This is a vignette I wrote for three characters in my NaNoWriMo novel: a father and his two little sons (both the boys are under the age of ten). This probably won’t show up in the novel at all, but it was sweet to write, and I enjoyed the conversation between parent and children. Definitely a dynamic I should look at more in my writing.
Oh, and there are spoilers for The Hobbit!
“Dad, why’d Bilbo take the Arkenstone? It was Thorin’s.”
“Because, Jason, he wanted to help the people of Lake-town. They’d lost their homes, they were sick, they didn’t have anything to eat.”
“And Bilbo just wanted to help them and didn’t know how else to do it, right?”
“Yes, Nick. That was pretty much it.”
“But Dad, I still don’t get it. It wasn’t Bilbo’s to give, right? He stole it.”
“Yeah, he did. But Bilbo was just trying to help. And what Thorin was doing was even- it was more wrong. He shot an arrow at the messenger, remember? He didn’t care if anyone died about the treasure.”
“But why didn’t Bilbo just ask Thorin to help the others?”
“He wouldn’t have listened.”
“But didn’t you tell us once that you never know till you ask? So why didn’t Bilbo ask Thorin?”
“He was scared, Jason. And he’d seen Thorin and Thorin was getting angry with everyone else so Bilbo didn’t know what to do. He wanted to help the people, and he wanted Thorin to help. But Thorin was already mad, so it wouldn’t have done any good. You see why he did it, Jason? He just wanted to do the right thing, and he wasn’t sure how. So he did the only thing he could think of. It didn’t work, but he tried.”
“Yeah, Jason- he was just trying to help. And remember he said it didn’t work in the end, right, Dad? He actually said it was a mess.”
“It would have been nice if Thorin could have lived.”
“I know it would have, Jason. But sometimes good people die. It’s not their fault, or anyone else’s other than the person who killed them. And sometimes not even then. Some of my friends have died just by accident.”
“So what about Mom? She just got sick. So why didn’t God make her better? He could have, so is her dying his fault?”
“No- not really, Nick. He wanted it to happen. We just don’t know why.”
“Dad, that doesn’t make any sense.”
“I know, Jason. That’s the way it is sometimes. It doesn’t make sense now, but it will later. I hope it will.”
Jason is 5 and Nicholas is 8, in case anyone is curious. Also, this conversation has almost nothing to do with the plot of the novel. Just something I wrote for fun. Although now that I think about it, there are some ideas that could apply… I’ll stop talking now.
Constructive criticism and whatnot is lovely, but not required.
Thanks for reading!