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July 2009 Grab-Bag Writings & Art

krwordgazer

Here are the elements for July:

Jumping up and down
Jealousy
Maternal instinct
A scar, whether it's symbolic, physical or psychic. It can be an old wound, mental scar or a wounded soul.
The Scroll of Colors
Moons/Moonlight/Moon symbols

All works must be related to Elfquest, whether canon-based, original character, alternate universe, or whatever. Writings must contain all the above elements. Art can either contain all the elements, or illustrate one of the writings.

Have fun! :D

Tenderfoot

[b:b76295b41f]Tymber[/b:b76295b41f], that was a short, but special read! I like the way you blended the elements into the story, they were so fitting! :D I especially liked the scene where Stillbreeze and Vineweaver watched Shadow and Joybringer not looking at each other, both of them probably not knowing about the other and standing 'back to back'. Grin At least that's the image the scene conjured up. And Riverfall with Echo and Windfetcher reminds me of Redlance with Suntop and Ember.

Just one little nitpick; why did you have to stop when it was getting good? It's such a cliffhanger!

Besides from that :thumbsup: Keep up the good work!

Tenderfoot

I am happy to announce that this time, I was able to restrain myself to nearly 13 pages! Again, I'm continuing my Medieval stories! This is the continuation of the last story, where we left Ekuar and Aroree at the stairs to the cloister with a baby.


[b:9e5298f6c0][size=18:9e5298f6c0]Abandoned ”“ part 2[/size:9e5298f6c0][/b:9e5298f6c0]


To say that the others were shocked, was an understatement.

“By the High Ones!” one of the novices exclaimed as she stood up, along with the others.

Aroree looked up as the nuns and novices closed in on them, suddenly feeling a little unsure. She wasn’t used to being the center of everyone’s attention, and she quickly found out that she didn’t like it. The young novices bent down and leaned on their knees to see better while the nuns stayed in the back of the group on a safe distance. Aroree was unaware that she clinched the infant in her arms, trying to protect it from the moving wall of black and blue clothing.

“Oh!” a young novice exclaimed as her hand flew to her mouth.

Aroree looked at her with uncertain eyes. Was that exclamation a bad thing? She looked up at Ekuar to see if he reacted as she. He didn’t. He just stood there, looking at the group around them and now and then casting a glance down at the infant.

“What is that?” a skeptic nun asked while pointing at the bundle.

“It is a baby!” Aroree said with a smile as she held the bundle up for everyone to see.

The novices leaned in closer and some of the nuns followed, staring at the tiny thing in Aroree’s arms. Most of them hadn’t seen such small creatures before and eyes widened as they stared. The child was lovely. Beautiful, in fact. The tiny little body was clinging to the blanket wrapped around it, which was clearly loved. The soft clothing was light, but spotted with darker colors that didn’t fit in at all. It covered the infant’s feet as if to protect them now that it was all alone. The child looked like one of the High Ones’ Angels, as if it slept peace-fully while the world went on. If it wasn’t for the little chest that moved up and down and the moving arms, they would have thought that it was dead. Then the eyelids suddenly moved and everyone held their breaths as the tiny child opened its eyes, revealing two large, weary, innocent, bright orbs. The infant looked up at everyone around it, all those faces coming closer. There were unknown faces everywhere, unknown and scary. The infant frowned, its tiny pouty face silently pleading them to go away. When they didn’t, it cringed, its face turning red as it opened its mouth. The women stared even more to see what the infant was doing. The lower lip was quivering and the eyes large and teary as it let out a helpless wail. Aroree frowned and pulled it back, holding it close to herself.

“Aw, do not cry, baby!”

She suddenly felt very bad for not being able to calm the infant down and wondered what she had done wrong. She had never held an infant before and didn’t know how to handle them. Not liking all the eyes on her and feeling uncertain what do to, she cradled the infant and patted its head, trying to stop the crying, but nothing seemed to help. The infant continued wailing and breathed hard, tilted its head backwards and let out a demanding scream. Tears formed in the large eyes as it waved its chubby arms and almost hit Aroree, who immediately turned to Ekuar, looking helplessly at him.

“Sira Ekuar, make the baby stop crying!” she pleaded in the only way she knew, as if she believed he could do anything just because he was a priest and a church’s man.

Ekuar looked down at her with a little smile, his warm, brown eyes shining with fatherly affection as he took the infant in his arms, cradled it an whispered something that was impossible for Aroree to catch. The infant opened its large and teary eyes, staring at the priest while gasping for breath before it started screaming again. It didn’t stop wailing, but at least it didn’t wriggle as a worm anymore. Aroree stood completely still as she watched the infant’s face turn from irritated pink to exhausted red while it cried.

“Aroree, where did you get it?” Yeyeen suddenly asked from her spot in the middle of the group.

The child had to tear her eyes off the infant before she turned to face the novice, her eyes clear and large.

“We found it on the stairs,” she said.

First now did she notice the stern looks the nuns sent her and how the novices looked at her and the infant with awe. Had she done something wrong? She had just picked up the infant and brought it inside, and sira Ekuar had decided to take it with them. How could that be a bad thing?

“It seems like the child was left there on purpose,” Ekuar said.
“There was no one else out there. No letter. Only the child.”

The nuns and novices looked at each other and started talking. Aroree looked up at Ekuar, seeing that he didn’t seem to feel bad because of the infant’s crying. He just cradled it and stroked it, whispering and letting it cry. Maybe it was a good thing that it cried?

“Oh, my!” she heard one of the nuns whisper.

Aroree was busy trying to think, wondering if sira Ekuar could stay calm with a crying infant, then why couldn’t she? She pulled at Ekuar’s robe, reaching up as the priest looked down at her. Her eyes beamed with determination and her lower lip was standing out as she frowned. She stood on tiptoes and groped after the infant, wanting to hold it again, to prove that she too could handle the infant. Ekuar only chuckled and handled her the wailing bundle, watching the girl’s face lit up as the sun and smiling brightly.

“What are we going to do about it?” one of the nuns asked with her hand on her cheek.

Aroree tilted her head to the side while looking up at the woman, now feeling better as she held the infant in her arms. She didn’t care about the crying anymore. Or, she wanted it to stop, but if the infant wanted to cry, then she should let it cry.

“Can we not keep it here?” she said, but was abruptly interrupted by a stern voice filled with anger.

“That will be my decision!”

The dining hall was suddenly filled with gasps, then silence. Only the infant made sounds with its demanding screams. Aroree spun her head around, her eyes widening as they were filled with terror.

“Mrs. Winnowill!” she gasped.


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[i:9e5298f6c0]She closed her eyes, staring into the black pool of loneliness, the darkness staring right back. Winds of darkness were blowing all around her. Was this the color of life?

In the dark, life vanished. Light vanished, colors fading with it. She turned. Candles of black fires shone. Was this her life? Cold hands embraced her slim neck and she gasped, clawing at the suffocating feeling inside her. She turned again, spotting a form of nothing moving around.

Darkness was floating everywhere, hands crawling everywhere. She reached out her hand. She touched nobody, but the darkness felt the way her legs moved as she walked forward.

The way in front of her didn’t exist. Her legs didn’t exist. She felt nothing, but seemed to be floating around in the darkness. Floating around in an ocean of darkness.

Nothing existed, that was the only truth. Just feelings existed within her, a suffocating, cold and cloistered feeling. Nothing existed in the darkness. Darkness existed everywhere.

Happiness, life and light were illusions. Illusions that looked so tempting and promising from a distance. But when nearing them, she knew illusions never existed. They, and she, were floating inside the dreams of nothing and darkness. Darkness covered everywhere.

Everything.

She had been here before, felt this before. She knew how it all was, but never knew a solution.

She needed, she knew as she walked further. She needed to take the non-existent hand. She needed help. Was there help for her?

Silence.

Why? She had loved. Why?

She opened her mouth, screaming in silence. Her long and helpless silent scream, blending with another unspoken cry. She spun around. She was the only one here, how could she hear a sound that was not there? There was only silence, but also”¦ water?

Whispers in the dark.

She could only hear this rushing sound of water. Where did it come from? As she turned, the darkness moved away, revealing a little ray of light, growing bigger with the sound of the painful water.

Crying, awakening the sleeping world.[/i:9e5298f6c0]

She unclosed her eyes with a gasp and found herself clinging to the chair. What had wakened her? She was about to wonder if it had all been a dream, when a known sound reached her from far away. She turned her head to the closed door. The sound became clearer.

She stood up. Voices could be heard.

She walked to the door and opened it. Heartrending screams were flung towards her, puncturing her heart like arrows and making her jerk.

She opened her mouth in shock, then closed it as she clenched her teeth and frowned, her eyes clearly showing her feelings. Who dared interrupt her? The anger was literally pouring off her as Winnowill walked into the passage with determined steps, her eyes gleaming with evilness.


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“The abbess!” echoed in the dining hall as everyone backed off from the child.

Aroree quickly looked down at the wailing bundle in her arms, clinging to it as she looked up with eyes filled with terror. She hadn’t thought of Mrs. Winnowill, the abbess in Blue Mountain nun cloister. As the leader, everyone had to follow her rules and do as she said. Aroree hadn’t heard of a rule that allowed them to take in babies. What she would say to this, she could only guess. As the abbess took one step closer, Aroree shook her head slightly.

“No!” she whispered to herself.

The abbess came closer and nuns and novices moved to let her come forward. Sira Ekuar looked at her with clear eyes. As the priest in the cloister, his say didn’t matter more than the abbess’ and he had to show her deep respect. He did, but it was no secret that he disliked her. And no rule said that the priest had to like the abbess. One quick glance down at Aroree told him that she didn’t like her either. Who could blame her? She had only been three years old when her mother died and got the novelty served like a slap in her face. Mrs. Winnowill didn’t even let her mourn over the loss of her parents for one single day. She had forced her to follow the others to the prayer, saying that she needed the High Ones’ more than ever at such a moment. Ekuar had taken a liking to the little girl already the day she put her feet inside the cloister, but after that incident he took more care of her than all the others in all. He had promised himself that day that he wouldn’t let her suffer anymore. And he wouldn’t break that promise. Not today. He lifted his arm and slid it around Aroree’s shoulders, giving them a reassuring squeeze as the abbess came closer. He could feel the girl wince when the abbess stopped in front of her and gave himself the permission to glare at the woman. Winnowill didn’t notice the glare, she just looked down at the bundle in the child’s arms. She pointed at it.

“What is this?” she said slowly, her icy voice stinging Aroree’s heart.

Ekuar, who was born a pacifist, now allowed himself to glare daggers at the abbess. Looking down at Aroree, he saw her tremble from fear and despair, fighting the urge to hide the infant behind her back or turn and run away. And he felt so bad for being unable to help her.

“I-It is a baby,” Aroree stammered as she held the crying bundle forward.
“We”¦ we found it on the stairs.”

She moved her arms involuntary, didn’t want the abbess to see the infant. How could she have forgotten Mrs. Winnowill? Why did she and sira Ekuar bring the infant to the dining hall for everyone to see? They should have known that the abbess would come during the meal and discover the infant. And know it was too late to do anything. Ekuar gave Aroree shoulders a reassuring squeeze before he began twisting his old eyeball daggers into the abbess’ chest. By the look in the her eyes, she didn’t believe the child.

“The parents must have left it there,” he said with a clear voice, helping Aroree along.

The look he sent the abbess was even clearer, and this time she saw it. But there was something else she needed to take care of now. She would punish him for his defiantly behavior later. Squinting with her eyes, she reached out and took a lobe of the infant’s blanket in her hand, the soft cloth caressing her fingers.

“Money cannot be the reason,” she said slowly.
“The clothing is very expensive and exclusive.”

The infant answered with hitting her hand away, letting out another demanding scream. It tilted its head backwards, opened its eyes and looked at the others, as if pleading for help.

“But why would someone leave an infant here?” Yeyeen asked while looking at Aroree and the child.

“Maybe the parents could not give it love?” Aroree half squeaked, half whispered.
“Maybe they left it here so we could give it love?“

The look Mrs. Winnowill shot her told her that she should have kept quiet and she lowered her head. Why did she always say the wrong things at the wrong time? Why didn’t the abbess like her? She looked down at the crying infant, wondering if there was someone out there who didn’t love this little one either. She blinked the frustrated tears away, ready to lift her head and beg the abbess to let the infant stay, when the bundle suddenly was torn out of her arms. Aroree had to restrain herself not to scream as she looked up at the abbess.

“I shall consider it,” Mrs. Winnowill said, with the infant in her arms, and turned.
“Now leave me be.”

Aroree’s arm reached out for the infant, but she let it fall down slowly as the abbess walked away with it. The cries sounded even more helpless now and tears welled up in her eyes. Sira Ekuar sent the abbess an uncertain look, wishing he could do something. He felt Aroree tremble under his arm and looked down at her with his warm brown eyes, giving her a little smile.

“I am sure everything will be alright,” he said.

The child turned to him with tear stained cheeks and through her blood shot eyes, he saw only fading hope and suffer, the painful truth of the infant’s destiny.

“She will not let it stay,” Aroree sobbed as he placed his hands on her shoulders.
“She will take it away and I will lose my only friend!”

She sobbed as she hid her face in Ekuar’s long robe and he gently stroked her hair.


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Above the horizon, the two silver moons had risen. The world was bathing in icy blue, ripples and flows reflecting the majesty grace of the sky. Two circles, edged with a haunting, silver hue, they shrouded the trees in a cloak of lace. Sending glowing rays to earth, a magical sight, beautiful and bewitched. Watching the world transform from dead surroundings to be dressed in a magical robe, revealing its true self that was too often hidden behind a mask. A peaceful moment ”“ it would have been, if not for the endless wailing.

“What am I going to do with you?”

She sat in her chair with her chin in her hand, watching the baby cry itself out on the floor. Her eyes were squinted in deep concentration, her mouth tightly closed. Who could it be? Where did it come from? And why did someone have to leave it at the stairs to [i:9e5298f6c0]this[/i:9e5298f6c0] cloister? She huffed and turned her face away from the infant, trying to force the crying away.

If she had had the Scroll of Colors, she would have solved this problem within seconds. She would have sent the infant back home where it belonged, made the nuns and novices forget what they saw and make sure sira Ekuar didn’t tell anyone about this incident. Maybe Aroree too. That little brat could be terribly pesky sometimes, and it wouldn’t surprise her if she told someone outside the cloister about the infant. Yes, if she could make them keep the secret, then she could live on as nothing had happened. But she didn’t have the scroll and without it, it was impossible for her to know where the child came from.

What would she get for letting it stay? Nothing. No one was paying for it, no one had given it to the cloister. Someone had just left it there, and also left the problems for her to deal with them. The infant would only be bothersome, and what should she do with it when it grew up? There were families living inside the cloister walls, but outside the cloister. They had taken care of orphaned children before, but they had lived for at least three summers. This one couldn’t do anything but cry, and no one in the cloister could give it the milk it needed to survive. No matter what she decided on, it would end with death for the infant. And on top of all these problems, she was getting tired of the endless wailing.

“KEEP QUIET!” she screamed at the top of her lungs.

The crying stopped immediately. The infant looked up at her and Winnowill suddenly froze by the clear look. The large teary eyes pleaded her silently for help and the tiny thing whined. The abbess felt a strange and unknown tingle run through her body.

[i:9e5298f6c0]What is this?[/i:9e5298f6c0] she thought. [i:9e5298f6c0]What is this strange feeling?[/i:9e5298f6c0]

She turned again to look at the little child and moved slowly towards it. She was careful, as if she was afraid that she would scare it. She bent down in front of it and studied the face, trying not to look it in the eyes. There were small dimples in the chubby cheeks even when the infant was at the edge of crying. The eyebrows were well marked, the little nose was slightly curved and the rosy lips were large and nicely shaped. The little that was of infant hair on top of its head was as soft as the silk imported from the Troll country. It looked like someone had tried to trim it in an attempt to keep it in check. It wasn’t much hair, but combined with the already sweet appearance, the child would not have any problems with getting married when growing up.

The sweet smell of baby didn't fit in with the cloistered air in the cloister. With a sigh, she bent down and picked up the helpless infant, trying to console it. She startled when it suddenly moved and touched her breast, apparently in search for the essentially milk.

“No, I do not have milk,” she said slowly, as if she was sorry for it.

She wondered if the infant would start crying again, but it didn’t. It just yawned and snuggled in her arms, before it safely fell asleep. She stared at it.

[i:9e5298f6c0]There are some sick people out there[/i:9e5298f6c0], she thought as she shook her head. She looked down at the child in her arms, saw how it was clinging to the hem of her robe. She sighed. [i:9e5298f6c0]It is a shame that you had to know one.[/i:9e5298f6c0]


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Sira Ekuar was busy trying to console little Aroree and make her stop crying, when the mumbling in the room stopped. He looked up and froze, his usually friendly eyes gaining the distrusting look. Aroree swallowed the sobs when she heard someone clear their throat and looked up, her eyes widening.

In the other end of the dining hall, Mrs. Winnowill was standing. The infant was in her arms, sleeping. As she walked closer, Aroree caught herself wondering what the abbess could have done to the child to make it stop crying. Her eyes widened to the size of saucers as she wondered if she could have killed it. But”¦ no, she wouldn’t have. She wouldn’t have brought it back to them then. Winnowill came closer and Aroree stared at the infant, feeling the fading hope starting to grow again. There was a slight chance that someone good would happen since the abbess still had the infant. Winnowill stopped a few steps away from the priest and the child and everyone held their breaths, Aroree’s heart pounding so hard that it threatened to jump out of her chest.

“Alright,” Winnowill said with a slightly touch of uncertainty in her voice.
“It can stay.”

Aroree shrieked as she bounced from Ekuar’s robe, almost dancing the few steps over to the abbess. With glittering eyes, she folded her hands in front of herself and gave the abbess her largest smile, as she had lost the ability to speak from pure joy.

“But,” Winnowill said as she held up the infant.
“It will be your responsibility!”

Then she handed the child over to Aroree, who was shifting feet so fast that it was a miracle she didn’t trip. As the infant left her arms, Winnowill suddenly felt a sting in her heart and she pulled back. There was an itchy feeling in her hands, she had to fight the urge to not tear the infant out of the child’s arms.

“Be careful!” she suddenly blurted.
“Hands under its head!”

She straightened her back and cleared her throat, looking around. No one had noticed her little blunder. Satisfied with that, she forced her hands together in front of herself. Itchy, itchy, itchy”¦ no, she couldn’t! She had to restrain herself! After all, she was the abbess of Blue Mountain nun cloister. But she couldn’t hide the smile by looking at the overwhelmed child.

“Oh, thank you!” Aroree squealed.
“Thank you, Mrs. Winnowill! Thank you so much!”

“My pleasure,” Winnowill answered with a strange smile.

Aroree spun around and sprinted over to Ekuar, bouncing around him as she sang with joy, her happy tones mixing with the gurgling infant laughter. As she sat down beside the priest, nuns and novices started to circle around them again. Winnowill was about to order them back to dinner when she saw Aroree’s smile, and found herself unable to do anything but standing there. She hadn’t cared about feelings before, but seeing that she had made the child so happy”¦ maybe there was something in it?

“What is its name?” Aroree asked, only having eyes for the infant.

“I forgot to ask,” Winnowill said, then frowned and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
“You do not really believe that infants reach out their hand and present themselves?”

Some of the nuns sent her strange looks, which the abbess gave right back. They turned their attention back to Aroree and the infant when the abbess turned around, casting secretly glances over her shoulder.

“We will give it a new name and hope that the High Ones will accept the name change,” Ekuar said with a smile and laid his arm around her shoulders.

Aroree frowned in concentration, wondering what name would be special enough for the infant. She wanted it to be very special, since this was a very special child. Mrs. Winnowill had been kind enough to let it stay, so the name had to be special. Sira Ekuar and the others also seemed to think of names when Aroree moved, making the blanket fall to the side and revealing the infant’s shoulder. Aroree looked down, staring at the little spot. It looked like a scar, shaped like something she had seen before, but couldn’t remember. Then her eyes widened.

“I know the name,” Aroree said with a smile, making the others look at her as she looked up.
“His name is Redmark!”

faeriegirl

Surprised At first I thought Rayek, because of Ekuar... Then maybe Windkin, for Aroree and Winnowill...
but Surprised Redmark???? Surprised
that sure was a surprise!
Stupid cliffhangers! Gimme more!

RedheadEmber

[color=red:480fc8e164] :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o


R...R... [size=18:480fc8e164]REDMARK![/size:480fc8e164] now that's the one I would've [i:480fc8e164]never[/i:480fc8e164] guessed!

Love the story... especially Kind-Winnie... :D :thumbsup: [/color:480fc8e164]

RedheadEmber

[color=red:ce9f86f743]Right... here we go...

[b:ce9f86f743]The Turning[/b:ce9f86f743]

Look
Watch them turn in whirling colours
As tale from long ago
Replay before your very eyes

We are here all together
In perfect harmony
Everyone has something to share
Some skill at which the excel
There is no need for envy
When spirits join together
And laughingly sings
The story to the stars

For though many has been scared
And suffered wounds so dire
We are not giving in
In hope we walk the hostile world

Two bright moons shine above
Mother with her child

A family we are
Mothers watch their young with love
An instinct so magnificent
Is that of nurturing a new born life
Watch them grow till the day
When they bring their own offspring into this world

Innocent children knows
Nothing of the pain
In joy they play around
Like every child should do
Jumping up and down
They bring so much joy to saddened faces[/color:ce9f86f743]

jeb

[b:d68b7e8c3e]Tymber[/b:d68b7e8c3e] - good story! I'm having a little trouble adjusting to the scene change. After all the snow it seemed odd to have a "lush green" tree. The ending seemed a bit abrupt, but it makes me all the more anxious to read the next part. One thing was a little jarring to my editing mind: A couple of times it says "[b:d68b7e8c3e][i:d68b7e8c3e]surly[/i:d68b7e8c3e][/b:d68b7e8c3e]" instead of "[b:d68b7e8c3e][i:d68b7e8c3e]surely[/i:d68b7e8c3e][/b:d68b7e8c3e]".

[b:d68b7e8c3e]Tenderfoot[/b:d68b7e8c3e] - another great one. You really have a knack for creating mood. And Redmark! I never saw that one coming! I was also sure it would be Windkin. Although, I guess if there's someone who can melt Winnowill's shell, it would be him.

[b:d68b7e8c3e]Redhead Ember[/b:d68b7e8c3e] - Touching telling of the High Ones evolution from utopia to survival.

G0lden

Tymber I like your story. :D

Tenderfoot What as surprise at the end of your story. Surprised Wow, I was thinking two-edge, not Redmark. Surprised

Redhead. Like the poem. :D

RedheadEmber

[quote:cf3c10d72c="jeb"]
[b:cf3c10d72c]Redhead Ember[/b:cf3c10d72c] - Touching telling of the High Ones evolution from utopia to survival.[/quote:cf3c10d72c]

[color=red:cf3c10d72c]Thanks! :D (so... [i:cf3c10d72c]that[/i:cf3c10d72c]'s what it's about? well... guess you're right...)[/color:cf3c10d72c]

[quote:cf3c10d72c="G0lden"]Redhead. Like the poem. :D [/quote:cf3c10d72c]

[color=red:cf3c10d72c]Thankie! :D [/color:cf3c10d72c]

[Deleted User]

[b:17e52182b5]Redhead Ember[/b:17e52182b5]: lovely poem- I like the way you use words!

[quote:17e52182b5="Redhead Ember"]We are here all together
In perfect harmony
Everyone has something to share
Some skill at which the excel
There is no need for envy
When spirits join together
And laughingly sings
The story to the stars [/quote:17e52182b5]

This is my favourite. Sounds bit like this EQ community too. Wink

[b:17e52182b5]Tymber[/b:17e52182b5]: what a twist in the end!!! woah! Great story!

Edit: added bold style to names...

RedheadEmber

[color=red:935255ef77]Yeah... guess you're right... it [i:935255ef77]does[/i:935255ef77] have some connections to the forum! :D [/color:935255ef77]

[Deleted User]

[b:4e8417293b]Tymber[/b:4e8417293b]: well, I thought Foxhair's reaction was really unpredictable, with the way she's been acting...and I do read your stories, whenever I have the time.

;)

Embala

Liked your segment, [b:6655d6a48c]Tymber[/b:6655d6a48c] - again! [size=7:6655d6a48c]- and last not least because it was short[/size:6655d6a48c]. Grin Easy going after the furious fight last time - but closing some "laps" and setting some [i:6655d6a48c]possible[/i:6655d6a48c] plot strands besides the obvious.

Reminiscence to Sungazer, the new threemating, Riverfall as mentor for Echo, the open Recognition ...

That was the surprise for me. I'd have assumed that they cold-hearted consume Recognition as fast as possible to get ride of it - and then approach each other during the pregnancy. Of cause - you already have a pair that embraced Recognition - so this is the possibility to go the most complicated way :D Foxhair's reaction is a fine, almost natural choice under this circumstances - a loving mate, not causing more confusion in her beloved 's mind and heart. Not that there isn't enough possibility for conflicts later Wink

[size=9:6655d6a48c]It's a pity I cannot draw ...[/size:6655d6a48c] :(

Embala

That was gorgeeous, [b:892f12f161]Tenderfoot[/b:892f12f161]! The setting, the characters, the description of feelings ... I love it! :heart:

Redmark was I big surprise :D ... but of course he was a possibility: Nothing is known about his parents. My guess was as far off as most (or all?) of the others [size=9:892f12f161]- but I bet I know where he's coming from! Thats GrREAT! [/size:892f12f161] Wink

Winnowill's creepy dream tempted me to try an illustration - sort of. As it was i dream I thouhgt it wouldn't be so bad when the coustume is a bit off ...

[img:892f12f161]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e364/Etumla/Nightmare.jpg[/img:892f12f161]


[b:892f12f161]Tymber[/b:892f12f161], you surely noticed that I was careful enought to mention [b:892f12f161]possible[/b:892f12f161] plot strands Wink

Cleopatra

Really awsome. I am sure Tenderfoot will like it.

Tenderfoot

*squeeeal* Are you kidding me!? Surprised I freaking love it!

*tackle glomps Embala* Thankyouthankyouthaaankyoooouuuuu! *clings to leg*

Embala

Thank you Cleopatra :D and Tenderfoot :2kiss: ... havn't dared to hope that you'II like it so much!
...
ehm ... will you give me my leg back, please? Must go to next story Wink

[b:990efc6025]Redhead[/b:990efc6025], touching poem indeed. This one was (and is) hard for me, tho. Had to read it twice (or trice) to get a vision what it is about. At least jeb and you proved true my idea.
It's not that I hadn't recognized the High Ones theme - just like Moonmoss I see ties to 'real life' ... now - that part what's Elfquest about, I think Wink

Tenderfoot

[b:2f1c0e8705]Redhead Ember[/b:2f1c0e8705], your poem was so sweet and touching!



[quote:2f1c0e8705="Embala"]...
ehm ... will you give me my leg back, please? Must go to nest story Wink [/quote:2f1c0e8705]

You can take me with you! *still clings to leg, sits on foot*

faeriegirl

[quote:11aa62d54d="Tenderfoot"]
[quote:11aa62d54d="Embala"]...
ehm ... will you give me my leg back, please? Must go to nest story Wink [/quote:11aa62d54d]

You can take me with you! *still clings to leg, sits on foot*[/quote:11aa62d54d]
*taps Tenderfoot on shoulder* you don't want to go... it'd spoil the surprise of the next great story for you!

jeb

[quote:56a2097b50="Embala"]
[b:56a2097b50]Redhead[/b:56a2097b50], touching poem indeed. This one was (and is) hard for me, tho. Had to read it twice (or trice) to get a vision what it is about. At least jeb and you proved true my idea.
It's not that I hadn't recognized the High Ones theme - just like Moonmoss I see ties to 'real life' ... now - that part what's Elfquest about, I think Wink[/quote:56a2097b50]

Actually, after reading it over a couple more times, I think that it is more just a general description of the lives of the elves. But that's the great thing about poetry, it's open to different interpretation based on your current moods or thoughts and what you saw yesterday might not be what's there today.

RedheadEmber

[color=red:f182e760e0][b:f182e760e0]YEUPPPP![/b:f182e760e0] That's what I do... I write things which forces you to think... :twisted: (I've been easy on you guys for a while...)[/color:f182e760e0]

SnowWren

(A "what might be" story)

The child jumped up and down, anxious to see the palace. She wanted to explore this place she’d heard of only in stories. Her family had always lived in the forests of the world, and her mother had told her of others, like them, who traveled the stars. She was almost jealous of them in their freedom. They didn’t have to hide from humans. They could just fly from place to place. Ember put her hand on her daughter’s shoulders, sensing her thoughts. “They’ll be here soon,” she whispered.

~

It still hurt, the pain. The loss of her lifemate had wounded her more deeply than she’d ever expected. Something deep within her cried out in loneliness. Her anguish had wounded her to the core. No one else knew that when the moons were high, she still howled, silently for him, for Tier. She asked her brother, one more time, to turn the Scroll so she could see him, see their last moments together again, and cried.

lunakat

that was such a sad, lovely snippet. thanks snowwren!

Embala

I second this, SnowWren! Though it is short it contains all it should to the nice and sparks imagination.


A background picture for Redhead's poem ... no idea if there will be more this month ...

G0lden

Oh, Embala I absolutely love it. :D

RedheadEmber

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

LOVEITLOVEITLOVEITLOVEITLOVEIT

Embala

:banana: Thankies both :D

bukittyan

Now I've had a little time, i can sit and read this month's entries. :)

Tymber, I really liked this quiet scene. After all that nail-biting action, it's nice to have something quiet like this. I am curious as to what will happen when Joybringer and Shadow answer Recognition. If I recall correctly, Thorn, the previous chief, had no offspring. If Shadow has a cub, will that cub be chief? Or is becoming chief not hereditary in this tribe? (and if you want to answer this later in a story, I'll wait!) Oh, and and I adore Windfetcher and Echo. They're so cute!

Tenderfoot, beautiful story. I loved the scene where little Redmark melted Winnowill's icey heart. That was wonderfully written, and I loved reading about Winnowill wrestling with herself. And I really like Aroree in this setting. Now you just need to write more. :D

Redhead Ember, I enjoyed the poem. At first I thought it was about the Firstcomers, but I see how it can be about all the elves.

Snowwren, that was a nicely written snippet. Although it is sad to hear Ember outlives Tier. And their daughter seems so young too...

bukittyan

Gah! I totally forgot to write about Embala's Art! :headwall2: Sorry, Embala!

I loved the Winnowill's dream one. The creepy hands reaching towards her was spooky. And the illustration for Redhead's poem was gorgeous. I can really see Suntop (or Sunstream) telling all of his fellow elves about the previous High Ones.

Embala

*pulls bukittyan back from the wall* It's okay :hug2: - no need to hurt yourself!

The spooky hands were self-evident after reading of Tenderfoot's dream-vision. And the background picneeds just a "fitting" choice. Thanks for liking it :D

Cleopatra

Have read everyones grab bags and they are awsome. Love your picture Embala.

Now, over to my grab bag.

Longing

Night.

The part of day when everyone slept in the village of warriors, led by chief Optarh. But not everyone was sleeping. Some were in their beds and slept, others guarded the village while a third group was far away from their home, out on the battlefield. The moons were shining, casting their silver light over the village. But the moons weren’t the only light source this night. Inside one of the rooms of chief Optarh’s home, a special glow lit up the hallways, but not normal light as from candles or torches. This was magic.

The Scroll of Colors.

Chief Optarh remembered when he and the other young elves got the scrolls with them. Their parents, the High Ones, had to send them away from their former home. He, his friends and the children. All of them were sent away from their home to try to find a safer place to live, a new home for new lives. Optarh’s eyes were fixed on the scrolls as they turned around. For others there was only errant light in front of him, shining light so strong that it could blind the ones who looked at it. But it didn’t blind Optarh. He was an elf, the only living creature who was allowed to see the scrolls. And now he tried to seek answers trough them. What would be the enemy’s next move? What should they do?

Will I ever forgive? he thought. Then, fully aware of what he just thought, he shook his head and sighed. This was not the time for searching through the past. Only when he was one with present, he could go back to the past and try to find out where everything went wrong. But with his mind not clear, the scrolls gave him no particular answers. He only saw things he already knew from the past and things he knew were happening right now.

“Concentrate, Optarh,” he said to himself.

He squinted his eyes, closing his mind for thoughts and only focused on the task and the scrolls. And he was rewarded. The scrolls lit up even more, turning around and showing him the battlefield. There was no fighting, but some of his warriors were cleaning their wounds while others kept watch. Optarh sighed.

The war has lasted for fifteen years, he thought. Fifteen.

Then he smiled. It was a strange coincidence, because fifteen days ago, Hawkeye became his student. He was a fast learner and he was beginning to get some of his powers under control already, but it wasn’t every time everything went as it should. There had been quite a few explosions, like the first time, but not dangerous enough to kill them. They just felt tenderized. If only Hawkeye learned how to deal with the magic, he would stop trying to force it out and boss it around. And Optarh hoped it would be very soon. They had already been laughed at by the children in the village at least eight times, and even though both of them loved children, they were getting pretty mad about being called Fireworks. Yep, children had no respect for the elders.

But the magic wasn’t the only problem Hawkeye had. There was also the recognition with Xin-Jing. Optarh didn’t need to ask the two of them, he knew it by the mark on Hawkeye’s left hand. But it was also easy to tell by the incident a few days ago, when Hawkeye, in the middle of the village, had been practicing to keep the magic inside him and not let it out unless he wanted it to. At the same time, outside village, Xin-Jing and the other students were learning how to handle a sword in combat. She did fine and knocked all the others to the ground, juggling with her last opponent’s sword, when one of the younger ones jumped at her with sword raised. The tip of the weapon slit the skin on her arm, something she didn’t care about since she was used to getting scars.

But Hawkeye, who fully concentrated was fighting the magic and had just convinced it to stay inside his palm, also felt it. The concentration slipped for one moment as he screamed in surprise and grabbed his arm, not finding any wounds, but the magic didn’t need more than this to force its way out. Hawkeye had been thrown backwards when he involuntary let the powerful light out and the others had had to jump aside the magic light orbs not to be entirely crushed. The glowing magic orbs had flown right through the village walls, leaving the village smoky and with a giant hole in the walls. The elves had stared at the hole before they turned to Hawkeye, glaring daggers at him. Poor he could only apologize and wonder why he didn’t have any wounds before he fainted, empty of the antagonistic magic.

But Optarh hadn’t really understood the connection before he saw Xin-Jing later that day, the mark on her left hand and with a scar on her arm, the same place as Hawkeye had grabbed. Then there was no need for guessing anymore.

Optarh was just as old as the war when he and the other elves arrived at this place, when they were sent away to find a new home. The children had been many and small, he had been fifteen and his friends his juniors by one and two years, all of them and suddenly the grownups. Everyone was still in the village, everyone but one. One who had been his age mate, who was now a sore point deep inside his soul.

“Optarh?” a light and clear voice suddenly said from the entrance to the room.

It was Erla, his lifemate and wife. The scrolls stopped turning and extinguished, like the spark of life was slowly dying. For the first time in years Optarh felt tired, exhausted. He sighed heavily and slowly, grabbing his head as he slumped back in one of the chairs.

“Optarh!” he heard Erla scream and ran forward to him.
“Beloved, what’s wrong? Please tell me.”

She kneeled in front of him and grabbed his hands, looking up at him with eyes as blue as the sky on a cloudless day. Optarh raised his head, his own eyes reflecting hers like a mirror, but filled with tears.

“You are thinking of him again, aren’t you?” she asked gently, her voice as soft her sunny locks of hair.

“I don’t know what to do, Erla,” Optarh sighed.
“I’m tired and exhausted. It feels like everything is fading.”

“Don’t say that!” Erla abruptly cut him off.
“Everything will be all right. But please, don’t give up!”

But Optarh didn’t respond and Erla knew there was something more than just the scrolls and the war. There was an old scar, a scar in his soul that had been opened and made him vulnerable again.


###########################################################################

A scar. There was a scar in his soul. A sore point.

Optarh, he thought. The Dark Prince has ruined everything for us. Is this how it should be? We used to have a special bond together, a bond that could never be severed. Is it lost? Now and forever? He let his hand slide by the opening of the window, feeling the cool air against his skin. The weak light from the moons embraced his hand, forcing the shadows away and revealing three fingers and a thumb. A door to the chamber was opened. A faint light from a torch lit up the room and revealed a dark shadow in the doorway.

“Beloved?” the low and soft voice asked.

He didn’t respond. The shadow moved, walking slowly over to him and stopped behind him, ghostly hands reaching out and embracing him. He glanced down, barely noticing the six fingers folded together. The thumbs were hidden inside the cloak’s sleeves. Now he turned around, wrapping his arms around the cloaked shadow and breathing slowly. Then he moved his hands up to the hood, slowly pulling it off with trembling fingers. No one, not even the Dark Ones’ leader the Dark Prince, had seen their faces. Their identities were secreted from them, and it was a special reason for it.

The hood fell slowly and it could no longer hide the face. The long brown hair danced around the shoulders and down the back, encircling the pale and heart shaped face. Large violet eyes shone with innocence and looked up at him, his hand reaching up and moving a brown lock behind a pointed ear. The large and rosy lips severed and he found himself staring at his beloved lifemate and wife. She slowly reached up, pulling off his hood too and revealing ears as pointy as hers. Then she kissed him, her slender arms sliding around him and starting to unbutton his cloak.
”Louros,” he whispered into her ear.
“It hurts so much. I don’t know what do anymore.”


###########################################################################

Xin-Jing enjoyed hearing the children’s laugh while she looked after them. For the time being it was the only thing that soothed the pain she felt inside. The recognition. She hadn’t tried to get to know Hawkeye better or gotten anywhere near joining him. Her head said clearly no and forbid her to think otherwise, but her heart was torn and said something else. She couldn’t describe the feeling she had this time, but she guessed it had something to do with the children she looked after. She didn’t mind taking care of the children, not at all, it was a task for all the warriors, but this feeling was so much more different from what she had felt the last fifteen days. Then a thought struck her. Was it”¦ maternal instinct?

“Looking after the children today?”

Xin-Jing jerked when Eros asked the question, and she realized he was standing behind her. Her face had been calm like a little brook, but now it turned to a furious thundercloud.

“Of course,” she said indifferently.
“I like to take care of the children. They are so special.”

Eros tried to embrace her from behind and she felt his breath touch her throat.

“You want one?” he asked.
“Make the children play at the pond. We can do it here and now.”

Her answer was a pair of elbows in his ribs.

“Get off me!” she hissed.
She would never forget what Eros looked like when he flung his arms around himself and she smiled satisfied. It was another good thing too; he made the children laugh. At least they were having fun.

”I really like you, Xin-Jing,” Eros said between his gasps for breath.

“Hn.”

“I mean it! Almost makes me want to eat you!”

He looked very stupid from where he stood, his eyes pleading silently.

“Try it and see,” Xin-Jing said, her voice filled with casualness.
“Since you want to so badly.”

The last was a mumble and she couldn’t be sure if Eros understood that she was sarcastic. Then she felt a pull at her hair and chewing sounds.

SWAP

SWAP

SWAP

Three daggers flew through the air and Eros backed off, looking at Xin-Jing with shock.

“But you said it was okay!”

“Shut up!” she screamed, holding a dagger at his throat.
“Let’s see you do that again, and I’ll make you disappear by the edge of this dagger!”

Then she turned around and huffed, wishing he would just leave her alone.

“Seriously, what’s up with saying I like you, I want to eat you?”

Even had the guts to actually try it, she thought.

“Are you some kind of idi-“

Xin-Jing turned her head, seeing Eros try to lift her top.

“”¦ot?”

A swift kick in his stomach sent Eros flying through the air and he landed on the ground three meters away.

“Xin-Jiiing, you could have been more gentle”¦”

“GO BACK TO YOUR PLANET!”

When Eros tried to near her again, Xin-Jing spun around and glared at him.

“Listen,” she said.
“I am a warrior and I’m not interested! Even as a joke-“

Before she could say anything more, Eros’ arms were around her and he hugged her hard.

“Xin-Jiiing! Lemme hug you!”

He immediately let her go though, as he felt her dagger kiss his throat.

“Joking! I’m joking!” he said and smiled his best I’m-too-handsome-to-kill-and-right-now-I’m-very-scared-smile.

My life almost ended there, he thought. He wondered what would be the right thing to do when he saw Xin-Jing move away from him again, so he quickly grabbed her arm.

“But Xin-Jing”¦ I love you!”

The wolf inside her woke and she turned around, giving him the eye.

“That’s enough!” Xin-Jing growled.
“Do you really want to die?”

“Dying’s fine!” Eros said as he pulled her into him and seized her lips with his.
“Just let me kiss you!”

The size of Xin-Jing’s eyes were nothing compared to the look in them. Eros almost waited for the blow, but opened his eyes in shock when he felt her hand grip the hair on the back of his head. Then a pair of fingers clamped his nose shut and also made it impossible for him to breath.

I’m really dying”¦ Eros thought as his face turned slightly blue.

Like I’d lose to him! Like I’d lose to him! Xin-Jing thought as she felt his free hand hit her side, not letting him go. Her eyes were shut in disgust, but she opened them when she let go of Eros’ nose, smiling satisfied as he collapsed from lack of air. He tried to get up after a few moments, but a swift kick between his legs made him use twice as much time to stand up. By straightening his back, Eros made a poorly attempt at trying to regain his dignity.

”Looks like someone has gotten up with the wrong leg today,” he squeaked and turned to limp away.

Xin-Jing was still mad at him and her insides were furious, she was like a wandering storm of emotions. She knew that Eros would try again later, so she would make sure ”˜later’ was another day. She increased her speed and ran after him, her leg flying upwards as she kicked him in his rump.

”You were wrong,” she replied coldly.
“I got up with both legs today!”

Not waiting for Eros’ reaction, she turned and went back to the children. At least she had gotten rid of a little bit of her fury, but she still didn’t feel better inside. She sat down on a bench with a sigh, not noticing that the children were playing uninterrupted. They hadn’t seen what she did to Eros, and that was good. Warriors weren’t supposed to be bad ideals. She looked down at the mark on her left hand, thoughtful, and started to stroke it with one finger. The finger followed the pattern and she closed her eyes, letting her mind flow. She wondered how she could make Eros stop caress her. Then she wondered how it would have been if he, Hawkeye, had been the one to caress her. Just the thought of him made her feel warm and she started trembling.

Not far away stood Toron and Sturkas, who had seen how Xin-Jing had fought against Eros’ poorly attempts at courting her. They grinned and turned to each other.

“Have you noticed that something has happened with Xin-Jing?” Toron asked and looked at Sturkas.

“Weeell,” he answered and seemed to think while counting on his fingers. “Training much, being nagged at by Eros about becoming his wife, beating Eros, testing traps, being a little grumpy nowadays without reason”¦ but that’s not new. Other than that, I can’t think of anymore.”

Toron rolled his eyes. Was it really possible to be that stupid?

“And why do you think she’s grumpy?” he asked.

“Why? Didn’t you hear what I said? Eros never leaves her alone. He nags at her to become his wife, have children with him and never be a tough warrior. He wants her to be a sweet and innocent wife who laments for having broken nails. Yuck!” Sturkas made a face.
“That’s enough to make anyone crazy!”

The two of them were silent.

“But do you know?” Sturkas suddenly said after a while.

“What?” Toron answered.

“I can actually picture ”˜little sister’ married to Eros and having children with him.”

“What!?” Toron roared.
“You’re not serious, are you?”

“But don’t you see? Eros looking for their wild children in the forest, who don’t bother to listen to him saying that it’s dangerous outside as long as the enemy is still around, while Xin-Jing takes care of them, nurses them and takes them to bed,” Sturkas said and grinned.

Then Toron understood that Sturkas had tried to joke with him. A poor joke in a poor attempt.

”Well, that’ll never happen with Xin-Jing and Eros,” Toron said.

”What makes you think so? Recognition can happen when least expected.”

”That’s what I’m trying to say. Xin-Jing is recognized.”

Sturkas’ eyes widened to the size of saucers.

“With who?”

Toron sent him a special look, but Sturkas misunderstood it.

“You!?” he said.
“’Little sister’ has recognized you!?”

“No, you rock head!” Toron abruptly cut him off, then rolled his eyes. Yep, it really was possible to be that stupid!
“It’s Hawkeye! He’s the one she’s recognized!

“The wimp who almost killed our chief?”

“That ”˜wimp’ is named Hawkeye, and he has recognized our ”˜little sister’.”

"Then when did it happen?"

“Right after she caught us in her net,” Toron said with a laugh. Even though he was angry about it when it happened, he just laughed at it now. He wasn’t mad for very long.

“I had almost forgotten that,” Sturkas said with a grunt.

It looked like he was pouting a little while before he sent Toron a questioning look.

“So”¦ does it mean that Eros have no chance anymore?” he asked slowly.

Toron responded with a big smile and nodded. Sturkas didn’t reply at first, his face was just a big question mark. Then it broke into a big grin.

“By the High Ones, that’s fantastic!” Sturkas cheered.

He was about to shout from joy when a move in the corner of his eye made him and Toron turn around. Something had caught Xin-Jing’s attention and she quickly stood up from the bench she had been sitting at. Whistling from a guard gave her news. Her father was home again from the battlefield.

“Father!” she whispered.

She almost couldn’t believe it. He was home again! Cheering loudly she started to bounce around, jumping up and down like a child. Then she promptly made a straight line for her father, leaving the babysitter job to someone else.

###########################################################################

Alborn had just gotten inside the village walls when he heard the clear and enthusiastic, melodious and singing voice of his daughter.

“Father! Father!” Xin-Jing screamed with arms outstretched.

Alborn didn’t hesitate for one moment, he just dropped everything he carried and bolted for his daughter, embracing her and swinging her around. He enjoyed hearing her happy laughter again, to him it seemed like he hadn’t heard it in ages. It wasn’t more than a few weeks, but to a father even that was too much. Involuntarily letting go of her, he looked her up and down. When he saw her eyes, he immediately understood that something had happened to her. Something special. Suspecting what he actually already knew, Alborn looked down at her left hand and the mark.

She was recognized.

###########################################################################
Hawkeye watched it all from a distance. The reuniting between father and daughter. It reminded him of how he had been as a child and how he used to meet his father when he returned from hunting with the others. Although the pain and sadness for the loss of his parents had turned to happy memories over the years and he managed to smile instead of crying when talking about them, he couldn’t get this strange feeling inside him go away. It wasn’t about his family, but it also was. He was jealous, jealous about not having his very own family. The mark on his left hand constantly reminded him that he was recognized, but that only made the pain even more difficult to bear. The mark showed that someone belonged together like a family, but he still hadn’t gotten anywhere near getting one. He was recognized, but it felt like he would never get a family. He tried to convince himself that that was not the right way of thinking.

He was recognized. With her. Xin-Jing. He knew that sooner or later, they had to fulfill the joining and give new lives a chance to live, but even though he longed for it, he knew that it wasn’t the right time. And deep inside himself, he knew that he wasn’t ready yet. Neither was she.

Tenderfoot

SnowWren, that was short and sad Unhappy Why did you do that to one of my favorite couples?

Quote:
SnowWren

It still hurt, the pain. The loss of her lifemate had wounded her more deeply than she’d ever expected. Something deep within her cried out in loneliness. Her anguish had wounded her to the core. No one else knew that when the moons were high, she still howled, silently for him, for Tier.



I really loved this! We get to see how much Ember really hurts and the truth behind the loss of a loved one. Although everything might seem better on the outside, the inside is always different.



Cleo, this was a long and intense read! I love how you picture Xin-Jing's struggles with that fool Eros Grin That was priceless! And I also liked the conversation between her 'big brothers'. It's clear that Toron and Sturkas care for her and don't like Eros!

But you've left me wondering about Optarh and the other dude... who is the latter and what's up with their bond? :?

bukittyan

Thanks Embala. :hug2:

I just came back from Otakon and was majorly inspired to draw after seeing all the good artwork. I hope you guys don't mind sketches because I don't really have time to color at the moment.

This one is for Tenderfoot's piece: Abandoned. I just had to draw little Aroree and Redlance. I'm not so good with babies, so hopefully it's not too bad. :P



And this one's for Tymber's piece, which has no title. I was touched by Foxhair and Shadow and had to sketch this one out. I saw Nightsea's dollz for Foxhair, but I wasn't sure which one Tymber liked, so I did my best to combine them.

Cleopatra

I love theese pictures, bukittyan. And little Redmark is just so adorable. I like to see him as a baby.
:love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love:

Tenderfoot

Quote:
bukittyan

This one is for Tenderfoot's piece: Abandoned. I just had to draw little Aroree and Redlance. I'm not so good with babies, so hopefully it's not too bad. :P



Surprised OMG, bukittyan, that's frikkin' awesome! :love: Little Aroree and baby Redmark are so adorable! I just want to pull them off the paper and cuddle them! *squeal* It's not bad at all! I love it!

:love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love: :love:

*tackle glomps bukittyan*

Cleopatra

Quote:
Tenderfoot


Cleo , this was a long and intense read! I love how you picture Xin-Jing's struggles with that fool Eros Grin That was priceless! And I also liked the conversation between her 'big brothers'. It's clear that Toron and Sturkas care for her and don't like Eros!



Oh, we are going too see more of Toron and Sturkas taking care of their 'little sister'. Just wait and see. Wink

Quote:
Tenderfoot


But you've left me wondering about Optarh and the other dude... who is the latter and what's up with their bond? :?



For now... that must be a secret. :twisted: But will tell who he is when the time come. Wink

Tenderfoot

Evil Grin Ooh, you are so cruel! Evil Grin

But alright, alright, I'll wait. In the meantime, I can make up my own guesses and thoughts. Perhaps they're... lovemates! :twisted:

bukittyan

Aw, Tymber. Now you're making me blush. :oops:

Seriously, I'm really glad you like it. I'm glad I was able to portray your characters accurately for you. :hug2:

And thanks Tenderfoot and Cleo! :hug: You do know what this means, Tenderfoot. You'll have to write more with the baby. :poke:

And I loved this new installment, Cleopatra. I still love Toron and Sturkas. Those two crack me up all the time. Grin

Tenderfoot

Quote:
bukittyan

And thanks Tenderfoot and Cleo! :hug: You do know what this means, Tenderfoot. You'll have to write more with the baby. :poke:



Writing more about baby Redlance is no prob! :P But... there's so many other stories I want to write too... what should be written first?

Cleopatra

Quote:
bukittyan


And I loved this new installment, Cleopatra. I still love Toron and Sturkas. Those two crack me up all the time. Grin



Thank you, bukittyan. Me glad you like. :D Pherhaps I should make a draw of Toron and Sturkas?

krwordgazer

I've really enjoyed the stories and art this month!

Tymber, after all the action scenes, this interlude was a nice time for further character development. I really felt for Foxhair and Shadow-- and the scene with Riverfall and the cubs was really cute!

Tenderfoot, that was a great installment! I love the maternal pull Winnowill feels towards the infant Redlance. I'm really wondering why someone would leave a male child at a nunnery-- it's sure not to put him in the cloister! Ekuar was great in this scene, too! I do wonder, though, since the word "Mrs." implies a married woman, whether Winnowill's title shouldn't be "Reverend Mother Winnowill" or "Abbess Winnowill" instead of "Mrs. Winnowill"?

Redhead Ember, your poem was lovely. I like the way the Scroll of Colors seems to give both a vision of past peace, and a hope for future harmony.

Snow Wren, your little snippet was powerful, and very sad. Poor Ember. I hope you find time to continue the story!

Cleopatra, that was fun! Eros really is an idiot-- how could he possibly think it would appeal to a girl to force his attentions that way? :roll: Cool mystery with Optarh and his former friend; I'm looking forward to more detail on that!

I really enjoyed the different illustrations this month too-- very insightful, and they captured the characters/moods well. :D

I'm leaving tomorrow on a two-week vacation, and what with trying to get a family of four ready to leave, and an office ready to be left, there's been no time to work on a story this month. I'll see you all when I get back!

Cleopatra

Quote:
krwordgazer


Cleopatra, that was fun! Eros really is an idiot-- how could he possibly think it would appeal to a girl to force his attentions that way? :roll:



Thank you, KR, yeah, Eros is really a idiot and he doesn't take a no as a no.

Quote:
krwordgazer


Cool mystery with Optarh and his former friend; I'm looking forward to more detail on that!



And I will give more details of this when the comes, but as I said to Tenderfoot, it must be a secret. :twisted:

Tenderfoot

Quote:
faeriegirl

Surprised At first I thought Rayek, because of Ekuar... Then maybe Windkin, for Aroree and Winnowill...
but Surprised Redmark???? Surprised
that sure was a surprise!
Stupid cliffhangers! Gimme more!



Don't we all hate those cliffhangers? :) I'm just happy that it was a surprise!


Quote:
Redhead Ember

:o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o


R...R... REDMARK! now that's the one I would've never guessed!

Love the story... especially Kind-Winnie... :D :thumbsup:



*bows* Thanks, Redhead! I tried to write it so no one would guess that it was him, hence no skin/hair/eye-colors. And though Winnie may act different, we all know how she's around babies Wink


Quote:
Jeb

Tenderfoot - another great one. You really have a knack for creating mood. And Redmark! I never saw that one coming! I was also sure it would be Windkin. Although, I guess if there's someone who can melt Winnowill's shell, it would be him.



Thanks, I'm glad you liked it! I was really struggling with this piece, so I'm thankful and very happy! *glomps* And of course baby Redmark can melt Winnie, you just read the story, right?


Quote:
G0lden

Tenderfoot What as surprise at the end of your story. Surprised Wow, I was thinking two-edge, not Redmark. Surprised



Grin Seems like no one was thinking of him! Thanks for replying!


Quote:
Tymber

Crikey. See this is why I am glad I didn't even try to guess, as Redmark/Redlance would have been one of the last choices I would have ever made!



You're not alone


Quote:
Tymber

An excellent story with an interesting twist to the end - which makes me wonder how this will all keep turning out. :)



Just wait till next Grab Bag and the ones after that...


Quote:
Embala

That was gorgeeous, Tenderfoot! The setting, the characters, the description of feelings ... I love it! :heart:



*glomps* I love you for loving it! Thanks!


Quote:
Embala

Redmark was I big surprise :D ... but of course he was a possibility: Nothing is known about his parents.



And the point goes to Embala!


Quote:
Embala

Winnowill's creepy dream tempted me to try an illustration - sort of. As it was i dream I thouhgt it wouldn't be so bad when the coustume is a bit off ...



You don't know how right the costume really is...


Quote:
bukittyan

Tenderfoot, beautiful story. I loved the scene where little Redmark melted Winnowill's icey heart. That was wonderfully written, and I loved reading about Winnowill wrestling with herself. And I really like Aroree in this setting. Now you just need to write more. :D



Naw, thankies! I'm glad you liked the difficult parts! Then I'll make sure to work on them in the future.


Quote:
bukittyan

You do know what this means, Tenderfoot. You'll have to write more with the baby. :poke:



Only if you draw more of the baby Wink


Quote:
krwordgazer

Tenderfoot, that was a great installment! I love the maternal pull Winnowill feels towards the infant Redlance. I'm really wondering why someone would leave a male child at a nunnery-- it's sure not to put him in the cloister! Ekuar was great in this scene, too!



Infants do make the best of us come out. And with baby Redlance, it's no wonder! Why he's left at the nunnery is a conundrum though... maybe we shall ask him?


Quote:
krwordgazer

I do wonder, though, since the word "Mrs." implies a married woman, whether Winnowill's title shouldn't be "Reverend Mother Winnowill" or "Abbess Winnowill" instead of "Mrs. Winnowill"?



See, I've read some books about Medieval times and in every one of them, the abbess was called "Mrs." and the abbot called "Mr.", but don't ask me why. It's as weird to me as it is to others, just facts.


Quote:
Embala

My guess was as far off as most (or all?) of the others



You're as right as you can be!


Quote:
Embala

but I bet I know where he's coming from! Thats GrREAT! Wink



*blink* *blink* You do? Strange... even I don't know that yet...

Embala

:o How could I have missed so much here ?!

Like how your story goes, [b:b56eb008f4]Cleopatra[/b:b56eb008f4]. It's feeling more and more like EQ.
- Eros is just too annoying, tho :roll: Couldn't he be a bit more "enlightened" than being a constant punching ball?
- Toron and Sturkas are great! Grin
- Optarh's childhood friend close to the Dark Prince's circles is an intriguing twist.
[quote:b56eb008f4="Cleopatra"]“Father!” she whispered.

She almost couldn’t believe it. He was home again! Cheering loudly she started to bounce around, jumping up and down like a child. Then she promptly made a straight line for her father, leaving the babysitter job to someone else.[/quote:b56eb008f4]The children are guarded because of the war, right? In case I havn't missed something she was the only guard (Toron and Stukkas seem to watch her without her knowing). She wouldn't be so irresponsible to leave them alone, would she?


Aroree and Redmark are adorable, [b:b56eb008f4]bukittyan[/b:b56eb008f4] - happy and peaceful :heart:

Shadow and Foxhair are awesome! Foxhair's expression is so tender and caring. You cared for little details again, like their bangles :D

Nightsea

I will post a warning for this story. It contains disturbing
mature content. Read it ready to enter the dark.
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jumping up and down
Jealousy
Maternal instinct
A scar, whether it's symbolic, physical or psychic. It can be an old wound, mental scar or a wounded soul.
The Scroll of Colors
Moons/Moonlight/Moon symbols

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Mekda's belly was starting to show the child, even despite her constantly
emaciated bloat. The tiny being inside her did not move often, but just
now it felt like it was jumping up and down, or at least kicking both
feet simultaneously.

She did not weep, did not even clutch herself to hold in the
tears and terror. She was numb from so many moons of worry.

How could she escape the trolls? How could she bear a child
only to see it also enthralled? How could she give birth in
secret? How would three starving, beaten and captive elves
manage to hide an infant, much less feed it or give it a life
worth living? How would she keep greedy, jealous trolls
from taking it away?

She had gone over these questions countless times. Her
head and her heart were both worn out with the repetition.
She had only sent to her lovemate once since she had
first discovered her condition. He could not know,
would not have any more answers than she did.
Her loneliness and horror were almost complete.

Turning her mind to her happiest memory was her
only remedy. Before her, the ancient home glistened
dully under layers of dust. The largest door they
had seen would not budge open, but writing near the
top proclaimed "The Scroll of Colors". She had
tried to send the meaning to her two male companions,
but they, being less patient, had never learned
the secret of marks from the elders. The sending
only confused them as she could not explain just
what the words meant.

Scroll. Colors. Scroll. Colors. Scroll meant
almost nothing, but carried a vague idea of more
marks. Words. Symbols. Perhaps the very reason
for the First One's arrival was behind the immoble
door?

Colors. Shades, hues, tones, red, green, the blue of
the sky...to see the sky again. Would her child ever
see it? Would it admire the sun, moons, stars and clouds
or be forever chained inside a dank tunnel?

She absently reached for the place where her left arm
had been. The remaining scar was old now, but it itched
in places she no longer had to scratch.

Only one arm left to shield or cuddle...how could she bear
new life?

Her distress finally made her moan audibly. The low
sound caught the ears of the huge green guard and
when he rose to beat her she bent forward, trying
to present only her back for whipping.

She was jerked sideways, her chains tripping her
and her feet slipping from under her. When the
blood began to soak into the soil beneath her
sobbing form, she finally gave up all her dreams
of a normal motherhood and watched as the still
form, now outside her, finally slept in peace.
************
--Nightsea

Nightsea

Sorry. It is a total horrific downer, I admit. But
I did try to warn folks.

This particular character in EQ had a similar impact on Redlance.
So, you aren't alone.

<hugs> everyone who reads my story and needs it,
--Nightsea

G0lden

That was so sad Nightsea, Beautifully written but so incredibly sad. :(

Nightsea

I think I'll go try to write something cheerful for August.
--NS

Nightsea

Just cause I didn't comment, doesn't mean I didn't read.

I usually only comment if I have a particularly new insight or
something to say constructively or can't hold the praise in.

Your stories tend to be like walking thru wonderland, kind
of sureal in their relationship to traditional/canon EQ.

I'm not sure what that means. It just seems to hit me that way.

See..sometimes I'm better off NOT saying anything.

*forhead wrinkles*
--Nightsea

Cleopatra

[quote:e42a7270e4="Embala"]
Like how your story goes, [b:e42a7270e4]Cleopatra[/b:e42a7270e4]. It's feeling more and more like EQ. [/quote:e42a7270e4]

Thank you so much. :D It means alot to me that you think so.

[quote:e42a7270e4="Embala"]
- Eros is just too annoying, tho :roll: Couldn't he be a bit more "enlightened" than being a constant punching ball?[/quote:e42a7270e4]

Oh, don't worry. It will turn out better for Eros and he will find his place in the story. But then again, he isn't actually a "punching ball", he's just a victim of Xin-Jing's rage.

[quote:e42a7270e4="Embala"]
- Toron and Sturkas are great! Grin [/quote:e42a7270e4]

And a new fan to them.

[quote:e42a7270e4="Embala"]
- Optarh's childhood friend close to the Dark Prince's circles is an intriguing twist.[/quote:e42a7270e4]

We will soon know [b:e42a7270e4]why[/b:e42a7270e4]. Just wait and see. Wink

[quote:e42a7270e4="Embala"]
[quote:e42a7270e4="Cleopatra"]“Father!” she whispered.

She almost couldn’t believe it. He was home again! Cheering loudly she started to bounce around, jumping up and down like a child. Then she promptly made a straight line for her father, leaving the babysitter job to someone else.[/quote:e42a7270e4]
The children are guarded because of the war, right? In case I havn't missed something she was the only guard (Toron and Stukkas seem to watch her without her knowing). She wouldn't be so irresponsible to leave them alone, would she? [/quote:e42a7270e4]

Oh yes, Xin-Jing knew that they were watching her, she just didn't mind. After all, they are her 'big brothers' and she's used to it. So when she ran off to her father, Toron and Sturkas immediately took the job for her because she knew they would.

Nightsea

But my comment wasn't meant to be bad. I mean that sometimes,
when you and others show EQ thru a filter I don't immediately
recognize, I find it both wonderful and perplexing.

I'm sure my own writing/art does the same to others sometimes...
we all interpret the same material of EQ but through the
different prisms of our own being (and with differnt skills).

Sometimes I get it and sometimes I don't (both my own offerings
and those of others).

Occassionally I think it might be a flaw in the medium
of writing or in artistic talent itself, and sometimes not.

But seldom do I feel a need to point
out something I'd do differently unless I feel it would improve
my own or other's understanding. And I never tell someone
I don't appreciate that they have put forth effort to create text
or art. I may not always say I like it, but rest assured, I always
do (to one level or another).

I wouldn't make time to keep looking otherwise.

:)
--Nightsea

Oh and PS: Thanks for the comment, GOlden!

G0lden

Nightsea, tymber is giving me grief as usual in a good natured way. :D

Embala

I'm joining the others, [b:e03dc67e0f]Nightsea[/b:e03dc67e0f] - very well written, beautiful and incredibly sad.

Not depressing at all for me ... just perfectly fitting sad. There was no 'good ending' to expect in the traditional way. Under the given cirumstances this was the good ending. After your mature warning I've expected something worse - another possible, but much more bitter conclusion.

Embala

This is inspired by [url=http://elfquest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=429767#429767]Nightsea's story[/url] ... and might be very sad and painful. I'll follow her example with a WARNING - mature content

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[quote:48705b62fb="Tymber"]... and now to go slit my wrists out of sheer depression....[/quote:48705b62fb]
It's on you - and anyone else - what you'll see ...

[b:48705b62fb]An Ending?[/b:48705b62fb]

[img:48705b62fb]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e364/Etumla/Mekda_ending.jpg[/img:48705b62fb]

or ...

[b:48705b62fb]An Escape![/b:48705b62fb]

[img:48705b62fb]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e364/Etumla/Mekda_freespirit.jpg[/img:48705b62fb]

Hoped I could show you what I saw when having finished your beautifull and sad story, [b:48705b62fb]Nightsea[/b:48705b62fb]. Tho - haven't dared to mention my plans because it took massive editing and even coloring. Went better than I dared to imagine! :D

G0lden

Oh wow that second one is awesome. :D

lunakat

[quote:fb6d99ac48="Tymber"][quote:fb6d99ac48="Nightsea - Highlight for Spoilers - it's the ending - so read the story first if you have not!"]
[color=white:fb6d99ac48]
She was jerked sideways, her chains tripping her and her feet slipping from under her. When the blood began to soak into the soil beneath her sobbing form, she finally gave up all her dreams of a normal motherhood and watched as the still form, now outside her, finally slept in peace.[/color:fb6d99ac48]
[/quote:fb6d99ac48]

... and now to go slit my wrists out of sheer depression....[/quote:fb6d99ac48]
You're one to talk, Tymber! (I remember June!) :P

Actually... I liked this story. It was utterly depressing- but Mekda's fate is entirely tragic any which way you look at it. It would have been twice as terrible to give birth to a live baby under those circumstances. So the ending seems appropriate.

The picture is sooo sad! I like the first one. The photoshop of a cheerful Windkin doesn't blend well with the original style.. although it's a nice composition and the coloring works well. It would have been better to do your own drawing of a baby-elf spirit. You have a nice style! I do like your drawing very much. It has a perfect feel to it for this story.

WhiteGhost

[color=darkblue:8336ec3342]i had to go read the story- i looked at the picture and was all "Whut? Windkin, Messiah?"[/color:8336ec3342]

lunakat

[quote:5093cae8f1="Tymber"]
Yeah but... but...

Yeah. I got nothing.

This is a baby though! Innocent!

:([/quote:5093cae8f1]

Like that's any worse than killing off [i:5093cae8f1]everybody![/i:5093cae8f1]

Nightsea

Wow...wonderful collage illustration! Thank you, [b:dfa62792be]Embala[/b:dfa62792be]!

May I suggest a third version? One where you simply remove
Windkin's baby image and just keep a spark of light? That would
suggest the spirit escaping nicely I think. Perhaps a sending star
or just a peaceful free-form....will you try it?

And yeah...there is an element of freedom and "the best possible
outcome" in my contribution. So put down the razor now, [b:dfa62792be]Tymber[/b:dfa62792be]!

:P
--Nightsea

PS: Repeats what [b:dfa62792be]lunakat[/b:dfa62792be] said: "It has a perfect feel to it for this story."

faeriegirl

Amazing stuff this month! Wonderful image, Embala, though I kinda agree about the Windkin thing.

Embala

:o Lots of feedback!!!

[quote:befe9f319b="Tymber"]The second one is amazing.[/quote:befe9f319b][quote:befe9f319b="G0lden"]Oh wow that second one is awesome. :D[/quote:befe9f319b]
Thanks so much both of you :D The second one was the one I envisioned first. You know - the moment I finished Nightsea's story my mind was spinning on ...
[i:befe9f319b]... little 'FreeSpirit' heading for the Palace ... a sane and chubby child like it should be ... reaching for his mother: "Come with me! It's wonderful here!" ... but Mekda cannot feel it in her desperation ... they won't be reunited til she joins the Palace way later ...[/i:befe9f319b]
... that's the picture I imagined and wanted to show.

[quote:befe9f319b="lunakat"]The picture is sooo sad! I like the first one.[/quote:befe9f319b]Another reason for being glad I've saved it. :) Just before deleting it I've seen that this "puzzle part" illustrated exactly the very last scene of the story.
[quote:befe9f319b]It would have been better to do your own drawing of a baby-elf spirit.[/quote:befe9f319b]You are so right, lunakat. I really should have done so ... if I'd be able to draw at all! Wink
[quote:befe9f319b]The photoshop of a cheerful Windkin doesn't blend well with the original style.. although it's a nice composition and the coloring works well.[/quote:befe9f319b]All I can do is borrowing original EQ art - recombine it, twist it, edit it - manipulate it til it mirrors my imagination. It's based on a scene from Rogue's Curse (Reminiscences [size=9:befe9f319b]... it's not even Mekda lying there[/size:befe9f319b]), newborn Mender, Windkin of course - even the coloring is pasted from the scene where Rayek found Ekuar. This whole thing is "photoshopped" Grin
[quote:befe9f319b]You have a nice style! I do like your drawing very much. It has a perfect feel to it for this story.[/quote:befe9f319b]But - when it feels like a drawn scene I must have done something really, really right! :banana:

[quote:befe9f319b="Nightsea"]Wow...wonderful collage illustration! Thank you, [b:befe9f319b]Embala[/b:befe9f319b]!.[/quote:befe9f319b]I thank YOU!
[quote:befe9f319b]May I suggest a third version? One where you simply remove
Windkin's baby image and just keep a spark of light? That would
suggest the spirit escaping nicely I think. Perhaps a sending star
or just a peaceful free-form....will you try it?[/quote:befe9f319b]Yesterday I was tired, exited because it had functioned at all and curious how it you all would think about it - and posted the picture with (at least) two problems:
1. The cheeriful feeling of the "Windkin Messiah" (*lol* at WhiteGhost) which contrasts the mournful ending. As I explaind "An Escape" is more of an personal extenition than an illustration for your story.
2. Windkin was the natural choice for the spirit child the way I see it. But it is Windkin - much too well known! There's no real chance to obscure him - and therefore he's distracting. I saw this when looking at the ready collage ... just decided to post and wait for constructive critiicism. :)
You see ... your suggestions are welcome - a chance to show the "element of freedom" without bending the end very much. It's all my pleasue to try it for you :D
[quote:befe9f319b]PS: Repeats what [b:befe9f319b]lunakat[/b:befe9f319b] said: "It has a perfect feel to it for this story."[/quote:befe9f319b] :oops:

I've edited [b:befe9f319b]"An Escape"[/b:befe9f319b] a bit - Windkin is still much too recognizable but hopefully less dominating now. [url=http://elfquest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=430581#430581]Be so nice to revisit, please.[/url]

[b:befe9f319b]Another Escape[/b:befe9f319b]

[img:befe9f319b]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e364/Etumla/Mekda_escape.jpg[/img:befe9f319b]

[b:befe9f319b]Little Star[/b:befe9f319b]

[img:befe9f319b]http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e364/Etumla/Mekda_sendingstar.jpg[/img:befe9f319b]

G0lden

I like them both Embala. :D

Nightsea

Me too!

:)
--Nightsea

WhiteGhost

[color=darkblue:18847f753c]I sorry- but the second new one makes me think of light-swoosh when a star trek ship warps away. [though it is the same sort of idea, no?][/color:18847f753c]

lunakat

i like them both. It's very good collage- i thought you had drawn everything but Windkin! Wink It all integrates so well!

Embala

Thanks all of you! :D

@ WhiteGhost
That's the most positive and interesting point - everybody sees fics and pic through different eyes, due to his/her very own sum of experiences - this can lead to great new ideas and insights as well as severe misunderstandings - or just strange / funny / surprising coincidences.

bukittyan

Just got back from vacation... still catching up with everything...

Thanks for the kind words Embala and krwordgazer! :)

[quote:1c711bffe2="Cleopatra"]Thank you, bukittyan. Me glad you like. Very Happy Pherhaps I should make a draw of Toron and Sturkas?[/quote:1c711bffe2]

Oh yeah! :D

[quote:1c711bffe2="Tenderfoot"]Only if you draw more of the baby[/quote:1c711bffe2]

It's a deal. Wink

Nightsea, that story was quite depressing. Unhappy In a way, that was the best ending for the child (and I was half-expecting her to die as she was pregnant) but man... so depressing. Beautifully written though.

And Embala, you're just as amazing as Nightsea. I don't know how you find the right images, but you do. This collage is extremely powerful. I like the one where the baby's spirit forms into a ghost image. It seems more... appropriate in the picture.

Embala

Thanks for your nice words, [b:175ad9f699]bukittyan[/b:175ad9f699] :D .... glad you like - and found your favorite.

You know - the answer to this problem is very simple:
[i:175ad9f699]Only do collages where you find the right pictures for![/i:175ad9f699] Wink

jeb

[i:f704ec537a]Man, I hate topic-diving. [/i:f704ec537a]*Blows off the dust*

This is not great, but it's done. Only *looks at watch* [i:f704ec537a]three months[/i:f704ec537a] late. Hoping that I can work my way out of this huge case of writer's block I seem to have developed.

_________________________________________________________

Elements (as you may have forgot):
-Jumping up and down
-Jealousy
-Maternal instinct
-A scar (symbolic, physical or psychic)
-The Scroll of Colors
-Moons/moonlight/moon symbols

The lights swirled and snaked in front of her, the patterns ever-changing, bringing to mind strange creatures. Half-remembered, they slipped from her sight when she tried to look closer. Still the images came to her, whispers of her parents’ sendings from long ago. From a time when the elves lived not in caves scraped from the ground, but in a huge dwelling created by their will. A place where smooth surfaces met in corners. Where walls gave protection from the world around.

Yes! She could almost see them now, the visions her parents had shared with her. The places they traveled, their helper companions, the scroll-

Something smacked her leg ”“ hard - and her eyes flew open. The boy lay on his back in the dirt by her feet, his legs still draped across hers. His confused face pointed skyward for a moment before he propped himself up and pushed the unruly mass of shaggy brown hair away from his eyes.

Seeing what he had tripped over, he quickly scrambled upright, mumbling an apology. “Sorry, Rellah.”

The wolf pup the child had been playing with was watching impatiently, its nose pressed to the ground between its outstretched paws, rump lifted skyward ending in a question mark tail, frozen now in consternation. The pup yelped and bounded away. The boy paused for a second, his eyes downcast, as if pondering what to do. At a loss, he met Rellah’s gaze guiltily, fleetingly, then followed his playmate.

Irritated, Rellah rose and began to brush the dirt from her leathers.

“Animals! All of them!” she sniffed.

“Really, Rellah, it’s not like he did it on purpose! They were just absorbed in their play and didn’t see you there.”

Rellah regarded her tribemate coolly. As a whole, she didn’t think much of the younger generations. They were forgetting who they were, where they came from. And for what? Warm furs and a full belly? Raw meat and howling at the moon? But this one she could almost tolerate. This was an elf, with very little of the wolf taint about her. And only for this reason would Rellah check her anger.

“Twinstar, only because he is your son will I hold my tongue, but you would do well to teach him to control his”¦lesser instincts.”

With that, Rellah regally pulled herself up to her full height and walked away. Twinstar could only shake her head and try to suppress a smile.

Despite Rellah’s admonishment, Twinstar watched her cub in amazement. It was hard to believe that she’d ever been worried that she might not be able to love him. First in her womb, then watching in wonder as he grew, he was part of her in a way nothing had been before.

There were times she found herself daydreaming about the child he would have been if Dusk had been his father. Quieter, gentler, not quite as reckless. But it was not often, less as the years went by, and she quickly pulled herself out of it. She had no wish for him to be other than who he was.

It had taken time, but old scars were healing. She had even begun to think of recognition as something less than a curse. She was beginning to acknowledge that there might even be some wisdom behind it.

She turned back to the hide she had stretched across some branches and quickly lost herself in the rhythmic work of cleaning and working the leather. So absorbed was she in her thoughts that it took a minute to register the gentle tugging at her elbow. The cub her son had been playing with was jumping up and down, trying to work loose a small piece of the hide.

“Well, hello, little one.” Twinstar cut off a small piece of the raw hide and as the pup took hold, shook it fiercely, laughing at the low growls that resulted. She looked around the clearing where most of her tribe mates were gathered, but saw no sign of her son. “Where has your playmate gone?”

The pup whined and glanced toward a dense thicket a small ways off.

“Oh.” Twinstar could guess what had happened. She ruffled the wolf cub’s fur, then walked to the thicket and a well-worn gap in the branches. On her hands and knees she made her way through the tunnel in the dense foliage.

“Lastlight? Are you in here?” She was rewarded with a small sniffle and followed the sound of gasping breaths to where her son lay, a strange animal of browns and blacks dappled by the moonlight. Following her instincts, she stopped a short distance away and waited.

Slowly the breathing evened and Lastlight spoke. “Why does Rellah hate me?”

Twinstar eased closer and smoothed the hair away from his face. “Rellah doesn’t hate you.”

“She does. She called me an animal.”

Twinstar smiled. “She thinks all of us are animals.”

Lastlight’s voice was quiet. “Yeah, but me especially.” He moved closer, resting his head on her thigh. “Why am I so different?”

Twinstar had been softly stroking her son’s back, but slowed now as she thought. He was different, there was no denying it. He was larger than his age-mates. His stocky body could not move with the limberness of the other elves. His sending was rough and indistinct. His aggressive play often went too far.

She sighed. “I don’t know. But I do know that recognition happens for a reason, and that reason is you. You have qualities that are very special. You’re very strong.” She gave his arm a quick squeeze. “You have great tracking abilities.” She gave his nose a tweak. “And you are the best hunter of your age!” She tackled him and tickled him until he laughed in spite of himself. They wrestled until they both lay panting and laughing, staring up at the moonlight.

Embala

You returned to your tale :D - love to meet Twinstar again and to get introduced to Lastlight.

Everything feels so fitting and nicely rounded ...
Rellah "dreaming" of the Scrolls, her dislike of the wolflings ...
Twinstar happy and well-balanced again ...
the random wolf cub ... such a nice touch ...
and Lastlight, full of life and mischief - as well as vulnerable and thoughtful ...

This was great! More please!

Nightsea

Liked it, [b:bd60dc92d0]Jeb[/b:bd60dc92d0]!

Right now, I can't recall reading about Twinstar before. What
other grab-bag or thread is she in?

Oh, and what is she supposed to look like...I ask so I can
make dollz of course!

:D
--Nightsea

faeriegirl

Liked it!

just one nitpick... did you call Lastlight 'Lightstar' somewhere near the end? :oops:

jeb

[quote:fe9d846445="Embala"]This was great! More please![/quote:fe9d846445]

Glad you liked it. Told you I would come back to this story sometime. Writing it did help with the writer's block. August's story came to me in about 15 minutes last night while putting my son to bed. At least it's written in my head, now I just gotta get it down in pixels before I lose it. I'm going to leave Twinstar for a while, but I'm sure she'll show up again. Wink

[quote:fe9d846445="Nightsea"]Right now, I can't recall reading about Twinstar before. What
other grab-bag or thread is she in? [/quote:fe9d846445]

Yes, I suppose this story would make a little more sense with a little background. :roll: There are two previous stories: [url=http://www.elfquest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=399230#399230]"Collide"[/url], the March Grab-bag, and [url=http://www.elfquest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=401412#401412]"Rebound"[/url] from May. You can see them in their respective topics, or at [url=http://www.elfquest.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5716]my thread[/url], look under "Stories" for "non-Elfquest characters." (edit: Just added in the links.)

[quote:fe9d846445="faeriegirl"]just one nitpick... did you call Lastlight 'Lightstar' somewhere near the end?[/quote:fe9d846445]

Uh, yes, I see now that I did. :oops: That always seems to be a problem with these compound names. Sharp eye, faeriegirl! :)

faeriegirl

glad to help! :)

Cleopatra

Quote:
bukittyan

Just got back from vacation... still catching up with everything...

Thanks for the kind words Embala and krwordgazer! :)

[quote:a4f3b5be92="Cleopatra"]Thank you, bukittyan. Me glad you like. Very Happy Pherhaps I should make a draw of Toron and Sturkas?



Oh yeah! :D [/quote:a4f3b5be92]

I know this is a long time ago, but the draw of Toron and Sturkas is done as I promised bukittyan. I also posted this and more in my own art thread. Enjoy bukittyan.

Embala

Good idea to add it here, too - giving your elves a visible face. Still like the movement in this piece. :D

faeriegirl

Yup, working on old grab-bags! Enjoy!

A mother's love
Moonshade took great pride in her work as the tribe's tanner. She enjoyed teaching Shuna all she knew, and Shuna was an eager student.
Yes, the whole tribe had adopted the brave human girl after the war for the Palace shards. Moonshade had had trouble believing a human could truly be good, no matter the memories of Tyleet's Little Patch. That was a human cub raised by them from birth, that was different. This girl had had a human youth, and somehow still worshipped them instead of hating them... Even with her birth-tribe hating the elves.

Kimo came around to show Shuna a special frog, and Moonshade smiled. After all these years, Shuna could still be so childlike in her knowledge of the forest... It wasn't in her blood, after all. But like every lifebearer in the tribe, Moonshade had started thinking of the slender girl as an adopted daughter, and wished for her all the best. They had taught her all they knew, like they taught their own cubs.

Smiling, Moonshade thought about her own baby daughter. Not even a full turn of the seasons old, already she drove her parents crazy with her active nature. Moonshade giggled. It would be something once the little critter started to move around more... already, she could tell little Chitter would jump up and down and over everything she could find... All the while talking and talking and talking about everything around her.

Smiling at the memory of her first words, Moonshade walked towards the river. She'd probably find her daughter there, making her papa "Not think-talk! Talk like Shuna!" Yes, Chitter was the opposite of her father in so many ways... But also the only one who could actually make him talk instead of send. As much as Moonshade loved her lifemate, sometimes she had wished he'd talk some more... And wished she knew Chitters secret to make him.

Quietly, she hid behind a tree and watched Strongbow, Dart and Chitter play around in the river. Unknown to the cubs, this was the same river their big sister had swam in, all those years ago. Living in the Now as they did, Moonshade did not think about it much anymore, but the scars of that afternoon had never fully healed... She would always watch her cubs more then before, be more careful with them. Her maternal instincts had had quite the shock, that fateful day.

Moving quickly, Moonshade undressed and joined her family in the water. Somehow, it felt like Crescent was still with them... Enjoying the family time like them. It had been quite the miracle, after all those years hearing her voice again. The Palace, with the Scroll of Colors, had helped them make contact with their long-lost daughter. Moonshade still believed Crescent had somehow given that Recognition a push, helped in creating Chitter... the dear cub.
Smiling, she hugged them all hard. "What was that for?"
"Nothing in particular. I'm just so happy today."

Yes, everything was good.

Embala

You allow me to quote myself Wink

Quote:
This is lovely, fairiegirl! You caught different facettes of Moonshade well

- the traditionalist, being in doubt of welcoming a human "cub"

- the lifebearer and teacher, lovin and supporting her nevertheless

- the mother, never forgetting about the cruel fate and loss of her daughter

- the Wolfrider, handling it well in he "now of wolf thought"

I love the her toughts about Chitter - and especially the final scene you created ... so peaceful and loving.

faeriegirl

And you list those facettes so well Wink Glad you liked it!

Cleopatra

A really beautifull story, faeriegirl. Sweet and heartwarming.

WolfMoonSky

very lovely story faeriegirl!!Heart

faeriegirl

^^ Thanks, Cleopatra and WolfMoonSky! Smile