Feb. 10th, 2008

alhammitt_alhammittsson: (midyoung: listening to someone tall)
Milda stays away from work for days, sitting still by the window. Her face is so draw with worry that instead of a crease where her dimple used to be she looks like she has a scar.

He crouches by her feet and asks her why.

“You’re too young to understand,” says Milda, the first forty times.

But Mitt keeps asking, and in the end his mom tells him all she knows. Mitt’s dad was so bitter against the Earl that he joined a society of revolutionaries, which there were a lot of in Holand. The Earl’s son Harchad had spies everywhere hunting them out, but even after he hanged them there were always more. Mitt’s dad had joined the Free Holanders, who wanted to bring up the city to overthrow the Earl! But they didn’t do anything but talk.

So when Mitt’s dad wanted to set the warehouse on fire, the older members (Siriol, Dideo, Ham) were set against it—the Earl would find out, and hunt them down, and then how could the city rise against the earl? But the younger members went with Mitt’s dad, and none of them but Canden came back to say that Harchad’s men were waiting for them when they came there. And now Canden is dead, too.

“Why did Siriol and them inform, though?” Mitt asks, considering this.

“Because they were frightened, Mitt, like I am now.”

“Frightened what of?” Mitt prompts.

“Harchad’s soldiers,” Milda shivered. “They might come banging at this door any moment now!”

Mitt considers this for a moment. He doesn’t know many soldiers, but the one he did know was nice—he brought Mitt back from the Flate! Even the tall man from the place he used to go to was scarier than that soldier, and Lan wasn’t scary at all. “How many soldiers are there? More than everyone else in Holand?”

She smiles, crease disappearing into a dimple. “Oh, no. The Earl couldn’t afford that many! I don’t suppose he’d bother to send more than six or so to come and take us away.”

“Then if’n all the people in this house, or all the people in Holand, all got together, they ought to be able to stop the soldiers, oughtn’t they?”

His mom laughs, unable to explain to him why everyone in Holand dreaded the soldiers so much and Harchad’s spies even worse. “Oh, Mitt, you’re a real free soul, you are! You don’t know what fear means. It seems such a waste when Hadd and the Free Holanders have done for us between them, it does really!”

Mitt is startled to realize that he’s managed to comfort his mother by talking like this. Even better, he’s made her comfort him by calling him a free soul. Mitt doesn’t know what that is, but it seems a good thing to be. By way of earning he says, in his stoutest and most grown-up voice, “Well, you’re not to worry anymore. I’ll make it all right for you.”

Milda laughs and hugs him. “There’s my Mitt!”


alhammitt_alhammittsson: (Default)
Mitt (or Al, or Ham) son of Al (or Mitt, or Ham)

December 2009

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