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Under the Canopy

by Ramield on Feb 22, 2017 at 03:38 AM}
Amber sunlight filtered in through the sheltering canopy of the wood. A few leaves, detached from the branches and drifted down, lifted and tossed on currents of air, in no hurry to land. A sound caught them like an updraft, made them feel as if they had life-bringing roots of their own and called them to shine once more before the echo faded and the leaves floated onward once more toward their rest.
Two children ran laughing through the trees. Among the mighty trunks whose boughs stretched impossibly high, they were as slender and flighty as willow leaves. They climbed and fell and laughed and sang and ran the boisterous energy of their limbs away. Finally, the girl slid onto a nearby silver root. By her height and and features, she appeared to be around seven years of age; however, any wise man could tell you that such an appearance can be deceiving. She pushed stray locks of dark hair behind her pointed ears, revealing features that held a grace beyond that which one might expect of one at such a tender age. She held out a hand as if taking hold of something, and drew the other from the hidden object to rest at her cheek. There she paused, aiming her invisible arrow, then with a sound of “Pshew!” she sent her imaginary projectile flying through the trees to a target that only she could see. A boy, appearing much like a young teen with the same dark hair, pointed ears, and similar features jogged up, chuckling. “You know father won’t let you even touch one for over a half-century, right?”
“I know, but I can imagine it, soaring through the air on its own feathery wings.”
“Well, did you at least hit your target?”
The girl crossed her legs on her perch. “Of course! After all, I’m going to be the greatest archer of all.”
The boy grinned teasingly. “I thought you were going to be the best singer.”
“I can be both. Sharpest eye in the Golden Wood and a voice rivalling that of Luthien herself!” The little elleth landed on her back with a soft thump, her hand, thrust up in exuberance and the cause of her imbalance, remained extended above her head. The lad doubled over in laughter, the memory of her flailing limbs playing over again in his mind and bringing fresh peals and giggles. “Heh, and I suppose you’ll be just as graceful too,” he managed to get out between chuckles.
The girl sat up, rubbing the back of her head and pouting. “Merenor…” she sulked. Still chuckling, he sat behind her and began pulling blades of grass from her hair.
“You can’t be both, you know.”
“Why not?”
“You just can’t”
“Says who?”
“Says everyone.”
The girl looked back skeptically. Her brother shrugged. “I’m more than twice your age; I know these things. Though…” he said with a wide grin, “I may not be the only older sibling soon.”
The younger gasped. “Do you mean-”
“I overheard mother and father talking. I think she’s with child.”
The girl exclaimed happily to the golden canopy and spun around to hug him, squeezing with all her might in jubilation. “What do you think they are?”
“He’s a boy, definitely.”
“Well I think we have a sister.”
“A brother.”
“No, a sister.”
“Tell you what, Ramield,” said the brother, rising to his feet. “Let’s race back. If I win, they’ll be a boy; if you win, a girl.”
“Mereno-”
“Get ready, and-” he took off down the path, calling over his shoulder as he sprinted. “GO!”
The little lady scrambled to her feet. “Merenor, that’s not how it works! Merenor!” she called. Yet, she took off after him as fast as her legs would carry her.
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