Ne vriend (a friend): -23 days till publication of Children of Little Might

Rough translation

Sometimes you feel all alone

Sometimes you are in need of someone

Someone who gives you the friendship you need

Someone you may call: a friend.

Someone who silently and sincere

listens to what you have to say

who helps you without being paid

Someone you may call: a friend.

Refrain: Someone you can count on

Someone with a heart for someone else

Someone you sometimes win everything by

Someone you may call: a friend.

The song goes on, but you get the idea: this is a song about friendship. About someone who does things for you, without expecting anything in return.

And that’s who Storm is, Monty’s best (and only) friend. Storm’s real name is Sherwin. This is what Monty has to say about his friend;

His parents named him Sherwin or “swift runner” in Old English, though he uses a wheelchair to move around in. I called him Storm the first time we met because of how he stormed around. It stuck.

He became Monty’s best friend, but that didn’t go easy. Storm first met Monty for the first time when they’re both twelve; a year after his horrible eleventh birthday – a year that his former best friend Mark betrayed him and he lost almost everything that was dear to him.

At first, Monty keeps his distance. Each time Storm tries to talk to him, Monty walks away. Storm still remembers his first breakthrough, though. School finished and as usual Storm followed Monty as he rode home. Both lived in the same part of town a mere couple of streets apart from one another and, as every other evening, Storm hoped he could talk to the lonely boy.

It didn’t look like that was going to happen, as Mark joined them, singing a song about Crazy Monty and how his lack of social skills meant he became a serial killer for sure.

Monty ignored him at first, but Mark sung louder and louder until Monty stopped and turned to Mark.

Mark obviously expected the outburst, because he duck just out of reach when the first one lashed out, taunting Monty along the way. Storm steered his wheelchair closer while he tried to find a way to help Mark without getting in trouble himself.

The opportunity quickly came when Monty threw his own satchel at Mark’s head. The latter jumped away, laughing, but bumped into Storm’s wheelchair and stumbled.

“Help,” Storm shouted. “He attacks me.”

He pointed at Mark. With several people turning to face the three boys, Mark growled something under his breath and scampered away.

“He’s a coward,” Storm said. “And I’m sorry.”

Monty picked his satchell from the street and tugged everything back in it.

“Ans he shouldn’t have done what he did. I report him to the principal.”

“It won’t do you any good. They believe him anyway,” Monty said.

Nothing more was said, that evening, but something changed and slowly but surely Monty opened up to Storm and they became friends. Storm even refers to Monty as ‘M’. In the beneath section of the book, Monty received a phonecall from Storm.

“M? Are you at the ranch house?”

If you invert an “M”, you get two halves of a pointed mountain. I always imagined he joined me to make his own wishes and literally walk away, so it comes as a relief he isn’t present. I guess I find it hard to trust others after what happened with Mark.

Yes, I am. Is someone searching for me?”

Someone else interprets Storm’s dry laugh flawlessly. To me it means I remain clueless unless he tells me.

“They haven’t yet called in the army, but that’s about it. Our Principal called your mother about ten minutes ago because I didn’t know your location. When your mother mentioned the ranch house, he took off. I think I heard him say Bill went to pick up your mother to take her there as well.”

“You are sure he called Mom ten minutes ago?” I frown.

I ran away about two hours earlier.

“I was there when he called her,” Storm says.

I shrug. So, he called her twice. It makes no difference.

“I must go, Storm. See you.”

Before Storm protests, I disconnect. I return the two maps to the wooden box and hide everything in its secret space before I return to my seat. Five long years I’ve dreamed of this. Five long years I’ve fought for something most people think is false anyway. Five long years…

BTW, in case you wonder: the dialect used in this song is the same dialect the original words are written in Monty has to translate: Volegt eleke reigl en dan ni.

You can discover what that means the 2nd of September!

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