I arrived at the airport around 9 A.M. Upon entering, I was greeted by two young raccoons who immediately got to work arranging my trip. We boarded the plane not long after that. Once finished suffering a long, boring flight during which there was nothing to do except watch an informational video and avoid eye contact with the other passengers, we arrived on the island. The two young raccoons informed the other residents and me that there was an orientation meeting nearby and that our presence was requested. Needing to retrieve my tent and other supplies, I begrudgingly followed the others to what appeared to be a construction site. There a middle-aged raccoon delivered a droll and poorly-rehearsed corporate monolog.
After the speech, I retrieved my tent from the two junior procyonidae and proceeded to set it up in a well-shaded spot next to a nearby stream that I was certain wouldn’t be visible from the coastline. Seeing that I had already finished, the middle-aged raccoon asked me to check in on the other residents and see what the hold up was. Deciding it probably was a good idea to assess my new “neighbors” sooner rather than later, I reluctantly agreed. I spoke to both of the other islanders, a penguin named Flo and some sort of furry elephant that goes by Antonio. Turns out that neither of them could quite decide where to place their tents. Seeing an opportunity, I offered to help and proceeded to place their tents as far away from mine as possible.
Once that was taken care of, the raccoon insisted on having an island warming party. Seeing as I was the only one to demonstrate any ability whatsoever, I was roped into collecting firewood while he looked for something to eat. I could see where this was going and went ahead and gathered some oranges in addition to the assigned firewood. I returned with the sticks and, sure enough, that fat raccoon was just about to ask me to collect some fruit when I dropped the citrus at his feet.
After we lit the bonfire, our gracious host solicited suggestions for what to name the island. I suggested “Hideaway”, which everyone seemed to take a liking toward. The middle-aged raccoon then nominated—no—appointed me as the island’s resident assistant. Then he proceeded to ask me to “say a word or two” as the island’s new ombudsman. In the spirit of malicious compliance, I cleared my throat and said, “a word or two.” Sheesh, all I wanted was a simple, quiet life free of people hassling me and now I’m officially the person to complain to when things go wrong.
We ended the night with an orange juice toast, after which I quickly slinked off to go to my tent.
I had a weird dream last night. Some beatnik dog was playing a guitar in a dark room trying to tell me about how the passage of time was about to change. Y’know, typical dream nonsense.
I was awoken quite abruptly by the middle-aged raccoon; he said he had something to discuss with me. I gritted my teeth, suppressed the ire welling up inside me, and rolled out of my cot. Once I dragged myself outside, Mr. Nook (his name is Tom Nook, apparently) presented me with a phone, saying it was a “NookPhone”, a proprietary model of phone made just for island residents. I’m not a fan of smartphones: it’s far too easy for other people to track you with them. The way he was talking, however, it sounded like this was essential to life on the island. I don’t like it, but I’ll have to put up with it, at least for the time being.
After that was all sorted out, he handed me the bill. That’s when I found out that I had lost my wallet. I couldn’t believe it: my entire life’s savings gone. All the years I spent burying gold in the woods wasted! I only had one question: “Who?” Who stole my wallet? Was it Antonio? Flo? The raccoons? Maybe someone I passed in the airport…
Seeing my distress, Mr. Nook assured me that I didn’t have to pay right away. More over, I can even pay using his company’s fun bucks. Oh joy, indentured servitude in a company town… Well, it’s better than waking up in the middle of the night to find the junior raccoons standing over me with a baseball bat, and still preferable to the mainland.
I managed to scrounge up a little cash by selling fruit to one of the little raccoons—I think his name was Timmy. Afterward, I attended a free workshop offered by Tom on crafting tools by hand and even bought a few books on the subject (I reckon it’ll come in handy). I then crafted a bug net and a fishing rod and spent part of the day catching critters.
I returned to the resident services tent to pawn off more junk I had found. While there, Nook took a look what I’d managed to hook. He apparently has a friend who’s interested in wildlife who’ll be moving onto the island soon. Dismayed as I was to hear that the island was going to become even more crowded, there’s a silver lining: Nook gave me a blueprint for an axe.
Of course, I didn’t hesitate to craft my new tool. It’s not much to look at, but it should get the job done. It’s a real shame I had to leave my old axe behind when I moved. It had just the right heft and balance, not to mention a very ergonomic haft. Oh well, I’ll just have to make due with what I have.
Before retiring for the night, I decided to use the fun bucks I had accrued to pay off my loan. After paying my debt, Nook proposed that I contract him to build a house. I told him I wasn’t interested. I don’t need any more debt.
It turns out it gets really windy here at night. Given the island’s weather, I wouldn’t say my tent is an optimal housing solution. As much as I hated to admit it, I need a house, and until I obtain a book on D.I.Y. architecture, Nook’s the only guy on the island who can build one.
On my way to the talk to my local robber baron, I noticed Flo skulking about the edge of my property. Trying my best to come across as affable, I asked her what she was up to. I don’t recall what she said exactly, something vapid about how nice the weather is, I think. I suspect she might be up to something. She’s good at playing dumb, but I know better than to trust someone who’s all buddy-buddy right off the bat.
After making the necessary arrangements with Mr. Nook, I decided to go for a stroll along the shoreline. While on patrol, I noticed what appeared to be a body of a sailor washed up on the beach. I approached it to get a better look. Once I had satiated my curiosity, I turned to resume my walk only to be stopped by a drowsy murmur. I looked back at the sailor; sure enough, he was still alive and somniloquizing.
I poked his head with his foot. “Just five more minutes,” he muttered. I gave him a firm nudge with my foot. He responded with yet another incoherent remark. I gave him a swift kick to the skull. He awoke with a start and, after a brief moment of confusion, introduced himself and then proceeded to give me an unsolicited explanation about how fell overboard and washed up on my island. He assured me that his crew mates were coming to pick him up right before discovering he had broken his communicator. Greatly embarrassed, he asked for my assistance in finding the missing pieces. Wanting to get him off my island as soon as possible, I agreed to help him.
While it took me awhile, I did eventually manage to track them all down. I conjured my most convincing smile as I handed back the pieces. He called his shipmates and then resigned himself to a long wait. I wouldn’t be in any hurry if I were them, either.
I woke up today in my new house. It took me a minute to process the implications of that. He and his goons built the house around me while I was asleep! How? Why?!
Later in the day, I walked over to Nook’s tent to sell some things to Timmy. As I arrived, Nook and his lackeys were discussing something. Once they noticed me standing there, they attempted to enlist my aid in their new venture.Turns out Timmy and Toby want to open a shop and they need me to find the raw materials to do so. I wasn’t interested at first, but they promised to make it worth my while. See? When you ask someone to do something, you should pay them. Was that so hard? Nook could learn a thing or two from his assistants.
Today, the island celebrated the grand opening of a new museum. Nook forced me to attend and then had the gall to put me on the spot by asking me to say a few words. I really hate how he keeps putting me in the spotlight. Regardless, I faked a smile and blurted out some platitudes. The sad part is everyone seemed rather impressed. I think I might’ve misjudged everyone here: they’re not playing dumb, they are dumb.
Afterward, I decided to go for an evening stroll. While out, I came across a ghost. I was concerned at first, but he didn’t seem to recognize me. No, in fact, he seemed quite confused at the sight of me, even wondering if I was a ghost.
There was a camel hawking rugs in the middle of town today. I bought one on a whim and laid it out in my house. I like it, it really ties the room together.
Today I dropped off the last of the supplies needed to build Timmy and Teddy’s store. Afterward, they asked me to find a good place to put it. As with most things, I put it far away from my house and called it a day.
I decided to go on an island tour afterward. Nook had given me a ticket a while back and I figured I shouldn’t let it go to waste. I went to the airport, showed them my ticket, and boarded the plane. About half an hour later, we landed on a deserted, uninhabited island, an untouched wilderness that already had a dock for the sea plane and a fishing pier. Yep, terra nova.
I set about catching bugs, gathering coconuts, and chopping wood. It wasn’t long, however, before I realized that the pilot and I weren’t alone on this island. I came across a koala named Melba. She decided to strike up a conversation. Thinking it’d be good practice for tolerating the prozaic prattling of my neighbors, I decided to humor her. Shortly into the conversation, she realized she recognized me.
“And you’re Cliff from Hideaway? I’ve heard so much about you,” she said with an unctuous smile. The blood in my veins ran cold. Who was this woman and how did she know who I was and where I live? Does she have a contact on the island? Why would she know what I look like? My mind raced with questions, questions I was certain I wouldn’t like the answers to.
She continued the one-sided discussion, saying something about how her island was nice, but she was thinking she might need a change of pace. She was clearly fishing for an invitation to move onto my island. I tried to play it cool, saying something to the effect of, “yeah, I hear ya…” before trailing off.
I wandered off a ways to plan my next move. How much does she know? Why would she want onto my island? Brow furrowed, I drummed my fingers on the handle of my axe, debating with myself what was the best course of action. That’s when I remembered the pilot. I glanced up to see what he was up to. He had his back turned, gazing across the ocean. It looked like he hadn’t been paying attention at all. Good. I looked over toward Melba, tightened my grip on my axe, and took a deep breath.
I woke up in a good mood today. As usual, It didn’t last long. I received a notice from the Happy Home Academy. Apparently, they inspected my home and decided to give me an A rating. While I’m certainly glad someone recognizes my impeccable taste, I don’t approve of some creep poking around my house. Does no one here understand the concept of privacy? Well, I guess it’s a good thing I gave my home a thorough cleaning after last night’s excursion.
I visited the resident services tent to check what was for sale at the Nook Stop. When I arrived, I overheard Nook discussing business over the phone. After he had finished, he called me over and informed me that even more people were moving onto the island. As usual, I masked my apprehension with feigned enthusiasm. It seems like my quiet, island hideaway just wasn’t meant to be.
Nook then informed me that it was almost time for the opening ceremony of Timmy and Tammy’s new shop. Despite my best attempts of weaseling out of it, I once again found myself standing in front of everyone on the island tasked with the poorly-defined task of “saying a few words”. As I watched everyone applaud the platitudes I had regurgitated from last time, I realized something. Maybe I’ve been wrong about everyone here. Maybe they really do like me. This whole time, I’ve tried to push others away, trying to keep a safe distance, but I see now that their kindness and acceptance isn’t something to be shunned.
It’s something to be used.
Yes, I see now the potential of “friendship”. I’ll keep up this little act: the cheery resident assistant, always eager to help anyone and everyone with any little problem. I’ll become a pillar of this community, one without which the whole structure collapses! I’ll be loved by all, and none will even think to question my character. Then, I’ll use my connections with our dear, gracious host, Tom Nook, to gradually reshape this island as I see fit. By then, it won’t even matter if all those fools from the mainland ever find me. I’ll be untouchable!
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