Month: August 2015

Sunshine of Your Youth

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(Free song from iTunes equaled sudden bloggy thoughts.)

No state of being could be better than this moment. Little arms encircled Nostariel’s neck as Artis bounced upon her Nana’s shoulders. Half of her face was buried in hair like waves of sunshine that smelled of fresh strawberries, while the other half peek out at the world that had suddenly gotten so much bigger.

“How are you doing up there?”

Artis yipped as Nostariel hopped a break in the stone wall she walked upon. “I-I’m fine!” She was so convincing.

Nostariel laughed, and released her hold of Artis’s legs. “Give me your arms, sweetheart.”

She hesitated, but Nana was always right. And, while being so high up scared her, the thrill of fear quickly turned into exhilaration of seeing how small she was compared to the vineyards and mountains beyond.

“Hold your arms up like this.”

“Don’t let go of me!”

“I won’t let you fall, silly –”

The distant sound of horses interrupted them, and Artis forgot all else. “They’re back! They’re back!” she chirped as she flapped her arms in excitement.

“Would you like us to meet them?”

“Yes! Yes! Please!”

Bounding off the wall, Nostariel, holding onto Artis’s legs, changed their course to make for the front gates of Annúngilon. “Hold on! We can’t have you falling!”

Yeeee! You won’t let me fall. Faster!”

~~~ * ~~~

“There’s my little girl!”

Squealing in surprise and delight, Inaris was plucked from where she stood in the garden pond.

“What are you doing in there, precious? You know fish poop in that water.”

“Daddy! There’s not poop in that water. There is no fish!”

Talagol stared at her in shock. “What did you do with the fish?!”

“Talagol, really,” huffed Vilaya. “You shouldn’t treat her like a child.”

The tall, dark Easterling shot the fair woman a disapproving glare. His smile quickly returned as he set Inaris on his hip. “You’re not a child?” he asked as if hearing of some unbelievable tale.

Inaris stared back at him. She felt unsure, especially with how her mother frowned, if it were a trick question or not. “I-I… I am,” she finally muttered, her soft, blue eyes growing wide.

Talagol almost chuckled, but was interrupted by Vilaya’s harsh clearing of her throat. “Woman, go back to work.” Though he still smiled at Inaris, his voice was harsh, and void of warmth. “I will find you later when I have use for you.”

Sniffing, Vilaya spun around and marched away with her nose proudly up in the air.

Inaris batted her long lashes as she watched her mother disappear into the next building. “Am… Am I in trouble?” she asked in a hushed voice.

“What? My little princess doesn’t cause trouble,” said Talagol with a laugh. Drawing giggles out of her as he nuzzled her neck, the man bounced to bring her higher up on his hip, and started walking out to the lush mazes behind the House.

“How long will you be here this time?”

“Oh… Three days I think.”

“Really? Three whole days?!” It was like her birthday all over again!

“Yes, little one. Three days.”

“Did you bring your horses?”

Talagol chuckled, and pointed to the far side of the complex.

“You did! Oh, daddy, can I ride one?”

The man hummed as if he were considering saying no, and Inaris planted a big kiss against his cheek.

“Please?”

“Wrap me around your finger. How about this. You can pet them this time, but in a month, want to go on a trip with me? You can ride on all of them.”

Inaris glanced back to the House. “What about mother? She might not like it….”

Talagol barked a laugh. “Who cares? You’re my daughter, and I’d like you to come.”

Beaming a sweet smile, Inaris nodded, and rested her head on his shoulder. “Then yes. I’d love to go.”

~~~ * * ~~~

“Mom… Mommy!” Feira whispered.

Eleanor opened an eye to peer up at the little girl. “What is it, faerie?”

Feira glanced over her shoulder before snuggling up to her mother. “I can’t find the answer!”

“Have you asked your brother to help you?”

“Noooo,” said Feira as she scrunched up her nose.

Eleanor rolled over to lay on her back, and held out a hand. “Well, let me see the clue.”

Scooching closer, Feira opened her locket to pull out a folded strip of paper. “It doesn’t say anything. What does it mean?”

Eleanor chuckled. Taking the paper she poked Feira’s nose with it. “It means I wanted to tell you the surprise.”

Feira rolled over to face Elanor. “What is it, Mom?”

“How would you like to move?”

“Move?”

“Exactly. Mommy is looking for a new job. If she gets it, we’ll have an actual house to live in, and you’ll get to see me more.”

“I’d LOVE that!” Feira threw her arms around her mother. “When do you find out?”

Eleanor grinned. “In the next two weeks.”

“Oh, I’m sure you’ll get it!”

About to speak, Eleanor stopped as a clinking if plates sounded from the next room. “What’s going on in there?”

“Father is cooking supper.”

Eleanor scrunched up her nose, and tickled Feira’s side. “You let your father into the kitchen?”

Feira giggled, and squirmed. “It’s your kitchen!”

“Oh, I see how it is!” Eleanor snickered, and sat up. “Well, come on then. Let’s make sure he hasn’t burned a good meal.”

Have Words With Thee

This pen offers a meager existence. How dare these silly creatures keep me in a corral with such inferior beasts. How the mistress can endure keeping the simple minded mare, I will never understand. Every day she eats the same hay, and every day she comments on its flavor as if it is a new revelation. Pathetic. 

I only hate the grey one a little less, but somehow he is south “on buisness” with the stranger’s steed. I will be sure to have words with the mistress upon her return.

~~~ *** ~~~

Ooh, it’s supper time. Things are better here than I’d expected. The strong one isn’t bad company, and we’re getting excellent exercise. Only the head human and the lad who brought us rides us. The human missing teeth gives me odd looks, but it is of no consequence. She will come in her own time, and then we shall be off to battle and glorious deeds!

~~~***~~~

The humans are late with my bread. I accept their offerings, of course, for I should not be ungrateful, but my elf serves better loaves. And now she’s off again, and not only am I left here, but the new neighbors are so loud. Dog One, and Dog Two are curious creatures, but I am not so easily amused. I caught the pretty human’s lynx eyeing me the other day. I should be wary of that one.

I’ll give her a piece of my… What if she comes home with a pet! Filthy things, they… What if it’s a dog, or – No! She wouldn’t bring home a swan! … would she? Now I’m going fret, and I’ll molt, and my lovely feathers will be ruined, and I’ll never see her again!

Bittersweet: Homesick

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A sweet, sea breeze at her back, Eruviel ascended the long stair leading up from the docks. Each step as light as the last, she did not go so fast as to put those she passed to shame, nor did she go so slow as to make people wonder if she was being patronizing.

By the Valar, she loved the smell of the sea. Before her trip back to Annúngilon two years prior, she could not remember the length of time that has passed without feeling the sand beneath her feet, or wind combing through her hair. With no offence to Gondor, Forlindon’s beaches were her favorite.

But, no matter how refreshing the sea was and how beautiful the city looked, she could not wait to leave. The cool wind was tainted by the oppressive discontent and disunity the city. How people could live in such wealth, untouched by war just miles away, yet be so greedy and ungrateful she could hardly fathom. As much as she wanted to help the people here and help the goodness she saw find strong footholds, by Orome she could not wait to leave.

Stopping at the same fruit vendor she visited every day, Eruviel made small talk with the portly man. He complimented her on her dress, and she complimented him for being observant. A good heartened laugh was shared with the customers lined up behind her, and she felt dozens of pairs of eyes watch her as she glided off.

A ripe mango in her free hand, she slowed to observe the evening crowd ebb and flow up through the market. It made her think of the sea, and the cliff she hadn’t visited for several days. But the days passed more swiftly now, with little time for leisure. There was so much to do, so many people to speak with, and so many mysteries to solve. To be honest, parts of her did enjoy the intrigue, but it wasn’t worth it.

She wanted to get her hands dirty doing honest work. She wanted to hunt, and run as fast and as far a she could through the woods without the fear that one of her company could be trapped by the coils of a corrupt city. She wanted to get covered with mud, and bathe in hidden pools. And how much was it to ask to wear something or not wear something, not because everyone she didn’t know expected it, but because it pleased her to do so? She wanted to fight and kill and protect because it was the right thing to do. No uncountable layers of lies and bribes at every turn. All she wanted to worry about was whether she would meet her quota of deer and boar for the butcher, what silly little fibs the Warbler would print that day, and about the happiness of those she loved.

A soft, weary sigh escaped her, and she looked down to the wooden box under her left arm as her thoughts finally settled. It was worn. The wood needed refinished, and a new handled needed to be made for it. There were obvious signs of neglect upon the case, and inside all of the lining needed to be stripped out and replaced. But it was sturdy, and made to last. Burn it all. Taking a bite of her fruit, she suddenly turned the corner to take the longer route back. The Illumin were on the top of her list at the moment, and there was no better time to start working than the present.