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Post  Nlaea on Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:34 pm

Golden shafts of evening sunlight shone through the leaves of the tree which were shading the small semi-circle of elves at its base around a small mound of soil. Some of them were sobbing, and some were mumbling prayers. All but one, stood isolated and deathly silent, whose brow was furrowed and lips turned into a frown. Her ears twitched when her name was mentioned, but she never responded to the comments. They were said quietly, as if they were secrets.
“How do you think Nlaea’ll cope?”
“Nlaea’s really been dropped in the deep end here.”
“Nlaea hasn’t spoken all evening. Someone should talk to her.”
She sighed as she saw someone approach out of the corner of her eye. He was a tall elf, with brunette hair that would have reached just below his shoulder blades were it not tied up neatly. He placed a large hand on her shoulder, she looked up to him.
“Will you be alright?” his voice was deep, but friendly. She nodded. “It was for the best,” he paused, hoping for a response, “none of us could have done anything. Don’t blame yourself.”
“I’m fine, really. You needn’t worry about me.” she nodded up at him, forcing a smile. He saw straight through it, but surrendered and left her with a pat on the shoulder. Her smile faded quickly. Other elves approached with similar messages, each trying a different angle to get her to respond in the way they expected someone in her situation to. A pat on the shoulder, asking if she was okay, telling her to not blame herself, apologising for her loss, all the same intentions. She responded in the same way, say she’s fine, smile politely and shrug the hand away. They gave up after a while, leaving her to her solitude. Slowly the small crowd dispersed, leaving three. An elegant blonde woman, a ginger boy a head or two short of being an adult, and Nlaea who watched the other two quietly for a moment before walking over and placing a hand on the boys shoulder.
“Castien, you should be celebrating his life now, don’t you think? We’ve mourned enough for now.”
The blonde elf smiled at her and nodded, but the boy looked skeptical.
“You’re no better. You haven’t acted yourself since he died.” She peered at him, biting back insults,
“Be that as it may, I don’t want to see you so upset,” she glanced at the woman, “either of you.”
The woman looked between her two children for a moment before speaking,
“Nlaea, sweetie, I’m going to take Castien home. Will you come with us?” Nlaea knew it wasn’t a question, but she shook her head anyway.
“I will come home, but later. I’d like to spend some time alone.” The woman nodded and left, the boy holding her hand. Nlaea was alone again. She stared at the mound where her father was now buried. For a while she couldn’t decide what she was feeling, more emotions than she knew she had sped around her body, more thoughts than she thought she could contain raced around her head. Then it hit her. Regret. She was regretting not seeing the signs. She was regretting not doing anything while she had the chance. Regretting every argument and every disagreement and regretting not telling him that she loved him one last time. A lump grew in her throat, but she swallowed it down. She would not cry here. She had decided to be strong for her family; she couldn’t fail so soon. She looked down at her hands and realised they were trembling. Then she felt something acidic in the back of her brain, something that churned and grew. Before she knew it she was running as fast as she could. She didn’t know where she was going, and she didn’t particularly care. Her journey abruptly came to a halt when her foot got caught on a root and she hit the ground heavily. She rolled over onto her hands and knees and then groaned loudly as she pushed herself onto her feet and looked around. It was night, but she didn’t remember it getting darker. The cold chilled her to the bone, but she didn’t care. She could guess she was near Farstrider Retreat, but it didn’t matter. She was still alone. She stared at the tree closest to her for a while before letting out a shout and swinging her fist at it. The impact vibrated across her arm. She panted loudly, no longer caring for being quiet, and then let out another series of punches. Her breath ripped out of her throat, hanging in the crisp night air. Her heart hammered against her ribs, pumping boiling blood around her body that seared her veins. The dull thudding of her knuckles slamming against the tree became a wet, unpleasant sound. When the pain became too much she let her arms fall limply to her side, blood dripping from the fresh wounds and staining her porcelain skin. The frustration still churned inside her, she let out another shout and began kicking. The exhaustion hit her and she collapsed to her knees. She dug her fingers into the dirt and finally began sobbing. She fell onto her side and curled up, trembling and alone. She woke up in her bed, hands bandaged and food on a table nearby.


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