RP Prompts: What To Wear?!

((This is a quick one shot I threw together when Lori received the following letter this afternoon: http://my.lotro.com/laenlis/2010/07/28/letters-to-pinnath-gelin-arrival/. It turned out longer than I expected, but it’s just so cute!))

July 28
6 Long Street, Wildore, Bree-land

Loriwen smiled and stretched carefully by her porch, the sun beating down relentlessly. Her strawberry blonde hair – turned a bit more blonde than strawberry by the summer sun – shined in direct contrast to the rest of her. She was covered in dirt. Covered in dirt, and quite pleased with herself. Giving one final glance and nod of satisfaction to her newly tended garden, she reached into the mailbox. The mail person was here earlier, but she was too busy weeding the blueberries to take it herself. She pulled out a small envelope that she recognized instantly. Turning it over to see the addressing written in an incredibly familiar and strong hand, her heart skipped a beat. Running up the stairs with the precious note, she inevitably tripped. Groaning and hoping that wouldn’t leave a bruise on her shin, she slowly got up and trotted inside.

Sitting right on her table with little regard for the dirt falling off her body, she opened the envelope carefully but quickly. A smile broke out on her face as she began to read the letter, laughing a little at the opening line. Speaking to herself, or perhaps the letter, Loriwen shook her head. “That’s not the kind of thing one should be asking forgiveness for, I think.” Blinking to break out of the slow haze into which she was descending, she began to read the rest of the letter quietly.

A bright smile came on her face as she finished the first paragraph. Oh! How wonderful, his little niece is coming soon! The smile on her face was quickly replaced by one of shock as she read on. Wait. She’s here already? Blinking and re-reading the second half of it, everything registered. She’s here already and he wants me to meet her?! Her jaw dropping a little, Lori absentmindedly rubbed her cheek with her hand, smudging the dirt even further on her face. Looking around at the empty room, her jaw still dropped, she yelled to no one in particular, “What am I going to wear?!”

Hopping off the table and shockingly not falling over, she laid the parchment on the table and quickly ran into her room. Looking at her wardrobe, she began to open it and then saw just how dirty her hands were. “Oh. Oh, well that’s no good. Can’t touch clean clothes with dirty hands..” Running into the kitchen and washing her face and hands thoroughly with rough soap, Loriwen finally looked somewhat presentable. Heading back into the room, she began to pull every single piece of clothing she had and threw it on chairs, the bed, bookcases, anywhere it would hang and could be seen.

Pursing her lips and thinking aloud, she tilted her head. “Well, I’m meeting family now. This is very important. Have to wear a dress, I think. Yes, yes. Definitely a dress. I hate them, but they’re proper.” She picked all the shirts and trousers she had, shoving them absentmindedly into the wardrobe as she looked back at the assortment of dresses she owned. “Hmmm.” She quickly grabbed the particularly old and patched dresses, stuffing them on top of the shirts.

Crossing her arms and giving each dress a slow once over, Loriwen sighed loudly. “I am no good at this. What am I going to wear? I…could wear what he gave me. It’s so lovely.” Another sigh escaped her, this time softer and happier. Running her hands along the beautiful fabric, dyed perfectly to match her bright blue-green eyes, she smiled softly. After daydreaming for a few minutes, she snapped out of it as she remembered the dilemma she faced: picking something to wear when meeting a family member. Straightening her shoulders, Lori gave the dress a slightly – ever so slightly – critical eye. “Ah, but this is the midday meal. I love this dress so much, but it’s too fancy for a midday meal. If it was dinner, I could wear it, but even I know something this beautiful doesn’t belong at a luncheon.” Carefully picking the dress up, she hung it in a separate wardrobe.

She spun back around, barely catching herself before she fell. Growling in frustration at her feet not obeying her mind properly, she steadied herself before walking over to the remaining dresses: the lovely turquoise dress she wore to the dance, her rather simple but well-made tan summer-dress, a simple but heavier white dress with gold accents, and an old deep green dress of her Grams. Sighing again, she turned to her favorite remaining dress – the one she wore to the dance. Holding it up and smiling at the memories attached to it, she twisted it around and gave it a small hug. “Ah, I love it, but it’s so fine. I don’t know if this is really proper to wear to a midday meal, either.” Sadly holding it at arm’s length for a while, she trotted over and hung it next to the blue-green one.

Looking back and wrinkling her nose a bit at the white one, she shook her head and hung that up as well. Too heavy for this weather, I’d be sweating like a pig in a butcher’s shop. That left the rather boring summer-dress in a light umber color and the deep green dress she got from her Grams. Her Grams’ dress was older, but of a finer material. Soft to the touch, but fading a little in color due to age. The summer-dress was newer, made of soft linen and with no sleeves. She would be much cooler in that one, but she would have to hope she didn’t have any bruises right now. Shoving her short sleeves up, Lori carefully inspected her arms with an eye that only one who was so accustomed to them could possibly have. She grinned and nodded after some time, mentally congratulating herself for not having a bruise on her arms, for once. That hadn’t happened in quite some time! Perhaps some strong ale before bed was in order tonight, for celebration.

Tilting her head back and forth between the two of them for a long time, Loriwen eventually made her mind up. Nodding shortly and firmly, she picked up her Grams’ dress and hung it in the closet. The newer and simpler one would fit best. It was light, so she wouldn’t be as warm; it wasn’t a family dress, so she could mess it up if she did by accident; it was newer and simple, so she wouldn’t look like she was trying to dress up. The real trick to looking nice is to look like you weren’t trying to look nice. Happy with her choice, she hung it on the outside of the wardrobe carefully.

Now that the decision was made, reality began to set in. She was going to meet a relative of his. Oh, what if she messed something up? Pacing a little, Lori twisted her hands. Suddenly an idea went off in her mind. Shooting her head up and laughing, she grinned and went to get her pack. “I think a drink in town and some time with a friend will help. Morv will definitely be there – she usually is! Oh, I hope she is.” Settling her pouch around her waist, Lori locked the door on the way out.

Have to remember to not drink too much, don’t want to sleep through this!


Letters to Grams: The Dance

July 6
Loriwen Snowberry, 6 Long Street, Wildore, Bree-land

Grams!

Everything went wonderfully at the dance. The weather was fair, the musicians played, people loved the ale and food, and I didn’t fall in the mud. It was a lovely night, and the fireworks were an unexpected treat! I don’t remember anyone mentioning them before, so that made the night all the much better. People liked my ale more than I thought they would. Then again, last I made it, I added the basil to it. This wasn’t that, just regular blackberry ale. Blueberry, too! For those who wanted a more mild brew. I thought ahead, not wanting to get the more fragile ladies drunk. That would be no good.

Ah, so many wonderful dancers were there. It was a beautiful sea of twirling dresses and laughter. The fact that it began at dusk made it more of a dream than anything. That’s my favorite time of day, you know. The morning is nice because you have the whole day ahead of you, but some say that the world seems to get a little foggy around the edges at dusk, a bit like you’re floating in a dream. I tend to like that way of thinking about it. That’s how the entire night felt to me. I’m still waiting to wake up.

I actually danced. Well, as much a dance as I’ll ever manage to do without falling down and breaking something. It wasn’t much of anything, just some arms wrapped around the other and some movement, but.. it was something. More than I’ve ever done before! Dancing is a funny thing, at least to someone as clumsy as me. It requires you, normally, to pay attention to your feet, keep what would be a proper distance between you, and talk. All at the same time! You know, I may actually consider taking Rosie up on those lessons. She and Course looked absolutely lovely when they were dancing. Very happy, but then again, being newly married will do that to you! At least, I’d hope so. Ah, being able to dance like that, without falling over or hurting anyone is just a dream for me at this point. Then again, the night was such a dream, why can’t I continue it? I’ll think about it.

I imagine I sound aflutter. Well, I am. Things were said that night that I didn’t expect for quite some time. Do you know how you have a moment in your head, the perfect moment that you play over and over in your mind? Something you build up in your head, this grand explosion of truth? Well, it didn’t happen. Not the way I thought it would. Now that it’s happened, though, I don’t care about that perfect moment. The moment that really happened is what’s perfect now, because that’s what actually happened. I keep replaying this scene over and over. I can’t believe it’s real. It’s funny, how so many perceptions can change in the span of a second: a single phrase is all it takes to transform a bumbling courting into a bumbling relationship. Ah, this is all too soon. Too soon, Grams. Too soon, and I’m having trouble getting myself to care that it is.

Everything seems easier when we’re together. When he holds me close, I close my eyes and everything else melts away. When he kisses me, the world disappears. I don’t even remember to breathe half the time! How I wish you were here. All my friends are younger and more impulsive than I’m trying to be, it’s difficult to get sound advice from them. One of them was trying to convince me to sleep with him within two weeks of meeting both him and her! Another blushed and admitted her courtship was far too short by old standards. The only friend I have who is really of my age is him. That doesn’t help much, now does it?

Ah, well. I suppose I am well and truly on my own in this. All I know is that I’m just not ready for children. No way, no how. Me? Children? Such a scary notion, I think. I’ve gotten better, I really have. But children? I’m not nearly steady enough in my everyday life to really even consider such a thing! I mean, I have, but who hasn’t on some level? He brings them up quite a bit on his own, it’s a little scary. He seems to be concerned I’m under the impression I’m too old to bear a child. For a surety, I know that isn’t the case! Mother was how old when she had me? At least around my age, I think.. maybe older? I can’t remember. I do wish Dad talked about her more. Let’s not re-open that wound, though, shall we? The point is…children scare me. A lot. I like them well enough, but to be responsible for one? No. Not yet. I need to able to look inside myself and feel it. Something’s holding me back, it doesn’t feel right. Is that normal? Am I supposed to want a child by this time? Because I don’t! I want to want a child, but I don’t. I hope that’s alright.

Well, it will just have to be. That’s not something I am going to be coerced into agreeing with. No point in worrying about it now, I’ll speak with a friend of mine about it in a few days. She’s a smart woman, she’ll know something. Pregnant, herself! A bit off, but I can see a lot of sweetness in her. Helvia’s her name, married herself a Gondorian named Guradan. Haven’t met him, but he sounds like quite the sweet man from what she’s told me so far! It’ll be nice to finally meet him one day. Ah, but I should be going. I need to clean my house again. I was so worried about the dance and my dress being ready and the ales being perfect and everything else that I outright forgot to clean. Not much is more embarrassing than being greeted by your escort in a dirty house. Nothing to be done about it now, he didn’t seem to mind much. I will clean house today, and figure out a good time to see my friend.

Goodbye, Grams. I visit Dad this Friday. I’ll tell him “hello” for you.

Your pumpkin,
Lori


Loriwen: Defective

Loriwen stumbled blindly out of the healer’s hall, staring at her feet silently. Her cursed, cursed feet. Her cursed, cursed brain! What was she going to do?! Go home, that’s what. That’s what she was going to do. Go home.

She made her way, one step at a time. She watched both her feet carefully: left, right, left, right, left, right. Knowing what she now knew about her clumsiness, she didn’t know how she’d ever be normal again. When it was just bad luck, everything was fine. It was a joke! Aha, Lori fell over again! Aha, Lori ran into that doorway! What a clumsy, silly woman! But now…

Now she was defective. It was her brain. It didn’t talk to her feet right. Something was wrong with her. She was broken. What was she going to do? Every step she took, she consciously made the effort to keep it aligned with what she thought was the right spot. Left, right, left, right.

Everything had changed. She pulled her hand up to her forehead, wincing at the dull throb her head had obtained. Loriwen gingerly touched the bruise that no doubt already graced her forehead. Ah, the forehead that only mere hours ago held a normal brain. A forehead that only mere hours ago was fine. A forehead that only mere hours ago was being kissed by Tarlanc.

Loriwen stopped dead in her tracks.

Tarlanc.

How was she going to explain this to him? How do you look someone in the eye, and say “Hi, there! My brain’s screwed up?” How do you look someone you love in the eye and say that? What.. what was she going to do?! He knew she was clumsy, he didn’t care. He kissed her bruises – the ones about which he knew, anyway – and seemed to only care about her being more careful. But now…now things were different. Her brain was broken. She was damaged goods. Why would someone like him want to be with someone like her? He wanted children, she wasn’t even sure yet if she ever would. Especially after what she saw tonight. Pain, agony, tears. She didn’t want any part of that! But.. would he still want children with someone like her?

Loriwen’s eyes slowly filled with tears as the next thought dawned upon her.

What if it’s hereditary?!

Oh, no. What if … well, she never knew her mother! Maybe that’s why her father never told her about her mother! What if her mother had it?! Could … is that where Lori got it from!? Did she die from it? Is that why he never told her? So he wouldn’t scare her? Let her live blissfully ignorant until one day, she just stopped being able to function properly?

Panic quickly setting in, Lori sat down on the ground, breathing heavily. She looked up to the sky, eyes wide. She had to locate that Northern Star. She just had to. Where was it, where was it, where was … ah, there it is. The breath she didn’t know she was holding escaped her. Watching its faint but steady glow, she slowly began to relax. After a while, the cool but humid summer air began to stick to her skin and she sighed. Getting up very carefully, she straightened her body and wiped away the tears that had fallen in her descent.

Her eyes closed, she took a steadying breath. She could fall apart when she got home, but for now it was late. Outside of town proper or not, it wasn’t safe for her sitting on the road, crying. Logic dictating her movements, if not her thoughts, she began to move back toward Wildore. Left, right, left, right, left, right. Every once in a while, a small tear would make its way down a cheek.

I don’t want him to leave.


A Promise: Birthday Visits

Morning visits

The early morning sun glistened off her strawberry blonde hair, making it seem more blonde than red for once. The face her hair framed was surprisingly solemn, her teal eyes sad as they scanned the ground for any tripping obstacles. The bright red flowers she carried popped against the light blue shirt she wore.

Loriwen stepped into the cemetery. It was just as devoid of life and empty as it seemed the day they brought her father here. He insisted on being laid to rest in this old cemetery. His father, and his father’s father, and all the rest were buried here and he did not care if it was a run down plot or not. She looked around with a sigh. The day itself was lovely, warm with a breeze and sunny, yet the trees surrounding the cemetery made it dark and uninviting.

The shade engulfed her as she walked over to a stone. Bright red flowers already graced the plot where her father lay, and a sad smile sprung to Loriwen’s face. Anna was here today. Shaking her head a little bit, she placed the flowers next to Anna’s and gazed at the stone for a while.

Rojer Snowberry of Bree
26 Solmath – 16 Mede
55 years

This is always odd at first. Where to start?” Loriwen sat down in front of the flowers, never taking her eyes from the tombstone. “I mind as well start out with the obvious. I miss you. I always miss you. I’ve taken to writing Grams letters; I hope that isn’t too crazy.” She poked one of the flowers, tracing her finger along the petal. “My woodworking is going better than ever. Have a lot of people who know my name and I get letters from many folk in the area, asking for various things to be made. I made a maple lute a few weeks ago. It was lovely, stained dark and white ivory turning keys.”

Mmm, I suppose something I should probably mention is the farmhouse. I sold it. Couldn’t handle that much land and house on my own, and old Wheatley was keen to pick it up. He gave me a more than decent price for it, think he felt bad for me. Still was a good deal for all of us involved, he got to almost double his land and I got enough coin to buy myself a small house with a small garden. Well, more coin than just that, I have a bit of a savings now. It’s good to have padding involved, makes any emergencies that may happen less of a hassle.” She absentmindedly scratched the top of her right hand, sighing to herself when she snagged a bit of a bandage.

She looked down at the hand, fixing the wrapping and looking back up to the stone, a rueful expression on her face. “Still being a clumsy, crazy old woman. That will never change. Do you know I managed to get a black eye from a book a while back? Absolutely unbelievable. I was writing a letter to Grams and tipped my chair back, and hit the bookcase. Looked up to make sure everything was alright, and bam! My right eye took over a week to heal.”

She shook her head, laughing hollowly. “Ah, that will never change. I’ll always manage to get myself into barely real situations. Whether it’s falling off a bridge, being punched by a book, or even as far back as when I got myself stuck in that tree, you know I’ll find an even weirder one to top the last.”

You know, I’m thirty today. Seems so old to my eyes, then again most younger people these days end up married around half my age. Leastways, they did back when I was that age. Seems more and more folk are shacking up and not marrying at all or they’re waiting until they’re older. Times change quickly, it seems. Folk who travel from the South and from the East bring dark words and stories with them. It’s becoming more dangerous around even Bree-land. It’s worrisome, but what can I do? I’m a simple wood carver with a serious case of bad luck.” A memory struck her and she stopped speaking. Slowly exhaling, she brought her hand from the flower down to the grass and ran her fingers through it as if it were hair.

Continue reading “A Promise: Birthday Visits”

Letters to Tarlanc: Snow!

July 7
Loriwen Snowberry, 6 Long Street, Wildore, Bree-land

Ah, Tarlanc.

You managed to stick me with quite a challenge! To write you a story of my life. I’ve been thinking all day, trying to find a memory that I would be able to turn into a story for you, and I think I finally found one. It may not be much of a story, but I promise it won’t be too dull. It’s late, and I couldn’t sleep, thinking as I was. I was suddenly reminded of our conversation about snow, the one we had the night you brought that interesting wine over. It got me thinking about winter, and the fun times I used to have as a child.

The interesting thing with snow is that it manages to be freezing and at the same time, comfortable. One can sit right down in it, laughing at how soft and nice it is to the touch. It melts at the heat of your body and creates, so to speak, a snow glove to your shape. It’s a wondrous and delightful feeling for about ten seconds: then the cold begins to set in! Rolling around in it helps delay the effect a bit, but in the end, it’s going to make you chilled to the bone. Then again, sitting in snow isn’t what I would call a particularly smart way to go about getting warm!

That’s what snowball fights are for. I don’t know how much you know of snow or activities with it, so forgive me if this seems a bit basic to describe to you. Snow keeps its shape well, especially when packed. Children (and some fun adults) often take handfuls of snow and smash them into a ball shape, forming a soft and cold sphere to throw at others. The trick to a good snowball is…well, I’m not going to tell you, now that I think about it. I’ll enjoy having that one up on you! Snowball fights consist of creating as many of these as fast as possible, and throwing them at each other. It’s great fun, gets the blood pumping. The snow isn’t so hard when packed that it hurts when someone throws it at you, so it’s a harmless way to play in the snow.

Spring is by far my favorite season, as you well know, but winter has special memories attached to it for me. Yule was always a fun time in my house, with mulled cider and cookies being made often by my Grams. Mulled cider, I can do; all it requires is cider, some cinnamon sticks, and a pot. If I can make ales, I can make that. I do every winter, too. The cookies, though…well, let’s say those are best left in my memories. Anyway, my favorite thing to do after a long snowball fight (losing horribly, of course) was to trudge inside, strip off my coat and the other things that bundled me up tight. There was nothing more refreshing than feeling the cold lingering on your skin and clothes as the heat rushed in to warm you.

After that refreshing burst of warm air, my Grams would always set down a small plate of cookies and a large mug of piping hot cider. I’d sit by the fire and watch the birds and other creatures play in the snow, warm and content. While I do admit that the thought of a snowball fight and whatnot with you is an incredibly pleasing and fun thing to think of, I look forward more to the warming up. Sitting by the fire in your arms, both of us sipping hot cider and watching neighborhood children finish the snowball fight we undoubtedly left early.. it’s a fond image.

Ah, my hand hurts from writing so much. Look what you did, made me write so much! But in truth, I managed to bang my right hand up a bit. It’s not really your fault. I look forward to seeing you again, I will always look forward to seeing you. I’ll go ahead and crawl into bed now, and dream of warm cider and snow, but most importantly, I’ll dream of you. And before I know it, we’ll be together again. Yours,

L


RP Prompts: Anger

((Huzzah! I’m completely caught up on Lori-letters and RP Prompts. Now everything will be current, within a few days. If I write it, it’ll be posted! Also: Lori’s temper is actually pretty mild, but she’s redirecting anger at someone else onto herself ATM. Don’t worry, she’s perfectly fine. ^_~))

Present Day (July 5)

Loriwen walked into her house and shut the door, leaning against it with a sigh. So many thoughts were running through her mind, but one was at the forefront. She vocalized it in one single word, angry and clear.

Idiot!”

She paced and walked around her table, anger speeding her steps. Yelling her thoughts aloud to herself, her hands flew through the air. “What were you thinking? Argh!” Standing still outside of her office, she looked at the door with an uncharacteristically frustrated expression. “Just because Luke of all people up and left her doesn’t mean Tarlanc will leave you! Ugh! You.. you know him better than that, he’s a good man, a great man, an amazing man. He.. really does love me. He actually loves me. Why would I question that? Especially after the way I acted earlier! Argh!!”

In a rather rare display of anger, Loriwen’s hand shot out. She punched the support beam in front of her, quite hard. She immediately regretted it, pain shooting up her arm and into her mind. “Agh! Great. Now I need to go put it in cold water.” She growled to herself.

She looked around outside, not seeing anyone. The blood was already dripping down her arm, getting into her dark blue outfit. “Now I’ll have to wash this with vinegar. Why can’t I do anything right today?!” She walked down her path toward the quiet river past her road.

Thinking back to her calm and happy swimming session earlier today, it seemed like a different day entirely. She slowly let her hand into the cool river water, wincing as it washed away the blood. “The only thing I’ve done right today was not drown! Idiot, idiot, idiot.” A few minutes later, she pulled out her hand, wrapping it in a clean section of her tunic.

Walking back to her house, up the small hill of her path, she shook her head and examined the damage to her hand. “How am I going to explain this?” Loriwen opened her door and shut it carefully, hoping none of the neighbors saw her. “Oh, sure! That’s easy. What happened? I just punched a wall. Nothing out of the ordinary here! Ugh.”

She opened the door to her study and sat down at the desk, wrapping her hand with a clean cloth. “Great, I’m already bleeding again. What does he see in me?” Shaking her head, already on a tirade, she continued to rant to herself. “Crazy old woman, lives by herself…punches walls, never had anything even remotely resembling a courtship before, still visits her father twice every year, talks to herself… Argh!”

Loriwen stood up and walked over to her bedroom, stopping and putting her forehead against the doorway. She sighed deeply and began to relax, most of the pent up rage and adrenaline having made its way out. Tears began to sting her eyes as she realized how unlike herself she was acting. “Well, there’s nothing to be done about it. I’m a bumbling fool of a person and he loves me in spite of it. No point in questioning someone so…wonderful. Talking about how much of an idiot I am just serves to give voice to things I already know.

She looked to her bed, fond memories of not even three days past filling her mind. Despite all the hidden meaning behind the term “slept together,” all they did was sleep there. Didn’t even kiss, just…slept. It was still the most intimate and romantic thing she’d ever shared with another person. Feeling the last part of her anger subside in the face of such wonderful thoughts, she sighed even deeper, her shoulders visibly slumping. Loriwen crawled into bed: boots, clothes, and all. She didn’t feel like changing, all she wanted to do was lay in bed and pretend he was there with her again. Mumbling to herself, she laid in the same exact position she was then. “I wish I understood why someone like him would fall for someone like me.”

Thinking over the day, as she always did before falling asleep, she was reminded of what he told her to do before they parted not even an hour ago. You will sleep and dream of me, as I will dream of you. A small smile escaping her lips, she closed her eyes and reached for a pillow. Her hand brushed the head rest, causing a hiss of pain and quick retraction as tears began to sting her eyes again. “Damn, why did I do that?” She carefully reached for the pillow, thinking of their conversation. I love you. We are not silly children to speak promises to each other too quickly, but I am going nowhere. Loriwen shook her head and buried it in the pillow, squeezing it close to her body. She spoke one last phrase aloud, her voice barely more than a weary whisper.

“Neither am I.”

RP Prompt: A Letter

July 2

Loriwen extracted herself slowly from her bed, rubbing her already mussed hair. Adjusting her top, she sighed lightly. Walking across her main room to the office, she grabbed a piece of parchment and a piece of charcoal. She didn’t trust herself in her half-hungover state with an ink well. Carefully walking across the room again, she entered her bedchamber and sat on the floor under a window, facing her bed.

She looked into her bed from the floor, a rather new and curious sight laying upon it. Her eyes crinkling with both age and tiredness, Loriwen lazily swept her gaze across the form laying in her bed. Nothing scandalous had happened, not in the slightest. Clothes were kept on; in fact, there wasn’t even really anything at all in terms of action. They both passed out in short order from a combination of ale, emotional exhaustion, and general tiredness. The dance was a wonderful success, many people showing up and dancing under the stars.. and it had done a good job of tiring them both out. A small snore escaped the quite passed out man, and her lips curved into a fond smile.

After a long time, she tore her gaze from him and focused on writing a letter. Constantly looking up to make sure he was still asleep, she slowly and deliberately sketched a letter to the man laying in front of her.

Tarlanc, Gaduren, love.

I’ve come to a decision. One that my upbringing is not entirely comfortable with, but one that I know in my heart is right. I do trust you, even this soon. Utterly, completely. Most I know would raise their eyebrows and near shake me to death, but I don’t care anymore. I’m sitting here, watching you.. and that’s all I care about.

But I will ask a small favor of you: I beg you to wait a little longer. I’ve made a decision for myself, and for what I know my heart wants, but I need to talk to someone first. I’ve a visit to them planned for the morning of my birthday, and once that talk is complete, I will be ready. As you said, I will know: for certain, beyond doubt.

L.

Loriwen re-read the letter what seemed like a dozen times, tearing up a little each time she read the sentence about the visit. She left it vague on purpose, given how stupid it would look if she wrote what she really was doing. Oh, hello. I’m going to go visit my father’s grave and talk to him about this private matter first. Is that okay? She sighed lightly to herself, eventually nodding at the paper. She folded it and put it into its envelope, looking up to watch him as she sealed it. Very quietly tip toeing outside, Loriwen put it in the mail box and tip toed back into her house.

Rubbing her eyes, sleep becoming more important than her worries, she stumbled back into the room. She crawled into her bed, slowly snuggling back up next to him. He involuntarily mumbled something incoherent, his arms wrapping back around her. He held her neck an awkward angle, and she frowned. That was going to leave quite a kink in her neck in the morning. Turning her head to minimize the inevitable pain, she softly burrowed her head into his chest, breathing his scent deeply.

Loriwen fell asleep, a content smile on her face.

Letters to Grams: Stars!

June 28
Loriwen Snowberry, 6 Long Street, Wildore, Bree-land

Stars!

Oh, Grams. Stars! I’ve never professed a love of them before tonight, but how I wish to proclaim it this late night. I had just finished draining my bath, was settling in to relax for the late evening.. and a knock at the door! Tarlanc showed up, quite unexpectedly, dressed up all fancy. He even brought a bottle of wine from far away to share. He wanted to get my approval of his outfit for Friday. The dance, that is. Such a silly notion, of course. He could show up to the dance wearing a dirty and ripped farming outfit, for all I care. It was a wonderful sight to see, particularly when it was unlooked for! He even had someone else cut his hair and trim his beard. It was a bit of a funny sight, me being so used to seeing him unruly and roughly kempt. He kept hinting at seeing my dress, but I held firm. He shall not see it until Friday!

We shared mugs of wine, given that I have no interesting glasses or anything of the sort. Too easily breakable, don’t hold enough liquid. Leastways, that’s how I’m seeing it. It was quite a peculiar wine, from distant Forochel. He said it was…ice wine? Ice wine, yes. Cooled the body, which is always good on a late summer day. It reminded me of winter, with the fresh, clean and cold taste it had. Apparently he has a second bottle stashed away, and he said he’d keep it until winter comes around. To compare, that is. I still can’t believe Tarlanc has never seen a winter. To only have seen snow from a distance? Ah, what a shame! While it can be a bit too cold for me at times, snow is still dreadfully fun to play in. We’re going to try to create some snow-fish when the first snows fall. That will be a day to remember, just as tonight is.

Ah, tonight! Grams. Grams, I am so happy. We’ve known each other a scarce month, but there is this connection. Everything is an ease to talk about, even the more difficult things. He spoke of his uncle tonight, a steadfast and hearty man. Spoke of his death, as well. I can tell his uncle was a true hero of his…I wish I could have met the man. Apparently a fish hook caught his leg and it caught an infection that took over his body. It sounded slow and horrible. They actually do let dead sailors into the ocean when they die at sea.. I had no idea it was actually true! When he told me, I tried to comfort him, but I guess it’s so far in the past that it’s a distant ache, much like what happens when I think of you and Dad. Something that will never heal completely, but not something that one breaks down over every time they think of it.

Then he asked me about Dad, if I ever visit him. That is coming up next Friday, isn’t it? I always visit on his birthday, and on mine. Actually having a group of adult friends to talk with and have a birthday party with is new to me, very new to me.. I will make sure everything is set up the evening before, because I want to make sure that I have all the time I need in the morning to visit. I could visit another day, but that’s not the promise I made. We’ll always celebrate our birthdays together, even in silence and without cake. That is not a promise I will break.

Ah, now I think of important but sad subjects. I have a rather peculiar question for you, Grams. I know you can’t answer it, stars, how I wish you could… Ah, stars! Now I am reminded of the part of my evening that was so wonderful. Forget the question, it’s not important. Stars, stars, stars. After drinking our mug of wine each and having a rather tender and simple conversation about berries, we headed outside to look at the stars. Laying down in the grass, the warm summer air surrounding us, nothing between us and the naked sky…it was perfect. He began to name the constellations in his tongue, most of which I couldn’t pronounce properly if my life depended on it! Such lovely names, regardless of my inability to speak them. I will remember the northern star’s name, though. Fornel. A lovely and simple enough name. I certainly won’t be able to find it again, all the twinkling dots look the same to an untrained eye! He promised he would find it for me if ever I asked, he’ll be my compass. Actually, he got a weird look on his face when I asked that, but I didn’t press. It’s as if my question was a different question to him, very odd. I was just asking if he’d find a star for me!

I think my arm is near ready to fall off, and I really should head into bed. I will simply end my telling of this wonderful evening with the following statement: everyone should fall asleep with the one th beneath the stars at least once. Nothing is more relaxing, more fulfilling, or more romantic. I’ll now go (alone, don’t you fret) to bed, and sleep the rest of this wretchedly short night away. Tomorrow, I need to make the final adjustments to my ales and head into town to clean Mother’s earrings. That will be a busy and fun day, to compliment the wonderful night I just had. Good night, Grams.

Your little pumpkin,
Lori

Letters to Grams: Ramblings

June 21
Loriwen Snowberry, 6 Long Street, Wildore, Bree-land

The wonders of talking.

Ah, my faith in just telling someone how you feel has proven to be the right thing to do, yet again. Not only is it nice to have myself proven right, but everything makes so much more sense in my life. Let me apologize in advance, for this letter is going to be even more dull than the previous.

Oh, wait! I planted some strawberries. That’s how interesting I am. Ah, perhaps I’m a bit too hard on myself. I saw Anna the other day, that was wonderful. I missed her so much, and I think she missed me, too. Gave me a right big hug when she saw me! That was wonderful. I love hugs…not enough people give hugs these days. It’s a shame. But Anna. Yes, I went into town to find a dress for that dance I mentioned in my last letter. The best place to go to get a dress is most certainly Anna’s shop. Her work is fine, and I know she puts her heart into every piece she makes. After fussing over me for a bit, she went into the back and pulled out a special order that had never been picked up.

It is gorgeous, Grams. Gorgeous! The fabric is soft and smooth, flowing beautifully. The sleeves are long, which is good because of how much I manage to mess myself up with running into things. Can’t see any bruises if you have longer sleeves on. The bust isn’t too low, but it’s no average dress, either. The color is what caught my eye, both literally and so to speak. It was dyed a wonderful shade of teal, the exact color of my eyes. Ah, I looked at it in her looking-steel and it was amazing how well it matched my eyes. The only thing that didn’t fit was that it was a bit too long, so she shooed me out of the shop and hemmed it right up for me. My measurements certainly haven’t changed since the last dress she made for me, so she knew what was what.

She also gave me a bit of a talk on not letting a man get away from me if I care for him. I feel so bad for her! How could Dad have never noticed? Well, noticed is the wrong word. Did anything about it is the better word. Poor Anna loved him before he left for his travels, and he married Mother later on. She always did love him.. it breaks my heart to think about it. Even now, she treats me like I’m her daughter. She still has tears in her eyes when she thinks of him. It’s not fair to her! She’s such a wonderful and warm woman, why would he not want her, even years after?

Ah, I don’t understand it, but I guess that’s a foolish thing for me to go on about, isn’t it? I never knew Mother, never even knew her name. Whatever happened to her affected Dad so deeply that he never even considered another woman, even years later. I wish I knew so much! Even people around town didn’t know her, it’s as if she didn’t actually exist. The only description I ever got of her was her long blonde hair and stern face. That’s it! That’s all I know of my mother. Anna is more of a mother to me, so I suppose that’s why I seem so indignant on her part. I know Mother didn’t intend to die, no one truly does…but I’ll always wonder. Did she love me? Did she run away to get away from me? Was it something Dad did? Did she run off and get attacked by highwaymen? I’ll never know. I don’t even know her name. My own mother’s name, I don’t know it.

I don’t even know why she insisted on my name as it is. Loriwen. The only story Dad ever told me of her was that one. I asked why I had such an odd name, as all my friends were named Helen and Sue and other short and normal names. My name had that “wen” on the end. Everyone always called me “Lori” as it was, so why was my name different? He told me that my mother insisted my name carry “wen” at the end of it. She liked the name “Lori” well enough, but Loriwen would be my full name. It clearly wasn’t any kind of fight, as it’s just a name, but he did give in and allow it. He told me it changed my name’s meaning from “leaves” to “lady of leaves.” That it made me special. Then he asked me to help you with the dishes, he had to be alone. Now I can only assume that means he wept, but I don’t know for sure. He was quite sad. You remember that day, don’t you? It’s the day I hopped up to help you with the dishware and told you I was a proper lady, my name even said it. That I was going to marry me a rich man and wear lady-dresses. Oh, what a fond memory! I had forgotten all about that second part until just now. I hope you remember it as fondly as I do. What a typical girl-child I was!

In some ways, I miss those days, and in others, I wouldn’t trade now for then. I do miss you both dearly. So, so dearly. I hope you’re reading these letters as I write them. You two are what I miss about those days most. Childlike innocence is nice, and I think I’ve still retained a bit of it, but what I really miss are you and Dad. I look to the past too much in these letters, I think! Probably because I’m uncertain as to the future. My future’s been certain for a long time: I’d grow old, make friends, carve wood, and grow my garden. These same things have kept me happy and content enough for the past ten years since both of you left. Romance, peh! Everyone wants romance, but every time I even thought of it with someone, they turned me down quite promptly.

Even that Camus fellow. I never wrote you about him, but that was quite upsetting at the time. Quite some time ago, when I first discovered the Broken Cask (that tavern I frequent) I met a cousin of the innkeeper. He name is – was? I’m not sure, I haven’t seen him in months – Camus Locksley. Same surname as Rosie’s before she got married, that’s how I know it. He was a quiet enough man, a bit younger than me, though. I figured there would be no chance, but he took what I thought was an interest in me. He’d actually talk to me without others around, and I thought I’d catch him looking at me. Things were crazy then, what with the flood and plague spreading around. He disappeared for a while, and I was a bit worried he had perished along with so many others. I even found myself a vial of the cure and saved it for him. I saw him one time after that, talked with him for a short while. Gave him the vial, it seemed like he enjoyed talking. Never saw him again. Quite odd, quite disappointing. Ah, but there is a point to this little story. I’d gotten over that long ago. My point is that it has happened to me a lot, constantly thinking a man may have an eye for me but then completely ignoring me or showing up one day with another woman on his arm. I’ve become used to being alone, even began to enjoy it. Could go where I wanted, when I wanted, didn’t have to worry about worrying anyone else.

Why did my thoughts turn here? I promise, there’s even another layer of a point: Tarlanc. I know, my letters seem to always begin and end with him. He is admittedly on my mind very often. Strange that I’d find myself enamored with and being courted by a Gondor sailor of all the types of people in the world, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. He took me aside the other day, told me that the risks I take when I gather my timber concern him. He wants to help, to protect me. I’ve never had someone care about what I do. He really listens to me talk about what I’ve carved. He actually wants to hear stories of you and Dad. Whenever I hurt myself by accident, he softly tells me he wishes I would be more careful. He cares about me. It’s new, and I’m still reeling from it.

He told a lovely story last night at the Cask, a most adorable story about a rainbow fish that could feed an entire village for a year. He modified it a bit, apparently, to be friendly for the Hobbit-lass we were…well, we weren’t taking care of her, but I guess we were. She had fallen asleep and missed her Ma. So I held her and he told her a story to calm and quiet her. The story was adorable…I could tell he has those nieces and nephews he’s mentioned before. I’m beginning to wonder if he wants children of his own. He always mentions his family first, warns me that they’d be asking about children in the first five minutes of meeting me, but he mentions it a lot himself. I wonder if he realizes how often it’s brought up, and always by him, not me. Even as early as our second real meeting, he was mentioning how a woman of my age can carry a healthy child just fine! It scares me quite a bit, Grams. I don’t know if I’m cut out to be a mother, at all. I’m just too clumsy. I’d be more apt to drop them or feed them the wrong food than not. I do love children, but to actually be in charge of one? Oh, no. I just don’t think I could do it. I don’t even want to think about it anymore.

Ah, this letter has gone long, hasn’t it? I really should wrap it up, I have to finish cleaning up my house. I’ll write you again soon, and perhaps even with the length I showed here! Give Dad a hug for me, a big hug.

Your little pumpkin,
Lori