The elf let the wind pull at her hair, even though the curls disobeyed their mistress and whipped their soft tendrils into her face.
Aliryia dangled her feet from the tree freely. One hand was resting in her lap; the other had closed around a nearby branch. From up here she could see the entire Sistren.
Not that there was much to see. Most of the girls had made themselves comfortable on that radiant lawn; Eru was showing the newest member, Jacquiline, around the building; and the boy, it appeared, had vanished.
The wind whistled words to Aliryia, reminding her of the treetops of her old home. It was said that the purest-blooded of Ancient Elves could listen to the wind’s rustled words, but Aliryia did not have that great ability, and one never saw many of those sorts of elves around nowadays, especially since the foreign-tongued warriors had charged in.
Aliryia felt better up in the wind, but part of her mused at why the sun had burned right down into her mind; he still hovered up there, a big ball of flame, and most of the girls were totally unaffected by his fire. Aliryia watched as an upper window of The Sistren was thrown open and even Jacquiline wrapped her arms in the sun’s warmth.
What was wrong with Aliryia? Was it just that she couldn’t take the stress of being unhelpful, and distanced from the rest of tradition? She guessed that she just wasn’t used to people rebuking her.
Finally, Aliryia floated down from her perch, landing quite roughly at the front entrance to The Sistren again. She rubbed the sore ankle it gained her and wandered in, trying her best not to limp. The injury would be gone by the end of the night, in any case. Elves were supposed to be good at this sort of thing: syncing with nature and aiding the growth of the Earth and its people. It was the elves’ creed. But Aliryia seemed to be out-of-touch with her heritage. It greatly worried her.
She passed no-one in the corridor, although she did hear Eru’s ordered voice and Jacquiline’s mesmerising tones moving around from nearby rooms, and nodded a simple greeting to Elorrie who was in their shared bedroom. The other girl said nothing, but continued her slow playing with a pack of cards that she had found in a drawer of the end table. Something was still weighing on her mind.
Aliryia nudged open the window, catching a dainty knuckle on the sharp, wooden frame. The scarlet embossment glowed angrily along the side of the right ‘digitus mínimus’, and, after a second of Aliryia’s staring, sent a jolt of pain up the nerves, and remained resolute in its importance. The elf’s pretty face contorted into a frown. This was not right.
Ignoring the red mark now on her hand, Aliryia tried to think positively. She smiled as she realised how she had been wise in, subconsciously, choosing a room that faced away from the glare of the afternoon sun.
She stood by the window for a while longer, but, having seen nothing of much interest, soon moved to her bed, tucking her tiny feet behind her as she sat amongst the violet covers.
The afternoon air picked up and blew a torrent into the room. Once again, Aliryia wished she was more like a proper elf and could interpret its sudden warnings. It fluttered, whispering, around the girl’s proud-pointed ears and caressed her closing eyes.
Soon she was asleep.
(Author note: I wrote a little poem about Aliryia, because I was inspired by my own chapter! See it here: http://www.protagonize.com/poem/a-few-more-poems/137449)