Velf on a Train 

So, I am heading north. Probably the last crack of the whip I’ll get at moving to that area of the country. 

 

Another Interview. 

 

Booked two days off work to attend and thanks to having a very active union I still get paid. My main reaction to getting a second interview was dismay. My application must have something on it that means I am worth inviting half way across scotland to meet a potential employer. 

 

Problem is I don’t think I interview well. I get nervous, talk too much and there is always the added pressure of “Is this the right thing to do for my family.” 

 

Truth is, I don’t know. It may improve things- it may put us into massive debt. My Dad was always one for taking risks. Which meant I moved 14 times before I was 18. Gain one job, lose another, move to a bigger house, go bankrupt, move to a council house in a sprawling estate. 

 

It taught me that bricks and mortar are just that. I have never felt a place was ‘home’ since I was about 16. What was the point? I would only move again. I ached deeply when I left wales, suffering the full force of what is known to the welsh as hiraeth- which has no direct translation into english. I still get the occasional twinge, even now. 

 

I know that I can’t go back to what I left. It no longer exists. I am different and the place and people I left behind have all moved on. That is all encompassed in hiraeth. 

 

So, as an adult I was happy to move about. I was rootless and friends transient. Other half is the opposite. He needed a place to put down roots. So, when I got the job on a small scottish island we stayed there. Ten years later and I find the mainland oddly terrifying.  

 

I laboured over my travel plan last night. Wrote down every change, all the times I was expected to be at the various stops. Took a photo of my itinerary on my phone in case I lost it and emailed it to myself so I could have access on my chromebook as I travel. I got worried that my online booking may not have gone through for my hotel so I rang them. Of course it had. All was well. 

 

I realised I was obsessing and I was doing so not through interview nerves. I was frightened. This was a long complicated journey and I was frightened I would fuck up. Part of it was I normally have Other Half driving (I’m the navigator) and using the car to get everywhere has meant that I am unused to any other form of travel. Hell, I think my driving skills may have even atrophied. 

 

What happened to the 18 year old welsh girl who would think nothing of hopping on a train and going through multiple changes to get from Scotland to Cirencester and back? There were no phone apps to make this easier. Planning journeys on the internet was in it’s infancy. I had no laptop, no twitter, 3G was not a thing. My phone made calls and texted. 
As I sit on the train now I have my laptop open and my phone plugged in next to it. No doubt I look very busy and the train is filling up. My little tech zone is taking up most of the table, i am effectively being a table hog. I need these things! I can’t travel without them! I’ve not even looked out the window. 

 

I guess I am one of those lucky transitional generations. I have lived to see the world change vastly and I am not even 40. My sons are natives to the tech revolution. Born into it. Unless there is some sort of apocalypse they will never know a world without being able to google anything they wish to know. I still remember having to use an encyclopedia. 

 

Anyway, back to the train and my journey. I think I have got too comfortable and to quote fallout 4 

 

“People in power should never be comfortable.” 

 

Thanks for that Bethesda. I may not be running Goodneighbour, but I am comfortable. 

 

Something in me tells me that I should not be, comfortable breeds complacency. There has to be balance however, I have a family to consider. 

 

So. I shall be uncomfortable for a few days and whatever happens the experience will be good for me. Nudge me out of my cocoon a little. 

 

I should probably look out the window a bit.    

​Interview

So, after all the stress of getting my CV together and firing out applications… I got a response last week from the post I thought would be least likely to want me (I made a few mistakes on the application in my haste.) 

So. I have a job interview- on the other side of the country. 
O…M…G what the fuck do I do now? 
Well, have to take Other Half with me. He needs to see the place if we are going to potentially move there. So, petrol expenses and an overnight stay in a travel inn. Early breakfast, tour of the building then into the interview. Drive around the area then home. Work next day, same as always. 
In laws are looking after children and mad dalmatian pup, but a neighbour will have to walk the pup because mother in law’s hip is screwed up. 
I am bloody frightened. If I get the job its massive expense to move and I will have to uproot my entire family. Up sides it’s a mainland area and much better connections to facilities and has better funding. Should follow that there are better opportunities.

  

If I don’t get it, then I will go onto a lower wage in a few short months and we will be stuck in a place where there are very few prospects of promotion and my Other Half can’t get a part time job to make up the shortfall, because here are 40 people chasing every job here. 
Kinda feel I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t. If my flat does not sell and I start a new job in August halfway across the country, leaving my family behind and probably living in a barn somewhere to keep costs down. 
So yeah, probably fucked either way.
Is it wrong to feel terrified and excited at the same time? Can’t afford a new suit so I am tarting up an old dress and matching it with some new shoes I got cheap off ebay and have heels so high they should be used as torture devices. 
Why am I bothering? Well… if everything comes together, maybe, just maybe we can be in a better situation. If we do nothing, chances are I’ll have to get a second job and work even longer hours than I do now and never see my family. 
If I don’t get this job I’ll be fairly gutted and have already almost talked myself into failing. Yet, if I am not sutable then why are they inviting me to an interview when I live so far away? 

Guess I will soon find out. 

A Trifle

So, this week was characterised by my youngest son getting a year older. (Well done there little guy!) So he is 4. Going on 45 I think. In the way of modern times, he had several parties to mark the occasion. Other Half made a cake for his actual birthday on Tuesday. Another was taken in for his toddler group which meets on a Thursday and his grandparents brought another over on the weekend. We were up to the fucking eyeballs in sodding cake in various states of being eaten. Am not even that fond of sponge cake.

What was I to do? Let all the piles of leftover cake go to waste? Over my festering corpse. I was raised on a farm in deepest darkest wales. There was no central heating. The fresh water tank would run dry in the summer and there was no TV as the mountains would not let us get a signal. There were also 14 people in the house and it was 6 miles to the nearest shop that sold food. It took me an hour to get to school.

Thus, I do not waste food. I recycle it. I decided to create something I had not made since my teens. A trifle. An old fashioned UK original from the era of bread and butter pudding and cheese and pineapple on cocktail sticks. Or so I thought. Wikipedia disagrees.

The earliest use of the name trifle was in a recipe for a thick cream flavoured with sugar, ginger and rosewater, in Thomas Dawson‘s 1585 book of English cookery The Good Huswifes Jewell.[1] Trifle evolved from a similar dessert known as a fool, and originally the two names were used interchangeably.[2]

So it’s old, like most brit food I suppose. Anyway, I hit the shop and brought the goodies home. My mother used to bake for a living, in the days when a farm kitchen was fine for preparing cakes, scones and bread. Modern Health and safety would have fainted. Like her, I opted to go on instinct.

Cooking by my ‘gut’ is not always successful but it has led to some wonderful discoveries over the years. And the ‘stale birthday cake trifle’ was created. For those interested, here is a rough approximation at a recipe.

  1. Take stale cake and break it up into bits in a wok- it was the biggest thing I had.
  2. Open a couple of tins of summer fruit and pour off the syrup into the wok. Add a little strawberry syrup or whatever sweet ya might have hanging about in the kitchen. Honey would do, so would a few tbsp of sugar. Anyway, the cake soaks it all up. Get your hands in there to make a cake mulch, or get passing 7 year old to do this for you, as I did.
  3. Child now licking fingers, get a couple of big ass bowls and shove handfuls of cake mulch into them so the bottom is covered. Lick your own fingers.
  4. Pour in drained fruit. Shuffle the bowl a little so it sits right. Then raid the freezer for some frozen blueberry punnets that have been in there 6 months. Chuck in too, not bothering to defrost.
  5. Could not be arsed to fanny about with jelly- straight onto the custard. Dump on top of fruit.
  6. Whip up some cream to soft peak. Use an electric whisk. Yes, I know this can over whip it, but fuck it. I got eyes, will watch it. 7 year old runs away from the noise.
  7. Add a bit of sugar to the cream and no, I don’t over whip it IN YOUR FACE PERFECT BAKERS.
  8. Dump cream on top of custard. Give it a shuggle (Scottish- shake) to settle it all down.
  9. Sprinkle with- something. I had some chocolate curls in the cupboard. I would advise against using chilli flakes, as returning 7 year old insisted would taste amazing.
  10. Put in fridge. Don’t eat for 24 hours so the flavours can permeate through the- Nah, it lasted till dinner time…
  11. Eat
  12. Eat more
  13. Warn children and Other Half they will feel sick if they eat it all.
  14. Be ignored.
  15. Be smug that you made two for under £7

   

         

No doubt there will be those that will look on in horror at my less than pristine offering. Created with much giggles from eldest child and with a passing nod to hygiene. To those, I say- actually what’s the point? You either get what this is about or you don’t.

Till next week, goodbye friends and strangers.

Things Changing

Woo look at me blogging while I cook.

 

Well, it’s home made curry, it’s going to take a while. So, have chrome book propped up on the drier- while drier is on. Adds quite the challenge to typing. With NaNo almost over, I am back to the blog. Have had time to think about what I blog. Writing prompts are fun, but they should not be the only thing I do.

 

Thus, you are going to get some me. Not the work me, or the day to day me, but the actual inner me.

 

Inner me is cynical. Inner me swears, a lot. Inner me also cares deeply and can get angry.

 

This week work has dominated my thoughts. Well, I say dominated…. It’s eaten them whole and shat them out in a mental sludge that has kept me awake into the wee small hours. This has probably been the worst week of work in the last five years.

In case you don’t know, I work in education. Some say I am good at it. Devoted even. Me, I don’t have the arrogance to make a bold statement like that. I like being paid, would not do it for free. Yet the epic days I have working with teenagers balances out the bad. There are bad days, sometimes I come home mentally fragmented and needing to be patched up. Other Half has got my six when this happens.

Perhaps I get so tired as it’s an act when I stand in front of a class. IRL I am never that confident and people scare the shit out of me. Part of me still has a respect for authority. I want to believe that those in charge get put there by merit. Stepping into middle management this year has wiped that from my soul. Those in charge take care of themselves and pass blame when things go wrong.

Which is what happened to me this week. It dawned on me slowly, others saw it first. Told me I should be angry, I was not… until I checked my records. Never delete an email children. Looking back over dates and contacts it became clear. I had been fucking shafted and was left to deal with the fallout. My professional integrity has been put on the line because someone is too wrapped up in other things, or too damn lazy to do their job properly.

I don’t like getting angry. No, really, it frightens me. I get flashbacks of angry yelling from growing up and some of the rest of what I saw back then.

Nope, not going into any details. Naming names when people are not in public life is a dick move. I am not a dick. I was, however, tired, angry and upset with little outlet. I put my head down and slogged on. One thing I take pride in- I am a stubborn cow. It did not break me. Oh, I wanted to cry in a corner and gnash teeth, but that would not have done any good. Many hours of extra, panicked work later and I met the deadline. It’s a rushed, poor job, that will reflect badly on me, yet it is done.

So, on Friday I filled out an application form for a new job. I have been playing with this idea for months. Making half-assed comments that I don’t have to be trapped in my current job. Yet it took this week to galvanise me into actual action.

It was rather cathartic on one level, and utterly terrifying on another. I’ve been working in the same place ten years, TEN YEARS. A DECADE! Some of my colleagues have been in the same place their entire career. Rare in this day and age. I was half submitting to the idea that I would be among them. Despite the allure of better salaries and working conditions abroad, my Other Half really does not want to leave Scotland.

I am not a dick and I love him so don’t push the issue. Marriage is about compromise- as I have learnt from fifteen years of it. Back to work- two jobs on my radar, the other side of the country.

Yes, I am scared. I flit between OMG WHAT AM I DOING??? To- FUCKING LET ME LEAVE! AM SICK OF THE FUCKWITS!

 

There will be fuckwits wherever I go, but if I don’t try and leave, how will I know?

 

Oh, trite poetry? I’m such a twat.

 

Curry is almost ready. I am off to cook the rice. Korma, if you must know. Then onwards to marking in front of the TV. Living the dream. It pays the bills-

Who knows this might be the best decision in recent years. Or the worst. Or it might crumble my ego to dust and bend the steel in my spine as I am unwanted elsewhere.

 

That’s life. Time will tell.

 

Signing off for now.
Goodbye friends and strangers.

Writing Prompt- 6th of March

I had to look up what freewriting was. Never don it before. My spelling and punctuation is abhorent. Dyslexia is a pain in the arse when your chosen medium of self expression is writing. I plan everything, my miond maps are a thing of complex beauty, but they keep my thoughts on track. 

I also sue evernote. GAH! I hate not being able to correct myself, this is very uncomfortable! THen again, that is why I have been doing these promts. Gets me out of my cosy written habbits and expands my skillset. 

I am sat at a random desk, chrome book open and gritting my teeth as my typos. The air conditioning is cold. Yes I do need aircon in this room in March. It gets far too hot even with all the heating turned off. Bloody modern buldings. 

I had a protien shake for lunch, very uninspired. Should help my leg recover though. I tore my claf mucel a few weeks ago and on the weekend I wrecked it again. I was jumping on a tyre. No, really I was. Sort of thing you do when you have a 7yo and 3yo sons. Really need to look after myself a bit more. 

Been going back over some stuff from my fanfiction days. I finished all stories, except one. I really should polish it off. Its hard to get back into the mindset of me in 2011 however. I’m different. I moved on and the way I write has changed. I even notice that in my novel. As it was started a few years ago the beginning and the end feel different. 

My novel… feels weird to type that. I know I’ve written the best part of a million words online as a hobbie but, I’ve never dithered and sweatted over a mere 90,000 words so much. The process has been interesting. The writing was easy enough, once I had the plan in place. The editing, that was like pulling teeth. Read, checked, read again. Put though a text to speach program twice to hear how it flows. Cut the opening, re wrote it, re wrote it again. Knocked about 10,000 words out the whole thing. Had to decide how muchback story for the characters should go in. Still not entirly happy with the opening but I don’t think I ever will be happy. I may need to insert something back in too, I may have cut too much. 

Only one person has read it in entirity so far. Really not his genera but he really enjoyed it. Going to pass it to a critical friend next, nervous as fuck about that. Still, I am going to publish this year, book two is started. 

OK, just looked at the cloclk, a minute to go. errr been a busy day, and am sad enough to use my lunch on a- oh just got passed paperwork and had to hide this doc, gah my time. Oh well-   

Writing Prompt- 3rd March

What is true fear for your character?

Fear is relative. For Suiriane, pure terror was never a stranger. However, from Warden Captain to Whispers Agent- there was one thing she feared above all else. The memory of it plagued her.

“You’re, you’re c- court?” The word almost burned her throat as she said it. The Sister with the dark bark stood in the street, the sun poured between the buildings, painting the cobbles gold and warming the hard stone to an umber hue. The Sister did not look any different and at that distance Sui could detect no aura.

It mattered not. What did nightmare look like? All thorns and fangs? No, she knew that was not the case, that was why Sui was so afraid. The asuran turret on the roof had a good range, but she wanted to make sure and backed up against the door of the townhouse she called home.

The dark Sister taunted her, standing just out of shot. Called her a replacement. Stated that her friend and mentor did not really like her. Sylvana was lost and seeking a distraction. Suiriane was not valued by her, she was pitied.

Sui’s hands shook. She said nothing. Fear raked cold fingers up her spine and made her gut clench. A pain spasmed through her chest.

Sylvana’s former lover. Justicia. Taken, tortured, fallen. The guilt still ate at Sui’s mentor.  Yet, all Suriane could see that day, was a reflection of what she could have so easily become, and it terrified her.

Suddenly the street was gone and she was once more under her Mentor’s desk. Another memory. Days old and too afraid to even speak. A dream corrupted, pieces of a hunt remained that she could not understand. Faces she had known and held dear were now lost to her. She ached with the absence. The waking world was loud, bright and confusing. Most of all she was frightened of herself. Her twisted dream had given her a vision of what she could be.

Her Grove mentor had told her in gentle tones to see it as a warning. It may not be pleasant but she could make choices to avoid turning into what she dreaded. Easier said than done. Later Sui would learn, combat was not difficult for her. She would never be a true blade specialist, but she could hold her own. No, what came very easily was power. A gift for manipulating and directing chaos, inflicting pain, confusing thoughts and ensnaring the senses.

It was too much in the end. She left the Grove. Conflicted, jaded and alone. Unable to identify with her siblings, forever an outsider behind the smile. She left, seeking the familiar. Lion’s Arch had showed her how naïve her choice was. Suiriane had hated that city after, once cursing it to Sprout, wishing it would burn. Prophetic words as it turned out…

Not half a year later she would face Justicia again. There would be no convenient turret to save Sui from fighting. Using all her mother given talents Suiriane would best the Courtier and kill her. That was the day Sui broke her vow to Sylvana, and her Mentor’s ‘heart’ in the same blade thrust.

Even if she had known before that day how deeply wounded Sylvana would be- Sui knew she would still have driven the blade home. The whisper of darkness in her demanded an answer to the Courtiers challenge. It was not pride or honour, she simply wanted to spill sap.

Part of her liked it, and that, most of all, was more frightening than any Courtier threatening her on the streets of Divinity. That darkness had led her to make her great mistake. Had meant she had hurt those around her. All a symptom of the deep fear of what she could be.

Writing Prompt- 27th Feb

​Famous last words: consider the last few sentences of one of your favourite books. 

Now write your own last sentences to an as yet unwritten novel. 


Was submission the only course of action in the end? 

Carrie reminded herself that submission did not always equate to weakness. While there was still breath, while there was still life- there was hope. 

Her will was immaterial. She would endure and survive to gain it back. 

It took true strength to submit. 

Writing Prompt- 24th Feb  

​Imagine your dream house: What does the front door look like? Can you detail the whole entryway? 
A white door, why I don’t know. Gloss paint, unmarked, shining in the sun. No window or number. Simply a letterbox, knocker and doorknob. Plain brass, unadorned. 

There is the lazy hum of bees in the air and butterflies. The whole door frame and indeed, a good portion of the front of the house is alive with wisteria and golden climbing roses. Purple and yellow of flowers in stark contrast to the plain white door. 

There is a single step up, black and made of granite. The keyhole is old, not a compact modern lock. An anonymous gap in the door where an old iron key fits. The lock is stiff and I need to grit my teeth when I turn the key. 

The heavy wooden door creaks a little on opening, slowly moving to reveal a corridor beyond. A vague picture of a marble tile floor and an old victorian hat stand, filled with the jumble of coats that my family wear. 

The scent of wisteria and rose seeps into the house, perfuming it with the nostalgic smell of childhood gardens.  

I am home   

Writing Prompt- 22nd Feb


Open yourself up to all Geographies and time periods and imagine a society with an unusual currency- it is not paper, gold, or bitcoin. What is it, and where does it come from? 

(Borrowed a bit from 1700s UK history for this one. Also this was written with little sleep and edited at 4am… cos sick child.) 

Milly clutched her prize. A faint scent still hung in her nostrils. Not the usual smells of damp earthen floor and hearth smoke. No, this smell spoke of far off places, burning sun, heated sand that stretch on forever. Places where strange creatures lurked, dark skinned people who spoke in lyrical tones; to Gods she knew nothing of. 

He mother would skelp her for thinking such things. If Father Boyd head such- she would be on the punishment stool at Mass on Sunday for all to see her shame and witness her repentance. There was only one God. To say otherwise was heresy. 

Almost frightened the local priest would sense her blasphemous thoughts, Milly scampered past the church. She splashed through mud and slurry in the street. The smell kept the aromas of her little village at bay. It tantalised her nostrils, drawing her on. 

She would not have known the worth of her prize, had it not been for Michael. Her mother would do more than skelp her if she knew Milly still payed with the Gypsy lad. Milly had been bearched last time her brother had found out. He squealed like the piglet he was to Mama. 

The beating did not stop Milly sneaking out to see Michael. Her disobedience had been blessed. The pair had come across a half buried box, that smelt of mystery and warm. Michael had known straight away what the contents were and more importantly, their value. 

Milly lifted her woolen skirts as she splashed across the main track, dodging horse droppings and what looked like a drowned rat. She had to hurry, her Father would be waiting in line to pay the rent. 

They did not own the land they lived upon. The local Laird had recently hiked the price of rent so high few could pay. Repossessed land was covered in sheep. The fleece and mutton sold for more than tenant farmers could pay in rent. Sheep were worth more than people to the nobility. 

Most folk were packing up, leaving. Many selling everything they owned for passage to Canada, America and even India. Places she had heard of, but never even seen on a map.

Her Father was at the front of a line of tired looking men. None of them could probably afford the new rent, yet there they were. To argue the case. A last, faint hope that the new Laird may remember that their families had lived on these lands for generations. Served his noble family, bled for them in times of war, celebrated the birth of their heirs. Supported them in times of famine. They could not forsake all that. Land was a man’s soul. Without it what good was he? 

She had heard her Da say that to her mother and thought she may understand. Milly was sure Canada was very nice, but this place, this rainy, muddy, backwarter of a village was home. 

She drew level with her Father and tugged at his sleeve. The large man, bowed from the plough, hands and face rough from hot sun and frost, turned to regard his only daughter. Ten, yet looked so like her grandmother it made his heart ache. 

Milly smiled and wordlessly opened his hand. 

Three dried buds were dropped onto his heavily lined palm. He looked from the grinning child’s face to what was in his hand. He almost dropped the useless bits of plant and stomp them into the mud. Was she added? 

The gasp from the finely dressed servant behind the desk made him think otherwise. 

“Are those-? Where did you? How?” The fop was purple of face, could almost not breathe. 

Milly’s Father placed the buds on the ledger before the man and waited.  

Stuttering, the man wrote a value in the ledger, quill shaking. 

“Ah, that- that will be all. This will pay the rent for- well the next ten years- that is- that depends on silver prices, of course.” 

The big farmer grunted and took his daughter’s hand, leading her away. 

“Milly-May?” he asked as they passed the church, his work rough hand still firmly holding his daughters. “What were those?” 

“Cloves Da,” she responded. “M-” then backtracked quickly, her mind turning over. “I found ‘em by tha Kelpie pond. Looked like a thing tha’ Laird would like so I brought ‘em.”  

Her hand was squeezed in response. Her Father asked no more, especially how she had managed to identify the highly prived spice when she had never seen it. 

Cloves were worth triple their weight in silver, and so was his daughter it seemed. 

He let her have her secrets.  

February 17th- Writing Prompt

‘Design a scene where tranquillity is unnerving. What makes it eerie? Can you impart the feeling without using the words unnerving eerie or their synonyms?’

OK, gonna use GW2 RP character to try this. 

The silence was complete.

The forest was never quiet. There was always something making noise. Maguuma was alive in a very real sense. Even the chasms in the ground contained vines that were shifting and slithering.

Birds called out in the day, a myriad of rainbow colours. Wild boar and other rooting animals shuffled through the undergrowth. The peoples of the forest were a reflection of the environment. Despite the nightly assaults they found time to sing, dance, play.

The remaining Pact forces in the jungle worked tirelessly during lulls in the fighting to repair weapons and defences. Varicose swarms of pocket raptors brought down screaming prey. Tigers growled and roared to affirm territory and ward off any that might stray near them.

At night, the minions came. Gaining strength in the darkness. The jungle rang with battle cries and fleeing animals caught in the crossfire.

The dragon whispered…

It was all gone… silence, total and utter.

It was wrong.

The tall blue sylvari, hidden in the foliage, edged out of cover. It was night and she was swathed in black and green, hiding her glow from those that may target her. Her footfalls sounded over loud in the night. Her ears twitched and she froze, waiting for the inevitable attack that must come, yet it did not. Her eyes swept over the tree line then scanned the ground.

Nothing stirred, nothing moved. Senses strained. Nothing, oppressive and thick nothing. There should have been relief, but she felt only tension and stain. The jungle was holding it’s breath. Every creature waiting for a monumental- something to happen.

Her nerves began to fray. Pulled taut, they unravelled. The silence in her mind was the most disturbing. What was keeping the dragon so occupied?  The lack of sound pressed round her ears. She could hear her own sap pulsing through her body.

She bolted. Instinct born from hard lessons in Orr pushed her on. Her magic came in a rush, she jumped, blinked and even vanished utterly at times. Anything to get her back to camp as swiftly as possible.

Something was coming and she did not want to be in the open when it-

The roar that echoed through her mind made her fall to her knees. Momentum carried her on, skidding across moss and slamming into a tree.

She screamed, so did everything else around her. The noise thrummed through her, then it came. Wave after wave of wild, raw magic.

Barriers, so carefully constructed round the needy and gaping maw within her, shattered. She remained still, mouth open, now not even able to scream as the reservoir within her was filled and overflowed. She was found insensible and burbling nonsense just outside base camp.

It took a long time for her to come back to herself. Weeks. When she was told the dragon was dead she began to weep. The world was changed for her. The threat was gone but had been replaced by something far more personal, even vindictive. When would she stop having to pay for a mistake made four years past?

A gnarled hand, strong and twisted with age took hers and she looked up at the rugged bark of her dearheart. He had a patch over his eye. When had that happened? She would later learn that the patch was her fault also. More consequences from the death of the dragon.

“Do not cry,” he told her in his gruff tone. “While you live there is hope.” He sounded unsure, was he panicking at seeing her cry?  

Perhaps, but his words, as usual, held wisdom. She was too stubborn to give in. Though it was clear she could no longer serve the order as she once had. Was she useless now? What of her half remembered hunt? Her pride stung.

As if sensing her thoughts, she was abruptly pulled into a lingering hug.
He had never needed words to get his point across. She would endure, for his sake if for no other reason.