Salt Sisters · Short Salt Stories

Harrison’s new life

So… I had this idea about Harrison and the other story idea have (the Lake) and I couldn’t explain it that well when I talked. I hope this explains what I tried to say (that he isn’t actually from this time but from the future, from the story about the lake to be exact).

Harrison sighed as he placed his mug down on the tavern table and looked out the window at the street. So much had changed in such little time. It felt like only yesterday that he was laughing and joking with all six of his brothers back in their safe family home in the woods near Ridgeworth. Near that dreaded Lake Adair.

That Lake. It had been the cause of all this change. First it took the royal children. Then two strange girls had appeared in it. Of course Falcon couldn’t have left them alone once he saw them. He had to take them back into the Radke home. That had led to Harrison and some of his brothers fighting the Patrol near the lake, Falcon being one of them. Harrison had been pushed into the lake and immediately Lake Adair had taken him. He had barely been able to look into his brothers’ faces as he was taken. One second he was in his time, the next he was struggling for breath in the seventh year of King Harold’s rein. He was back in history. At least he had a while to wait until the war started. At least he could live in peace for a few years.

Harrison took another swig of his drink as he thought about his new name. Apparently it was custom for the Alalithian king to change the last name of anyone from the lake. Apparently it was also custom for the king to find that person a spot in society. Those customs were much nicer than the ones Harrison was accustomed to, where anyone from the lake was killed or thrown in the dungeons. Harrison had been petrified that that was going to happen to him when he was taken to the Duke of Ridgeworth. But instead of death or imprisonment he was sent to the king and given a new name and a new life. He was no longer Harrison Radke. Now he was Harrison Thatcher. The same name as the famous knight Harrison was originally named after. The real Harrison Thatcher was – Harrison shook his head as he changed his thoughts. He had to get used to thinking of history as the present and his real life as the future – the real Harrison Thatcher is Prince Lucien and Princess Lilith’s friend who saves their lives while at war in a few years. The real Harrison Thatcher’s name would always be remembered through history. Perhaps Harrison might end up meeting the famous Harrison Thatcher. Harrison smiled at that idea.

He had already met King Harold and seen Prince Lucien (or was that King – no, Prince right now – Prince Nathaniel?). Perhaps he would meet Princess Lilith as well. Although, being the seventh year of King Harold’s rein, Princess Lilith would just be Lilith. Nobody would even know who she really is yet either. Nobody except the Smith’s and Harrison. There was every possibility that Harrison would meet her. This was Farvell after all, her home city.

Harrison finished the last mouthful of his drink as the waitress walked over. He had been sitting at the tavern for quite a while now. It had to be mid-afternoon by now. The Carpenter would be waiting to meet Harrison. That was another odd thing. King Harold had assigned Harrison to be the carpenter’s apprentice because Mr. Alan Carpenter has no sons, just a tiny daughter. That was to be Harrison’s new life. The life of a carpenter’s apprentice. It was strange because that was what the famous Harrison Thatcher’s life was before the raids that led to him fighting in the war and being knighted after his death for his service. One of the few men knighted after death. It was a strange concept, but so was the idea that the carpenter would have two apprentices both called Harrison Thatcher. King Harold really hadn’t thought that one through.

Harrison paid the waitress as she arrived to clean the table and take his mug. He pushed himself up from the table and left the tavern. As he walked out of the doors and stepped to the side he stretched his arms and looked around Farvell. Harrison had always wanted to visit Farvell city but he had always thought he never would unless he was being dragged to the dungeons. The Farvell he saw now was so different from the Farvell he pictured in his present – in the future, Harrison corrected himself – so very different. It was lively, happy. No one seemed to live in fear or sorrow. Well, at least not the fear and sorrow Harrison was used to, just the fear and sorrow the poor always lived in. Not the fear of a crazy and deranged Royal family sitting on the throne. No, Farvell under the rule of King Harold was peaceful compared to King Marcus. Alalithia was more peaceful.

Harrison leaned against the tavern wall and looked out at the street. He should probably start making his way to the carpenter’s house but two children had caught his eye. Well, not children exactly. The girl would be about twelve and the boy about fourteen and there was no mistaking who they were. Harrison ran his fingers through his blonde hair as he looked at the girls golden curls and emerald eyes. The pair was walking closer and closer to the tavern.

Harrison smiled as he continued to watch young Lilith and the boy, who must be Timothy Smith. It had to be Timothy. Lucas used to always brag that even his non royal ancestors had high connections. One of those connections being Timothy and Lilith’s friendship. At least, that’s what Harrison thought. He couldn’t quite remember what Lucas used to say. Harrison always ended up tuning out when Lucas talked history. Now he wished he had paid more attention. He knew enough to get through but more knowledge would be better.

As Timothy and Lilith approached, Harrison couldn’t help but think of their future. In just over four years they would be fighting in the war together, alongside with the real Harrison Thatcher. Harrison Thatcher would have taught them how to fight. Would have helped Lilith dress as a boy and be passed off as a boy so she could fight. She would be passed off as Harrison Thatcher’s younger brother Lewis Thatcher.

Harrison held his breath as he looked at Lilith again. This time looking at her and picturing her dressed as a boy. Dressed as Lewis Radke, Harrison’s youngest brother. She could nearly pass as him. Another strange thing. Harrison had never connected famous Harrison Thatcher’s fake brother’s name and poor woodcutter Harrison’s younger brother’s name. They were both Lewis. There were too many strange connections between the famous Harrison Thatcher’s life and Harrison’s current life. Their names. Their jobs. Their brothers. But they weren’t strange connections, Harrison realised. He was Harrison Thatcher. Or at least he would be.

Harrison sighed. Stay away from big historical things. One of the few rules King Harold gave Harrison but right now Harrison couldn’t see how he could stay away. Stay away and history would change. Harrison was already part of history. Harrison had to get mixed up in history. He had to meet Lilith and befriend her. He had to fight in the war that was to come. He had to die and become a legend. He had to die…

Harrison swallowed hard. He was going to die in just over four years’ time. He was going to die at war protecting Lucien and Lilith and Timothy. Harrison took a deep breath as young Lilith and Timothy walked past him. He breathed hard to give himself strength. He had to do it. He couldn’t change history to save his life. So much of the future relied on Harrison Thatcher and his sacrifice. After all, he saved the prince and princess. Besides, he would become a legend. Wasn’t that a good enough reason to die willingly? His brothers would have already mourned for him. He was as good as dead to those he cared about and those that cared about him. What did he really have to lose?

Harrison closed his eyes and grabbed a fist full of his hair. Perhaps Lake Adair wasn’t an evil lake like it was made out to be. Perhaps it didn’t just take random people and place them in random places and times. Perhaps it took people who needed to be taken and placed them where and when they’re needed, like this. Harrison Thatcher was part of Harrison’s history but, Harrison Thatcher is also part of his future. He is Harrison Thatcher and he is needed right here, right now.

 

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