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A conversation between friends on their way to an adventure

Here is a piece I had to cut from my war epic, tentatively titled 'Family and War.'


Brynhild glanced at Bigitte’s wrist. “How is your hand? That white fox gave you a serious bite.”

Bigitte shook it. “It’s fine. It only got a scratch in.”

“Good. You don’t need to get too beaten up for Vatti.”

“Oh, it’s not a big deal. Karl gets worse. Vatti is always going on about Karl should have been given his own castle now. Did you know he was trying to convince him to marry Marta? Pretty obviously for the dowry too, though he won’t say it directly.”

Brynhild stared at her friend. “Marta? That kid we got drunk that one time?”

Bigitte laughed. “Yeah, that’s her. I had forgotten about that. She looked sick as a dog the next day.”

“I can imagine someone of her brick-like intelligence having trouble marrying.”

“Oh, no, according to Karl, she’s a widow with a son. He was complaining about Vatti trying to foist her child off on him, and Karl was well and truly against marriage of any kind.” Bigitte shot Brynhild a speculative look. “But then, his shirt looked like a lady had mended it, and he was awfully embarrassed to say who had done it.”

Brynhild sighed. “Poor Karl. He just wants to please his father and everyone else.” She squeezed her hands together, thinking about him. She smiled wistfully.

“You are still banging him, aren’t you? After all these years.”

Brynhild’s cheeks warmed, and she smoothed out her features. “What makes you say that?”

“You didn’t hear me? He would have just said you had mended his shirt if it didn’t come with something else.”

Brynhild glanced away. “Well, it didn’t have to be for full services. Define banging.”

“Oh, don’t be dumb. You know you both could get in trouble no matter how you do it.”

“I know.”

“Just be careful.”

“I am. I would never endanger him.” Brynhild squeezed Bigitte’s arm. “Never on purpose, anyway.” She frowned and studied the track before her toes.

“I believe you. I just have a sister’s worry.”

“And you know me.”

“More like I know Karl. I believe you have his best interests in mind. Him, not so much.”

Brynhild looked up and searched Bigitte’s eyes. Her friend smiled back, trust and certainty shining through. Brynhild relaxed.


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