The story of a towns downfall due to an inactive mayor. Will the town pull it together or will disaster strike this desolate town leading them all to a new adventure? Read to find out more about Basket's villagers and the journey's they go through trying to find a thriving town to live in once again.
Chapter 1 The crisp sound of a broom rustling across cobblestone awakens Nan from her rest. Her eyes slowly open and she stretches her dark hooves to get herself ready for this dreaded day. She glances lazily at a photo on her dresser and lets out a sigh. Staring back at her are nine happy villagers and a mayor, young Nan being one of them, wrapped in a big group hug. Now looking at the floor, Nan slumps out of bed and starts to brew a cup of coffee; a stern click emits light and sound from her dinky television on this hazy morning. The sales for oranges in Brighton are at an all-time high! Freshly grown, perfectly delectable treats await! Only 700 bells a pop! Nan sighs and turns the TV off, only feeling worse now. “Darn that town,” she mumbles. Nan has been jealous of lavish and lively towns since the downfall of her own. Here in her town called Basket, there isn’t much excitement or even life at all. Only four residents including herself and a mayor that barely wakes to take care of the town still reside. Basket used to be a bustling town producing crisp apples and beautifully pure white cosmos but now it remains desolate; with only a small orchard of apples and a very weak garden that Nan and her closest neighbor, Puddles, tend to. There’s not much to look forward to as a resident in Basket, but nonetheless each villagers does their best to keep the town alive. Puddles in particular is the most optimistic and believes the mayor will wake any day now. Nan, on the other hand, has come to terms with the fact that mayor Malia may never wake to help their misery again. After finishing her coffee and trying to bring some light into her life, Nan steps outside into the cool morning. She closes her eyes momentarily and admires the breeze that runs through her short, dark fur and yellow horns. She waves to Puddles who was sweeping in front of town hall and begins to trot towards their garden patch. Passing a pond and their local Retail store, Nan sees her other neighbor Elmer’s house in the distance and is slightly shocked. The smoke is billowing out of his chimney; a sign that he is at home. But Elmer is always fishing in the morning? Nan thinks. Maybe theres nothing in the river again. As she arrives at his home, she hears chattering within his walls. What sounds like two male voices assure her that her fourth neighbor, Flip, is in Elmers home chatting with him. All seemed well until she knocked. Silence at first, and a low creak as the door opened to show Elmer with a very hard to hide frown on his large face. “Elmer? What’s going on?” she asked him nervously. She then looked back at Flip and gasped. Boxes filled Elmer’s home and not a single piece of furniture is left unpacked. “You’re not-“ she starts. “I’m sorry,” Elmer mutters with a wet sniffle. “I just can’t do this anymore Nan, I really can’t live here with no hope to keep me going. I need to move on.” Nan darted her eyes to Flip who only dropped his head down in acceptance. Nan’s mouth was agape. She knew she basically only had bad days to look forward to but this was definitely not on her agenda. “Have you told Puddles?” is all she managed to say in reply. Elmer shook his head. “I didn’t tell anyone, Flip happened to stop in and ask if I wanted to look for fossils and the boxes kind of gave it away, and you-“ “Have you told Malia?” Nan interrupted. Elmer looked slightly confused. “No…and I don’t think I will, even if I wanted to.” He puts a large hoof on Nan’s dainty shoulder. “Nan, she’s been tucked away in her house since the fourth of July. Its November now. That’s nearly half a year. I can’t sit around and hope for change, I have to make it happen myself.” He sounded sorry but Nan didn’t seem to care. She was taking this very personally and decided she couldn’t contain herself. She immediately turned around and left his stiff home, trotting quickly to Puddles’ house. She felt a tear leave her eye as Elmer’s voice calling out to her became distant and Puddles’ home came into the horizon. She trotted even faster upon seeing it and rushed in, not even stopping to knock. “I knew it,” Nan called out through a choked back tear, “everyone’s starting to go. There’s no hope for this town Puddles.” Puddles whipped around to meet her eye and looked rather concerned. “What?” she replied. “Elmer is leaving!” “Just Elmer?” Puddles said quizzically which seemed to offend Nan. “Yeah….Elmer….not JUST Elmer, he’s one of four residents in this town, this is huge! This is gonna be the end!” She started to openly cry now. Puddles hopped over to Nan’s aid. “Nannie, were not going anywhere. And neither is Flip. We’ve been doing just fine on our own. I would love to have Malia back but we can handle ourselves. I’m sad to hear about Elmer, I’ll have to say bye but we’re still here!” The little pink frog said bravely while rubbing Nan’s shoulder affectionately. Nan looked up at her with watery eyes. “I guess youre right….but Puddles it’s already so lonely here.” Nan’s soft sobs picked up. Puddles got her jacket on. “Let’s try to convince Elmer,” she said proudly. After a lot of talking back and fourth, Nan and Puddles’ efforts were becoming more hopeless than Basket. Elmer was sticking with leaving and nothing could change that. “I’m going on the train this afternoon, I’ll be at a nearby town, probably only 100 to 200 miles away.” Elmer said calmly. Only…thought Nan. “Will you visit?” Puddles asked hopefully. Elmer looked at his feet. Silence. Flip sighed. “Well buddy, you’ve clearly made up your mind, there’s really no stopping ya,” he said. Nan gave him a stern look though deep down she knew Flip was right. “You might as well leave now while you’ve said your goodbyes, no use hanging around when you clearly don’t want to,” Nan said bitterly but everyone nodded quietly in agreement. “Will you guys please help me move my boxes to the train station?” Elmer asked and they all agreed. Each picking up a box sadly, they all took off towards the train station slowly lugging Elmer’s stuff with them. Flip and Elmer were chatting casually about old times, Puddles chipping in a laugh here and there but Nan had no energy to contribute. Puddles began to get quieter as they got closer and closer to the train. Flip slowly did too. They waited only for a second by the station before the train pulled up and opened its doors, welcoming Elmer into a new life; a new opportunity. Nan, Flip and Puddles all took turns loading his boxes on the train with him and giving him one final hug goodbye. As Flip slapped Elmer up, he backed into the train leaving only a moment before the doors closed in front of them all. They watched on sadly as Elmer was toted east to a new town. A few sad moments passed before anyone spoke. Nan decided to break the silence. “So it’s just us now,” she said following a sigh. “We’re strong,” Puddles said. “And Isabelle is doing everything she can to take Malia’s place, itll only be harder to deal with imports and exports now that theres only three of us to help, we need to assist her in any way that we can,” Flip said. Nan couldn’t help but to be selfish and not worry about Isabelle but could only focus on herself. “He was our close friend….Malia was my best friend….” She immediately broke down into tears. Flip and Puddles almost expected this reaction. They all knew that Nan was hurting the most from Malia and Elmer leaving was yet another bitter reminder of her abandonment and their own towns doom. None of the had it in them to leave, and until now, Nan didn’t think Elmer did either. She began having her own doubts too but still clung to the very small bit of hope for Malia’s return. “This is hard for all of us, we’re going through this together,” Flip said, pulling the two girls into a hug. This prompted tears from Puddles now as well.
“We can do this guys, I know we can,” Puddles said with her normal positive tone not present. A week and a half passed and life got even harder than anyone thought imaginable. Isabelle was so busy with importing goods from other towns and sending out their own apples and cosmos she nearly fainted every shift. None of the residents could remember the last time she went home to rest. It was hard to see, but even they were largely distracted by daily chores. Flip was in charge of tending the small orchard and harvesting fresh apples while also on the lookout for weeds which seemed to sprout a lot more diligently. Nan and Puddles were in charge of the cosmos garden and the other flowers around town while Puddles had to take over fishing and Nan had to take over catching loose bugs. Fish were good for meals as they had no real value to other towns due to their low quality, and a rare bug here or there was a nice bonus of bells for the small town to cherish and spend on a small treat from a nicer town. The days ran longer and the villagers grew ever more hopeless for the future of this town. Nan in particular wasn’t taking this well. She looked at the picture of the nine villagers and Malia every day; each day growing less of bittersweet nostalgia and growing more of resentment. This day Nan was particularly angry. She was headed to the pond to fill her watering can when the sky grew slightly darker than usual. She looked up and was pelted by a tiny rain drop. As much as this angered her, she realized rain would make half of her chores go away. More rain drizzled from the sky. Nan plopped down next to the pond and took this as an opportunity for a brief break. She laid back onto the triangle grass and rested her head on some clovers. Closing her eyes, she let herself be carelessly covered in the light drizzle of rain. The patter of it entering the pond was very calming and nearly sent Nan into a nap. Until…BOOM! Thunder and lightning struck over their town. Though this broke her calmness, she realized how great of an opportunity this was for fishing. She grabbed her rod from her pockets and practically ran down to the ocean. The rain and thunder started to pick up, the earth around her lighting up here and there with the bright blast of lightning. The wind near the ocean picked up greatly and was whipping the palm trees and flowers around. Nan could barely make out the outline of a fish and had a hard time getting anything to bite due to the conditions. This only aggravated her more. “Forget it!” she screamed to the open waters to be heard by no one. “I give up!” She stored her rod away and began trekking back up to the town. The wind was much less resilient up here and let her run faster and faster towards the train station. She had nothing packed and nothing set up or planned, all she could focus on was getting out of this town. The closer she drew to the station, the more the storm let up. It was practically a small drizzle and the sky was clearing by the time she could see it in her peripheral vision. Could this be a sign? She thought to herself, should I just go? Seeing Malia’s house up to the right only further angered her and assured her that this was the right decision. She climbed closer and closer to the station hearing nothing but the rain when suddenly she heard a door creak open and saw Malia step outside.