This is a story i've been working on for a while, this is just the beginning, ya know giving background info, but please read and give me feedback :)
As I sat in the valley filled with assorted flowers, the beauty of the sunset stole my breath away. If you listened carefully you could hear the fairies whispering behind the flowers. With the rays of the autumn sun hitting my face, I breathed in the sweet smell of the white lilac blossom in my hand. It was hard to believe anything could be so wonderfully amazing. I lived for these moments when I could steal away from the house and visit what I thought of as my secret hideaway. As far as I knew, no one else came to this little valley on the far side of the village. That was another great thing about this place, I couldn’t imagine sharing this sanctuary with anyone. I felt as if I was somewhere far, far away. The scents filling my nose weren’t found anywhere else. No matter how hard I searched, no flowers were as fragrant as the ones that bloomed here. Unfortunately, the sun was slowly hiding farther behind the hills of the valley and I knew I had to leave, and started my long journey home. Before I left I whispered to the slowly sinking sun, “I shall be back soon, but no matter how fast I return it shall not be soon enough…so I must say good-bye for now.”
I was walking home on a path I made through the small forest on the far west side of our village. Admiring all the elves only a hand length tall that lived in the trees, caring for and protecting them from the bugs that liked to munch on their leaves. One of the elves liked to follow me whenever I traveled through the forest. I welcomed his company, sometimes he climbed on my shoulder for most of the walk, as he did today. Today he looked happier than usual, so I asked him if anything especially good had happened. He told me that the new potion the herb-woman had given the elves was working very well to keep the stag beetles from eating the roots of the trees. We kept walking, and I realized that I had never asked his name, and he never asked mine. So I decided to ask him, and he said it was Leaf-Dancer, I told him mine was Amethyst.
We continued our journey, learning about each others lives. I learned that he was approximately 7 years old, and has lived near the same tree all his life, the tree his family has been protecting for generations. I told him I was almost 14 years old, and lived in the nearest village to the east of the forest. It was remarkable how we had walked together so many times, yet knew almost nothing about each other. We were almost to the edge of the forest when we saw a group of fairies surrounding a bundle of flowers that somewhat reminded me of the ones in my hideaway. Although they weren’t nearly as fragrant or beautiful. The fairies never noticed us, but collected pollen that they would store for food when the weather started getting cold. They were about the size of my little finger and could be any color imaginable, although most were shades of blue and purple. They were such majestic creatures, and so graceful. Whenever I have seen them, I have been reminded of the girls who dance to the flutes at the market, every movement deliberate.
Suddenly, I remembered that I had to hurry home and quickly turned away to leave. Leaf-Dancer almost fell off my shoulder but grabbed my collar and steadied himself. Then we were at the end of the forest. I bid farewell to my elf friend and continued my walk towards the group of houses and huts that was my village, Bedola.
The rest of the walk was very short, only a minute or two until I passed the first hut which was the home of Madame Vess, the herb-woman. She preferred to live farther away from the place where the daily market was held. Also, the elves always were asking her if she had any new potions or herb mixes to keep away the bugs that plagued them. Sometimes they asked her for something to attract the animals or the few bugs that help the trees prosper.
The herb-woman herself was only a bit taller than my 5 foot stature, unlike most herb-women she was quite beautiful. She was a bit older than my parents, but she aged gracefully. No gray hairs were to be seen and she had very few wrinkles. She had long dark brown hair that almost always had flowers in it, and the brightest green eyes in all of the land. All herb-women had green eyes though, it was a sign that the person would be drawn to the wonder of nature. People always told me that I would someday be like her, because my eyes were almost the same shade of green and I preferred nature to human company.
I loved being around the elves and fairies, and if you were lucky you would see a brownie poking around in gardens looking for food. Every once in a while I would see these small brown furry creatures in the valley on the west side of the village. I never told anyone about my hideaway, for fear of them forbidding me to go. Or people suddenly crowding it, ruining the tranquility of it all. So I always tell my mother, Annabelle, that I’m out helping the herb-woman collect what she needs for her potions. I knew my mother would never ask her if it was true because she was afraid of her. I think it was because her father was sick once and her mother went to the herb-woman for help, and got a potion from her that she said would cure him. Unfortunately, about a week later her father died, but it was for a different reason than his illness, a group of bears rampaged through our village and he was one of the few who were killed.
Since then my mother has thought of her as bad luck. That’s also why our relationship was so strained, she heard everyone’s whispers about my future as an herb-woman. I think that’s what drove her to be more interested in my younger sister than me. Although Rylan, my father, was very fascinated by my knowledge of plants and animals. He never had the chance to learn from Madame Vess because he was a boy, and a common understanding among our village was that boys focused on such things as being village protectors or farmers, or even working at the mill on the northern side of the village. Taking care of the village people was the job for most women, but there were some that helped their fathers on family farms and took care of the animals.
My father was one of the farmers who provided food for the big home that was near us where the sick and injured stayed. A lot of people in Bedola respected him because he would always provide for those people whenever they asked. Our farm was rather large, we had many different plants growing there, we also had some animals. Unlike other farms we had a few elves that were happy to help care for our trees. One day long ago while walking to the valley, I asked Leaf-Dancer if he knew any elves that could help with our apple, orange, and peach trees. He said that he knew a few that had either lost their families or the tree they cared for had been cut down, and would send them to our farm. They have been helping us for half a year now.
I finally was at my home. My little sister was outside watering the flowers. She ran up and hugged me as if she hadn’t seen me in days, not just the few hours I had been gone. My sister Mary was just 4 years younger than me, and had deep blue eyes like our mother. Unlike my long black hair, she liked to keep her golden hair at about shoulder length. She was wearing her usual day dress, which was just above her ankle and a beautiful blue-green color. I had my orchid dress that was just below my knees, and had one of my favorite flowers tucked behind my hear, a single azalea. After she hugged me she said, “Oh Mother’s been looking everywhere for you, where in the world were you?”
I handed her the azalea I had tucked behind my ear. “Don’t tell mother, but I was talking with the forest elves about the new potions they got that make the trees flourish despite the little bugs and animals.”
“You saw the elves again?” she spoke with delight while looking at the fuchsia blossom, “Oh I think they’re just wonderful, how they care for the trees so lovingly.”
“Yes, they really are. Remember the elf I told you about? The one who helped our trees on the farm get taken care of?”
“Why yes of course I do! Father says to tell him how grateful he is for their help too!”
“Well, his name is Leaf-Dancer and his family has lived near one tree their whole lives, helping it grow tall and sturdy.”
Mary had a look of amazement on her face. It was interesting how the simplest of things made her eyes sparkle with wonder.
“Do they really? One tree their whole lives?”
“Yes, it’s how they were taught to live. But I must go see Mother so she doesn’t continue fretting about my whereabouts. I’ll tell you more later.”
So I went to go inside and my sister went to go check on our 3 year old brother Jasper who was playing in the garden. My mother was sitting at the table working on our winter clothes. As soon as she saw it was me she put down what she was sewing, walked across the room and grabbed my wrist angrily.
“Where in the world have you been?” she spoke these words with such anger I flinched back from her.
I spoke so quietly, she could barely hear me, “I told you I went out with Madame Vess…I was helping her.”
“Again? I’ve told you I don’t like you being around that…that witch! She brings nothing but bad luck!” I could see her getting more and more angry.
“She does not, and she is not a witch. She has helped our village so many times.”
“Well I don’t like you being around her so much. Just…just go to your room.”
So I turned and went to my room while thinking about whether it was me being around the herb-woman that scared her, or me becoming and herb-woman.
I lay upon my bed, wondering how long it would take for my mother to calm down. She seemed to be getting more and more furious each time I said I was with Madame Vess. Father and Mary didn’t mind at all, and occasionally asked for something to make them feel better. In fact, Father tries his hardest to calm her down. He’s been out harvesting all day though. Usually he doesn’t get home until the late hours of the night, only awake enough to eat before he goes to his room.
Sometime I hear him and Mother arguing about how much time I spend with Madame Vess. I would hear my mother insist that she was corrupting me, turning me into “one of her kind”, in a tone of voice that insinuates she is a dreadful person. In reality Madame Vess was one of the most altruistic people in our village, along with my father.