Read The Elf Girl Online

Authors: Markelle Grabo

Tags: #Fiction : Fantasy - General Fiction : Fantasy - Epic Fiction : Fairy Tales, #Legends & Mythology, #Folk Tales

The Elf Girl (29 page)

BOOK: The Elf Girl
6.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

The lonely elf in the forest wood,

Will never sit in the dark.

He likes to sing a little tune,

That keeps the firelight on.

 

He plays his tune on his fiddle and,

He never stops until morning comes.

He will not sleep by the firelight,

Because that would mean ending his song tonight….

 

Stellan and I watched in awe as Addison sang her beautiful tune. In my heart, something stirred, an emotion I couldn’t explain. Remembrance, recognition, I felt as if something about this song – or this tune – was important somehow, but I didn’t know what it was or why:

 

The elfen who was all alone,

Walked through the wood and saw him sing.

He gave her a grin and continued then,

He wouldn’t stop so she sang along.

 

Sing; sing out you elves nearby,

Join in the tune of our fiddle’s cry.

Shout to the night and heavens above,

Then find a new friend and again you will sing.

 

Don’t end the tune right away, hold up your fiddle and play…

 

The song ended and we all clapped. I felt oddly overjoyed and happy. The song had helped ease my worries, taking away my stress and replacing it with warmth. I could see that both Addison and Stellan felt more at ease as well by the smiles on their faces.

“That was lovely, Addison. You play an excellent fiddle,” I said. “And your voice is beautiful as well.”

Addison blushed. “Thank you.”

“I sort of recognize that tune,” I said. “And now that I think of it, the melody reminds me of a song we used to sing in church at Christmas time.”

“What was it called?” Stellan asked.

“‘What Child is This?’ It was one of my favorites,” I said.

“That’s so odd,” Addison commented.

“Why?” Stellan and I asked in unison.

“Well, your mother used to sing a song just like this one, but it had different words. Maybe the tune has always stayed in your mind, and that is why you liked the human song so,” she said.

“Can you sing the other song? The one my mother sang to me?”

“No,” Stellan said sternly.

“What harm would it do, Stellan?” Addison asked him.

“Others could hear you,” he said.

“What others?” Addison challenged.

“It’s not safe,” Stellan warned, his eyes clouded with anger.

“What is so bad about the song?” I asked.

“It’s about an elf and a fairy, but it’s harmless. I can assure you of that. It’s just a song,” Addison told me.

“Sing it softly,” I suggested.

“The trees,” Stellan pointed out through clenched teeth.

“What are you talking about?” I asked.

“Dryads,” Stellan explained.

“What’s so bad about them?” I wondered.

“They, like other fae, should be in the Fairy Realms, but you never know when one could slip into another Realm. If they are on the side of the Element fairies and ever heard us singing of elves and fairies in harmony…I don’t even want to think about the consequences. Element fairies could be alerted and on us in a matter of seconds.”

I realized he was right; the trees could listen. Dryads could be anywhere, within any tree. And with no way of figuring out which trees they were in, we would be taking quite a risk by allowing Addison to sing.

I nodded slowly. “I understand.”

Stellan relaxed, but to my surprise, Addison started playing the tune anyway. I had always pegged her as stubborn. Now she was completely proving my thought.

She started singing, her voice velvety and her fiddle soothing, and then suddenly, I realized I knew the song as well. I could sing along. I was amazed, and soon I was singing along with Addison, our voices blending in one beautiful harmony:

 

The lonely elf in the forest wood,

Will never sit in the dark.

He likes to sing a little tune,

That keeps the firelight on.

 

He plays his tune on his fiddle,

And he never stops until morning comes.

He will not sleep by the firelight,

Because that would mean ending his song tonight.

 

A fairy with her wings of bright,

Flew through the forest to the elf.

She asked him what song he sang,

He told her and she beat her wings.

 

Before the song could draw to a close, a rustling rang out through the trees. Fear gripped my gut. Had the dryads heard our song? Were we in danger?

Then, something miraculous occurred. Leaves began to float from the trees, gathering around us like a dome of dark green shapes. They twirled to and fro, creating a kind of light show as the glow of the moon shone between the moving cracks. The sight was astonishing. I felt chills as I witnessed magic I had never believed could be possible until now. The wonder of what was occurring left me breathless, but after getting over the initial shock, I realized that we had to continue singing. The dryads
wanted
us to sing.

I gestured to Addison, and she quickly took the hint. As we resumed the song, the leaves appeared to be swaying in rhythm with our voices:

 

Sing; sing to my love nearby,

He plays his fiddle and then I cry.

Play; play forevermore,

My love, my elfin sweetheart.

 

We watched in wonder as the leaves departed, returning to their trees. Moments of silence passed. We were all too stunned to speak. Even Stellan appeared mystified.

“How did you know the song?” Addison finally asked.

“I don’t know. I guess I just remember it from when I was a baby. Some weird sudden realization, I guess.”

Addison smiled, and Stellan was impressed, although he was trying hard not to show it because he was still upset.

“What does the song mean?” I asked Addison.

“It tells of a loving friendship between a fairy and an elf. It was what the Realms were like before the war.”

“It’s beautiful,” I commented.

Stellan grunted and shook his head, obviously frustrated with her for playing the song against his orders.

However, Addison ignored him. “It is,” she replied, “which is probably why the dryads approved.” She shot a glare toward Stellan, as if to rub it in his face that he had been in the wrong. It was a sisterly thing to do. Sighing, Addison began to pack her fiddle away.

“No, don’t stop. Play more,” I urged.

Addison nodded and for a long while, she played her fiddle. Sometimes she would sing, and other times the fiddle would be enough. Stellan refused to join in on any of the songs. I didn’t let this bother me; I was enjoying myself too much. The dryads never reappeared, but I could tell by the rustling of the branches that they enjoyed the entertainment.

As midnight approached, Addison and I agreed it was time to stop and get some rest. Stellan muttered something I didn’t catch and went to his blanket to sleep. I shook my head and lay down on mine.
What a fun guy
, I thought sarcastically. Couldn’t he ever just stay happy and smile his perfect smile all day long? I wished. His mood swings were getting annoying.

I closed my eyes and tried to clear my head. I didn’t need any bad dreams tonight.

 

***

 

Fortunately, I was too tired to dream, and slept without any disturbances. I woke up around four to Addison humming as she cooked breakfast on the fire. I noticed Stellan was still sleeping. I stretched and went over to sit with Addison and put my hands in front of the fire to warm them. The morning was nice, but a little chilly.

“Good morning, Ramsey,” she whispered.

“Morning,” I replied.

“Hungry?”

“Oh yeah,” I said. “Is that bacon you’re cooking?” It sure looked like it.

“Bacon? What’s that?” she wondered.

“Never mind,” I said, shaking my head. “What do you call this?” I asked instead.

“Strips of pork,” she told me.

“That’s called bacon in the Human Realm.”

“Interesting,” she said, moving the “bacon” around with a stick.

“So when is Stellan going to put on his happy face again?” I asked.

Addison rolled her eyes. “Who knows? I wish he would, though. It isn’t fair to you. You have enough to worry about.”

“Thanks,” I said.

“It’s only true,” she replied.

I saw Stellan move, and we both ended the conversation. He got up and walked to the stream for a drink. I held my breath as he walked away.

“Do you think he heard us?”

“I hope he did,” Addison said, “because maybe he will get the hint and cheer up.”

I nodded in agreement as I watched him walk back. He still looked tense but better than last night. I could detect the hint of a smile, a sign that he was in a better mood. That was enough for me.

He sat down near me and put his hands in front of the flames the same way I had. Addison told us to watch the fire while she went for a drink. I moved the bacon while Stellan and I sat in silence. Then he gently turned my head and cupped his hands around my face.

“I’m sorry,” he said softly.

“Sorry for what?” I asked.

“I’m sorry for the way I acted before. This whole situation is difficult for me, for all of us. I’m so afraid for you all the time. I’m worried that one little mistake could cost you your life. I hate going through this when we just found…,” his voice trailed off.

“Found what?”

“Each other,” he finished, half-smiling.

I kissed him, reveling in the sweetness of his lips pressed against mine. “I forgive you,” I told him.

Our lips met again, and this time our kisses grew longer and deeper. His hands moved to my waist as he pulled me closer to him, and I ran my fingers through his hair, caught up in the heat of the moment. Pressed tightly against one other, I put everything I had into those kisses, revealing to him just how much he meant to me, even after only a few days of being together. He seemed to be doing the same, pouring out everything he had inside as our lips moved together.

Finally, we parted, both of us breathing heavily from our embrace.

He smiled, so I smiled – my cheeks probably flaming red – and everything was okay again. Sure, our little tiffs were bothersome, but at least it was easy for us to make up. Addison returned to see Stellan’s arm around me – and me smiling like a little kid opening a present on Christmas morning.

“Welcome back, brother,” Addison greeted, eyeing us curiously.

Stellan rolled his eyes and I laughed.

“I think the bacon – I mean, strips of pork – are ready to eat now,” I guessed.

“You’re right. Stellan, could you please take the meat off the rock for us?”

“Afraid you’ll get burned?” he asked.

Addison gave him a long look, but didn’t reply.

“All right,” he said, gingerly taking each piece off and laying it on another rock to cool.

We ate quickly, eager to continue our journey. Addison predicted we would arrive in Tarlore by tomorrow morning if we stopped twice. Once for lunch, and once to sleep. I was pleased we had only another day’s walk ahead of us.

“Did anyone ever tell you about Tarlore, Ramsey?” Addison asked me, after a few hours of walking. She was the first to break the silence in quite a while.

“No,” I answered.

“Stellan, could you do the honors?”

“I would love to.” He cleared his throat and began. “Tarlore wasn’t always called Tarlore. It used to be named Breena.”

“Why was it changed?”

“You see, every city in every Realm, except for the Human Realm of course, was named by fairies.”

“Every Realm was? Why?”

“Why do you think? Because there were more of them, and even today, no one challenges a supreme order from Queen Titania, not even elves. She was one of the reasons the Realms came to be in the first place, because of her powerful magic. The fairies took the naming into their hands even though creating new Realms was the elves’ idea. Fortunately, they soon realized it was wrong to control everything and everyone. So they left the elves alone and paid attention to naming their own Realms. However, after taking so long for every city to receive a name, our Realm just kept the fairy names.
Breena
is Celtic for ‘fairyland.’ When Taryn became queen, she changed the name right away. She didn’t want her Realm to support fairies if she was at war with them.”

“But we are only at war with Element fairies!”

“That was a good enough excuse for Queen Taryn,” Stellan explained. “She renamed the capital Tarlore, after herself and her husband, who died in the war. His name was King Lore.”

“That’s a powerful first move as queen,” I remarked.

“Yes, it was, but she’s Taryn, powerful and very determined,” Stellan said.

“Sounds scary,” I admitted.

“She’s a little intimidating,” Addison agreed.

“Have you met her?” I asked.

“Yes. She came to our city when the fairies took Zora,” Addison replied.

“Oh.” I looked down, sorry our light conversation had taken a drastic turn.

“Stellan, continue. Tell her what Tarlore is like,” Addison suggested, obviously trying to lighten the mood.

“Tarlore is a wonderful city. The capital lies in a huge valley, surrounded by rolling hills of the brightest green grass you will ever see,” he explained, excitement creeping into his tone. “At the edge lies the Queen’s palace. It’s amazing. I cannot even describe it properly. You’ll have to see it for yourself. But believe me, the capital is probably the utmost best place you will ever visit in the Elf Realm.”

“I can’t wait. But I wish it was just a visit,” I admitted.

BOOK: The Elf Girl
6.81Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Pants on Fire by Maggie Alderson
The Corner III (No Way Out) by Richardson, Alex, Wells, Lu Ann
The Song Before It Is Sung by Justin Cartwright
Edge of the Enforcer by Cherise Sinclair
Blood of the Impaler by Sackett, Jeffrey
Saratoga Trunk by Edna Ferber
Dead and Dateless by Kimberly Raye
Calling on Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede