Riddly Hollow

"I didn't like the look of them. I've locked the barn and I'll be sure to slide the bolt on the hut door tonight."

"You don't give anyone a chance."

"I don't have too. Did you see them come alone the south road?"

"Course I did, I have eyes you know? I'm not blind, Uncle Arthur."

"Then you'll know full well that anyone that comes from the south road is either a thief, a foul mouthed person or a killer… or, sometimes, all three."

"It's been so long since anyone has come from the south that I think it's unfair to judge people so soon. People in the south may have killed their ways."

"Or killed each other and these are the last few left. Parading themselves right in here… in here! In Riddly Hollow… for shame on them, for shame… going to up root our beautiful village… this is our village and I'll be damned if any southern is going to change us!"

The kind brown eyes of Miss Abigail Young looked out over the land of the village; Riddly Hollow, standing under the stars on her porch, outside of her hut. "I doubt they will cause much trouble, Uncle Arthur…" she said, braking the old mans complaining.

"Ever since your father left us to go to live in the south, he has changed. He hasn't returned to us, has he?" Arthur asked. His tiny eyes looking to the small frame of the twenty-four year old Abigail, stood in her pink summer dress, as he sat in his rocking chair in the warm nights air. His favourite pipe between his lips. The pipe with birds and leaves carved into the side of it. "Your father hasn't even written. He left you here, my dear. He isn't returning. Southern's has changed him, he's now a wild man."

The brown eyes of Abigail fell at the mention of her father. Yes, the man had left her with his brother and gone to find work in the south, he hadn't returned though. And it was unclear where her mother was. Ever since she was six years old, her uncle had raised her, along with her Aunt Edith. "I don't believe he is a wild man, Uncle…" she told him, her eyes now glancing to smoke that had rose up to the sky from Arthur's lips.

Arthur gave her a nod. "Get yourself inside." he told her calmly. "Busy day tomorrow. Early start, I want you to go to Nancy's and ask if Eden will lead us a hand. I'm going to try and brake in the bay mare. She should be ready to sell soon after that."

"Yes, Uncle." Abigail replied and turned, walking to the door of the hut, but she paused, "Uncle Arthur. The village path is only a short walk, why must I go so early?"

"I don't want you walking along that path." he said, pointing down the dark road that went to the village square, but along the way, there was another hut, the lights still on inside. "You'll go the long way, around them in that home… I don't want you talking with these people from that cursed south." he said simply, replacing his pipe back into his mouth.

Abigail watched the path, then turned her head to look around the meadow and cornfield she'd have to go around when the morning came. She give a nod before opening the door and entering the hut.

Rocking in his chair, Arthur watched the light in the hut about a ten minute walk way. Muttering to himself about what the 'southern's' would wreck in his beautiful village. After a while, he frowned, seeing that their light was still on. Standing up, he turned and blew out the flame from the candle in the lantern that had been outside of the hut with him on the porch. "For shame in those people… entering here. What do they want with us?" he asked, but soon departed the darkness from where he stood and disappeared into the hut.