It’d been a month since the incident of the trolls, and since then Hiccup had managed to stem the sock disappearance somewhat. At least, not too many more went missing. But that hardly mattered right at the moment.
Mom was coming home! Dad had said so, said so just yesterday to Gobber. “Val’s ship is due in port at dawn tomorrow. Odin knows it’s been a long time since she’s been home.”
Hiccup sat up in bed, fully awake, at least an hour before dawn. He knew there was no going back to sleep for him. He jumped out of bed and danced around his room, singing in the loudest whisper he dared, “Mom’s coming ho-ome! Mom’s coming ho-ome!” He twirled around in circles until he was so dizzy he fell on the plank flooring. While his vision was still recovering, he suddenly broke out in giggles. She’d be home in no time.
An hour later saw him and Stoick by the port along with pretty much the whole village. Hiccup tried to see his mother’s ship through the crowds, but he was simply too little. Suddenly, he was picked up by a pair of giant hands and placed on Stoick’s shoulders.
“Can you see now, Hiccup?” asked Stoick.
Hiccup squinted into the sun and saw a little ship far out near the horizon. “Yes! I can see it, Dad! Look!” He pointed.
“I see it. Val’s almost home.” They watched together as the ship drew into the harbor, and Hiccup could just make out a woman waving from the ship.
“Mom!” he called. He waved both of his arms wildly. Valhallarama waved once more before returning to the work of bringing in the ship. Not too long after she was stepping off the pier and heading for them. “Mom! You’re back!”
“I am at that,” replied Valhallarama. She picked Hiccup off of Stoick’s shoulders and gripped him tightly across her chest, leaving his legs to dangle. His boots almost fell off, but he didn’t care. He closed his eyes and savored every bit of that hug, from the salty smell to the cold metal armor his mom was wearing as it pressed against him. To Hiccup, she put him down all too soon.
“Val,” said Stoick. “Welcome home.” It was their turn now to hug, and Hiccup thought it best to turn away. Why’d his parents have to be all mushy sometimes? That ended none too soon. They walked home hand in hand with Valhallarama in the middle. Hiccup beamed brighter than he had in months.
They spent that day having fun together. Hiccup had never felt more happy than he felt just then. Everything was right. Mom was home, and even if Dad didn’t really like him, he wasn’t yelling at him.
There was an explosion from outside. Hiccup clutched his mother’s leg at the sound, and Stoick listened carefully for a second before shrugging. “Probably another experiment. New ways to kill dragons, you know?”
“I’ve been away a long time. What’s the news with the dragons? I can’t expect we’ve found the nest yet, eh Stoick?”
“No, we haven’t found their bloody nest yet. But we’re getting closer. I can feel it.” Just then there was another explosion, so loud that it rattled the foundation of their house. It was accompanied by shouts and the clanking of armor.
“That’s not experiments. That’s dragons!” Valhallarama’s eyes aquired an entirely new glint at the prospect. Stoick went to grab weapons and head out, but Hiccup still clung to Valhallarama.
“Don’t leave me Mom!’ he cried. Tears gathered in his eyes. He’d seen dragons before, and he didn’t want to meet one all alone. They were scary.
Val put a hand on his back and gently pryed him away from her, instead holding him in her arms. “You just wait right outside our door. You stay by the door and watch the battle. There’s nothing to be afraid of, my love.” She put him down, hefted her battle axe, still sharp from her last quest, and ran out the door with a shout. “For Berk!”
Hiccup hugged the doorframe and sank to the ground as he watched. He saw Valhallarama hit a dragon in his face, but he didn’t die. He saw fire coming from one of the dragon’s mouths, and smoke from it’s nostrils. It was scary. The most scary thing Hiccup had ever seen.
He started to cry. He tried his best to stop it; he knew it wasn’t manly to cry. Dad always said not to. But he couldn’t help it. There was fire and people running and giant killing monster dragons everywhere.
Pressing his forehead against the doorframe and hiding his head in his arms, Hiccup sobbed until the raid was over. It had been a successful fight; thanks to Valhallarama no food had been taken. But Hiccup didn’t care. He didn’t even notice the battle ending. He was too busy crying, and even if he had looked up, he wouldn’t have been able to make anything out of the blurry vision his puffy red eyes left him with.
This is it, he thought. I’m going to die and Mom is going to die and Dad is going to die and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. I hate dragons! I hope they all die! Hiccup cried until he could cry no more. And then he stayed there sniffling and shutting out the noise and hoping it would all go away.
“Hiccup, my love, what’s wrong?” Valhallarama pried him away from the door frame and held him in her arms. Hiccup threw his arms around her and refused to let go. “The dragons are gone now. We’ve fought them off. You’re safe now, love. You’re safe here.”
“Mom,” Hiccup whispered in a still-thick voice. That was all he could say.
“I’m here my love. I’m so proud of you for staying right where I told you to. You’re such a good son, Hiccup. I love you.”
Hiccup hiccuped. His voice quivered, but he could speak again. “I love you too, Mom.”
Return next Thursday for the Adventures of Little Hiccup: Chapter Three!