“Do you mind if I come with you?” Alaryia asked. “I’d like to have a look at what else you have available. They could do with something more nourishing.”
“Sure,” Lydia said. “But we’re a bit short at the moment.”
“So I gathered,” Alaryia said as they headed downstairs to kitchen. “But I might spot something you missed.”
“I hope so,” Lydia said. “We’ll need to be careful of refeeding syndrome, you know.”
“Refee… oh, you mean how malnourished people sometimes get sick when you’re feeding them up? I’ll monitor them for that.” As soon as they entered the kitchen, she started opening the cupboards and looking inside. She pulled out one of the tins of baked beans and looked at it in bemusement. “Is putting the food in these some sort of preservation technique?”
“Yes,” Lydia said. “We do have some tinned stuff but I didn’t think any of it would be the best. They’ll need protein.” She looked in the fridge. “Eggs, maybe; we have eggs. We have dried beans too but they’ll need soaking.” She poked around in the freezer and pulled out a bag. “Some sort of white fish? Fish might be good.”
“I think I need to send you some meat if that’s all you’ve got,” Alaryia said. “But yes, fish will be good.”
“Okay.” Lydia put the oven on to heat. She grabbed some tinfoil, dried herbs and olive oil and made two parcels. “It’ll take about twenty minutes. When it’s done I’ll flake it into the soup.”
“Good idea,” Alaryia said. “That’ll make it easier to eat.”
â€œI hope you weren’t planning on using the white fish in the freezer for dinner,â€ Lydia said when her parents returned that evening. â€œI used two of the fillets for Kayleigh and Jonathan so we only have three left.â€
â€œI was,â€ Matthias said. â€œBut from what I hear it sounds like they needed it more than we do. I’ll bake the others and flake them up to make a fish curry to make them go further. But first I need a coffee.â€ He rubbed at his temples. â€œThat man is tiresome.â€
â€œThe prime minister?â€ Lydia asked as she put the kettle on.
â€œHe’s more than tiresome,â€ Sonia said. â€œHe’s horrible. He talks a good game but he’s only interested in ensuring his cronies stay on top of the pile.â€
Lydia snorted. â€œWell, yes, he’s a politician. Did you manage to persuade him that it’s in his interests to let us be?â€
â€œCynical, Lyd.â€ Matthias poured boiling water into his mug and stirred up the instant coffee. â€œBut yes, we did. He doesn’t want the world invaded by the Kithreiri any more than we do. And the school is reopening next week. I’d like you, Dan and Andrew to join Karen here for your A levels.â€
â€œA… oh lord, what about the GCSE results?â€ Lydia asked. She hadn’t even thought about the exam results until that moment, not with so much happening, but they should have been out by now.
â€œThey’re being belatedly issued at the end of the week, apparently,â€ he said.
â€œOh, okay,â€ she said. â€œThat sounds like a good idea then.â€ She frowned thoughtfully. â€œYou need to finish your discussions soon if the school is being reopened.â€
â€œWe’re hoping to do that tomorrow,â€ he said. â€œWhat happened yesterday finally got everyone pulling together so I’m hopeful we can.â€
â€œAnd we got the Prime Minister to agree to letting us train the emergents,â€ Sonia said. â€œThough we couldn’t get him to agree to send them here. We’ll have to work through a centre he’s going to set up.â€ She stood up from the kitchen table. â€œI want to see how the news is reporting this. I don’t trust that man.â€