The druids had finally stopped shouting at her….again….finally. She had held herself together throughout, not one betraying emotion escaping, like a good Elf. At least she couldn’t be berated for that. Before they could caveat their dismissal of her she was gone, not to her home or anywhere they’d have sent her, but back into the forest.
As soon as she was into the trees her strolling gait became a run, the action releasing her tears from where they were dammed. She ran. Ran until she was far from the Elven settlement. Ran until she reached a grassy bank where she dropped to the ground and buried her face in her arms. Exactly when the grass beneath her arms became fabric, she wasn’t sure, only noticing when a hand began gently stroking her hair. Looking up, it didn’t matter her vision was blurry from crying, she instantly recognised the figure sat before her. Her arms now rested atop his thighs where the grassy bank had so recently been. She sniffed back her distress, as he continued caressing her hair.
“Little one”, he soothed. “I’m here. You’re safe with me!”
She tried to speak, to tell him what had happened, but words would not form while the memories still burnt across her mind. He looked deep into her glistening eyes.
“They’re angry, because they’re afraid of you,” he explained. “You’re not like the rest of them. Your family, the druids – none of them understand you. Not like I do”.
He continued, not releasing her from his searching gaze, “I know their words sting you – the reprimands for not being what they want you to be, the rejection by your family, the taunts about your differences…the punishments when you disappear to answer my call.” His voice melted “I am with you then and always. Not like them!”
“They would pass you from pillar to post, trying to amend your nature.” he muttered irritably. “But I won’t have it. You are mine. You will travel a different path than the one they would have you take. All you have to do is trust in me!”
A blink, his, and she felt calm sweeping through her mind. He wiped the tears from her young face. “Now, lets see if I can’t teach you something wonderful to do with those remarkable eyes!”
Behind her heels, a grassy mound grew from the earth into the shape of a small seat. She couldn’t help but sit on it, her hands steadying her balance. Taking her chin in one hand, he once again stared into her molten silver eyes.
“Now my child, I shall show you a trick, but you must use it sparingly,” he explained slowly. As she gazed into his eyes they changed, the colours swirled, his pupils twisting and changing shape until they were overwhelmed by a strange glow…almost like they were being lit from behind. She gasped at the beauty of them, rapt with attention and devotion. “You try. Concentrate your thoughts on how to get your way, push that energy out so it radiates from you like a torch…..yes – like that.”
The child imagined what it would be like to be wanted, to have people do as she asked, and no longer yelled at, to be free. The silver in her eyes began to slowly swirl, her pupils vanishing as if drowned. A faint glow emanated from her, much less powerful than his, but there none the less. She felt strong….but suddenly very tired. A flicker of her eyelids and the effect was gone. Before she could topple from her seat, a warm strong arm enveloped her, reviving her spirits.
“Good. A little practice and you will be able to command others to your will.” he promised silkily, with a kiss to her forehead. He pulled her close to his side and whispered, “They will make you feel lonely, but you won’t be, for I will be with you, even in your dreams….forever!”