War Zone by Celeritas

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Story Notes:

For B2MEM 2011, Day 22: Write a story or poem or create artwork that illustrates the situation of some displaced group in Middle-earth.

The whole north half of the Eastfarthing was in flames.  No, not literally, yet, Mrs. Goodenough mused, and may she be thankful for that!  But soon, ay, too soon.  She doubted anything felt normal in the Shire, but round about these parts her fur kept a-tingling, the way it did before a lightning storm.


So when her husband found that poor lass sleeping in the hedge, with a raw burn marring her pretty face, Mrs. Goodenough knew that, at last, the storm had broken.


She didn’t speak for a long time, but when they had fed her she seemed to realise she was among friends, and relaxed a little.  She’d been on her own three days since that burn—wouldn’t say how she got it—and it did not look like it was in good shape.  Mrs. Goodenough had been a midwife, though, before her knees got too bad for it, and you don’t work in the healing arts that long without picking up a thing or two.  The burn healed, but it took time and a fever.


Still, she wouldn’t tell them who she was or where she was from, though they guessed both readily enough, especially when they got news of the burning.  And when, at last, the burn was healed, she told them not to tell a soul she had ever been there, and slipped out the window in the middle of the night.  They were not well off enough to pursue her, and she knew it.


Fatty’s band had already retaliated, and it was only a matter of time before the Men started burning more.  Mrs. Goodenough hoped folk would flee.


The next week, Mr. Goodenough cleared out the root cellar, and stacked up all their lumber in front of the root cellar door, till you could scarcely see the lintels behind it.  The gatherers would be fool to think an old carpenter with an affected back would move all his supplies every time he wanted a bite to eat, and last time they had gone through they had left the cellar so bare that it’d make sense to close the area off for good.  She only hoped the room would prove of use to someone else—and that the ruffians wouldn’t look too closely.

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