SELECTED SHADOWS 14

For two or three weeks after Eddarr’s burial, Saranna went quietly about her work.  She continued to live in Eddarr’s little house and kept it clean and fresh.  The garden was neat too, and the hens and goats well cared for.  The villagers approved. ‘She’s a good girl,’ they said.  ‘It will be best if she marries soon.  Some young man will be after her before long, wait and see.’

One wet, cold morning, Saranna was baking in her cottage. There was a good fire in the hearth and she had loaves in the small stone oven built into the chimney.  She was kneeling by the griddlecakes, and singing as she worked.  The little house was warm and neat and cosy.  Just as the scones were cooked, the door flew open with a crash and Saranna looked up, crying out with surprise. At first she thought the wind had risen, but then a stranger came through the door and stood just inside it looking at her.  He was a big man, roughly dressed and dirty, and he dripped rainwater onto the clean cottage floor.

ISLANDER

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