Here are the elements for this month!
Space [either a space or the planets/stars/etc in general]
Picky (can be the troll or being just that)
A roll in the furs
A smack upside the head
All works must be related to Elfquest, whether canon-based, original character, alternate universe, or whatever. Writings must contain all the above elements. Art can either contain all the elements, or illustrate one of the writings.
Index of Previous Grab-bags
This is a continuation of my June 2011 Grab Bag story.
SILVER BELLS AND COCKLESHELLS: PART TWO
Traveling through space, Cockleshell wasn't aware of time or distance. Ahead of him, the shining Palace gleamed like a steady beacon.
The Palace was bright and clear inside, but the light didn't bother Cockleshell. This was odd, because he was used to the dim light of his underwater cave.
He was also accustomed to rhythms and soothing noises. So the music from a nearby chamber intrigued him. He floated toward the source, delighted that he was able to move about so freely in his new environment. It was as if his body had been a capsule of flesh that had been rent open, allowing him to escape.
Other beings gathered around the music, equally enthralled. In the center of the chamber, a slender, translucent spirit coaxed a beautiful stream of tones from its own heart, as if playing an internal instrument.
“Beautiful!” whispered one of the other spirits, as she drank in the sweet melody.
“Like the birds in my home forest, so long ago I had almost forgotten,” said another.
The spirit's song ended on a long, sleepy note. The other spirits begged for an encore.
“More! Please!” said Cockleshell, surprised to find he had acquired the gift of speech.
Two of the spirits closest to him reacted as if they had been struck in the head. All of the spirits suddenly turned their attention to Cockleshell.
“Not one of us,” somebody whispered.
“Don't be so picky,” replied someone else. “All are welcome in the Palace. There are no High Ones, no half-bloods... we are one!”
The spirit who made the music seemed to smile. He spoke to Cockleshell with an aura of love and acceptance.
“My name is Leaflet. I'm flattered that you enjoy my music,” he said, “and I will be delighted to play some more. But first, please tell us your name, so we may welcome you to your new home.”
Cockleshell thought for a moment.
“I don't know,” he admitted.
“Well, you'll find a name for yourself,” responded Leaflet. “We'll call you Beloved for now.”
One of the other spirits, new to the Palace herself, spoke up in bewilderment more than accusation.
“It's HUMAN,” she blurted out. “Not even a half-breed. Is this some kind of deception?”
“Not even a full human,” whispered another. “This one was the product of some casual romp in the furs. It never saw the light of day.” The tone was scornful.
The other spirits murmured among themselves. Then a bright, beaming spirit entered the chamber.
“A High One,” said Leaflet. “Don't fear, Beloved. She always brings peace.”
Cockleshell drifted into the warm aura of the High One.
“Why me?” asked Cockleshell. “Why me?”
“Ah,” replied the High One, “I am both happy and sad to find you here. You were destined to dwell among us, but not for a long, long time.”
“Destined?” asked Cockleshell, along with the other spirits.
“Your destiny,” explained the High One, “was to be the Peacemaker. The one who brought order and harmony to the world, who made peace between Human and Elf. “
“But I'm afraid your human kin had other plans for you. I'm sorry, so sorry... But welcome, child. You will find nothing here but the love and peace for which your soul was destined.”
Leaflet embraced Cockleshell. He began to play a new tune. All the spirits, even the one who had been reluctant to accept Cockleshell, joined him as he danced and sang, a spirit newly born.
The weary elf sat in the sleep furs, head in his hands. “What will happen to us now?”
His lifemate came to sit next to him.
“Years and years ago,” She began, letting his silky face-fur slide through her fingers, “More years than can be counted, a young elf came to me, full of dreams and brimming with energy. He took me places I never could have imagined. Forests of green, lands of ice cold. He found new tribes of elves. Reunited with old friends-”
His jaw clenched, muscles hardening under her fingers. “Deceived by old friends.”
She continued, “Flew in the sky on great birds. Fought in battles.”
His hand covered hers, brushing softly against a patch of thickened skin left there by a warrior cheiftess. “Got smacked upside the head.”
Her hand rested on his chest, momentary worry erased by the strong steady heartbeat there. “Rolled in the furs,” she purred, gently pushing him back. “Even flew in space. And we survived it all.”
His fingers gently brushed her earlobe, causing the sparkling baubles to swing, making music of soft, tinkly chimes. He grinned. “Even working with Picky.”
She smiled back. “Yes, even that. And you are still as eager as a cubling to explore.” She lie against him in the warm fur, reassured by the whoosh of his pulse in her ear. “Patience, my love. Things will happen for us. Soon.”
I love it.