And There Were Three: Chapter Eleven

Fiction By Clare Marie // 3/4/2009

"Sit yourselves down," ordered Anya. "It's time to eat. Elinor, it's your turn to feed the twins tonight. Don't forget to put their bibs on. Why, Basso, I declare! You haven't washed your hands yet. Dectho even has washed his hands before you. Go right now" (with a good-natured swat) "and clean those filthy paws!" The large family sat down at the table with a pleasant, homely clatter. Ficum glanced around the table, wondering where he should sit. Foi, who was fourteen, indicated a spot next to him, across from Elinor. Ficum sat with a grin, and Foi winked.
Supper consisted of a wholesome stew with lamb, potatoes, and other vegetables; hot wheat bread, and pitches of water and fresh milk (Hogo, Elinor's father, drank warm beer). The whole meal was cheerful, loud, but relaxing. Ficum told jokes and stories from his homeland, teased Elinor and her younger siblings, held the twins, and felt altogether part of the family. It was a totally new experience for him, for his usual family meal at home involved a mere two persons, while this table seated fifteen.

Soon enough, everyone finished the good meal and pushed back their plates. The younger children ran outside while Hogo filled a dark wooden pipe with tobacco, and lit it using a burning twig from the fire. He puffed a few times, grey smoke rising from the bowl. Rami, the eldest child, begged his father for a chance to try smoking. Hogo obliged with a sly grin. Rami put the pipe to his mouth with a triumphant smirk, and inhaled. He almost collapsed in a fit of coughing, his eyes watering. The boys all hooted, Elinor fell out of her seat overcome with laughter, and Sunio, the next eldest, heartily slapped his brother on the back. Anya clicked her tongue but couldn't resist a slight giggle.
"When are you boys going to be mature?" she sighed.
"I think that's what he was trying to do," answered Sunio, with a smirk.
"Ficum, do you have any older brothers who just act like great fools?" asked Anya playfully, rubbing Rami's hair.
"None!"
"Consider yourself lucky," Elinor said wickedly.
"Hey!" came the shout.
"Come now, children, enough teasing," said their indulgent mother. "I declare, I'm too tired to get up. Help me, Jantar; thank you. Elinor, fetch a bucket or two of water. Take Ficum with you. Come on, lazy loons," now talking to her eldest sons, "help me clean the table." Elinor motioned Ficum to follow her, and they each grabbed a wooden bucket hanging by the door. Elinor led the way across the yard.
"Is your family always this happy?" asked Ficum wonderingly.
"Oh yes. Isn't yours?"
"Of course. But I mean, there are just so many of you. Don't you ever get worried about being able to take care of yourselves? All of you?"
"I don't think so. I can say that much for myself; I don't know about my parents. They don't seem worried at all. Ficum, is it all right if I ask you something?"
"Mm-hmm."
"What is your family like? I'm sorry, am I being rude?"
"No, not at all. My mother and I are really the only ones in my family, unless you count my two aunts. One isn't even blood-related." Elinor was astonished.
"Only two people in your family! Why, I would never have guessed it. You seem so natural with a large family, so at ease. Look at the way you held my younger brother and sister, the twins. I thought that you had many younger siblings, you seem so experienced in holding babies."
"Me? Oh no. I've never held a baby in my life, until today."
"How odd." They now came to a large flowing river, clear and cool. Elinor bent down and swiftly scooped up a bucketful of water; Ficum did the same. While he was bent over, he stuck his hand in the water and was surprised at how cold it was.
Suddenly he fell forward, into the river. It was not his own fault, however. Mischievous Elinor had pushed him in, and was now laughing on the bank. Ficum struggled upward and gasped because of the shocking icy feeling in his chest. He glared at Elinor, holding her heaving sides. She could not stop laughing, even though Ficum thought it not at all funny. Ficum swam quickly to the side of the bank (in water he was like to a fish) and grabbed Elinor's long skirt before she ran away. He yanked with all his might, and Elinor plopped into the river.
"Serves you right!" he shouted as she resurfaced. He was now the one to laugh. Elinor swam slowly toward him and merely stared with narrowed eyes. Ficum wiped the smile off his face and prepared to dash to safety. Then Elinor started laughing, and Ficum joined in. They climbed out of the water, shook hands, picked up their buckets, and walked home. They were now the best of friends.

+++

Ficum and Elinor were wrapped in warm robes, sitting by the fire. Anya had scolded them, but remembering that children will be children, she briskly got them in front of the fire with a mug of hot tea. They now talked and laughed together about anything, everything. Sometimes the other children joined in, though for the most part it was the two.
Presently, Hogo sat down beside them, and started to talk to Ficum. Hogo was primarily a thoughtful, silent man. Yet he loved his family, could be extremely friendly, and had a dry sense of humor. His thick, muscled arms were darkly tanned as was his face, from many days of work out in the sun. He had large brown eyes, and a stubbly brown beard. His voice was deep and his laugh infectious. He asked about Ficum's family. Ficum answered as well as he could without revealing anything that should be secret, for as much as he trusted this family, he was wise enough to not tell unless he was sure they were trustworthy.
Ficum decided to show his sword to Hogo. After all, he could show that without telling anything he shouldn't. So he ran and grabbed his pack, for he had stuck his belt and sword in there after he had arrived. He came back, and put the pack on his lap. It slipped suddenly, and was about to fall on the floor when he caught it. But some things had fallen out, a blanket and his box. He stuffed the blanket back into the bag, and was about to pick up his gold box, when Hogo swiftly beat him to it. He held the box incredulously, turning it around in his hands. His eyebrows furrowed. Ficum was slightly annoyed and about to request it back, when Hogo pointed to one of the designs.
"Lad," he asked softly, "do you know what this is?" Ficum looked at it, and saw what he had thought to be a rune. Looking more closely, however, showed it to be a symbol of some sort. It was a picture of a stem of flowers, growing in sword-shaped leaves, and crowned with full blossoms running vertically up the stem. The top of the stem had buds. It seemed as if the lower blossoms bloomed first, and opened one after the other in a line, until all the buds had opened. Ficum did not know what it was, and said so.
"It's a sword lily. Have you ever heard the name before?" asked Hogo, his eyes glancing deep into Ficum's own. Ficum shook his head. "How did you get this box? You MUST tell me." Ficum swallowed and hesitated.
"Can I trust you?" he asked. Hogo laid his burly hand on his heart.
"I swear it." Ficum hesitated still. Then with perhaps some unknown foresight from his mysterious race, he agreed and spoke. He told everything that had happened to him, everything the fairies told him; his life story. He told about the fairies too. The family gathered around him, listening breathlessly. Elinor's lips parted in surprise and excitement. Not a sound was heard except Ficum's voice.
"...and I had been on the road thirteen days when Elinor found me," finished Ficum, glancing at the intent faces around him. "Now what is so important about this sword lily? And what does it have to do with me?" Hogo looked at Anya and wiped his face with his hands.
"The easiest way for me to explain to you," said Hogo, "is by telling a story, a true story. So listen carefully, and you will hear all."

Comments

How could you end the

How could you end the chapter right there??? You are so cruel.

Sarah | Wed, 03/04/2009

"Sometimes even to live is courage."
-Seneca

Blogging away!
busyscribbler.wordpress.com

AHHHHH!

I agree with Sarah! You must write more! PLEASE!
I beg you!
(one thing: there is a typo in the last paragraph. "I had been on the road thirteen days when Elinor found me," finished ELTAR. You accidentally wrote Eltar instead of Ficum).
Anyways, I love this story and hope you write more soon.

Laura Elizabeth | Thu, 03/05/2009

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The best stories are those that are focused, unassuming, and self-confident enough to trust the reader to figure things out. --

http://lauraeandrews.blogspot.com/2014/05/dont-tell-me-hes-smart.html

Oops, yeah, thanks!

Oops, yeah, thanks! I had the name "Eltar" in mind when I was posting this...
*teaser* That name appears later. :D
Fixed.

Sorry if I AM rather cruel, but I can't help it; cliff hangers are so fun!! But don't worry, more shall be posted soon. I am, after all, up to chapter twenty...
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Elves and Dragons! Cabbages and potatoes are better for me and you. Don't go getting mixed up in the business of your betters, or you'll land in trouble too big for you." — Hamfast Gamgee (the Gaffer)

Clare Marie | Thu, 03/05/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

I... I... I... I really want

I... I... I... I really want to know what Hogo (that's such an awesome name) knows that the fairies didn't.
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Chaos.
Panic.
Disorder.
My work here is done.

Anna | Thu, 03/05/2009

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

Oh, you will. :D Next

Oh, you will. :D

Next chapter.
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Elves and Dragons! Cabbages and potatoes are better for me and you. Don't go getting mixed up in the business of your betters, or you'll land in trouble too big for you." — Hamfast Gamgee (the Gaffer)

Clare Marie | Thu, 03/05/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

Ahhhh!! How could you do

Ahhhh!! How could you do that to me--ending it right there. Well, at least it's only the end of this chapter and not the whole story:)
Hehe! You should have seen me--sitting with my nose a full three inches away from the computer screen and my eyes the size of saucers:) And then....it ended and I jumped back (literally!!!) going, "NOOOOOOO!!!!"
Just thought I'd share that rather random pisture of what I do when I read your work;)
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"It's King Edmund, actually. Just King though. Peter's the High King. I know, it's confusing."--Edmund Pevensie

Ariel | Sat, 03/07/2009

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"To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be that have tried it." -- Herman Melville

Good story

Great chapter =D I look forward to reading more.
P.S. Anna, you sig is hilarious :D
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I'm a dishonest man, and a dishonest man you can always count on being dishonest; it's the honest ones you have to watch"
-Jack Sparrow

marie (not verified) | Sat, 03/07/2009

*laughs at Old Fashioned

*laughs at Old Fashioned Girl's picture of herself*

Thank you both. :)
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Sing as if no one is listening;
Dance like no one is watching;
Live as if you will die tomorrow;
Love like it will never hurt."
-Old Irish Saying

Clare Marie | Sat, 03/07/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

I'm waiting!

I really like this story, it's soooooo good. What is going to happen? Oh wait, you can't tell me can you? I have to wait until the next part is up. Ohhhhh, please, please, please put it up soon. I have been waiting for a long time. I can't wait!:)

Kendra | Fri, 03/13/2009

<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\<>/\
"Are you sure this water is sanitary? It looks questionable to me! But what about bacteria?"--Tantor the elephant from Tarzan.

Thanks. :) More will be

Thanks. :) More will be posted very soon. :D
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"Sing as if no one is listening;
Dance like no one is watching;
Live as if you will die tomorrow;
Love like it will never hurt."
-Old Irish Saying

Clare Marie | Sat, 03/14/2009

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

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