Unexpected Conversations: Part One

Entirely her fault. Also, expect more. I’m posting them in waves so you don’t have like… ten at once. They’re a bit longer than most people’s, as per my usual. I just can’t stop writing once I start!

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As she stepped out and to the side, she was blindsided by a yellow so bright it almost glowed. It was possibly the most hideous yellow Skyrah had ever seen in her life! In fact…the man was bright all over. Red robes – she’d call them crimson, really – covered by green scarf and gloves, topped with that…thing. He stopped and gave her a short if cordial bow. “Apologies for being in your way, miss.”

Skyrah just blinked. “Uh.. s’arigh’.” He looked up and peered curiously at the bag on her back. She explained sheepishly, “I’m, uh, th’ person bringin’ all th’ candles ‘round lately. Make ‘em an’.. uh… stuff.” Her voice trailed off as she ran out of words. He looked surprisingly delighted at such a basic service.

“Ah! I have seen many using your candles. They are most well-crafted, miss. I assume you do not have any extras upon you, so wanted your craft has become.” He let his sentence drift, the obvious question hanging between bright red-and-yellow and dark brown-and-green figures.

She nodded. “Y-… uh, yeah. I, uh, d’ya want one?” His dialect was weird; it threw her off more than usual. At least he wasn’t making fun of her accent or anything, it was a start. She easily pulled a candle from her bag and was relieved when it was one of the nicer ones. Blind luck saved her again; this guy was kind of fancy, he’d probably appreciate one with swirls of color more than a plain candle.

His eyes proved her quite correct, but not how she expected. He blinked and for a split second – she wasn’t even sure it actually happened – his face softened from its polite mask into a quieter, happier look. It was quickly smoothed away as he looked down to pull a coin from his robe to hand to her. “Thank you, it is a perfect candle for my writing, such as it is.” A polite smile and nod of the head in her direction.

Skyrah nodded awkwardly, not even willing to protest they weren’t a whole silver as she handed him the candle in exchange. She had slowly begun to realize fancier people like this usually didn’t want to deal in copper. Maybe they just didn’t carry them, who knows. As she walked away, leaving the vividly colored man with his candle, she was distracted by a single question. Her curiosity nagged at her, but she would not retreat to ask. She’d never ask him if she ever saw him again, either! But she still wondered: what was so special about a candle with bright blue color in it?

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A head bobbed down the main street of Combe. Golden hair shone in the afternoon sun, the warm rays almost seeming to wash out all color. Apple green eyes peered around and finally spotted a young Man sweeping some dirt off a stoop. Such a young little boy, especially compared to her people! She quietly approached, hands clasped gently in front of her. Her grammar in Westron was still quite inadquate, but she had begun to understand more in her travels here. “Excuse me, you do know way to the Shire?”

He looked up, startled; his eyes went from sad to wide in a heartbeat. “Wh- y-.. yer… it.. a… yer.. yer ears an’…”

This is something she had acclimated to. Her head bowed politely to him, golden hair falling to cover her ears. “I am Duinelleth. I am sorry for interrupting your works.”

The boy looked around nervously, brown eyes beneath an equally plain brown mop of wavy hair scanning for something – or someone. He seemed to be mollified and took a half step closer. “Dy’a.. yer goin’ to th’ Shire?”

She nodded quietly. “Yes. I am to go home now. I know Shire is on way to home.”

He looked around one more time – so skittish, for a child! – and looked up to her nervously. “C’n ya look fer ma sist’r, iffen y’ see ‘er? She’s gone ‘way an’ I dunno where she gone off ta. She’s gotta be.. goin’ home, too. Comin’ back here.”

A rather odd request! A sincere one, if his worried frown was any indicator. “I…yes. Perhaps she become lost, if I find I will give her message of welcoming. How is she looking?”

The short young boy pointed to the sky. “She be real tall. Mebbe even yer height, she got brown hair an’ eyes jus’ like me.” His hand flew down to yank a lock of dirty hair and point to his eyes. “Real skinny like, like.. like me. An’ uh, she’s gotta scarf she don’ take off none. S’ brown.” His eyes went wide in realization. “Oh! An’ uh, th’ Shire’s.. ya gotta go int’ town over there,” he pointed behind her to the main town of Bree’s gate, “an’ then git goin’ over t’ th’ West. Ya follow th’ road to a bridge right proper.”

Filing the description away – that could be any number of humans, not that she’d tell the boy that!! – she bowed her head. The directions sounded much more promising. “I thank you, young sir. I now leave, and tell your sister if I am to be finding her.”

“M’ name’s Ridgley, iffen yer findin’ ‘er. Thank ya, Miss Elf Lady.” He stood awkwardly as she gracefully glided out of existence. His first Elf, and what does he do? Ask her to look for Sky! Sky? Gah! He never told her his sister’s name! Ridgley sighed to himself and went back to carefully sweeping the stoop. Idiot.

Confessions

I have a meeting in three hours, but that derned amimain and her amazing prompts has awoken the muse. It must be fed, with words. There’s some slight language in the fourth one, so apologies and please avoid it if the f-bomb bothers you. Also any apologies if these surprise you in a negative way. I definitely got further into some of my character’s heads than ever before, and it’s a bit disconcerting: particularly Sky. These all are going to be fairly obvious, and I have nooooo apologies for that. This is not one I want to use to keep people guessing.

Another prompt! Confessions that your characters have. Something they’d maybe write down of a piece of paper, and then burn the paper. Maybe something they wouldn’t write down at all.

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I have a confession. I’m paralyzingly afraid. Normally I’m not afraid of too much, other than falling off a cliff or something like that that’ll kill me. Hah, you know what? It’s not even the fact that having a kid could kill me that bothers me. It really isn’t. Hazard that comes with the job, so to speak. I’m just terrified of having a child. Someone I’m responsible for. I can take care of myself alright, and my husband…well, he’s amazing. He helps me more than I could ever possibly help him. Argh, it breaks my heart. I can see it in his eyes; I don’t know if he thinks I notice, but I do. He loves me so much, even though I clam up a little whenever it’s mentioned. It hurts to hurt him like that, more than any cut or bruise I’ve ever gotten.

Even Helvia, sweet and smart a woman as she is, and I really mean that, even she managed to get some figurative balls and have a baby. Why does it scare me so much? It just does! I can’t explain it. I must be broken, maybe it’s a side effect of my brain being so off with my feet, who knows. It just scares me. I’m worried that the only way I’ll ever be ready is if I’m thrust into it. That’s why I jump headlong into so many things: I’m afraid. And if I just jump right in, I’ll figure it out. It’ll be too late to turn back, and I just have to deal with it. It’s why I talk before I think things through, it’s why I usually just start carving wood without a plan. If I have my knife to the wood, there’s no turning back. Every night, I go to sleep promising myself that I won’t drink that awful stuff, that I won’t warm it up. That I’ll be ready to carve that next step in my life. Then I chicken out every morning. I drag myself into the kitchen and I pour myself a cup. I put the timber away for another day of avoiding it.

Eru, I hope it just doesn’t work one day. I’ll never be able to give him what he truly wants if it doesn’t. I’m too much of a chicken to do it myself.

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I have a confession. I need to go home. I can’t do this. I thought I could, I thought I could be strong, but I can’t. I’m a young thing desperately in love, and I just can’t stay away. We have our entire lifetime together, it’s true…but even an eternity, until the end of time itself, isn’t enough time together. I was such a fool to think we could be apart. We aren’t married yet, not really, but our souls are already intertwined. I can feel it, like a pulsing heart, beating from across the ocean. Faint. Calling me home. It isn’t like the slow, gradual draw I felt from the sea itself. No, this is you, my beloved. You’re beckoning me to your arms, and my heart itself is answering. I’ve already learned so much here, but you’re more important. You’re all that matters to me. I’m coming home as soon as I can.

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I have a confession. I want to go home. I want to beg, pride thrown to the side, and ask my father to take me back. I am Lossoth. That is who I am. My heart, my soul, my very blood cries out for a shockingly cold wind; for the sight of the sun, searing in its beauty as it reflects off a glacier. To skate upon thick and hearty ice with luistin. To have a warm meal huddled inside a snow-covered tent lined with furs. It is the very core of my being. Every night I dream of returning, and every day I long for it. Yet the bundle to my right holds me back every time. If I leave, if I return and beg, my daughter will learn nothing from a mother not worthy to have her. As I said, I am Lossoth. We are a proud people, hearty and strong. My little Lempi will not have a mother too weak to stand on her own two feet. She will not learn at the knee of someone who bent to an unfair requirement. She had a father from Bree-land strong enough to master the winters of Forochel and gain the trust of the tribes of snow; she has a mother who was strong enough to forsake her home for a deep and abiding love. She has a proud and fierce blood in her, and I will die before any tell her otherwise.

But I want to go home. It’s killing me. My spirit dies further each day I’m torn from the land that birthed me. I may even die young, leaving my poor daughter to her own fate. It’s just too much.

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I have a confession. I wish I would die. I truly, deeply, utterly hate myself. I’m broken in all the wrong ways, and I’m not right in any way at all. My nose is too big, my freckles are too many, my hair is too mousey, I’m still too skinny even though I’ve gained a lot of weight since leaving…oh, and I’m an aesthetic. Or whatever the hell they called it. Broken, busted, defective: that’s what they should’ve said, because that’s what it is. I am who I am, and I refuse to be anything else, but it doesn’t mean I don’t hate it deep down. Hate me. All the other girls around me are happy, they’re receiving little gifts and they’re giggling about magic acorns and necklaces and kisses…me? I’m sitting in the corner. Making another candle. I do love candles, I love beeswax, but I need more than that. And I hate myself for it. Why can’t I just go through life not needing anyone, not needing to be loved, not needing to be needed in return? That would make things so simple. I could just shrug and go, “Oh, I just never found anyone!” and no one would look at me twice. Weird candle-lady, they’d call me. Crazy Sky and her apartment full’ve dogs. I’d be fine with that. But no. I need love.

From the wrong person. The wrong people. The wrong choice. For fuck’s sake, I’m sneaking out every night to spend the winter nights outside. At a camp site. Why? For what was most likely a figment of grief and imagination. She couldn’t have been real. She was mysterious and had grey eyes and bright hair and actually talked to me like I was a desirable object. A frightened rabbit she called me. Acted like I wasn’t broken for who I am. Of course it wasn’t real. No woman exists like that; I think she was a fairy. A fairy I made up, in order to make up for how pathetic I am. Maybe one night my fire will go out early and I’ll freeze to death. That’d make things nice and simple, now wouldn’t it? Go to sleep and never wake up. Bah, who am I kidding. I’d wake up and kindle the fire again. I’m too scared to die on purpose. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to anyway, sometimes.

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I have a confession. I am a selfish man. I left my home, my family, all who loved me, only to follow the whim of my heart. To travel and see exciting new places. No regard for anyone but myself and what I wanted. Things have not changed so much, not yet. I find myself in an area in which I do not belong. I stick out much like a sore thumb, one that has been smashed with a hammer or whatever would cause a thumb to be round and red, noticeable. My speech is formal in a land of little true education, and my clothing brightly colored yet surrounded by earth tones. But still I stay. I tell myself it is for her, but it is for me. I have never found anyone quite like her, one who stirs me so deeply yet inspires such restraint.

My true wish is that I could sweep her off her feet and walk until I could walk no more. If only that she were willing to travel. The places we could see! We could even travel as far as Ered Luin itself, see Duillond and its impressive library. Marvel at the Elven architecture and the clean, sweet air of fragrant blossoms in the spring. Perhaps there would even be a boat, docked and ready to carry Elven passengers home. Yet that is not something she wants. Not something she needs right now. I wish it were otherwise, and I am guilty for it; to wish she is something other than what she is is one of the greatest insults you could wish someone. She is who she is, and I-…I am fond of her. The frowns that are meant to be smiles, the soft, fluttery kisses akin to the touch of a butterfly’s wings, the steadfast pride that straightens her back and drives her to be as educated and independent as she is able. All of these things make up who she is. And yet I still find myself wanting more! I am a selfish fool of a poet, and a bad man.

She drives me to want to be a better man: a man who will do any and everything for the one for whom he cares, one who is not afraid to stand stationary. One who will think of others first and himself last. That is my confession: I am selfish. But I am trying.

Questions

((Whenever I stay up really late, is when I seem to get the most inspired. Another short installation of Questions. These are slightly more vague. I’m very curious if people can guess!! Enjoy! :D))

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Should I leave now? Should I ask him for help?

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Why would someone ask such a question?

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Everything’s going to be fine, they won’t hate me forever…

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I need to tell them. I’ll probably be punched out cold, but this needs to happen.

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I should leave. Now. And never come back. Right?

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Questions

A truly short and simple RP idea I had. I’m really enjoying the shorter “snippets of each character” writing exercises. This one, I call “Questions.” We all think before we drift off to sleep, and often we’ll tally lists or think about our day. Every question here is unlabeled, and not prefaced. Enjoy this tiny snippet into everyone’s innermost consciousness! Oh. And in some cases (I hope), good luck figuring out who is who! 😀

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…Did I make the right choice? Should I leave to find you?

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…What’s wrong with me?…

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One day, I hope to know the answer to this simple question: did it feel like thunder and shake your whole world, as well?

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Will you embrace who you are, or cast it aside, my love?

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If I didn’t wake up tomorrow, it would be worth it. How is this possible?

At Rest: More Rest

This is entirely Woodsong’s fault. We were roleplaying, entirely too late, and I was inspired to write this. All of my characters at the moment have had a very interesting few days, and tonight seemed to be the culmination of their current story arcs. Please enjoy a second part to the wonderful little meme that Laenlis started: At Rest. :3

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North east of Bree, a young woman laid in her small bed, continuing to cry tears that no longer came. Her brown eyes were bloodshot and swollen. Sniffling and rubbing her face into the rough pillow cover just made her all the more miserable. She sat up, punching the pillow with all the strength she could muster, over and over again. Thud, thud, thud, thud. THUD. The final thud was her head slamming into the pillow. Miserably snuffling now, she sobbed silently and turned her face to the wall. Hopefully tomorrow she’d wake up from a normal dream and be normal.

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Further south, still in Bree-land, a much older woman drooled in her sleep. It was the languorous sleep of someone who had exhausted themselves fully. Shifting instinctively, she clung to the man lying next to her. His arm curled around her, causing a brief lapse from unconsciousness. She blindly tilted her chin up, whispering secret words and names no one else would know yet before drifting off to sleep again. She drooled on him.

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To the east, a few ridges over, a young man finally settled into bed; he barely beat the sun to its rising. He groaned happily at the feel of the soft bed and almost immediately drifted off to dream of blue eyes. On the floor rested a perfectly copied piece of literature, his bold and whimsical handwriting begging to jump off the page and into its intended recipient’s imagination.

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Not too far away, long hair wrapped itself around its owner’s face, causing her to wake with a jolt. Sweat dotted her forehead, another bad dream quickly playing through her memory. Laying back down and listening for the soft breathing of the small person next to her, she let that rhythmic breath lull her back to sleep. She missed home.

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Down the street, a very young Elf maiden laid in bed but did not rest. She walked in waking dreams with her beloved. They laughed and danced beneath mallorn trees before resting in a patch of flowers. They spoke of their meeting by the river, and of her namesake from that evening. The name he gave her, the one she now carried until they were to be wed. Slowly, they began to fall asleep together. In her small bunk, the Elf smiled.

RP Prompts: At Rest

((The lovely and ever-talented Laenlis has inspired me to write of my characters resting on a cool autumn evening. It’s short, but it gives more glimpses into everyone. Plus, YAY WRITING!!))

The wind blew through a few cracks in the wall, making its way to the bed. Tegil pulled the covers up further, silently cursing himself for choosing the cooler months to travel north. It was an odd sensation, having his nose be cold but his body warm and snug. Every once in a while, he’d tuck his head under to keep it warm, but he’d quickly have to poke back out. Air was a rather important part of living.

His eyes darted around the room quietly, once again taking it all in. This was an oddly named tavern, The Prancing Pony. Seemed everyone around here called it the Pony. You’d think they’d get confused with regular ponies or some sort. At least the ale was tolerable, even if the food wasn’t. His thoughts were quickly interrupted with a rather heavy yawn. One that required his whole attention. Snuggling further under the blanket, he hoped it’d warm up soon.

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Duinelleth flipped through yet more books, making notes in Sindarin on the piles of parchment that surrounded her. For a young Elf, she looked rather tired; actual bags were under her eyes. She hadn’t rested in days, but the books that Lady Celeve – er, the Master had sent to her were incredibly fascinating. She couldn’t believe the things she was learning about the fea. Why did her teachers not trust her with this? She could handle it. Fascinating, fascinating, fascinating! Stumbling across a particularly interesting chapter, she made herself yet another false promise: After this one, I’ll take a rest.

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Eyes slid open quietly, lazily. Lori looked around, brow furrowed in confusion. How did she get – snore. An involuntary smile blossomed and she twisted around to face a bare shoulder highlighted by the moonlight. Tarlanc must have carried her to bed from her study. Not surprisingly, she fell asleep again. Working on Gislaf’s table was really fun work, since it didn’t have to be done for quite some time, and because it was for a friend.

Her smile was interrupted by a small yawn, and then slowly reappeared with a sleepy lilt to it. Shifting herself closer to her newly betrothed, she tucked her arm under his, holding him close. A final kiss to his shoulder and the murmuring of affection into an ear that most likely didn’t hear her through its slumber, and Loriwen drifted off immediately.

RP Prompts: Different Paths

The ever-amazing Pumyra has given us an RP prompt this week that really got my creative juices flowing. Thank you! I’ll be introducing some new faces, in addition to everyone’s favorite hypocrite (Lori). I took the slightly alternate route of “what if a key decision in their life ended up being the opposite choice?”

Imagine what your character might have been had they not ended up in their current occupation. Write a story about what they might be like.

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Tegil laughed loudly, his light and musical laughter bouncing across the hall. His gaze swept across his betrothed, studying her beautiful face as she tried to balance the board on her head. Every time she shifted position, another perfect muscle moved and he felt the need to re-memorize it. A perpetually stupid grin graced his face, even as she finally gave up and ripped the blindfold off. Her grey eyes narrowed as she stuck her hands on her hips.

Tegil, what are you leering at?”

Needing no more a prompt than that, he quickly hopped up and floated over to her, gracefully dipping her without warning. He poked her nose with his own, grinning still. “Oh, just the most beautiful young woman in this whole city.”

Her face softened in just the way he loved, her lovely lips curving into a private smile. “Flatterer.”

I speak only the truth, my love.” He dipped his head to kiss her softly.

Their wedding couldn’t come fast enough.

(Tegil decided to not ask his childhood friend to marry him, instead following the beat of his own drum and heading into the world to write poems and stories. He doesn’t regret his decision in even the slightest, but it will always be a happy “what if?” in his mind.)

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Duinelleth danced along the white shores of the Undying Lands, laughing happily. It was truly beautiful here – beautiful, and peaceful. Plopping gracefully into the sand, she ran her fingers through it and made an intricate pattern of leaves. A splash of water startled her and ruined the design. She gasped and looked up, only to immediately break into more laughter. Her husband waved with a mischievous glint in his eye, then comically made a big show of hiding the bucket he had in his hand.

Lamaenon, how dare you ruin my sand drawings!”

Ah, heart of my heart, it’s just sand. We can draw over here, instead.” He sat down, tossing the bucket to the side and beckoning to her.

Standing up and rushing over to sit on him instead of next to him, she grinned. “I suppose this is fine, too.”

Ah, how I agree. Isn’t it a lovely morning? This sunrise is particularly bright.” They both looked to the east with a soft sigh of appreciation. He rested his head on her shoulder, and she quickly rested her head upon his.

You know, I think I’ll always regret not staying – just a little.”

He tightened his grip on Duinelleth, not jealously, but protectively. “I understand…to not stay and help, it’s not in your nature. Although, I must confess…I am glad you came with us, melethril. To have you safe is my greatest wish.”

She smiled and relaxed as he pulled her closer. “I would have regretted leaving you all the more, love.”

(Duinelleth did decide to stay and help the younger races against the Shadow. Although young, she is convinced that her knowledge of mending a broken body will help turn the tide. Her betrothed sailed to Valinor, and they promised each other they would wed on the white shores once she felt at peace with departing.)

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Loriwen smoothed down her thin dress, sighing as her hair pulled out of its bun again – it never stayed in place. Grabbing the large wooden spoon and stirring the pot, she ran her fingers along the handle of the spoon instead of paying attention to dinner. The wood was well-carved, smooth despite the grains shining through in the firelight. It was the kind of work she used to do in secret, before she became with child. Once that happened, Aric made sure someone was always around her, in case she needed something. Needed something? Pah. It was one of the easiest and simplest pregnancies she had ever seen. She wasn’t a porcelain doll that would crack under pressure. So she was a bit clumsy, she wasn’t going to fall off a roof – or even be on one in the first place! Her grip tightening on the wooden spoon reminded her of where she was, her eyes focusing once again upon it. She wiped it on her apron and sat down to work on her mending.

She hated menial chores so much. Sewing, cleaning, cooking; that’s all she ever did. The perfect farm wife if there ever was one. Aric wasn’t a bad man, just boring and stubborn. A farmer, just like her father and his father, and his father before him. It’s not proper for a wife to help make the living. She can work in the family’s garden and raise the children. The men work to support everyone else. Tears began to form in her eyes as she peered into her sewing box…she held it in her lap, caressing it. She could imagine carving this box, herself. A simple notch there, a long and bold stroke there. Simple nails into the hinge here, and –

The door slammed open and three children bounded inside, one after the other noisily. Loriwen stood up quickly and wiped her eyes before turning around with a bright smile. Even if she cried herself to sleep some nights while wishing she could just run away, even if she did feel more and more trapped in this farming village every single day, she did love her children. She would do anything for them, including stay in a dreadfully dull and unhappy marriage.

What’s for dinner, ma? Oh, is it stew? What kinda meat did’ya get?!”

Loriwen winced and rushed over to keep her youngest – only six – from falling into the fire as he peered into the stew pot. He was just like his mother, often unsteady on his feet. “Now now, Ryley, you stay away from the fire, you hear me? …And it’s your favorite, hare.” Her heart lightened a bit as she watched his dark brown eyes widen with joy. She mussed his hair and patted him off to wash with his older brother and sister. She sighed, alone again; if only for the few moments before Aric clomped inside to ask how her day went. Her answer would always be the same: “oh, the usual.”

Gods, she hated the usual.

(Aric proposed a courtship to her shortly after her father died, assuming she would want the companionship and need the support of a man. In reality, Loriwen ended up turning down his well-meant but boring offer, instead deciding to head off to the Shire for a year. She is independent, living on her own, and allowed to carve whenever she desires. She is – as of now – unwed, but is secretly harboring impatient hopes that her beloved will pop the proverbial question.)