used to play this song all the time, yet he’s surprised that he knows it note-for-note. To his dismay, the volume of the keyboard was too high and it sent Audie running towards him. Exciting, smiling and somewhat drooling, Fang dreads whatever nonsense is about to spew from her excited mouth.
“OMIGOD OMIGOD OMIGOD, FANG YOUR KEYBOARD SKILLS ARE LIKE, TOTALLY FAB WOULD YOU WANT TO RECORD SOME TRACKS FOR MY DEBUT ALBUM OMIGODOMIGODOMIGOD FANG HIIIIIII!”
Fang looks at her with weary eyes, but he knows she means well.
“Uhm…hi , Audie”
“OMIGOD FANG ARE YOU, LIKE, TOTALLY PUMPED FOR TOY DAY WHATD YOU GET ME WHATD YOU GET ME NO MORE IMPORTANTLY WHATD YOU GET WHIIIIIIIITNEEEEEEEEY?!?!?”
Fang panically looks around to ensure that nobody heard her. She pried the information about his fondness for Whitney months ago and she won’t stop gabbing to him about it. But as she’s loudly assured him over and over, the secret is safe with her. Whatever that’s worth.
“I…uh…I don’t think she wants any present from me”
“OF COURSE SHE DOES OMIGOD YOU SHOULD TOTES GIVE HER A FAB PREZZY LIKE A SEQUIN DRESS OR A COCONUT RADIO OR SOME RHINESTONE SUNGLASSES OR OMIGOD THATS WHAT IIIIII WANT FOR TOY DAY IM SURE SHE HAS THE SAME TASTE AS—“
Suddenly, Fang had an idea. His old paws can’t do what they used to, but surely he could still make her something. Audie trails on and doesn’t notice that Fang had already waved goodbye. She turns to Coze and continues her gabbing. Fang starts gathering sticks. He has some wood at home, surely he could make something real nice.
Near his house, he bends down to pick up an old pine cone. It must’ve been sitting there for months. Surely he could use it to jazz the present up. He sees Whitney in the window, still hammering away. She sees Fang and visibly panics. She moves in front of her workbench to hide whatever it is she’s making and sheepishly waves to him. He sheepishly waves back and hurriedly goes back into his house.
Fang still doesn’t know what to make her. But whatever it is, it will had come from the heart. And that’s all that matters, right? A light bulb appears over his head and he gets to work. For once, maybe Fang will have a good Toy Day. Or at least, he’ll try to.