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


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”

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.”

Letters to Grams: Danger Comes in Many Forms

June 12
Loriwen Snowberry, 6 Long Street, Wildore Township, Bree-land

Grams! Can I say I’m glad he’s gone?

Oh, I hate writing it down, but it’s true. He.. well, he made good on his promise, alright. Well, maybe it wasn’t a promise, leastways. More of an intention. Either way, he made good on it, to be sure. I daresay it’s somewhat my fault, too.

Remind me to never drink anything strong alone, ever again. I wouldn’t have minded in the past, in fact it’s a good way to pass the night laughing at one’s self. But now I need to lock my office or something. I was foolish and wrote a letter after a lot of blackberry ale. To him. The worst part is.. I slept through the mail carrier coming – the ale again! I didn’t remember of it until a letter showed in response. I was a bit forward in it. What did I do? Ah! Never again, Grams. Never drinking alone again. Not unless all the parchment’s gone from my house.

Now that he’ll be out of town for a few days, off in Buckland for some merchant business or whatnot, I can think about doing some work again. Anything to keep my mind off the past week. I found the perfect maple to make that lute, I’m very excited to get to work on it. Still waiting for the turning keys, though. Won’t start until I have all the pieces together, I think. It’s a present for a wedding, a gift to the groom. He apparently plays lute, and a fancier one is in order for such an occasion! A wonderful gift, in my eyes. Practical, but beautiful and special at the same time.

The town is having a dance, some time from now. A sweethearts dance. I asked him. I figured that wouldn’t be too scandalous or anything, the young women usually ask men they like but aren’t seeing yet. That’s a proper thing to do, I think. Then again, things have changed around here. I have a friend of mine, a young girl from Gondor named Morvel…well, I can’t spell her name. But I call her Morv, she doesn’t seem to mind. It’s a cute name, makes me think of mauve. Quite a pretty color, I imagine it would look very nice against her blue eyes and darker hair. She’s a sweet girl, very clearly a young thing infatuated. She went off and shacked up with a guy her first or second night meeting him! Things have either changed, or those Gondorians are faster than even I thought. Both could be true, I suppose. Can’t claim to know much more about them than what I’ve heard in town and from Tarlanc and Morv themselves, really. It sounds like a very interesting place, full of wild things. Dangerous, too.

Speaking of danger, I really should be more careful out there. Creatures are really woken up now. Managed to escape, but I came a little too close for comfort when looking for that maple wood. I’m not particularly nimble, but I can run well enough…barely enough to escape that boar. They really need to take better care of the areas near those Lone Lands, they’re getting more and more dangerous. The marshes, too! Do you know I think I saw a goblin camp in there? At a distance! It was terrifying. That’s why I ran off and happened to run into the boar. Stupid thing chased me until I threw some of my jerky away from me. Didn’t work at first, but eventually he realized how much food he was giving up by chasing me down and gave up. That was horrible! I’m going to try to be a bit more careful, stick closer to the roads.

My goal is to finish carving all my current orders before he gets back. I’ll do them properly, of course, but it’ll be good to finish my list free of distractions. So, no time to waste! I’ll write again soon, I promise. Miss you both, so dearly.

Always love, your little pumpkin,
Lori


Letters to Gram: New Friends

May 30
Loriwen Snowberry, 6 Long Street, Wildore, Bree-land

Gram,

I’m sure this is a bit odd, writing letters to you. Not only could you not read when you were alive, you’re gone now. Well, I miss you something fierce and it’s comforting to write to you, as if you’re here. I have a few odd behaviors, and another private one won’t hurt anyone, now will it? Not really, I think.

I’ve finally come out of my shell after being sick for such a long time. That plague took a greater toll on me than I thought it would, it put me in bed for two whole weeks! You would have probably scolded me for heading off into the night the way I did, but it had to be done. That poor little girl and her brother wouldn’t have made it without that help, I just know it. It was worth getting sick, in order to help them. I’m sure you’d agree in the end…leastways, after I got better. My appetite was higher than normal for quite some time, guess I was regaining my strength. I’m all back to normal now. At least, as normal as I’ll ever get. I’ve been trying to get better about my footing.. managed to fall off a bridge a little while back, although that rightly wasn’t my fault. My horse stepped on a particularly sharp stone and lost her footing. I managed to fall off when she was stumbling.. and it just happened to be on a bridge. Fell right into the river, cut my face up but good. I’m a bit concerned this small scar will stay there. I hope not. But then again, me falling.. what’s new about that? Hah! Such a boring letter, even when I’m not going to send it. I’ve never been good at writing letters.

Being so sick really puts a damper on one’s spirits. I finally cleaned up Dad’s old farmhouse. It was pretty devastated by the floods. I thought long and hard on the decision, and I moved out. Sold the place. I’m surprised I got the funds I did from it, but then again.. farmland is the lifeblood of Bree. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised that old Wheatley wanted more land. Took the money and bought myself a quiet little house in a lovely town called Wildore. I have a small garden, enough to feed myself but good. Still don’t cook. Don’t trust myself to, I think. I’m clumsy enough without adding fire into the mix! Instead of cooking, I’ve gotten myself into brewing. It’s really quite basic, once you get used to the formula for good ale.

You’d be proud of me. As I said up a ways, I’ve been coming out of my shell. My brewing has turned out to be a surprisingly good tool to meet friends. I finished up a particularly interesting batch of ale, a basil blackberry ale, and invited my new neighbors to come along and try it. It got mostly good remarks, as well as a few unsure “interesting”s. I met a rather interesting man while out at the Pony one night, looking for friends to invite to my ale tasting. It’s a bit embarrassing how it happened, but I imagine you’d laugh and shake your head, given how like me it is. I was talking with an acquaintance of mine on the front stoop when someone else ran up to talk to him. I backed up, and managed to fall right off! It wasn’t too far a drop, I wasn’t hurt…just extremely embarrassed. This kind man hopped down and helped me stand up. Something about him struck me, I can’t rightly explain it. I had an overwhelming urge to invite him as well, stranger or not. So I did!

My tasting went off beautifully, everyone had a wonderful time. It was quite nice to meet my neighbors and create some new friendships. With dark talk from far away lands reaching our ears, everyone can use all the friends they can get, I think. But I’d rather not talk about such sad topics. My tasting was wonderful fun, but in truth, I can’t remember much of it. I spent most of my time talking with the man who helped me up at the Pony. His name is Tarlanc. Just Tarlanc. He’s from Gondor, they don’t much care for surnames down there. When you really look at it, he’s a rather uninteresting man at first glance, and even second glance. That said, it doesn’t stop me from being very interested in him for some reason. I can’t explain it. I wish you were here, I’m sure you would have some wonderful words for me, followed by your finger wagging. Is it normal to be involuntarily drawn to a person? I may be speaking out of turn here, since we’ve only truly spoken that one time, but I find something fascinating about him. I wonder if he feels anything similar to me. Ah, well. I’m used to being ignored or rejected by those I find interesting. I suppose this will be much the same. Leastways, it will be once he sees just how clumsy I am.

Ah, I do miss you, Grams. I miss you so. You’d no doubt be warming up some chamomile tea for me and scolding me about being a starry-eyed fool at my age. And you’re right, of course. I shouldn’t think of someone so much after one meeting, I really shouldn’t. I think I’ll go put on a kettle myself and pretend your harsh but well-meant words are flowing my way once again. I do love and miss you and Dad, Grams. A lot.
Your little pumpkin,
Lori