It was true that many of the villagers had not been able to leave their homes, whether due to injury, the injury of another in their family, or simple fear. Not that Sigrid could hold that against them. She herself had not been able to leave her own bedroom until the invaders had stopped the worst of their acts of violence. Her own cowardice filled her with shame now.
"Nearly everything will take some work to repair," she replied dully. "Nets are the easiest to fix."
"We are still here to fix things. That counts for much." Even if things were dire, Haleth had that. She had her life, the lives of the others. They were beaten, but their defeat was only temporary. That she believed, and she let it give her hope and a purpose.
"Nets may be easier to fix than people or buildings, but with them fixed, we’ll have one of our food sources back. That is as important as making certain our hunters will be able to hunt soon." They had stores of food, but she was of mind that it might be wise to keep some of those hidden for now, just in case. With no way to know how long the truce was going to last, being able to fish again would be useful. Fresh food was better than dried.
Closing her eyes for a moment to steady herself, she could feel the nets shaking in her hands. When she had regained some of her composure, she looked over at Haleth and smiled sadly.
"Given all that has happened, it’s a wonder we aren’t all incapable of working," she said with a heavy sigh.
Oh how she wished that she wasn’t alone right now. She wanted her family here, or at least a comforting male presence of some sort. Being strong was so tiring.
Haleth stood silently, letting Sigrid pull herself together. She would make certain the girl was doing as well as possible, and then she would think of moving on, despite misgivings about her being alone. The men did not seem to be bothering the village women as of yet, but she did not want Sigrid to have to deal with unwanted advances if one of the invaders came along.
"Some aren’t." Her expression darkened. There were a handful of villagers who had not handled the attack well, and were sticking close to their homes. Some had injured loved ones to take care of; others had simply been so shaken that they refused to leave their houses. Haleth could only hope they would improve over the coming days. They would likely need everyone on hand when the tension broke. "Those will take some work to repair," she said as a change of subject, nodding at the nets.
Looking up sharply at the sound of a stranger’s voice, Sigrid relaxed hastily when she noticed that it was not one of the raiders. Sighing heavily, she closed her eyes and turned back to the nets.
"I think I have things under control, but I thank you," she said, reaching up with one hand to brush a loose curl behind her ear. "I just need the work to…to ignore everything that has happened."
The work was monotonous, but it was work. It would keep her from going mad.
Haleth nodded, sympathy in her eyes. “I understand. If I allow myself to be still for too long…” She glanced back at the village, frowning. As glad as she was that many lives had been spared, she felt for Lothiriel. Many did. And yet no one could do anything, not at the moment. It was frustrating; Haleth preferred to take action when she could, and while she could settle in to wait things out when needed, her patience was strained. She did not want to hold back for too long, but she did not want to cause an altercation to break out, either.
That would probably happen quickly enough on its own, if the tension in the village was anything to go by.
"It is hard not to dwell." She watched Sigrid for another moment. "Many find themselves feeling the same today."
Sigrid had not wished to see this sort of destruction come to her village. Something told her that she had seen more than enough destruction, though she could not remember anything but peace before these raiders had come. Now, though, there was little she could do to change it beyond try and rebuild her life.
There were injured to be tended to, and as such there was never any lack of work. Sigrid was used to hard work, though. As a fisherman’s daughter, she had spent much of her life mending crude nets or helping to gut and salt the catches. But this was a different sort of difficult.
Fear always clutched at her heart. She hated to think of herself as a coward, but that was what it felt like. She hadn’t been able to defend anyone against the raiders. All she had done was hide and hope that they didn’t touch her little hut.
"But where has that gotten you?" she asked herself in a sad voice, trying to keep herself from crying as she gathered up the ruined nets.
Haleth had, of course, fought, and was one of the more successful of the villagers at it. She’d been injured, but less than some, and as she was able to be up and around, she was. She gave her help where she could, avoiding the invaders to keep her temper down, and had mostly given a hand with repairing houses or assisting the injured haul in water or set fires or cook meals. Some of the things she did were small, but in the current situation, everything felt like a bigger deal. Many villagers did not want the invaders helping, so Haleth would gladly step in.
She was making another round of the village and had heard some noise from the beach. Before she was even halfway down the path she spotted a figure; it was a young woman gathering up fishing nets. She couldn’t recall a name immediately, but she made certain her footfalls were heavy enough to be heard as she approach, not wanting to startle… Sigrid, she remembered. They had not spoken often before, but the young woman looked like help might be appreciated.
"Hello," she greeted, a faint trace of a smile crossing her face. It was tired, but then she was tired, and so was everyone else in the village. Nor was a day for ‘good mornings’ or ‘good afternoons’ or good anythings.”Can I help?” Haleth didn’t want to simply barge in if the help wouldn’t be appreciated. Some villagers had wanted to keep to themselves, and she could understand that.