Evading Martha

Sarah woke to the sounds of a grumbling stomach. She was hungry again. Standing up quickly, she had to grab the bedpost for support. As Sarah waited for the dizziness to pass she listened. It was still day, presumably the same day, though she wasn’t sure. Sarah made her way cautiously down the stairs. Surprisingly, it seemed as though she’d been left alone again. She half expected Martha to have left a guard.

Surveying the kitchen Sarah noticed that evidence of her morning foray was gone. There was some water in the kettle for tea, but the fire was banked. Not surprising, since the day was warm. Wanting a meal Sarah started the fire before putting on her jacket to go outside. Of course it would be while she was heading to the well that Martha caught her.

“Get thee back into your bed, Sarah!” Martha scolded Sarah as she ushered her back into Griffon’s house.

“But,” Sarah began

“No buts, into bed young woman,” Martha held out an arm pointing up the stairs.


Martha clucked at her and Sarah sighed and climbed back in bed. She stayed there just long enough for Martha to leave. Okay, Sarah thought to herself, so I don’t have water; there have to be other things I can cook; right?

Sarah rummaged around the root cellar. There wasn’t much stored there, but with the water from the kettle she could make a stew; a really, really thick stew. Which would take forever, she realized, because no one had replenished the wood supply. Sarah growled in frustration.

What’s wrong love?

Sarah stopped what she was doing and looked around. There was no one there, but she’d definitely heard Jay’s voice. “Jay? Where are you?”

Heading home from the Temple, Jason’s voice responded in slight puzzlement.

“I’m going nuts,” Sarah whispered to herself. “Absolutely nuts!”

“What about nuts?” Sarah jumped at the sound of Mathew’s voice.

“Jesus! Don’t you knock?”

“Is that dinner?” he asked looking into the pot critically.

“It will be if someone could bring in a bucket of water.” Sarah sighed.

“Why can’t you?”

Sarah frowned at Mathew. “What? Go outside and get caught by Martha and be shooed back into bed again?” she raised her eyebrows at him. “I think not.”

Sarah went back to chopping the vegetables she had scrounged. Mathew sat and watched her. The way he lounged while she worked was irking. Her father would never let anyone get away with that while he was cooking. If you were in the kitchen, you were helping, no matter how small the task. However…

“You know, without water, I’m only going to be able to make enough for one person, and well,” Sarah stopped and gave Mathew a devious smile, “I’m pretty hungry so I don’t know if I’ll be inclined to share.” Mathew glared at her. “But,” Sarah shrugged and went back to chopping, “if someone brought me some water and firewood I could make more.”

Mathew heaved a sigh and stood. He lumbered out the back door, grabbing the bucket. Sarah smothered a laugh. In some ways Mathew was a lot like her brother Richard. As the brother closest to her age, she and he hadn’t gotten on all that well. But when push came to shove, outside of home, they stuck together like glue.

“I thought Martha sent you to resting?” Jason stated as he stepped into the kitchen.

“I’m too hungry to wait for supper,” she shrugged.

“You mean dinner?” Jason asked.

“Whichever comes after lunch,” Sarah grinned knowing he, at least, would understand that term.

Jason chuckled. “I heard you tell Mathew that you needed water and wood?”

“And meat, if that’s at all possible.”

Jason smiled at her, “I shall see what I can do, my Lady.”

Sarah’s face flushed. “Thanks Jay.”

Amazingly enough Sarah managed to cook the stew and eat without Martha shooing her back to bed. Though they didn’t have meat or Sarah’s herbs, the stew was quite edible. When they were done, Jason went to bring in another bucket of water.

“No need to hurry over, Goodwoman Martha,” she heard him say a little more loudly than need be.

Sarah ducked down to be hidden from the window. Mathew began to laugh until a glare from her silenced him.

“I saw the fire had been got going and thought I’d make sure she wasn’t out of bed again,” Martha explained.

“Oh no, Sarah’s in bed, I assure you. Mathew and I decided to get the fire going and do some scout cooking; we were so hungry,” Jason explained. There was a short pause. “Scout’s honor.”

Sarah had to smother her own laughter at that phrase. She wondered if Jason had crossed his fingers behind his back as he’d said it. She’d seen her brothers do it enough. Mathew too seemed amused by his words as well.

“All right, but I’ll be back over in a bit to start dinner going.”

There was a moment of silence before Jason entered the kitchen with the bucket of water. “You best get back to bed before Martha comes back.”

“I was going to at least clean up first,” Sarah pouted. It wasn’t fair to have Jay on Martha’s side.

Jason smiled kindly at her. “Mathew and I can handle it.”

Mathew snorted as Jason poured water into the kettle. He turned to Sarah, who was only a few inches from him.

“Go on,” his hand brushed hair from her face, “the Moyther will be over in the morning to check on you.”

“I’m sick of being in bed,” Sarah muttered, eliciting another smothered laugh from Mathew.

Sarah glared at him and resisted the urge to lay him flat on his back. There wasn’t really enough room, she rationalized. Truthfully, she doubted she had the strength right now.  Lying in her bed Sarah wondered why everyone was being so concerned for her. It wasn’t as if the dagger had hit some vital organ or anything; at least, as far as she knew.

The End

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