“I’ve found the Earthen element! I’ve found it!”
Vanessa’s eyes blinked open to a squeaky, high-pitched voice and forest-filtered sunlight streaming onto her face. She sat up, brushing leaves from her hair, and could only look on in shock at the owner of the voice. A tiny, little man. With a shock of tomato-red hair that stood straight up. And clothes that looked like they came out of the sixteenth century. What the heck?
“You must come with me,” the little man started, taking a step towards her and the wind revealing his-pointy-ears, “The others are gathering.”
Ness stood up on shaky feet, the world still a little hazy, and tried to back away. Whoever this dwarfish person was, he clearly had a couple screws loose. Or all of them, most likely.
“Who are you?” she muttered, grabbing her hat off of the ground and stuffing it into a pocket possessively, freezing as her eyes caught on something shining on the ground.
It was some kind of a necklace, a thin, sturdy loop of leather cord attached to an eraser-sized rock. The stone itself was practically black, shining a deep amber where the light hit it and a gleaming, uniform shape reminiscent of a large tooth. She plucked it off the ground and slipped it over her head, the memories flooding back much too quickly.
She’d had another argument with her mother. Something about ‘being proper’ for the visiting relatives. Vanessa had stormed out after another yelling spree ensued between them, neither able to understand the other. Her mother hadn’t tried to follow. The necklace had been sitting on the moonlit sidewalk right in front of her and, before she could’ve even known what she was doing, a hand had reached out to touch it. Then there was the flash of light. And now the little man.
“It is irrelevant,” the elfish man said, approaching her again, “We must act quickly. I am deeply sorry, saviour.”
He ran at her with astounding speed, throwing a handful of sparkling dust in her face. Ness coughed a bit but, eyes rolling up, felt her knees buckle and her world grow black.
Vanessa felt her eyes open again, a throbbing spreading through her head. Whatever the dwarf had given her was seriously messing with her vision. The forest clearing was shifting in and out of focus, the odd hut-like structures in the trees barely visible through the foliage.
She let her eyes drift from the treetops, instantly becoming alert as she saw what was going on. A large cluster of more elfish people were milling about, some staring at her with curiosity and eagerness. Ness stood up, holding a hand to her temple to try and steady the even-more shaky world.
A tiny hand tapped her shoulder, making her turn to see the same short dude that had thrown the stuff at her.
“This will help.” He said, holding out a goatskin bottle towards her.
She took it and tried to smile, only succeeding in bringing on further dizziness. Ness cautiously raised the thing to her face, surprised at how clean it smelled, and sipped the liquid.
It tasted somewhat fruity, quickly ridding her of the drowsiness and sharpening her sight. Vanessa nodded gratefully, sipping again as she watched the crowd.
It had to be a dream. But, for the mean time, she would go with it.