- Noun — (in Scandinavian folklore) any of a race of supernatural beings, sometimes conceived as giants and sometimes as dwarfs, inhabiting caves or subterranean dwellings.
- Verb —to sing with a full, rolling voice; give forth full, rolling tones; to be uttered or sounded in such tones.
Definitions via Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022
Petra, Lucia, and Apolline, along with Roland and Alda are celebrating Wintermorn at the coffeehouse with Anya and her husband.
The older couple have baked the group a festive Wintermorn cake and as a gift to them, Alda helped Apolline knit them a pair of Aurorean-style scarves. Petra picked out the yarn and Lucia kept Roland distracted to prevent him from ruining things by trying to help.
“Petra, dear,” Anya says, “you have visitors.”
Petra nods thoughtfully turns to her companions. “I’m not expecting visitors,” she notes. “It may be an ambush. Be ready, just in case.”
Petra rises from her chair and cautiously heads towards the door, mentally making note of potential points of entry by her would-be attackers and defensible position and improvised weaponry for herself.
As it turns out, it is not, in fact an ambush.
“Pater? Mater?” Petra says incredulously when she sees the two figures barely able to fit into the doorway of the coffeehouse.
“Hello, dear,” the Amazon woman says, ducking under the doorframe to step into the coffeehouse. “We’ve missed you. Merry Wintermorn.”
Petra nods dumbly at the unexpected sight of her parents.
“Oh,” the Troll man says, throwing his huge, heavily-muscled arms wide. “Don’t look so shocked. And come give your Dad a hug.”
It’s immediately obvious that Petra takes after her parents. Her mother has the same towering Amazonian stature and bright red hair, while her father has the same stony blue skin and piercing eyes.
“What are you doing here?” Petra asks her parents.
“Well,” her mother answers. “We heard that a certain blue Amazon adventurer was making waves in Middeslbrooke. And who could that be but our Petra?”
“You’re checking up on me?” Petra asks.
“Not just checking in on you,” her father says. “Besides, we know you can take care of yourself. Really, we just wanted to spend Wintermorn with our daughter.”
“I’m glad you’re here,” Petra admits. “Would you like to meet my friends?”
“We’d be honoured,” Petra’s mother says.
Petra leads her parents over to the group’s table. “Pater, Mater,” she says. “You already know Apolline and Lucia. This is Roland and Alda. They’re Duke Charles’ wards. And this is Anya and Johann. They’ve been very kind to us since they arrive. And their coffee is excellent.”
“Thank you for taking care of Petra and friends,” Petra’s mother says graciously.
“It’s our pleasure,” Anya answers. “Petra is a remarkable young woman.”
“That she is,” Petra’s father says.
“And, everyone,” Petra continues. “This is my mother Aelia. And my father Torvald.”
Anya and Johann immediately move forward to shake hands with Petra’s parents.
Roland also steps forward. “As, uh, I guess the representative of Duke Charles,” he says, trying to strike a balance between sounding formal and official and being himself. “Allow me to welcome you to the Duchy of Middlesbrooke. Usually, there’s a fruit basket for important visitors, but I didn’t know you’d be coming. Just, uh, lemme put in a good word with my Uncle. Agricola will fix you up with a great fruit basket!”
“Thank you, Sir Roland,” Aelia says.
“It’s a Wintermorn miracle!” Roland exclaims as he returns to his seat beside Lucia. “And — Lucia are you crying?”
Mostly, I just really wanted to make that “Troll” pun, but I must admit that I do enjoy doing the occasional nice thing for my characters.
And, well, that’s the end of Christmas Week. Realistically, I’m probably going to be doing much posting tomorrow, but I’ll try to have something.
Merry Christmas, everybody!
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