The door burst open as the sun peaked in the sky. Both blue-eyed daughters tumbled in laughing and giggling. The chatter made things feel normal even though life wasn’t. But they stopped suddenly and stared.
Older: Mom-mom, it’s so… empty. It’s like it’s not ours.
Younger: I don’t like it. Not one bit.
As the younger daughter’s shoulders began to quiver with the person equivalent of a grain-pile explosion, the blue-eyed warrior clan matriarch rapidly moved to wrap her arm around the younger and pull her tight. The younger daughter’s eyes began to well with tears.
Matriarch: Remember our lake trip? We don’t know what’s coming. All we know is things will change suddenly. I packed up some of our favorite things into a knapsack; it’s over by the door. We can grab it if my instructions tell us to leave.
Older: Hence the game? Leading the littles away? Is there something you’re not telling us?
Matriarch: You know I didn’t like that you found the acolyte. I was proud of you for what you did, but I felt you were both still littles yet and never should have been involved. And you’ve seen the messengers at all hours disturbing our family life. When I gave up the active warring, I expected a normal life and quiet so you girls wouldn’t have the problems I’ve seen others having.
Older: That’s a non-answer. That’s almost a matriarch trance answer.
Matriarch: It is the answer. It’s just not the answer you want.
The younger did some more deep breaths, crossed her arms across her chest like she’d seen the brown-eyed outlander warrior do when he was home, and stilled her shaking shoulders.
Matriarch: Good girl. That is nice quieting.
Younger: You know I need to know what’s happening and when. How will I know?
Matriarch: Little, the times are such I can’t do what we usually do. You’ll know when I know, and I’ll pray the War God gives you what you need. It’ll work.
The younger sighed and pouted. The older looked at the ceiling with an uninterested move of her head. The blue-eyed warrior clan matriarch knew that neither child would tolerate much more, so she decided to change the direction for the day.
Matriarch: You ladies hungry?
Matriarch: How about I make our big meal for a few candle flickers before sunset? We’ll eat together and then you’ll be free for the evening.
Older: Sounds good.
Younger: What are you going to make?
Matriarch: It’s a surprise. You both go read or play some music. Hang out around our quarters.