TITLE: River Spell
GENRE: YA - Fantasy
The war was over. I repeated the words trying to make sense of them. "What will happen now?" I asked, voice trembling.
"We live, Arresa," my father said. "As much as we can. The soldiers claim to have wheat for us to plant."
Live. What kind of life was there left to live? Soldiers had never been here peaceably before. And they had never brought food instead of taking it. I’d heard it had once been different. We had lived in a nice house, with lots of food and happiness. I didn’t remember it. Though there were enough charred house remains and empty foundations around my village to support the stories.
“You can put down the knife now,” he said.
I unclenched my fingers and placed the knife carefully on the rough wood table, then wiped my sweaty palms on my skirt. Immediately my hand itched to pick it back up. Soldiers. In our village. Milling around in plain sight rather than sneaking around stealing or killing. I shook my head at the wonder of it.
"It's late for planting. Still, we might be able to get a small crop," Father said. It would be difficult for him to prepare the field with one leg. He thumped his crutch against the floor and gave me a twisted smile. "We'll manage. We may even keep the harvest this year."
My stomach growled at that. Keep the harvest? Have food for winter and seed for next year?