Prelude 72

“How much longer, Dad?” she pleaded.

He looked at her, his youngest daughter, struggling up the steep slope as the rest of the family bounded on ahead. She was not fit and athletic like her older sister, but what she lacked in ability she made up for in heart. He loved her dearly and put his arm around her to offer some solace and encouragement.

“Not much longer, my love, you hang in there,” he replied.

She looked at him, brave face hiding the deep exhaustion she felt, knowing that it probably was quite a bit longer, but that he would be there, and would carry her to the end of the world if needed.

Prelude 71

The cat looked at him suspiciously, eyeing the saucer of milk that was being held out as a peace offering.

The eternal decision lay before him: wild reckless freedom, or sensible comfortable bondage.


He sat on the rocks, staring dreamily at the wild North Sea churning white around him. The wind howled, tugging icily at his clothing. The girls had decided to give the walk a miss, pleading the atrocious weather as an excuse and preferring to curl lazily inside where a log fire roared in the cottage hearth.

Aaron needed the space his daily walks provided. As much as he loved his family he was by nature an introvert and became rapidly frazzled by too much social contact.

In the distance a light house stood solidly, bravely against the elements, ready to warn off stricken ships from these treacherous shores.