Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!
Subscribing to her site wouldn’t hurt either!
I didn’t follow the rules, so I wont accept the accolades and nominate and all that.
However, I will answer her questions.
- If you could get rid of one color, what would it be? Yellow
- What is your favorite flavor profile?Bitter or Sour
- Do you prefer forks or spoons? Sporks
- What is one craft you wish you had the time/resources for? Sailing
- What theme are you using for your blog currently? The Brother’s Campfire Theme of course!🤠🔥
- What was the original reason you started blogging? It’s complicated, but I wrote about it a few days ago. Got an hour or two?
- If you could meet one person from history, who would it be?Elijah the prophet
Thank you for nominating me friend, but it is you, HyperbolB that deserves recognition!
Ashton ran all the way to the woodcutter’s house and told him about his experience in the forest.
The woodcutter listened calmly. “Ashton, I am sorry you saw such a thing. Perhaps a beast tore them in pieces.”
His wife glared at him with disgust. She was typically so charming and sweet. “Jeptha, if you had anything to do with this….”
Jeptha looked at his wife sternly. “Colette Arvid, I don’t live that way any more. Ever since I met the Man with the Shepherd’s Crook, I have been changed.”
Colette was not enthusiastic.
“You .. killed two men the other day and you throw in all of these stories like it is a sick joke.
Stop.. Just Stop already, Jeptha.”
“I am sorry Colette. I will take a look with Ashton if he is up for it.”
Then He added somewhat defensively,
“I was protecting the young man and they attacked me. I had little choice but to stop them.”
Colette Arvid, Jeptha’s wife, relaxed. “Jeptha, I love you. I just want it to be normal for a change.”
Jeptha looked pained. ” I know. I am sorry.”
Ashton began his return with apprehension. Curious, he asked. “Jeptha, what were you two talking about?”
The woodcutter sighed. “I have lived a life full of accusations both real and false and I don’t know how to process it. When I come clean about who I am and what I have done, no one believes me. It is complicated.”
Ashton was confused and a little uncomfortable.
“She thinks you did what I am going to show you?”
“I have not always been a proper man, Ashton. Perhaps feral is a good word for the former me. Collete has never seen me that way and cannot accept my stories. They repulse and confuse her.”
Jeptha lifted his head and sniffed. “We are close, no?”
“You smell it?” Ashton was alarmed.
“No, I see it. Wait here. There is no need for you to relive this.”
The woodcutter hurriedly went to the site, and from a distance, Ashton could see he was looking about for sign.
After a bit, Jeptha returned. “A sounder did them in.”
“A sounder?” Ashton asked?
“Wild hogs. They are from way further inland. It looks like Hallr Agnar tried to get away and got his armour stuck in a branch. He died standing up and they ate what they could reach. “
Ashton was pale and sick. “How can you just say that so matter of fact like? It isn’t right. “
Jeptha put an arm around Ashton. “I am sorry. I have seen much death in many places. Let’s go.”
Ashton pried further. “What is a vargr? One of Yara’s friends says I killed these men because I am one.”
Jeptha shrugged. “I don’t know. I cut wood. It is probably a superstition of the longboatmen. “
Jeptha looked sternly at Ashton. Don’t feed into all that stuff. You want to know why the shields were broken in bits, don’t you? “
Ashton was shocked. “Well yes, it doesn’t seem like..
The woodcutter responded. “They treat their shields in fat and oil.
These aren’t ordinary piglets, they are mean hungry and huge. I will probably help kill them so they don’t hurt anyone else.”
The conversation came to a standstill. Ashton felt in over his head with all the recent events.
He was content to live with his mother and farm, but life had reached out and snatched him out of the familiar.
Ashton’s thoughts went dark as they walked back to the house.
“Are you thinking about the girl and the longboatmen, Ashton?”
” A little.”
Jeptha was direct.
“They live differently than you. Sometimes you must stand up to them, but you don’t have to act like them or marry their women if you do not want to.”
Ashton felt sincerity and genuine kindness emanating from Jeptha so he took a risk.
” I really liked Yara. We did a lot of things together. I would have married her if she wanted me. Everything just happened so fast. I wasn’t ready and she was playing games that got me hurt.”
Jeptha smiled. “It happened to me. You are handling it better.”
“With your wife?”
“No. I loved a girl named Wispy Sapling in a land far from here. Her ways were different. I helped her and her mother gather food. I joked with you earlier, but I have a nose for smelling mushrooms and the like.” He laughed. “My nose helped that village through a long winter!”
“Wispy liked me mostly because I was strong, but She was seeing another man and I let her go. He tried to hurt me with an arrow and I walked away. It was not fair because I did not fight him and he still hurt me.”
Ashton thought about his words.
When Ashton thought about it, the Woodcutter was relatively new to the village.
Somewhere else was a hard concept for Ashton to grasp. He had been no more than several miles from his home; 10 or so was the farthest.
“You were pretty skilled in that fight with the longboatmen. Were you a soldier?”
“I am not sure if Colette wants me to talk about such things. There is already gossip because I said too much. I will lay low like Colette says for now.”
Ashton, concerned for Jeptha, was thoughtful.
“You know, when I get back to the village, I will say good things about you and see if it makes a difference.”
“Thank you, Aston,” replied Jeptha.
Not one to miss an opportunity, Ashton took the moment to look for work. “Sir, do you have work I can do for you this winter?”
Jeptha said nothing for a good while, engrossed in his own thoughts.
Eventually, Jeptha spoke. “I do. You will work with me as an apprentice of sorts, and I will see your mother is cared for with coin. You must commit to work every single day.”
Ashton agreed. “When do I start?”
“Soon. I fear you are in deep trouble and you need to be there for your mother.”
Ashton was startled.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“They will try her for being a witch. I heard the gentry talking about it.”