Let Me In
Next stop, the train station. As you’ve gathered. This is where the villagers meet and greet. It’s where they exchange news and where they gossip. At least in the winter.
During summer they tend to meet down by the harbor, in front of the big boat house.
But summer is long gone. The sun won’t rise for months, and the harbor is frozen solid. You only go there if you want to be alone now.
– – –
Hulda shivered and muttered to herself. Stupid. She’d forgotten to build up the fire before she went to bed last night and it had almost gone out. The arrivals hall was freezing cold. Frost had crept in under the door, and whenever she exhaled faint smoke billowed in front of her.
The outer door creaked, and Hulda groaned. This had better be important. She didn’t do people at this hour. A dry grin tugged at her cheek – and then she rolled her eyes at herself. Case of the cabin fever here have we?
As the inner door opened she sighed and got to her feet. Her face scrunched up, and then she let it go. Too early to smile. “Yes?”
“Hulda?” Shaman Fannar stood in the doorway. Cloak and staff and everything.
He looked at her.
“There’s ice on the floor.” She nodded towards where he stood. “Don’t slip.”
Fannar nodded. “Thank you, Hulda. I will step with care.”
“Good.” She crossed her arms over her chest and waited.
It was too early. She was cold and tired and the fire had almost gone out and she was freezing her stupid ass off.
The silence dragged out.
“Water’s frozen,” she said, without taking her eyes off him.
She’d have to knock a hole in the ice on the bucket before there would be any tea this morning.
“My apologies, station master.” Fannar bowed his head. Just a little. Just for a moment. “I require your services on an entirely different matter this morning.”
Station master indeed. Was she not a girl anymore?
Hulda nodded – slowly.
“Presently, I am on may way to see Kala, the bereaved girl.” He paused, and took a deep breath. “However, I will need, at some point during the day, to speak to Sindri on a matter of intermediate urgency. I do not have the time to pay his home a visit, but if you were to let it be known that I seek him, I believe chances are good someone will bring him a message.”
So that’s what it was about – too lazy to go for a proper visit.
“Sure…” Hulda stopped herself and pressed her lips together. Her brow furrowed and her lips curled into a thin sneer. “I will endeavor to disseminate said piece of information at my earliest opportunity.”
How did the man keep talking like that all the stupid time? It drove her nuts.
– – –
The message had been heard and delivered, and it didn’t took long before the village knew that Fannar had asked for Sindri. Gulli heard it from Otto and Harald. Torrd heard it from Dagny. Dagur heard it from Styrbjorn, who’d heard it from Ralphur, who’d been told by Fannar himself.
Sindri himself, of course, heard it from all of them. Which, as you might have guessed, was precisely the point. Make it known. Put some pressure on. Get it done.
Also, give the village something else to think about for a while.