This is a project that doesn’t begin and end with my writing fiction. I plan to involve my daughter and perhaps my son in writing these stories. Perhaps I’ll be able to learn to appeal to a different audience through this process. I haven’t intended to write children’s stories even if some of my writing has come off childish. Now, perhaps, it can be intentional.
Aivi was in her place, her secret place, her private place. There was no quiet in her house, her little brother, Ro saw to that. Here in the little cave by the little stream, Aivi could get a little peace.
“Aivi!” came the call on the wind. It was mother and she sounded angry. Aivi, for her part, wanted nothing to do with angry mothers. She hunkered down a little more and planned on returning later than she might have otherwise. She took up her flute and played low and soft so that sounds from without were masked, but her secrets weren’t revealed. Sometimes girls just needed a break. Mother should understand that.
So it was a great surprise, as she played in her little cave, when there were shadows at her cave door, her mother stepped in with Ro held by his elbow. Realization that she was discovered was replaced with anger that mother had betrayed her privacy and brought her little brother, replaced at last by cold fear. Aivi expected to see anger on her mother’s face, but instead there was only fear.
“Aivi, stay here with Ro. Hide. There are soldiers coming. Father is gathering things that we will need to survive in the forest. Don’t come back to the house no matter what happens.” And then she was gone and her brother, Ro, remained staring at her with big frightened eyes.
So, the scene is set. A girl who is a little rebellious. A younger brother who is not her best friend, to put it kindly. Trouble on the horizon like nothing she has faced before. In this story I imagine that Aivi is at least 13, and probably a little more. Because girls mature faster than boys in general, I imagine that Ro is perhaps only 2 years separated from his sister but probably seems younger.
They live next to the forest, but it has never been their home. They are the children of farmers so that the woods are a place to visit, but they are not highly schooled in forest craft, it will be a strange new world and very threatening.
I believe this story will be told with reference to the children’s past interactions with their parents, but at least at the beginning here they will be alone. I hope this situation will not provide yet another “kids do better without their folks” fodder, that isn’t my intention, quite the reverse. So I will try, in my writing, to avoid that. — LSO