Ok, here are the elements that need to be present in Elfquest-related stories, art or poetry posted here for March:
Rain (not a storm, but a steady rainfall)
Seems like it would be hard to get all these elements into a drawing, so I'm going to also open it up to artists that, rather than trying to fit all these difficult-to-draw things into one artwork, you are also welcome to do an illustration for one or more of the stories people post.
Sound fair? :)
I plan to write something... but I can't tonight.
Btw, what exactly IS a treewee? I've seen references to elves being like treewees, but never an explanation or description.
Visually speaking, I'd say it's a cross between a monkey and a squirrel.
I've always figured this was a treewee:
Tyleet loved capnuts almost as much as the furry treewee
that sat hesitantly beside her on the fallen log. The
rain had begun to fall in a hiss as the tiny beast quivered
in worry. Should it reach for the nut? Should it run away?
The dark eyes gave no clue as to what would happen next, but
Tyleet thought her patience would win out and the creature
would trust her enough to cross her lap in search of the
treat. She had never before managed to pet one of these
elusive tree dwellers. The newness of it would help heal
her in this first season after the loss of her cub.
There was no replacing her adopted son, but feeling a
warm tiny heartbeat and feeding something so wild might
bring forth the better memories she had of raising her
human. Something in the new warmth of the air and
the season's rebirth was calling her to this game, and
she felt the hunger of the animal, after the long white
cold, echoed her own.
She kept herself as still as possible in the cool rain.
Waiting, like Cutter as he thought of Leetah, like a
ravvit evading a fox, patient as if the oak might
sprout before the nut was eaten.
That's sweet and beautiful, Nightsea!
Wow. I've been racking my brains how to get all those elements into one story, and you did it flawlessly-- in just a few paragraphs! With a lovely illustration too!
Bravissimo, Nightsea! :clap:
I admit, the story took me only a few moments. But the picture...
woo boy do I labor to make an image come out even close to
what I can imagine!
I did sort of cheat a bit in that there is no actual tragedy right
in the picture. Tragedy was the hardest element to include!
Good luck on your story, I can't wait to read it, krwordgazer.
And thanks as always for the boost, Treefox.
Oooh, I like that!
I keep having ideas for these things and then not executing them for one reason or another... Meh.
Write them, Koji, please? :awww:
The rain hissed down on Skywise, slicking his silver hair against his head. He sat on the log, chewing his thumb, his mind replaying the scene over and over again.
[i:34d4d53a87]He struggled with the robes binding his arms, shouting angrily at the trolls that he could hear, not see, before him.
"Only a fool plays by their rules! Trolls haven't a drop of truth or honor in 'em!"
His breath was knocked out of him as he was yanked roughly upward by his ropes.
"Who says, you miserable wisp!" Picky's voice growled back. "We trolls have great honor...especially in a game we invented!"
About to respond in kind, Skywise was cut off by the cool, calm, [/i:34d4d53a87]young[i:34d4d53a87] voice of his fellow captive.
"Well, if that's so, then we were wrong and we need to make amends."
Skywise could only protest as Cutter offered himself for them both. He could only protest as he was dragged away, released. He could only protest as the eyes of his tribemates turned to hm in blame. Could only protest as he knew, over and over, that it was him, that he had brought this tragedy down upon the tribe.[/i:34d4d53a87]
"High Ones curse it!" He stood, pacing, waiting for the footsteps below. A treewee in the branches above him chittered. He cursed again, nerves tense. Finally he heard it, the tramp of trollish feet coming from the door in front of him. It creaked open, and a struggling bundle was tossed at him. Uncovering it, he spread his arms to welcome his friend home.
"High ones...! I missed y-"
[b:34d4d53a87]WHAM![/b:34d4d53a87] Cutters fist hit his face, and he felt one of his teeth crack.
The fight that followed was quick and brutal, the rage of the youth against the bewildered denial of the elder. He had grown, little Cutter, grown strong in the forges of the trolls. But Skywise was quick and experienced, and the waiting had made him full of energy.
Finally it ended with them grappling, face to face - and then eye to eye.
Something within Skywise uncurled and bloomed, silver and shining, and was breathed out of the lips of his brother. To his surprise, he found his own lips moving, breathing, tasting all that was the young elf before him. It was Recognition - and it was not. It was something new.
They collapsed, laughing, as the rain subsided around them. Covered in mud, they lay, seeping into the earth with the last raindrops, silent, because no sound was needed.
Finally Skywise sat up. "Smell it, Cutter?"
His brother nodded, smiling. "Spring."
And they were laughing again, fighting again, in joy and knowledge and spring madness.
Skywose was glad that he'd done more than protest.
[quote:d22fb52493="Jade Owl"]Write them, Koji, please? :awww: [/quote:d22fb52493]
I think in the case of this month, what's flowing through my head, it's too dangerous. ^_^;
But I liked your story! Wonderful prose capture of that scene!
Rain struck her face.
It was something that she hadn't yet gotten used to, and maybe never would. It rained so often in this green land. Green. Another thing she hadn't gotten used to. It wasn't that she didn't like the rain, the green; it was just that she missed the heat of Sorrow's End. She missed her home.
She missed her son.
She pulled the blue wrap Ahnshen had made for her the other day closer to her body, an attempt to banish the chill the shower brought to her. Nearby tree some small forest creature (a”¦ treewee?) made a series of flying leaps from one tree to another, apparently chasing another of its kind. She watched the strange creatures as they played their game of chase, a hint of a smile playing across her face. Then a larger treewee appeared. Their mother. She looked away, tears pricking in her eyes.
She missed her son.
A quail lead her children through the underbrush, a doe and her fawn grazed under the cover of a tree, in the distance the wolves howled in celebration of a she-wolfs new cubs, in the Palace the villagers and Wolfriders celebrated the birth of Strongbow and Moonshade's new daughter.
Jarrah pulled her wrap closer and cried.
She missed her son.
P.s.: Loved your story Jade! :D
Wow, Wyl, you floored me!
Oooooh - so beautiful!!!!! :clap: Aaah, I wish I could write ...
Anyway ... it was a little tricky to draw but I had to have a go at it and I hope you'll forgive me that it's not strictly canon (especially timewise ...) We could play 'spot the five items'...
Rain - it's there when you look closely
Something new - Moonshade's trying it on
Spring madness - well...
Treewee - can you spot it?
Tragedy - it's there ...
:rofl: :roflmao: :love: :rofl: I love it. There is a scene like that in Asterix: [u:23faf37750]Le Domaine des Dieux[/u:23faf37750]
Veeery original! Love it!
That's cool ! I love the treewee in the coach box ”“ it looks charmingly crazy.
I enjoyed the wait to find out who the narator of your story
was, The_Wylde_Wynd. Very nice use of that character!
I am enjoying all the treewees too!
During The Hidden Years
Even in her younger years, Tyleet was fascinated by humans. She’d heard her parents tales, and she’d been around the circle for howls. She heard how Cutter had saved her father from the humans, and she’d heard of the humans at Blue Mountain, the ones that had worshipped the gliders. Even stories of Mantricker and Demontricker did not deter her. Tyleet remained unafraid and, to her tribes’ dismay, curious.
“That cub of yours will get us found out one day” was a sentiment shared by many of the tribes’ elders, and Nightfall and Redlance shared the concern as well. Even more, they feared for their daughter’s safety after she’d been caught near the edge of the forest on many occasions.
“I’m just watching” was their daughter’s innocent reply. And when she looked at her parents, or at any member of the tribe, the older, more cautious elves found that they did not have the heart to scold her for it. Though she was only three handfuls turns of the seasons (12 years), Tyleet had a will and a way that was strong, and she had an innocence and trust about her that the older elves sometimes envied. Tyleet had presented her argument for watching the humans in a most innocent way, “But if we can’t understand them, then how can we guard against them? Maybe we need to know what they’re doing, that way we won’t be caught off guard.” Like or not, they had found they could not argue with such pure logic.
Cutter had suggested a means that would allow the young elf to spy on the humans without being caught. Redlance had agreed, and he had worked on the edges of the forest near the holt for two cycles of the moon before Tyleet was told what had happened. When she learned that her father had created a series of spying places, hidden among the trees, and disguised so that not even the elves themselves could see her if they were on the ground, she was elated! “Now I can watch the humans, and no one will worry about me!” She had thought to herself.
Tyleet enjoyed the next few moon cycles spending a few hours every day, watching the humans. There was a village near her hiding space. Her keen eyes allowed her to see across the river and field to the edges of the village. She was not close enough to hear their speech, but he was able to observe and become familiar with some of the humans’ routines. She began to name the humans and she would create stories surrounding her favorites. There was “Tall One,” the chief apparent of the small human village; he seemed fair, but he was also firm. Tyleet had witnessed his reprimand of the more deviant villagers on more than one occasion.
“Moonbeard” was the town elder, and he had a beard white as snow. Tyleet noticed that the town children liked to flock to him for treats and for smiles. He was often seen sitting toward the edge of the town, and children would gather around to hear his stories.
“Wispwoman” was a tall, frail human woman who was thin. She looked like she scarcely ate enough, and she was often followed by a pair of children. Tyleet named the boy “dragonfly” and the girl, “butterfly.” The boy had to be near adolescence, but the girl was barely five years old. Their father, “Oak,” was a large man, and he seemed to be the second in command next to “Tall One.” This family was a favorite of Tyleet’s, probably because their hut was nearest the forest, and she could watch their interactions with more ease.
Tyleet noticed that the parents doted on their children. “Oak” would return from his trading in the center of town, often with a small trinket for one of the children. “Dragonfly” was the older, and he frequently received a small coin from his father. The boy would then go into the hut and out to the other side, and he would climb the tree in his backyard. Tyleet noticed that in that tree he had a small box, and he would put his treasures there.
For his daughter, the man frequently brought ribbons or small beads. The girl would smile, hug her papa, and then she would have him tie the new ribbon in her hair. If it was beads, Tyleet would watch as the girl ran into the house, got something, and return to the outside where her mother would be hanging clothes or tending the small garden. “Wispwoman” would turn from her chores and pay attention to her daughter, helping her to string the new beads onto the growing necklace. “Butterfly” and “Dragonfly” would then play in the front yard until their parents called them for dinner.
Sometimes, “Dragonfly” would play more with the older boys from the village. When that happened, he would ignore his sister for the most part, or he would taunt her a little. Tyleet could tell that he was trying to gain rank in the pack of boys. She understood it, but she could also see the pain in the girl’s eyes when her brother would taunt her. Later, she would watch as he would return to his sister, away from the prying eyes of the older boys, and give her a hug.
Tyleet also noticed that Oak and Wispwoman would show one another affection before going into the house. This was a family that loved one another! Tyleet was happy to see such a thing in humans, and she eagerly shared the stories at night after her parents woke up.
When the raining season started at the end of white cold, Tyleet found that the town’s inhabitants stayed indoors mostly. The children did not even go outside to play that often, and she found herself less interested in the dreary, wet, town. She chose to stay closer to the holt, and eventually slept more and more during the day. Still, the rain came.
Tyleet, and all the elves, could not shake the dampness. Cutter’s mood was becoming increasingly depressed as the rain continued and he could not find anything to cheer him. Moonshade was grouchy because there was no drying the hides of new kills. Clothing was becoming moldy from the damp, and new leathers needed to be made. Even Redlance, who knew the rain would help his forest, was tired of the softness of the wood and of fighting off molds and mildews that thrived in this season.
One day, still wet, Tyleet could not stand to sleep in the sticky nook where she treed with her parents, and she headed silently back to her vantage point, hoping to see her human family. When she arrived, she peered down, and she was shocked to see something new in the village! Colors were everywhere! Cloth tents had been set up in the middle of the village, and spread anywhere room could be found. Tyleet sent to her parents, to Cutter, to Venka, and to the others, and let them know that something different was going on. Could she have read the signs posted, she’d have known it was a “March Madness” festival in the town. The gypsy-like people that did not remain in any one town, had brought their colorful wagons, displays, and events to the small village near the holt. Tyleet remained watching, and her parents and the others joined her. There had been little excitement among the elves with all the rain, and though this was their sleeping hour, they were not sleepy. Redlance quickly made room in several nearby trees for his friends, and grew up the shade and covering that would hide them.
**What’s going on down there, cub?** Strongbow sent openly.
Tyleet replied that she did not know, but she shared in an open send all that she did know of the humans, including names and feelings regarding various humans. As the tribe became familiar with all that Tyleet had seen, they slowly settled in to watch the unfolding scene with some interest.
Though the rain was still coming down, there were events throughout the day, demonstrating strength, agility, courage. They watched as humans threw large rocks, seeing who was strongest. The elves shared a sentiment that Treestump could likely best these human men. An archery contest had Strongbow wishing there was a way he could participate, even though he did not like humans. He knew that he could send an arrow three or four times the distance the best of the human archers, and still land the bullseye. And the whole tribe knew that though he was half the size of the humans, Cutter could best them all at a trial of hand.
Moonshade wasn’t watching the sporting events; instead, she looked toward where the cloth makers and weavers were displaying their goods. She watched with interest as sheep were shorn and thread, and then cloth, made from their wool. She looked to the weavers and their blankets and tapestries, wishing she could go and learn from them, knowing that if she were to reveal herself, she’d likely be killed by the suspicious humans.
Venka and Zahntee watched the dancers and storytellers.
Tyleet only watched her family. She saw the foursome strike out sometime after the sun had reached it’s highest point, peering for a moment through the clouds and then retreating behind the misting rain. The family laughed at a puppet show. They cheered as Oak participated in a wrestling contest, and won. They laughed as Dragonfly and Butterfly did a three-legged race. The family purchased a few small items from some of the vendors.
As the sun began it’s rapid descent toward the horizon, the family stopped near a vendor of small animals. Butterfly’s face showed that she desparately wanted what was for sale in that small area. Her parents argued about it for a few minutes, but their daughter’s pleading face won both of their hearts. Oak paid a small fee and, to Tyleet’s surprise, a small cage with a baby Treewee was handed over. Butterfly reached inside and pulled it out, cradling it with a small scarf she’d worn around her head all day. She looked at it with love, treating it as she would an infant.
Tyleet could relate. She, too, liked to hold small things, from new wolf cubs to wounded animals. She was always chastised for not letting things be, but she would win the others over, and she always seemed to know when to send the animal back to the wild.
Still, Tyleet was surprised that the humans would take a treewee for a pet. They were not animals to be caged! They had free spirits, much like the elves. Their playfulness in the wild could only wreak havoc and destruction in a home. She shared her thoughts with her parents, who agreed. Watching a human family try to deal with a growing treewee would be interesting.
The family headed homeward when Dragonfly was summoned by some of his friends to watch a few more sporting events. His parents agreed that he could go, but they must have suggested that he take his sister with him. She followed him at a distance, carrying her small bundle in her arms. As the boys reached the edge of town where the horse racing was taking place, they turned to look at Dragonfly and his sister. After a few moments, the boys, along with Dragonfly, took off at a run, leaving Butterfly behind. The bewildered girl looked first surprised, then shocked, and finally scared. The sun was almost down, and the increasing darkness only led to increased noise as the festivities grew louder and more rambunctious.
The elves watched as the little girl walked to a nearby tree and squatted, not knowing what else to do. She cradled the sleeping treewee, and she started to cry.
“Mother, I need to go and help her” Tyleet said to Nightfall.
Her mother looked at her sharply. “You will not reveal yourself to the humans.”
“But mother, look at her. She’s scared. She’s alone, and it’s dark out. Humans can’t see like we do. And look at all the human men around her. She’ll be hurt. The races are over for the most part, but what if another one comes tearing down that way?”
“Tyleet, we cannot interfere. We agreed to let you watch the humans, but it was with the understanding that you would watch only. What happens will happen.”
Tyleet stayed silent, wishing that she could do something. She knew she would not win this argument. Still, she wanted to do something. “Mother, please”¦”
**Tyleet. You will do nothing. You will wait and see what happens. See, her parents are heading out to look for her and her brother on the other edge of town.** came her father’s response.
She wiped away a tear, and watched hopefully. She heard Oak and Wispwoman shouting, and she thought that they might be calling their children’s names. Little Butterfly heard her name being called, and she stood, leaving the small bundle by the tree. Butterfly ran toward the sound of her name being called, oblivious to what was going on around her. As she ran, the elves watched in silence, and in horror, as a group of youth on horseback tore through town. Butterfly continued heading toward the sound of the voices, not realizing her danger. Too late, the girl was startled by the pounding of hooves surrounding her. She screamed and was whipped around, then stumbled. The horses, driven by their unskilled riders, were in such a group that they could not help but trample the little one underfoot.
A woman screamed, and one of the riders stopped, choosing not to follow the lead of the others. Men came shouting after the horses and riders, and one caught up to the youth on the horse that had been stolen. Tyleet gasped as she realized that Dragonfly was the rider of that horse. Oak and Wispwoman reached the clearing where all had taken place. Dragonfly looked past the men surrounding him toward the ground, where he noticed a small heap. He pushed past them, ignoring their protests and attempts to keep him from going. Just as he reached the heap, his parents did as well. All three kneeled in the mud, together, and Oak reached down to roll the small bundle over. A choked sob escaped his mouth as he looked at the tender face of his small daughter. Wispwoman shrieked, and had to be helped to her feet by “Tall One,” who had appeared from the midst of the crowd. Oak lifted his small daughter and stood with her in his arms.
The men who had chased after Dragonfly recognized what had happened. They saw the remorse in Dragonfly’s eyes and they chose to let him go. Tall One spoke to him, and he nodded. Oak looked toward his son, his only child now, with sadness. Dragonfly reached up to touch his dear sister’s limp frame. Broken, he ran. Oak looked toward his son, and looked down at his little daughter. Tall One spoke, and the crowd dispersed. He walked with Wispwoman and Oak toward their home.
Tyleet was crying now. Other wolfriders were as well. They had shared in Tyleet’s emotions because she’d stayed open to them all. Even Strongbow was not unaffected. Slowly, the wolfriders made their way back to the holt. Tyleet lingered at the spot, her grief still pouring out. Nightfall and Redlance let her know they would be close by if she needed them.
Tyleet remained seated through the night, rain misting around her, drops falling on her from the leaves above. She was not concerned with the rain. She sat and thought for a long time. The moon rose between the clouds, and the misting rain caused a moonbow to shine. A moonbow was rarely seen, but tonight it offered little amusement. Tyleet surveyed the now-peaceful village, considering the tragedy she’d just witnessed. Then she gasped, remembering the baby treewee, abandoned by the tree. She knew she had to save it, that it would not last the night with predators and without food. Slowly, carefully, she climbed down from her hiding place, and she made her way to the edge of town and to the tree where Butterfly had sat.
Tyleet breathed a sigh of relief as she found the small bundle and noted that inside, the treewee was waking from its sleep. It was definitely hungry. Tyleet knew that non-wolves didn’t send, but she sent to it anyway, trying to reassure it. It must have worked, because the treewee quieted down.
Tyleet stood, holding the bundle, and turned to return to the woods. She gasped and looked up into the eyes of Dragonfly. Those haunted eyes looked down at her, filled with pain. Tears spilled out onto his face. He uttered words <I’m so sorry little sister>
that Tyleet could not understand as he sank to his knees before her. Tyleet could sense his remorse, and she wanted to do something to make him feel better. She also knew that she had to move quickly, before any of her tribe found her face to face with a human. As she thought quickly, Tyleet looked at the small treewee and knew what to do. She reached toward the human and touched his face lightly, causing him to look up. She looked at him a moment, tears of compassion also filling her face. She then reached out again, this time holding the treewee out to him. The misting rain stopped as time stood still for a moment. The boy-no-more wiped the tears from his own eyes and reached out, taking the offering from the angel before him. Holding the treewee, Dragonfly closed his eyes a moment, giving thanks and praying for his little sister. Tyleet used that moment to escape. When Dragonfly looked up, there was no one in front of him. He looked around, seeing nothing. A noise from the treewee reminded him that life needed sustenance, and he headed home to feed the treewee, and to speak to his parents.
Tyleet watched from her perch in the trees. Dragonfly headed into his hut. Tyleet looked out over the village, and up into the quickly clearing sky. “The stars are bright tonight” she thought, “it’s a good night to be with the tribe and with ones we love.” She headed back toward the holt.
Ok. If you'll ecsuse me... I need to go and bawl my eyes out.*runs off looking for tisues, sobbing* :crying:
Meh... My inability to smoosh my muses into cannon roles strikes again..
I'm going to be brave and dip my toes in over here... but I have to forewarn that my story which is here, most likely won't make a whit of sense unless you've read the previous story it's connected to HERE
....wonderful SnowWren! Aw, Tyleet....
*clears lump from throat*
Well this started out being my march grab bag piece, but the composition just wasn't working quite right. Recognition in the rain bringing new life and of itself is a kind of madness. Then I was going to have a treewee getting swept up by the swollen river for my tragedy. Couldn't bring myself to do the treewee with such an otherwise peaceful scene. I'll give it one more shot with more intensity to it, possibly at the moment of eyes meet eyes. If it doesnt work I'll draw something from one of the wonderful stories here.
In the mean time here you go:
But, ah, such a wonderful and romantic moment...
Wow, this month'sgrab-bag has sparked a lot of creativity!
Jade Owl, the Cutter-Skywise one is beautiful in its descrptions and imagery.
Wylde Wynd, you floored me, too! That was so tragic!
Snow Wren, that was so believable, it almost seems like part of the canon. I wish I could see that made into one of the canon comics. I recognize the style of Tamrin-of-old! Beautiful!
Redshine and Skya, your art lifted my spirts, which I really needed after the sadness of Wylde Wynd's and Snow Wren's.
Kojiyumi, I already commented on yours in your thread. THanks for posting the aye-aye picture. Where do those creatures live, do you know? Fascinating!
Mine's almost done. . . please stand by. . .
Yeay, I'm glad everyone liked it!
It's hard to believe we're almost half way through the month!
Thank you, Wordgazer!
[quote:66abdc8476]Snow Wren, that was so believable, it almost seems like part of the canon. I wish I could see that made into one of the canon comics.[/quote:66abdc8476]
That is such a compliment!
Thank you to everyone who liked it!
It's nice to be back... I've missed writing! I'm looking forward to seeing what you have for the Grab Bag this month! :)
[quote:fce3f464a5="krwordgazer"]Wylde Wynd, you floored me, too! That was so tragic! [/quote:fce3f464a5]
Thankies! For so unknown reason tragedies have been easier to write than anything else lately.
All of them...so...TOUCHING!!
Here's my attempt...actually, this is Voll and Winnowill sharing a memory through me, but it ammounts to the same thing.
"Mother, can we PLEASE go out to play now?? The rain isn't as heavy now and we haven't been outside since the White Cold ended!"
Gibra looked up from the leather shirt she was stitching to gaze at her young son Voll.
"Yes, can we [i:0b4b79afd5]please[/i:0b4b79afd5]??"
The High One turned and stared into the green eyes of little Winnowill. Gibra smiled fondly at the two of them, but shook her head.
"It is fine with me, children, but you must ask Winnowill's father first. He IS the leader, after all." she said gently. Voll's jaw dropped in disbelief.
"But MOTHER, Haken is such a grump at this time of year! He'll never let us go!" the eight Turns old exclaimed.
"Haken is the leader." Gibra repeated simply, returning to her work. Winowill frowned at her, narrowing her green eyes for a moment before getting up and trotting deeper into the cave to find her father, Voll trailing behind.
[i:0b4b79afd5]//Papa!! Papa, where are you??//[/i:0b4b79afd5]
Haken turned at the sound of his little daughter's Sending and couldn't help but feel proud. Though Winnowill was barely six Turns of the seasons old, she could already Send circles around many of the adult Elves in his tribe.
[i:0b4b79afd5]//What is it that you need??//[/i:0b4b79afd5] he replied, smiling down at her as she and Voll raced up. His child wasted no time in throwing her arms about his knees and training her huge gree eyes on his face.
"Papa, can Voll and I go outside to play? It's hardly raining now and we haven't been out of the cave since forever!" she pleaded, blinking up at him innocently. Despite the display of utter adorableness at his feet, Haken's face grew dark.
"No. Absolutely NOT! You could be killed be a roving predator and if not that, then you'll catch your death." he said sternly, knowing very well that the second threat would not happen to his daughter. Winnowill had the strangest ability to stay healthy no matter the weather, much like her mother Yenneth.
However, in spite of Haken's sour face and tone, Winnowill merely stuck out her bottom lip and drew her dark eyebrows together, giving her father a look that would utterly destroy the hardest of hearts.
"Pleeeeeeaaaasssse??? We'll be good..." she promised, squeezing his knees as hard as she could.
[i:0b4b79afd5]~//You might as well give up, Winny. Your father has a will as solid as a mountain!//~[/i:0b4b79afd5] Voll lock Sent, eyeing Haken nervously.
[i:0b4b79afd5]~//Well, so do I!//~[/i:0b4b79afd5] Winnowill shot back at her friend, squaring her small jaw and spreading her feet. Ah, yes...Voll knew that stance very well. It was like watching a tree put down its sturdy roots. Once Winnowill stood like that, you might as well give up then and there or have the argument with yourself. It would be the only way you could win.
Oblivious to the young ones' Sends, Haken considered his options. Voll, Winnowill and the other youngsters were getting more and more jittery with each day spent inside. If they were cooped up much longer, he feared for his sanity. Voll and Winnowill could be right little terors if they set their minds to it. But then again, Haken would rather lose what was left of his mind than his daughter or Voll. He looked down at Winnowill again and mentally winced at the look of pathetic hope she was giving him.
Why-WHY?!-did she have to looks so much like Yenneth? His life would be so much easier if she looked like him but [i:0b4b79afd5]no[/i:0b4b79afd5].
"Very well, you may go outside but you mustn't wander out of the camp! Do you understand me?" he demanded, giving in at last. Winnowill squealed and hugged his knees anew, joined by Voll
Haken shook them off of his boots and shooed them away with a wave of his remaining hand.
"Yes, yes. Just go before I change my mind. And no leaving camp!" he reminded them as they bolted off. Haken sighed and rubbed at his eyes.
"That daughter of mine...some days I swear she's going to kill me." he muttered, stalking into another cave room.
Voll and Winnowill burst out from under the hide door of their home and streaked for the underbrush, leaving the other children behind them. They usually did this, both being somewhat more serious than the others and thus bored by their games. No, the duo usually went off on their own adventures, needing only eachother.
"Can't catch me! Can't catch me!!" Winnowill cried, crashing over and through the wet shrubs near the camp area. Voll grinned and took to the air like one of the birds he and Winnowill admired so much, honing in on her running form like a eagle hunting its prey. In a matter of moments, the young, white haired Elf had his arms wrapped around his happily shrieking friend.
"You were saying??" he inquired, setting her back on the moist earth. Without a reply, she was off again, shouting taunts and insults back at him.
Laughing and shouting play threats he gave chase, soon catching her again.
On and on they went; Voll catching Winnowill and setting her down again, only to have the game start over with her using dirtier and dirtier means to escape capture. Finally, though Voll caught his young friend in his arms and she did not squeal and demanad to be put down. Instead, she looked up at the thick canopy of green leaves and twining vines, pursing her lips thoughtfully.
"Voll? Can you fly us up into the trees?" she asked, pointing up at the branches high above. Voll followed her finger and frowned.
"I-I don't know, Winnowill. That's pretty high up, and I've got you in my arms...I only got my flying and shaping powers one turn of the season ago." he said doubtfully. Winnowill wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, making the boy turn pink and round eyed.
"I know you can do it, Voll. I've seen you practicing!" she said cheerfully, grinning at her still blushing friend. Voll offered a slightly bashful grin.
"Okay, I will try. But if we die it's all your fault." he warned her. With that, the young Elf clutched his friend close, bent his knees and soared up into the air as effortlessly as down on the wind. They crashed through several clusters of leaves, giggling, both reveling in the thrill of height and speed. The duo crashed through one final bunch of leaves and came face to face with a sodden tree-wee. To the children's horror, the small animal let out a whistling shriek and lost it's balance. With another screech and the sound of rustling leaves, the poor creature toppled out of the tree- and fell the fifty or sixty feet to the forest floor, where it landed with a sickening thud.
"Oh!" breathed Winnowill, staring down at the still animal. Still shocked, Voll placed Winnowill on the branch the tree wee had sat upon and hovered beside her, gaping down at the fallen animal. It didn't move. Feeling sick, the Elf lad looked to his female friend, who had gone dead white under her black hair. She turned tear filled eyes upon him, mouth trembling.
"W-we...[i:0b4b79afd5]killed[/i:0b4b79afd5] it!" she choked in horror, tears slipping down her face. At once, she began to sob, and Voll sat next to her on the branch, wrapping his arms around her in a comforting gesture.
"Shh, Winnowill, shhh. It was an accident! Don't cry, please don't cry." he soothed, rocking her even as he felt the need to weep as well. Winnowill heaved and buried her face where Voll's neck met his shoulder, small hands gripping his tunic tightly. Voll rocked her again, holding her closely, feeling awkward. Suddenly, a little chirrup made him turn his head. There was a hollow in the tree behind him, and he could've sworn that the noise had come from there.
"What's that?" Winnowill asked, eyes still streaming. Voll released her and took to the air again, his natural curiosity overtaking him.
"I'm not sure. Wait here, I'm going to see what it is, alright?"
Winnowill nodded and wiped at her nose and eyes with the sleeve of her wrapstuff dress. Voll maneuvered himself into the large hollow, disappearing for a moment. Winnowill heard him gasp and she turned her head.
"What is it?" she asked as Voll poked his head out of the hole. He smiled shakily at her and flew out of the hole. He held out his hands, in which he held...
"Tree-wee kits!" Winnowill exclaimed, staring at the two balls of reddish brown fuzz in awe, her tears fast drying. The kits chirred nervously and blinked around them with huge yellow eyes. Winnowill cast her gaze down at the forest floor and her eyes filled with tears again.
"That must've been...their mama..." she whispered. Thinking quickly, Voll thrust the two balls of tree-wee into her hands and gathered her into his arms.
"We should get them inside; it's going to rain bad again." he observed, navigating his way through the sea of branches. Winnowill nodded absently and giggled as one of the kits nuzzled up under her chin, making a purring sound. Voll couldn't help but smile at her giggles. He always hated it when Winnowill cried.
YAY, it sucked! Oh, well...it was little Vinnomance, at least. Could I be bad and humbly beg for someone to draw lil' Voll and Winny with the tree wees?
I thought it was really cute, Lady Arill! Voll and Winnie as childhood sweethearts! It was great! :D
Ok, here's mine. And it's another Strongbow story, go figure.
I don't know whether it's in response to all the tragedies, but mine seemed to want to be sort of a comedy:
(Set during Bearclaw's chieftainship)
It was raining-- a warm, spring rain that washed over the budding leaves and trickled down to the roots of the new flower shoots-- a steady fall that soaked everything more thoroughly than seemed possible for a rain so soft and quiet.
Strongbow sat in his den in the gathering dusk, mending arrows. His dark hair swung forward over his face as he bent over his work in fierce concentration. The chittering of a new family of treewees in a nearby tree hollow didn’t cause him to take any visible notice. The male treewee, foraging for food for his offspring, jumped onto the Father Tree and ran down to the forest floor, as if knowing no elf would hunt him while his family needed him. Strongbow paid no attention.
He remained fixed on the task before him till the branches outside his den shook, and Bearclaw and Treestump climbed in. They were, of course, dripping wet. Strongbow turned so that the arrow in his hands wouldn’t get dripped on, and continued to work as if his chief and tribemate were not there.
“Come hunting with us, Strongbow,” Bearclaw invited.
Strongbow didn’t look up. *No.*
Treestump put a hand on the archer’s shoulder. “Strongbow, it’s been almost a full turn of the seasons since Crescent. . .” He trailed off. The archer’s tight shoulders had hardened to stone at his lost daughter’s name. “Come fishing, then,” he finished lamely.
Bearclaw glanced at him, then nodded. “In this rain the fish will be jumping like mad.”
Strongbow’s head at last came up. He looked at them without expression. *Fishing. In the rain.*
Treestump laughed uncomfortably. “I know it’s not your usual thing, but hey, it’s good to do something new now and then, right?”
No, said Strongbow’s shoulders.
Bearclaw took hold of the archer’s arms. “Strongbow. Crescent’s gone. It’s time to start living again.”
Strongbow wrenched himself out of Bearclaw’s grip. “What do you know about it?!” he shouted. “Have you ever lost a cub?”
Bearclaw nodded grimly. “Several, in fact.”
Strongbow stared at him. The moment lengthened.
“Well?” Bearclaw said at last. “You coming?”
Now it was Bearclaw’s turn to shout. “Why, you stubborn, thick-headed, rock-skulled--”
Treestump put a hand on his arm. “Easy, my chief.”
Their eyes met. Bearclaw took a deep breath, then turned back to Strongbow. “All right, then. Strongbow, I command you to come fishing. Now.”
Strongbow’s lips tightened. Then, slowly, his head bent. *My chief.*
Soft rain washed warm over his leathers as Strongbow followed his chief towards where the river formed a large pool. He hefted the short spear Bearclaw had lent him, wondering morosely how many fish he’d have to catch before they’d let him go back to his den. He thought of sending to Moonshade to tell her where he was going, and decided to wait till he got there.
Muffled laughter and small squeals were coming from the pool. When Strongbow, Bearclaw and Treestump arrived at the water, they found that the fishes’ domain had been invaded by two lithe elf forms which were struggling in the water together, wet hair slapping the surface as they rolled and grappled. Apparently, Joyleaf and Rillfisher were trying to discover which could trap the other under water the longest. Moonshade was standing nearby, up to her waist in the water, somberly watching the other two maidens play. In spite of his mood, Strongbow couldn’t help feeling appreciation at the sight of her. The dusky, fading light gleamed on her wet arms and left shadows in her hair, turning the water the same color as her eyes. Grief had only made her more beautiful.
Bearclaw halted, looking in disgust at the fishless, rain-plashed pool, as Rillfisher and Joyleaf broke apart, giggling. “What madness is this?!” he snapped. “You’ve scared all the fish!”
“It’s new-green madness, old Badger.” Joyleaf lifted a flirtatious eyebrow and gave him a sidelong glance. “Anyway, we’ve got enough fish.” She indicated a small pile on the opposite bank. “I doubt [i:53cf7e055e]you [/i:53cf7e055e]could have done better.”
Bearclaw pretended to scowl. “We’ll never know now, will we?”
“Come swim, lovemate,” Rillfisher called throatily to Treestump.
He grinned. “Don’t mind if I do.”
“What about the fish we wanted to catch?” Bearclaw insisted, folding his arms and glaring at his lifemate.
She giggled again. “Catch us instead!” She and Rillfisher dove as one and darted away across the pool. Bearclaw lost all pretence of sternness. He chuckled. Since it was impossible for his leathers to get any wetter, he left them on, as the elf maidens had theirs, and waded after them. Treestump followed him.
Strongbow and Moonshade were left gazing at each other. She regarded him silently a moment. Then she said, “So they dragged you out here, too?”
He nodded. Rain was running through his soaked hair and into his eyes. He blinked savagely. *Might as well clean those fish.* He waded into the pool towards the pile of fish on the far bank, holding his borrowed spear over his head. Moonshade leaned into the water and glided after him.
Just as they reached the bank, laughter and shouts heralded the return of the others. Bearclaw, wading towards them in the shallows, was clutching a fat fish in both hands. Its silver scales gleamed as he held it up. “I caught one after all!” he shouted jovially.
The fish was still alive and unharmed. It wriggled resentfully as Bearclaw, grinning fiendishly, held it to the top of his head. “I’m a fish-head!” he yelled. He lowered the fish, holding it in front of his face, its eyes staring outward between his own. “Fish-face!”
Moonshade shook her head. *Too much dreamberry wine. He’s acting like a silly cub.*
Strongbow gazed bemusedly at his chief, who was now dancing in circles in the pool, with the fish held straight out in front of him. He shook his head. *There’s no scent of wine on him.*
Joyleaf and Rillfisher, clutching each other, had dissolved into helpless laughter as Bearclaw clowned shamelessly. Treestump, hands on his hips, threw his head back and guffawed.
Strongbow glanced at Moonshade. Her face, so somber since Crescent’s death, was soft with amusement. She was almost smiling. He felt a tiny smile growing on his own face.
*He’s doing it for us, Wyl. To make us laugh.*
* I know.*
Bearclaw now (deliberately or otherwise) lost his grip on the fish. It flapped its way out of his arms and over his head, whipping him in the face as it fell back into the water. Losing his balance, Bearclaw sat down with a huge splash, gasped as his head went under, then surged back out of the water, shaking drops from his hair all over Joyleaf. Though she was already as wet as it was possible to be, Joyleaf made a show of fending off the water that had joined the rain running down her face. Treestump roared with laughter as Joyleaf shook her finger at Bearclaw. “Behave yourself, cub!” she quipped. Rillfisher tittered.
Strongbow found that he was really smiling. So was Moonshade. They reached out for one another and took hands. Strongbow shook his head slowly at Bearclaw, then glanced towards the pile of fish on the bank. *Looks like you let the only big one get away,* he sent.
The other four elves exchanged looks of triumph at the amusement in his mind-voice. Strongbow didn’t care. A warm feeling, from what they were trying to do, had crept over him. *Look at you!* he sent. *None of you even knows when to get in out of the rain!*
Bearclaw grinned widely. He, Joyleaf, Treestump and Rillfisher watched affectionately as the archer and his lifemate waded away together.
[quote:ebc6221fd9="Lady Arill"] someone to draw lil' Voll and Winny with the tree wees?[/quote:ebc6221fd9]
A fast image per your request:
Pretty and those Treewees are just too cute!
Aww...Voll and Winnie look like two teenagers in love! i like how the treewee was incorporated into the story. sweet.
Krword-- that was really nice. You captured Strongbow perfectly. Especially his shift at the end. I could feel it. Very touching- what a lovely tale.
I like them a lot! :D
Touching and beautiful, krwordgazer! How hard that time must have been for Strongbow and Moonshade...
krwordgazer - The story of Strongbow and Moonshade coming to terms with their loss was very touching. I really liked it a lot. Thank you for sharing it with us. :)
I love to read a little of Bearclaw and Joyleaf too!
Rain and healing go together in many cultural myths...
frogs are supposed to be able to sing away pain in a
spring rain. In your story, [b:d8d175dbfd]krwordgazer[/b:d8d175dbfd] you
made the elves laugh away the pain. I liked that
@krwordgazer: I loved it! Just like Bearclaw, I think. Treestump did say he had a merry heart and this is an awesome example! (Huggles story, sends huggles to Strongbow and Moonshade)
@Nightsea: OMG! Thanks! (Glomps picture while drooling like a zombie)
[quote:e97823d7c2="Lady Arill"](Glomps picture while drooling like a zombie)[/quote:e97823d7c2]
Glomps is good right? ;)