Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Red As Any Blood--Part 40

"Acorn fed pig," said Mauritz simply, as the pair made their way through the woods.

Caspar regarded his captive with mild surprise.  "That is what you miss most about your homeland?  Food?"

"Not just food," muttered the Leonais.  "It... look, meat is for nobles in southern Leonais.  Not many forests left, after all, and the ones that are... well, nobles.  No hunting.  But--they can't stop a man from taking his pig out, letting it get fat on acorns, and then--"  He licked his lips.  "Oh, yes. Fine eating that.  Me mum used to cook it with rosemary and fennel."

"And you miss the pig, but not her," muttered Caspar.

"Well, she's been dead for many, many years," replied Mauritz with a shrug.  "Bit like missing my father.  Or my sister."  He frowned and looked away.  "All dead."

Caspar stood there, gaping.  "What... what about your hometown?"

"Gone," said Mauritz.  "Destroyed in a flood."  He chuckled.  "The town I moved to was abandoned during a drought.  The one after that..."  He clicked his tongue.  "Raids from the East."  He sighed.  "And then I moved to the city but if you think I miss that place..."  He trailed off in a bitter silence.

Caspar shook his head.  "Is it like that in all Leonais?  Towns failing, raids everywhere, people rushing to the cities."

"All the parts I lived in," said Mauritz.  "Might be nicer places elsewhere."  He sighed gently.  "I certainly hope there are.  Just never saw them."

"No wonder you've all decided to go mad, and invade all your neighbors at once" said Caspar after a while.  "With a home like that... it at least gives you an excuse to go someplace."

Mauritz considered that.  "Might be truth there," he said.  "Plus remember, the pay's quite good.  Better than anything else there, I'm afraid."

No comments:

Post a Comment