The Snow had covered the ground for nigh on two months. There was little food and what there was rationed. It would not last for long. Every day Rein would say “Please let this stop.” but nothing happened.
Only a few days ago Rein’s father had died, numbed by the cold and slaughtered by one of Wulf’s men. Rein’s mother had not got any better, in fact she had got worse. Taina had also now fallen into a fever. Rein and Maina were left to look after the family on their own.
Rein was tired, his muscles ached. He curled up in his blanket to sleep. Nearby Maina was weaving some more blankets. Rein did not know how, but she had found some material. She had barely slept at all, working non stop. When their father had died it had been Maina that had buried him and had carved a few words on a small stone.
Here lies Sineam of Rohan,
Long he toiled against the enemy,
Yet here the enemy took him,
Away from a wife and four children,
May the grace he had in life,
Go with him in his death.
Maina would go up to the grave everyday to free it from snow. Sometimes Rein would go, but he was getting weaker.
Rein had not seen his friends for what seemed an age. Every child was having to help out, looking across the camp Rein could see people dieing. The image of death was all around him. It was possiblt that his friends had gone in the same way.
The next morning Maina wasn’t there when Rein woke up. That was not unusual since she went up to the grave so much, or getting food. There seemed to be some sort of commotion outside. A noise distracted him. Turning around he saw Taina, woken up and calling him.
“I….do not…..want…to…..die….” She whispered faintly, before falling back in to a fitful sleep.
Rein felt tears drip down his face. He carefully picked Taina up and cradled her in his lap.
“You will not die. I am not going to let you. Worry not.” he whispered forcefully over and over again. He wasn’t sure whether it was to convince himself or her.
Maina came rushing back in. She looked white and shaken.
“Maina? What is going on?” Rein asked nervously.
“The food…….it… theres none left!”
There was a silence as Rein took in the information. He was scared. Maina saw this and tried to stop her tears.
“It will be alright Rein, Helm himself is going to look for food. He is very brave.”
Rein nodded. He could not see any hope at all. It must have shown through his face. Maina looked concerned.
“We will get through this Rein. We will!”
if you want to find out more about the Long Winter of 2758 in Rohan you could read ROTK, Appendix A, The House of Eorl. That’s where i got the idea from.
I realised that one of the lines didn’t quite fit into the last chapter. The line about hypocrisy. I was doubtful about putting it in but thanks to those of you who commeneted about it.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.