Monday, April 24, 2023


Winter didn't usually strike this deep into the Great Forest. There were even great icicles- they reminded her a bit of the horn- she had reached out her window and grabbed one, broken it off, then tossed it down to the ground rather than let it melt in her hand. When she came downstairs she could smell bacon, and heard someone chopping wood outside. A cold morning. 

"Well, good morning to you," Anya greeted her warmly as she came through the kitchen door. "How'd you sleep?"

"Not bad," Emma replied. "I had some weird dreams."

"Aw, we like to think the sleeping's good here at Haven," tsked Anya. "But... you never know."

Emma accepted a warm mug of cocoa from the kindly woman. It was chilly outside but warm in the kitchen, with tea on the stove and bread baking. Occasionally flurries would bluster through the window. Anya must have wanted to let some fresh air in. 

"Any plans today?"

Emma thought for a moment. 

"Well, I was thinking of going for a walk to the meadow, but I didn't know we were going to get this cold." 

"I didn't, either!" Anya exclaimed. "This snow was a surprise. The northern parts of the wood get snow, but we usually don't. And, if we do get some, we usually get a warning first from the elvenfolk. They usually know," she gave her a wink. 

Just then the door opened and in strode Morgane, brushing snow from his lapel. There were two elves with him. Tall, serious of mien, with those sad but expressive eyes. They were dressed in leather and furs, with long spears that they set by the door. They glanced at her and she may have recognized one of them. A visitor she had met before? 

Morgane smiled at her, said something to his wife, and then ushered his guests into the den. He invited Emma to join them. 

"Emma, this is Adeiel and Andulie." She noticed only then that the first elf was a woman. They remained standing by the fire, snow melting from their cloaks. 

"They've returned from the deeper parts of the forest, and report that everything is quiet... for now. 

Emma thought about this, nodding. 

"There's no hurry, of course. At least, not imminently. At some point you have to move, if you are still inclined. The decision is, as always, yours."

Emma nodded. "I understand."

Morgane smiled and Anya brought refreshments in. Adeiel came to her and smiled, touching her face lightly. Emma was surprised when she said something in elvish- she felt as if the elf was perhaps appraising her- then the elf said something to Morgane as well. 

"She admires your courage," he explained. "And the fact that you are willing to go through with this errand." 

"I feel that I must. I mean," Emma tried to explain. "I feel that this task was given to me. No, that's not right. Rather, that I am honor- or duty- bound to fix this." She wasn't sure she was explaining herself right. 

Morgane nodded, as if he got it. 

"I think also that they understand." 

After some time the two elves took their leave, after bowing deeply to Emma. She was shocked by this and attempted to reciprocate- they smiled and disappeared into the snow. Afterward Emma sat for a time and let the heat of the fireplace wash over her. Anya and Morgane joined her after a time. 

"The journey will be a long one, you know," Morgane was saying. "But there are many friendly faces along the way."

"I'm happy to know that," she replied, thinking she was speaking rather stiffly. 

Morgane smiled. 

"Also you are always welcome here. Of course you'll want to go home, but this is also home for you whenever you desire." 

"Is there a time when I wouldn't be able to find... here?"

"Well, I don't say for sure, but I think you'll always be able to find your way here, to this place."
She thought about that.  

"Not to mention," Morgane added, " the cats would never forgive you if you didn't come back." 


  1. The cat comment at the end made me laugh. And I'm very curious about Emma's errand. Love your writing, Greg!

  2. cats are like that. Our cat would get irritated when my son left for school. When he heard the car door, he scampered to the room, and casually sauntered away as the door opened.

  3. Genial fragmento lo dejaste muy interesante Y si las mascotas se enojan si las olvidan. Te mando un beso.

  4. This was very good, Greg. I could imagine the scene, and picture looking at the breathtaking scenery just like Anya and Emma. And now you're making me wonder what journey lies ahead for Emma.

  5. I'm wondering what Emma feels honor bound to do? There doesn't seem to be real urgency to it, but the elves certainly respect her for it.

  6. Yes, she must be loyal to those cats. But I am wondering what might be lingering on her way home. Such a late chill in our spring here. I kind of like it too. Can't wait for more (✿◡‿◡).

    Carefully Listening
    The Book Group
    Cherry Blossoms
    Better Left Unsaid

  7. Snowy outside, cozy inside - I'd want to stay!

  8. curious to know about next....
    yes, cat is a "loyal" friend, and ask the same to others

  9. I loved that last sentence! Well, all of it, but that last sentence was special.

  10. Great story, Greg! I liked the winter imagery, though I am so in summer mode now haha.

  11. Ah, yes, cats. 🤗 I can't wait for her to start out. 🙂