A Banished story by @Pythias
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Chapter 1 - For Alex
Hal sniffed the air, his full and ample mustache wiggled from the effort. It was the sort of action that endeared him to the good people of the Green Hollow; they liked a bit of humor in their elected official. Hal wasn't one to disappoint when it came to expectations, his ample stomach and kindly little black eyes did much to sooth the concerns or anger of the villagers - most of whom he knew on a first name basis. Never-the-less, he did not let others opinions of him get in the way of leadership. He was chosen by the majority to lead, when needed, and make the difficult decisions that others couldn't. Mostly, he was just a face: a face that was a placeholder for the people of Green Hollow. This morning was such a time. Despite the necessity to plan for the upcoming fall harvest and long winter months that would follow, Hal was requested to be at the opening for the new hospital. It was the next major step in the continued expansion and progression of their unexpected slice of heaven. Hal was a few generations away from the original settlers, but he was an avid reader and worked on the history of Green Hallow as time permitted. Now that Ms Amber, their first school teacher, was training her replacement as she hoped to retire at years end, he had visions of her assistance in organizing what paperwork they did have as-well-as investigating the claims by some of the founding families on the how's and why's they came to settle here. Hal was fascinated at the history their fledgling community already had. It made him wonder how future generations might think of his contributions, if they would think of him at all.
With that thought now on the forefront of his mind, he pulled his cotton jacket tight around him and stepped out onto the crudely made cobble path towards the hospital. He lived on the southern edge of development, the foothills directly behind his humble abode provided nice shade in the morning, but this also meant the cool nights lingered long after sunrise. Heading north along Maggie's Path, he waved at the few people that were up and and preparing for their own day of work - most of them farming with the fields and pastures so close. Hal loved this time of year, with the scent of of a dozen odors competing for his attention. The hot summer months generally held the continual and generally displeasing reek of the sheep or cattle pens to the east.