May 28, 2014

In Which Arydath Believes in Pork Pies in Heaven

October 11, 1185

"Tarien said he can keep up the host duties on his own. Bernardo and Had are helping him anyway." Not quite there--but moreso than Arydath--Hilla fiddled with her wedding ring. She'd married a good man. All of Arydath's daughters had. Arydath herself had married two good men. Even her mother had approved of Tarien, and her mother approved of almost nobody.

He did her mother well, holding everyone up now that she was gone.

Hilla--always the apple of her grandmother's eye, the granddaughter who bore her name--also deserved credit. She and Celina both had given birth only a month ago now, and little Eliana had been the toughest of Hilla's labors yet. She still hadn't quite regained her energy, but at least she was on the mend. After Lyraina's death, Arydath hadn't been able to breathe easy until her other girls held swaddled proof of safe delivery.

Her mother, at least--unlike her eldest--had lived a full long life. "Thank you. I'll have the cook make his favorite tonight."

"I'll tell him that, then."

"And you and Bernardo and the kids are welcome to join us. I know it's your favorite too."

"Grandmother's pork pies?"

Arydath nodded. "A close enough approximation, at least. She showed the cook a few years ago, just in case... well, you know."

"Because we all loved them."

They all did. Arydath, Tarien, Halford, old Hilla herself. The younger children, who'd grown up on those pies. Cord and Medur, now men grown, who'd more than once sent their wives to their grandmother to beg for the recipe. Lyraina, who'd enjoyed her last a week before she went. Celina, who'd just welcomed her firstborn into the world, and Feoda, still spending her spare moments stressing over when her firstborn would come. And of course, this Hilla--young, beautiful Hilla, her father in the face but with her grandmother's eyes--who stood before her now, a rock like her stepfather and father before her. And her grandmother.

If Ardyath dared think she knew one thing about heaven, she was certain it must have had pork pies.

"Yes. But not as much as we all loved her."



Van said...

I always meant to do more with Old Hilla, but that just never happened. At least she got to live a decent many years.

Man, I still need to get the profiles for those college kids up! Blame the friend who thought it would be a good idea to lend me a PS3 and a copy of Mass Effect 2.

I should be able to get those up tonight, though. My uncle is snoring in the next room, so I doubt that sleep is on the menu. :S

Ekho said...

Any death is sad, but at least her children and grandchildren have something to remember her by - food. I myself have a favourite recipe from my childhood, not that I can cook :S
I'm glad she had a good life.

Van said...

Her children and grandchildren (and even her old-enough great-grandchildren) will remember her by her pork pies and much else. And who knows? Maybe they'll dine on them together again in another life.

She did have a good life. And lengthy one, by Naroni standards.

Penelope said...

Oh man. I forgot that character existed! Crap, I liked her. That lady was a card. It was easy to see how a strong, independent person like Arydath could come about, what with a mother like Hilla. Aww, man.

Van said...

Yeah, Old Hilla kind of faded into the background (though I like to think the few appearances she did make were memorable). It was certainly easy to see where Arydath got her awesome from.