Author: ChocolateEclar PM
Fire & Hemlock one-shot. “So you come from That House?” asked the woman mildly. She was measuring Tom under her sharp gaze. A young Tom Lynn tries to run from Hunsdon House and meets someone unexpected.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 840 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 4 - Published: 12-03-04 - Status: Complete - id: 2157627
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own nor am I making any profit from Fire & Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones.
Fire & Hemlock one-shot. "So you come from That House?" asked the woman mildly. She was measuring Tom under her sharp gaze. A young Tom Lynn tries to run from Hunsdon House and meets someone unexpected.
And the Queen o' Fairies she took me
In yon green hill to dwell.
-- TAM LIN
"Tom! Tom, where are you?" called a pleasant, chiming voice.
The small fair-haired boy hid deeper in the bushes. A thorn scratched his cheek, drawing blood, and he scrunched his eyes closed and bit his lip to stop from letting out a sound. He did not understand what about "Miss Laurel" that frightened him, but he wanted to be as far away from her as possible.
"He's over here!" shouted a familiar voice. Tom refused to let his brother best him though. He sprang from the bushes and dived passed the other boy's legs. Charles Lynn snarled and leapt after his little brother. "Come back here, you little rat!" He grasped the tiny boy's ankle, pulling him down.
"No, I won't see her!" cried out the boy, kicking Charles in the nose. With a satisfying cracking noise, Tom broke free of his brother's grip and ran. He hurried down the driveway and through the large Hunsdon House gateway. Dashing down the street, he went by a petite cozy house surrounded by trees red and gold from the autumn air. A woman was in a front yard picking the last flowers remaining and placing them under her arm. At her feet was a black cat with green eyes that meowed alittle at Tom.
The woman looked up with her dark hair pinned up and eyed the boy sharply for a moment. Tom paused for a reason he did not understand. The cat mewed at him again and came up to his legs. Tom, worriedly looking over his shoulder back up the road, bent down to pet the feline.
"So you come from That House?" asked the woman mildly. She was measuring Tom under her sharp gaze. It made him squirm.
"Y-Yes," stammered the boy. He felt silly being afraid. Miss Laurel was much more terribly scary, while this woman was just not easily fooled, giving her a hard air.
"Tom Lynn," he whispered, coming a little closer. He had to get far away from Hunsdon House as quickly as possible.
"I'm Mrs. Whittacker," replied the woman. "Come inside with Cocoa and I. They will be looking for you, I assume."
Tom shook his head. "I'm sorry…um…Mrs. Whittacker, but I have to hurry – "
"Mother, how are you…?" trailed off a young man coming out of his car.
"Reg," said the woman, smiling dismally again.
Tom heard another car coming down the street. Instinct told him who it was. "Please," he cried to Mrs. Whittacker.
"Around the back," she said, inclining her head towards the left side of the house. Tom scampered through the fallen leaves and around to the back garden wordlessly.
Mrs. Whittacker turned to her son. "What was that?" Reg asked.
"Nothing," said his mother grimly. "Now, how is college? You haven't called in weeks."
"I was a bit busy," Reg pleaded. "I met this gal Ivy, and she…"
Tom heard no more as he climbed the fence and into the yard beyond. He nearly stumbled at the sight of Hunsdon House before him. "I got nowhere," he cried out.
"Yes, Miss Laurel?" he sighed.
"Come inside and play your cello for me, dear," commanded Laurel.
Tom trudged up the driveway and into the front door. Charles was mopping up his bloody nose with towels pressed tight and giving his brother a venomous glower.
Tom opened his instrument case, which was waiting for him on an armchair, and gently hefted the cello from the velvet interior of the case. He sat down at the chair beside Laurel and ran his bow slowly across the strings and made adjustments to tune his pitch and tone.
Grimly, Thomas Lynn buried himself in the music. It was far better than the bitter reality he was trapped in. He wanted to snarl at Laurel that he would be no one's puppet, but he ignored the inclination.
He had always loved literature and, though young, had read Tam Lin. His mother, the only person up until Mrs. Whittacker who had showed him compassion, had told him to read it before her death. She said it would help him in the future. He knew one thing reading such had taught him though.
Someday, he would find his Janet.