Summer Memories

Lori inspected her reflection in the looking glass as she finished inserting her earrings. Her lips curved into an unbidden smile when the turquoise beads shone in the sunlight. Wearing these was always a treat; not only were they beautiful, but they reminded her of fond summer memories. She would occasionally miss her scruffy Gondorian sailor, but in the end, they both knew it was better to part on good terms.

She and Tarlanc had acted like a bunch of lovesick teenagers back then; a rush of hormones and fast declarations of love and general impassioned groping. She wouldn’t trade that time for anything in the world, but it wasn’t sustainable. They both were too used to doing their own thing, and after that merchant ship sank, it was clear that their worlds weren’t going to be compatible long term. He needed to go back to Gondor for a long time and wanted her to come with him, but she wasn’t ready for that yet. She had a house, a business, an entire life here.

Even though the two of them were head over heels for one another, Loriwen still wasn’t quite ready to settle down, much less have children, with someone she had known for three months! Some of her friends thought she was insane, but she knew it was the right call. They were just starting to get to know one another. What would have happened if, in half a year, they suddenly discovered a serious and fatal flaw in their relationship? He’d probably be out at sea most of the time anyway, and Lori wasn’t willing to live that kind of life.

And so, one late summer night, they said their goodbyes. He gave her the earrings she now admired, and she gave him an amulet she had carved of the lost ship. Hopefully, he still carried it as a reminder.

The door rattled as someone banged on it, jarring her out of the reverie.

“Oi, c’mon Lori. Market opens in a few minutes; we’re gonna be late!” Her oldest friend’s voice rang through the wood.

Lori shook her head and grabbed her sack of trinkets before running to head outside. The sun radiated down on her as soon as she stepped through the doorway. The wet smell of earth rose to her nostrils and she smiled widely, closing her eyes to soak it in for a few moments. Fall was coming!


The door creaked open and a wave of hot air rushed out of the inn, blowing Bryn’s hair away from her face. Incongruous smells mingled, somehow combining to form a symphony of comfort in her mind: pipe smoke, roasting meat, yeasty beers, the rich taste of metal armor in the air. Loud and entirely too hot in the summer though it may be, The Pony was one of the safest and most beloved places Bryn had found. She figured that this was what “home” was supposed to be like.

She stepped inside and walked over to the bar with purpose, head held high and shoulders back. She was a real customer tonight, not just a street rat paying a fair price for a bag of bread and apples. Barliman’s smile when she first sauntered over to his bar was hesitant, but the tight smile quickly turned genuine after she gave him her order.

“’ey Barli, gimme a real bowl’a stew, an’ whatever’s yer best tea.”

Bryn paid out the exact cost of a full meal with a rare smile and headed to sit at the table closest to the bard currently strumming a lively tune on his lute. The young Hobbit had to still be a tween but he had a lot of talent; his song was both invigorating and comforting, much like a warm cup of tea. She relaxed against the wall behind her, watching his bright eyes carefully keep track of his fingers.

Barliman’s hired help, a young woman with curly auburn hair and clear blue eyes, plopped down a steaming mug of tea and bowl of stew. Bryn could barely stammer out her thanks before the barmaid was swaying through the crowd again. This smelled heavenly! Was that onion, carrot, and potato? The meat – probably beef – looked tender and juicy.

…This really must be what a “home” really was supposed to be like.


Deep blue eyes slowly opened, immediately squinting shut once more when golden-red rays of light bore into them. Tegil stretched for a few long, absolutely sublime, moments before getting out of bed. He had managed to fall asleep in the afternoon heat yet again and it looked like he was going to be awake just in time to watch the sun dip below the horizon. He swung his legs off the edge of the bed and grunted as he pushed himself up to a stand.

Sunset was always his favorite time of the day, but particularly here at his estate in Dol Amroth. He especially loved the after effect, the light purples that spread across the sky, welcoming the moon to her evening. He took a deep breath of salty air and exhaled in a smile.

Life was simple here, but it had some challenges. The bustle of the busy street below, the roaring of the waves…the atmosphere was particularly loud. That didn’t work for some, but Tegil was grateful for the change in scenery from Bree-land. He missed his friends, and would still occasionally write them, yet this existence suited him better. As he watched the last of the sun’s light slip beyond the horizon, he mused that it would be nice to have company on his walks along the beaches or forests, though.

He needed to meet people.


Osbeorne pulled another shirt out of his dresser, unfolding it and laying it down on the bed. He found that it was better to roll his clothes when traveling; easier to fit more in the same pack. This trip would hopefully go better than the last one. He had a wicked scar from his mishap during the fight with that asshole and really didn’t want to repeat that if possible. Kieran was a good kid and Os wanted to help out however he was able.

Hopefully, that little girl would come to her senses and leave with them, too. Sure, Kieran was clearly taken with her and that was nice and all, but the thing he kept thinking of was that parents shouldn’t be that way. What kind of mother lets their daughter get treated like that? It wasn’t right. He’d never treat a kid like that, even if the kid wasn’t his. That guy deserved everything he got.

He folded his shirt in half and methodically rolled it into a tight cylinder, taking some of his frustration out on the poor piece of clothing. Stuff like this only made Os surer he wanted to look into that adoption stuff. He wasn’t giving up on finding someone, but it was about time he needed to really look at what he wanted to do with his life. One of the things he definitely wanted to do was to help raise a kid, and what better way to do that than to adopt a poor kid who doesn’t have a family yet?

His ma wasn’t too keen on the plan; she was concerned that any woman who may be interested in him would find a pre-existing kid a huge detraction, but Os wasn’t actually concerned about that. Why would he want to spend his life with someone who didn’t understand and appreciate the value of bringing a kid in and helping them become a productive adult?

Os sighed and tucked the rolled-up shirt into his pack. When he got back from this trip, he’d start the paperwork for being evaluated. Money wasn’t an issue, but he would have to show he could provide a suitable home. He could do that!


A breeze gently played with the hanging braid of midnight-black hair, slowly swinging it back and forth. A sleepy smile came to the lips of the elf to whom that braid belonged; the breath of coolness that danced upon the late summer’s air current was very welcome. Aeldes hummed a soft tune, one long lost to time and tragedy. Nights like tonight gave her bittersweet memories of her time wandering the forests of Beleriand. It was, as always, so long ago and yet seemed as if it were yesterday.

She didn’t mourn the lost lands or those friends of hers who had sailed beyond to never return, but it did fill her with a sad longing. If she hadn’t been bedridden for so long, she surely would have left with them, but alas, she remained and with much of her passion for the land. This “Bree-land” was a particularly rustic but charming area, and it deserved to be allowed to flourish!

Aeldes stifled a yawn of contentment; this was a wonderful green land, but there was wandering yet to be done in her imagination.

Remembering…

(Stolen from amimain, yet again. <33333 I wrote ENTIRELY too much, but I won’t apologize because this was a really great exercise. I hope you enjoy! ^_^)

Sky quietly slipped out of the room when she thought Luned had finally fallen asleep. Her roommate slept like a log most nights, making it much easier to slide away. She bundled herself up even further before silently exiting the warm house, trading comfort for freezing cold. Feet walked: left, right, left, right, making small crunches in the remaining snow. Every night, she went to this spot and every night she waited. All night. She had no idea if she’d ever see her again, but she’d always try. Was it a dream?

Ruff! A small puppy bounded up to the campsite shortly after Sky lit a fire. Bending down in a mess of limbs, she sat on the ground and held her arms out. The puppy, already freezing in the mid-winter night, quickly ran up to both young woman and fire: both warm. Sky hugged the puppy tight, glad for companionship as she held her vigil.

The little pup reminded her of Olly. Her eyes shifted from the small bundle of fur, over to the fire. As the flames crackled in the night, licked and climbed upward only to dissipate against the harsh coolness of the air, Sky sadly thought of her dear friend. Sometimes at night, she’d hug a pillow just to pretend it was her beloved dog once more. Not many things in this world are more crushing than losing your home, your family: but losing your pet cut deeply. They never found Olly after they escaped their home in the north. It was assumed that Olly died by an Orc’s hand. Her brows furrowed and she broke her gaze on the fire, dragging it to the shaggy creature curled in her lap. He wasn’t Olly, but he’d do. At least dogs liked her. She continued to play the waiting game.

«——————————»

The book slowly closed, shutting the door on all further adventures to the land of Lorien for the evening. Foreign symbols, Sindarin, faded from his mind slowly. It was his favorite book, a book of epic poetry dedicated to the Golden Wood. His hands softly caressed the cover, a faint smile playing on his lips. He’d never forget the first time this book had been placed into his hands.

A mischievous and melodic voice rang in his ear. “nendir, come along. I’ll read you your favorite book tonight. Just don’t tell Adar or Naneth!” His eyes widened and he ran to get ready to sleep. The book with all the Elves with the gold trees! No young boy ever cleaned up and got into his sleeping gown as quickly as he did that evening. Plopping into his large and soft mattress, he sat quietly. Eventually his sister slipped into the room, inciting silent but rousing applause from him.

“It’s your birthday today, nendir. I’m going to give you a treat, okay?” His eyes sparkled, just like she wanted. The older girl plopped an old, leather-bound book into his lap; it was well-loved, with an etching of a beautiful tree on the cover. It was their favorite poetry book, the one she promised to read to him tonight. Wide blue-gray eyes looked up to her in childish hope, small hands already crawling around to hold it to his chest. “Well, read it! I’m giving it to you, if you can read me the first stanza. Come on.”

Clearing his small, boyish throat, little nendir began to recite the long, twisting words written in the book. His Sindarin, even at the tender age of seven, was already properly accentuated. She smiled widely, impulsively leaning over to kiss her younger brother’s forehead.

Ah, Merileth. If there was one person from his family that he truly missed, with every fiber of his being, it was her. His feisty, loud, ever-caring sister. He even missed her nagging at times; he missed her advice most of all. She’s the one who convinced him that he needed to follow his heart and to leave. He would be sure to write her a separate letter next week. Quietly holding the old book to his chest, much like he did twelve years ago, Tegil transformed once more into young nendir, if only for a few heartbeats.

«——————————»

Lempi hiccuped so abruptly, the baby surprised herself. She blinked widely and looked to her mother for reassurance. Tuija gladly gave the infant exactly that, bringing her close to her chest. She softly murmured in her language as she handed the girl a crusty and chewy piece of bread to teeth upon. Lempi had learned fast, already weaned off breast milk at the age of eight months. Once that tooth began to come in, Tuija couldn’t handle feeding her any more. Too painful. Lempi loved crusty bread (which helped with her teething pains), so once the bottles were successfully accepted by the girl, everyone was happier.

Tuija kissed the crown of her daughter’s head, then pulled back to inspect the little face as it sloppily gnawed on the large baked good. It always took her breath away to see how Michael’s features were so easily transposed onto Lempi’s face. Her nose, the shape of her eyes…her lips. Especially her lips. Tuija’s were much fuller, more of a pout than a smile. Her daughter had a mouth begging to laugh, just like her father did. Tuija reached down to kiss Lempi’s cheek softly. The baby giggled and moved away; her mother was getting in the way of bread decimation, and that was not acceptable.

Michael loved bread, too. Tuija’s face twisted sorrowfully as she thought on how he loved her homemade flat breads. She remembered an old saying, one her mother would tell her every time she pouted for her duties as a girl. “Ei elämä irvistellen somene.”

“Life will not get more beautiful by making grimaces.”

Her mother was right. Tuija forced a smile.

«——————————»

The sun was shining, the snow was sparkling, and Loriwen Snowberry couldn’t have been in a better mood if she tried. She thought about skipping as she walked into the gate of Bree-town proper, but she wasn’t in that good a mood. It wouldn’t end well and she knew it. Plus, great mood or not, she was thirty. Just a little too old to be doing that in public. She’d skip at home. Alone. Lori turned away from the main road on her way to the lodge. She needed some new nails and her favorite store was around there. They had the best nail smithy, in her opinion. Sturdy but not ugly on the heads.

Just as she was about to bound up the stairs – carefully as always – her ears caught a sound all too familiar to her. Children. Children taunting someone or something. Lori slid her feet to the right, peering down the alleyway next to the shop. Four children stood around a fifth, who was curled into a ball. They were all girls. Her fantastic mood suddenly diminished, leaving a very unhappy woman to stalk down the alley toward them.

“Y’ know what they’re sayin’ ’round town ’bout yer ma, right?”

“Yeah! I heard my pop saying she’s a who–

A clear and stern voice rang out over the four girls, all of whom couldn’t have been more than eight. It cut them off most readily. “And what is going on here?” The voice’s owner put her hands on her hips, golden hair shining in the remaining shaft of light and teal eyes flashing with barely hidden anger.

The oldest of them, or at least the tallest of them, pointed to Lori and squeaked, “Ah! It’s her! Din’t she stab that guy in th’ Pony?! I heard my da’ talkin’ ’bout her! Quick! B’fore she stabs us, too!”

All four fled in a whirl of ratty ponytails and threadbare skirts, leaving the fifth girl still cowering against the wall. Lori smiled and squatted down, holding out her hand. “C’mon, it’s alright. They’re gone.” The little girl – definitely younger and seemingly prettier than the others – peeked up to stare at the older woman.

“Wh-.. what’re y’ doin’? They gonna get me good later, now..” She did take Lori’s hand, though, and let her help her shakily stand up.

“They do that often? Tease you, I mean.” Holding her hand, Lori led the little girl toward the way she stalked in; away from the the girls’ direction.

A soft nod and a sniffle answered her question. “S’no fair, I ain’t done nothin’ t’ them. Jus’ wanna be their friend.” Vibrant green eyes shone with tears as the small girl – she couldn’t have been more than six!! – looked up to Lori. Now she understood. Those girls were jealous; those were some beautiful eyes, and if there was anyone in the whole of Bree who knew what it was like to be berated for being different in a pretty way, it was Lori.

“Yer a bastard kid with straw hair ‘n eyes like a rotten robin’s egg!”

“Somethin’s wrong with Loony Lori, you ain’t got no momma an’ yer hair’s all weird! Where’d ya come from, Loony Lori?!”

Her brow creased at the memories; she wiped it from her face and squatted back down to face the brilliantly green-eyed girl. “What’s your name, sweetie?”

“Lizabeth…” Another sniffle, then a wiping of eyes. They blinked, focusing on the older woman for the first time. “…Yer real purty. Diff’rent lookin’.”

A soft but wide smile spread across Lori’s face. “Thank you, Lizabeth. You’re real pretty, yourself. You have some of the prettiest green eyes I’ve ever seen. They’re like a Yule tree.”

Those eyes shifted to the ground, a pout making itself obvious. “They all call ’em puke-green. Or rott’n eggs.”

“Well, don’t let them get to you. You have pretty eyes, and when you grow up, you’re going to find yourself the best guy around and he’s going to love them. Those girls will be so busy picking at each other, all the boys will ignore them and they’ll have to settle for living with crazy Ellie in her cat house on the Stairs.”

She was rewarded with a quiet giggle. “Ya think so?”

Lori stood up and mussed the girl’s brown hair. “I know so. I was teased, too, and now I’ve got the best guy ever. He loves my eyes.” She wrinkled her nose to accompany a sweet smile.

Lizabeth bit her lower lip and grinned up to the woman. “Really? You were teased an’ now yer all growed up and married?” Another big giggle erupted and the little girl ran off happily.

Her gaze shifted back to the alley, remembering some of her own little torture sessions as a small girl. One kid stood out in her mind, a boy. Mathias. He was a mean little boy, pulling her hair and sticking honey in her boots at lessons. He said a lot of horrible things to her; some of them still cut deep when she thought about them. Her fists began to clench as she remembered a particularly crude remark about her absent mother. Half-way to a scowl, she blinked and looked down to her hand. Something was digging into her fist. Oh. Oh, of course.

Lori held her hand up in the sun, the old and battered silver ring shining despite its age. Her wedding ring. She smiled to herself. Bah, sod Mathias. She was happier than he was, that was for sure. After all, he had to marry one of the bratty girls who tortured her as well. Now she tortured him instead. Serves him right. She planted an impulsive kiss on the ring, then nodded to herself and went about her business. Time to buy nails.

Letters to Edoras: Hello!

October 23, 2010

Grandmother Eadgifa and Uncle Thurwald,

First, I just want to say something to whoever is reading you this letter. It means a lot to be able to communicate with family so long lost to me, so thank you. Thank you so much.

I suppose I should start out with the most important news of all. I’ve become betrothed! To Tarlanc, of course; the man Thurwald met while here. It’s rather exciting. We think we’ll make a small, private affair of it: just someone to speak the words and a friend for a witness, if one is needed. I can never remember if one is needed or not. Anyway, yes; it will be small and simple. I’ve always thought it was rather sweet to hear of those couples who ran off to be together, but it seems running off looks rather suspect given our age. Ah, well! As I said, it’s really quite exciting. It seems much too soon by the older standards of the area, but to me, it seems as if it can’t be soon enough. I’m so very, very happy. I hope you know that.

All is very, very well here, as I said above. I’ve finished a rather large woodworking project, and the pay from that is going to keep me rather comfortable throughout the winter here. We’re even speaking of taking a trip somewhere afterward.

It’s odd writing to you, I’m really not sure what to write beside that! Fall is real nice here, the leaves are starting to fall off, making beautiful orange, red and yellow piles everywhere. I’ve been thinking about making a real big pile and jumping in it. That sounds a bit silly coming from a grown woman, I’ll bet! In more domestic news, I’m going to meet with Cara, Tarlanc’s young niece soon. She’s going to try and teach me how to bake a Gondor treat, a bread with cheese in it. That will be a fun day, as she is a truly sweet young girl. Her husband was killed last year, sadly, but she does have an adorably chubby little baby girl named Civrennil. The two of them are a delight to visit, and I’m glad we’ll have some time to get to know each other.

I hope to get to know you better, too. After all, you are kin! Kin unlooked-for, but far from unwelcome. It’s a great relief to know of my mother’s family, and of my mother. How are my cousins, and how about my aunt? Are you all doing alright? I wonder about the winter down in Edoras. Is it very cold? Do you see snow close by, or is it only far away on mountains? I wonder if there are any traditions. Here, we exchange small gifts and mull cider. Treats are eaten, as well. The traditions come from the Hobbits nearby, lovely little folk with a great love for food and drink. I love their Yule traditions, and we around the smaller towns have adopted them ourselves. Please, write back (thank you again, for reading and writing for them) and tell me of your customs. I would dearly love to hear more of everything you would like to tell me.

I look forward to hearing from you, and…thank you for finding me. It filled a long-standing void to know of you and that part of my past that was lost.

Loriwen Snowberry

Lost Family: Getting to Know Each Other

This submission is in PDF form for two reasons.

  1. It’s entirely too long to be posted on my.lotro, and it’s not the kind of piece I can break up.
  2. It’s far more comfortable to read it in black on white serif font instead of whatever my.lotro is conjuring up at the moment.

I hope you enjoy this latest piece. If it’s not working for some reason, I’ll throw it up on fanfiction.net or something.

Link to story here.

RP Prompts: A Secret Revealed!

((A great one-shot with Lori yesterday. This is a response to a lovely prompt by the ever-awesome Pumrya. The original post can be found here. After a conversation with Helvia the other day, Lori was given instructions to go visit Helvia’s uncle to ask if he could help look up information about her parents.))

Loriwen shielded her eyes as she carefully continued up the stairs, one step at a time. She’d gotten used to going up stairs normally, but in the case of this exceptionally tall staircase, she wanted to be careful. Lori went up the stairs one at a time, planting both feet firmly on each step. Falling down this staircase would not end well, and the last thing she wanted to do right now was get seriously hurt. Not only was she teetering on the edge of discovering a thirty year secret, Tarlanc could come home any day now. She had just read Kendry’s letter this morning, it came in the mail as well as the politely written note asking her to visit the archives in Scholar’s Stair. A ship sank. Not only did a ship sink, which of course was a horrible tragedy in and of itself, but it apparently had old friends of his on it. He would be devastated, and the last thing he needed when he got back was a banged up her.

Finally reaching the top and taking a couple more steps forward, she turned around and sighed as she looked down at the mass of stairs. That really would have been quite the fall. Shrugging to herself, she turned back around and quickly made her way over to the door of the archives. Taking a deep breath and holding it, she walked into the archives with crossed fingers.

–Later that day–

He told her it was good news. They had found something, something in the tax records. When her father claimed her as his daughter, said she would inherit whatever he had, her mother’s name had to be written down for it to take effect. Helvia’s uncle wrote it down for her, and now Lori sat safely in her yard, looking at the carefully folded page. She didn’t dare look at it until she was home. She wanted to wait until Tarlanc got back, but this was not the time to be gushing about news like this. He was dealing with tragedy, not something as silly as a thirty year old woman who just now realized her mother’s name may be in tax records. Ugh, she really was such a dolt at times.

Squaring her shoulders and pushing her hair back from her face, she held the note with both hands and slowly opened it. The words hit her like a ton of bricks.

Ceolwyn of Edoras

Edoras! Edoras…Edoras?! Her mother was Rohhiric?! Lori looked at the paper in disbelief. She knew it wasn’t wrong, Helvia’s uncle was as precise and methodical as Helvia herself. It had to be right, but that couldn’t be. It just couldn’t. Setting the paper down with shaking hands, Lori’s hair fell into her face again. The afternoon sun caught it, making the hair glow even more golden than red. Lifting a hand to grab the largest lock, she inspected it in the sun, watching the hair shift from a light golden-red to a bright and shining gold as it moved. Maybe he was right, she did get her hair from her mother after all.

Keeping one hand holding her lock of hair, she lifted the page back to her face with the other. Ceolwyn of Edoras. What an odd name. Lori tried her own name in the style of Rohirric and Gondorian tradition. At least, she thought it was tradition. She’d certainly read enough dry books consisting of “Gárulf, son of Gárhelm” or “Beren, son of Barahir.” They wouldn’t constantly go on like that for no reason, she thought. Books were stories, it’s true, but stories always have a tiny bit of truth in them, no? Loriwen, daughter of Ceolwyn.

Lowering the paper again, Lori leaned against her large maple tree and kept her eyes focused on her hair. Slowly letting each strand fall out of her grip and onto her collarbone, she continued to play with it. It was her mother’s hair, as far as she knew: the golden hair of the Rohirrim. It certainly wasn’t normal Bree-hair. Suddenly all the teasing and annoyance she endured growing up was worth it. She may have had straw-hair as a little girl, but it was her mother’s “straw hair.” Lori allowed herself a small smile.

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