Shirriff-house by Celeritas

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Story Notes:

Written for B2MEM 2011, Day 16:

A gentle breeze brushed the hilltop, combing the ruins...

Write a story or poem that starts with this line or create a piece of art that reflects this line.

A gentle breeze brushed the hilltop, combing the ruins of the old, boxy building.  Tad gave an indulgent smile as he watched his grandchildren play hide-and-go-seek among the crumbled walls.


He remembered when this was the Shirriff-house for the Northfarthing Troop, with cold fires and ale soured by suspicious looks and bad gossip.  He was the first to trample his feather underfoot when they heard of the Battle of Bywater, and had personally supervised in the tearing down of the building.


They left the ground floor intact, though—the Northfarthing wasn’t as thickly settled, and there were enough bricks on the second storey to make as many smials as snug as you liked.  Folk ought to remember what happened when Big Folk came into the Shire, he argued, how they’d turned friend against friend and neighbour against neighbour.  There wasn’t any better way to remind them than that.


Bricks were still squirreled away over the years, though, and a particularly bad windstorm knocked one of the walls down.  Now the children thought it was a grand playsite, a place for Adventure and Derring-do.


And even though it would always be a grim reminder to Tad, he couldn’t begrudge them that.

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