It isn't all news feeds, advocacy and activism in my day.
Here is a chapter of a novel I am attempting to write for the young adult type reader of High Fantasy:
Chapter 4Calandra had chased Thistle into a small copse of fruit trees. The young man was nowhere to be found.
She was about to start yelling for the elf when she spotted a small alder tree.
She walked up to the tree and spoke “I know that is you Thistle, there are no alders in this grove of fruit trees. Also, I have helped harvest these trees the last 4 harvests and I have never seen this tree here before.”
The tree started to shift and morph. Calandra could feel a powerful surge in the veil. The power of the elf’s magic was extremely potent. Thistles ability to shape shift was his ‘clatcha’; a clatcha being a type of magic that an elf may have an especial affinity for. An elf who had a clatcha for a specific spell type typically would master the magic at a young age and then as they grew into their adulthood their level of control of said magic would rival the powers of greatest Sorcerers. Not all elves had a clatcha, and those who did were afforded a special status and desirability as a mate in the tribe. A clatcha also altered an Elf. Instead of a simple red, brown or green hair an elf with a clatcha would grow blond or rarely bluish green hair. Thistles soft blond hair was a badge that he was ‘special’.
This was part of Thistles problem. As a result of being well born and having a clatcha ,every female in the tribe excepting his mother and sisters were courting him. Even his cousin had made it apparent that she wanted to mate with him. “For the tribe” was her reasoning. She also had a clatcha and she reasoned they would make superior children. Thistle felt like a simple commodity to be bought and sold on the open market. One woman had actually approached his family and offered to pay thousands of Sovereign to form a political union. Thistles other major problem was the fact that he was head over heels in love with Calandra. Forbidden love. Love for a woman not an Elf. Forbidden. Gruentar. Calandra was the only woman he knew who didn’t see him as an end to a means. Granted she was the only human female he had ever had any dealings with. But there was that magnetism that arises between destined lovers between him and the human. It was palpable to him the affection he developed for him. The two shared secrets, goals and aspirations. He had grown into a state of love for the woman that was undeniable. He allowed himself to cross the line of taboo. It might be tolerable if not for the fact that he had told Calandra he loved her two nights ago in a drunken state. Then she responded back that she knew and she also loved him.
The two crossed that line of the forbidden that night. Thistle was torn between what he had been taught all his life and what his heart was screaming.
The alder tree had completely returned to Thistles normal form and the elf was in tears and sobbing in fetal position.
Calandra sat on the ground next to Thistle and put his head in her lap. She held the elf and stroked his face gently. Wiping away tears of his only to notice her tears were falling on his face and mingling with his tears. How fitting and apt she thought. The two had met earlier in the year at the Mage School in West Mailon. The small classroom and limited number of students at her level provided just the proximity the two needed to form a close friendship. Soon after meeting the young elf she found herself constantly intrigued by him. He was a strong wizard, a wise man and rather attractive as far as an elf male goes she mused. The two became lab partners and were expected to spend allot of time together, so few eyebrows had been raised. Of course she was spending allot of time with Thistle, they were working on creating a spell for their final. The rigors of the research demanded the two spend many hours together. But the time spent together soon devolved from discussions of the arcane to discussions of their lives, their desires and passions. Then there was a breakthrough in the research a full two months before the project was due. The two had created a spell to speak with any animal that was unique and not reliant on any of the known patterns of spell invocation. They kept this to themselves and continued to spend time together.
The two were celebrating their graduation. Their project had finally come due and the two were spending an evening partying at a friend’s house; after most of the people who had attended the party the two had confessed their love to each other. One thing led to another and soon enough Calandra and Thistle were ripping each others clothes off. It was literally magic. She could still remember the dancing energy and lights that formed between them as they loved each other.
Calandra whispered into her lovers’ ear past her own sobs, “We can leave this place. In a week I will be quested. As soon as I earn my status I will be eligible to attend the Academe of Enchanting in Namdak. Mother has promised me an attainable task. If, no…when I complete my task I will go to Namdak. You have had a standing invitation for a year. In Namdak we can be ourselves, few people care who loves who there. We can be safer in Namdak.” Thistle was lost in a world of wretched sorrow and angst, Calandra’s voice was the only thing that made sense in a world turned against him. He tried to croak out a response but was incapable of getting anything but noise past his sobbing. He just nodded in agreement with Calandra. He wanted to go and live in peace with his lover; a place where a gang of Troggers didn’t gang up on him and his love, for loving each other. It was wrong for society to make such rules. It wasn’t his fault he fell in love with Calandra. It just happened. Life made no sense to him. How could the world outlaw the feelings he had for Calandra. Calandra was a bright light in a dim world. He was in that stunned state where numbness sets in and the world seems grey.
After a few minutes Thistle was able to stand and compose himself.
As he stood up he spotted a small wild flower next to the pear tree they were under. He picked it and handed it to Calandra.
“We have to be careful. People are talking. If we get caught ….” His sentence trailed off.
“I know. They kill people like us.” Calandra responded. Her red raw cheeks were wet from tears. Stress and worry covered her face.