The Long Winter-“This is just the beginning!”

by Jul 26, 2004Stories

Rein shivered. It was so cold. His thin clothes and small blanket were not enough warmth for him. He shivered again and his older sister, Maina, saw.
“Take this.” she said, holding out a blanket.
“Thank you.” answered Rein, giving another violent shiver.
In the refugee camp there was little movement. All around them people were huddling up together for warmth. The cold had come suddenly and had caught the refugee’s unprepared. No one had many belongings, they had fled from Edoras without bringing anything.
Rein felt something cuddle up to him. Looking down he saw his little sister Taina. He lifted up the blankets and she cuddled up next to him, the three blankets doing what one had not. His father had not come back yet. He was rarely with his family now. Looking around Rein could see his mother, wrapped in a blanket, being looked after by Maina. A sudden guilt filled his heart. Maina had given up her only blanket to him, she was looking after a sick mother, two younger children and a newborn baby. No wonder she seemed so much older.
In truth Maina was only one year older than Rein, but she seemed much much older.
Their mother had only just given birth to the tiny girl, Kaina, and she had never fully recovered. Now, with the cold, she was deathly ill. Yet no one was helping. People all around could see Maina struggling to keep the family together but no one helped her.
“Rein, why is it so cold?”
Lost in his thoughts, Rein had forgotten about little Taina. Her voice brought him back with a jolt to real life.
“I do not know Taina. Some say that it is a punishment that Illuvater has brought on us.”
“Do you believe that?” asked Taina quietly.
“No,”answered Rein equally quietly, “Illuvater is kind and good. He would not do this to us.”
Taina was silent for a while.
“Rein, tell me about Eorl and the Battle of the Gladden Fields again.” she asked finally.
Rein had not got more than halfway through his sister’s favourite story before the little girl was asleep. Wrapping her up warmly Rein got up and walked over to where Maina was watching their mother.
“Maina, get some rest. I will look after mother.” Rein could not hide the concern for his sister in his voice.
“Not untill mother is well, I will not sleep. You should get some sleep. You do not want to end up with a fever, so wrap yourself up in your blanket.” Maina smiled weakly.”I will be just fine.”
Rein snorted, “Talk about hypocricy. You cannot tell me to wrap up warm when you gave me your only blanket.” He softened his voice. “You have not slept since we got here.”
“I had to look after mother.” Maina replied.
Rein opened his mouth to say something else but Maina cut accross him.
“Look Rein, concentrate on getting yourself through this. I can handle things just fine. This is just the beginning. There will be worse trials ere the end comes.”
Maina turned away. Rein stood for a while, thinking about what his sister had just said. Then he turned away and walked back to Taina, his footsteps heavy and slow.


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