Chapter XIX: Into the Mind of Fire (7/18)Mature

The farmhouse was composed mainly of a single room which held a kitchen, a living and a dining room, which was lower than the ground and down a small set of stone stairs from the door. In the centre of the room was a large dining table with six chairs, in front of it was a fireplace with a cauldron full of stew bubbling in the flames. In the corner of the room beside the kitchen area - where there was a side door leading through to the barn, the hallway floor laden with straw - a washing line was strung up stocked with clothes and bed linings. A large wash bucket fit with a wash board was in the corner next to a low stool, still frothed with suds.

Tayna put the basket at the edge of the table and sat down, then three boys came racing through from the barn, straw covering their hair and clothes. Before they could reach the table, their mother bellowed, 'STOP' and they skidded to a halt before her, 'I am not allowing you anywhere near the table, or near your food for that matter until you've washed your faces and removed all that straw.'

'Yes, mother,' droned the three boys, with their heads dramatically down, they stomped over to the sink to scrub their faces, picking straw out of each other's hair like primates.

So Tayna has three brothers? Will found it unbelievable, she'd never mentioned them once, unless, it was because of what was going to happen. Will felt a sickening and foreboding twist in his guts.

He sat down on the stairs whilst Tayna and her family silently ate their meal of stew and a loaf of bread between them. It struck him how little they looked like royalty, more how they looked like peasants, and Tayna, in the middle of her three brothers, all younger than her, looked the most sensible of them all, standing out even more with her light complexion amongst darkened features. However, when their dinner was finished with, they sat at the table playing card games, loudly slamming down on the table shouting 'snap!' until the sun went down. They may not have looked like royalty, but they were certainly family. Seeing Tayna surrounded by her loved ones reminded Will once again that he would never have that.

The End

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