The air was sweet, the springtime aroma playing in my nose. I ran barefoot along the soft green land, slipping about the elderly trees, so wide that even the tallest elf couldn't wrap his arms about it. The song of nature hummed in my ears, mingling with the lovely sound of another elf singing in the most beautiful tones along with the birds. My heart felt like it was singing as I lept into the air, just to feel the air twirl my skirts about me. I was free.

   I always felt too confined, speaking to others and watching the words I said and how I said them. I felt as if I knew too much, and the seriousness of it shadowed me. Only my sister could seem to truly understand me, and it seemed that nature could as well. But something seemed amiss, somber, and it weighed down on me even more heavily than usual. I needed release.

   Drawing my sword, I spun aroud myself, fighting with a pretend enemy.  I used my sword as a partner, dancing with it as I sliced through the air. I whirled about again, shocked when my sword clanked with another, the shock reverberating up my arm and through my body. 

    I stood eye-to-eye with Giddeon, another elf I had known for a very long while. His amazing silvery blonde hair shone in the sun, his sharp, youthful features smiling at me. His usually melancholy dark eyes danced with laughter, giving me an amused look.  

   He was slightly older than I, though I felt as if he was centuries older instead.  I had never met his parents, and he spoke of them hardly ever. Mother had told us that his father was a dear friend of hers and trusted advisor, yet she also seemed too pained to mention what happened to them. Mother always seemed to include him in our small family group, and thus we had all grown extraordinarily close to him.

    For several more moments, we exchanged blows, but seemed to go nowhere. I laughed as our swords locked again, and he grinned as he lowered his sword and placed it back into it's shealth.

    "Phaedra feels the change on the wind-as do I,"  I murmured after a moment. "The Humans are advancing."

     His eyes clouded again, the brief joy draining his face and escaping his expression. "Indeed. I believe we can all feel it." Giddeon grimaced.

    "What do we do?" I wondered aloud desperatly.

    "Nothing at the moment."

     I looked him over, "Nothing? There must be something we can do."

     He looked at me, his face suddenly despairing and distressed, as if emotion was boiling over inside him. I had never seen him like that.  "Are you-?" I stepped closer, reaching for his hand.

     His face and eyes hardened as he moved away, blocking all of his feelings from me, except a slight color coming to his pale face.  "Things are changing,  Aerwen, and there is no stopping it. We've both heard it. From Elders, from the trees, and from inside ourselves.  We must be prepared to change ourselves, or leave this World all together," he said seriously yet gently, glancing over me with some of the same odd emotion in his eyes again before turning and walking briskly off.

     I must find Alaina. I turned and ran, feeling my wavy hair streaming out behind me as I reached out for the trees, pleading for them to help me to find my sister. I let them direct me, feeling their slow, easy pulse mix with my own, seeing with the strange eyes of the trees as I closed mine.

     Coming before the sea again, I saw her emerging from the forrest on her valiant white horse, Damon, twin to my own, Sherka. "Sister, I seek your council," I cried. "The Humans are on their way."  


The End

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