Grapes

This is a selection from my new story Fall of Paradise. It is based off of some of my friends and teachers from school. As I have finally decided that I will continue with the Star Series, expect to see many more segments from it. Enjoy!

——

The soft swish of moving fabric was the only sound that broke the stillness of the morning as Lord Aulay, a member of the Elvanor Clan of elves, made his way down the high-roofed halls of Afallon Palace. He was one of the royal council members and, aside from King Finbar, was the eldest as well. He was in the habit of spending the morning in his personal study where he would read and drink his favorite tea.

He was a noble elf. He was tall, with sharp, piercing grey eyes and silver hair. He carried himself with regal bearing and the intricate, lordly robes he wore only added to this appearance. He fit right in with the richly decorated palace.

Quietly, the elf lord rounded a corner. He came to a stop in front of the door to his study. He froze when he saw it.

There, hanging on the vine-shaped door handle, was his worst nightmare, his greatest fear: grapes. It was something about the way they felt. They repulsed him. Oh, what a dilemma! How was he supposed to get into his study now?!

Slowly he reached toward the door handle, twisting his hand this way and that in an attempt to open the door without touching the detestable fruit. However, the cluster was positioned just so that he couldn’t open the door without touching the grapes. He let out a huff of frustration, then stood back and stared at the door dejectedly.

How long he stood there, no one could be certain, but soon he heard the quiet tap of footsteps. He glanced up to see another one of the royal council members, Lady Trea.

She had an intense personality, though she was kindly when a situation called for it. Her hair was long, rich, and sandy blond. Her eyes were inquisitive and blue. She paused when she saw Lord Aulay.

“What are you doing?” she asked, raising an eyebrow at him.

Lord Aulay cleared his throat.

“It would seem I am having some difficulty getting into my study,” he replied, motioning toward the bunch of grapes, his tone half mournful, half annoyed.

Lady Trea looked from the grapes, to the nobleman, back to the grapes, then shrugged and said, “Have fun.”
She gave him a wave and a smirk as she passed. She was well aware of his aversion to grapes and, due to her teasing nature, she wasn’t about to ruin someone else’s fun.

“Hey! But-” Lord Aulay began. He then turned back to the door.

If the poor elvin lord had been paying more attention to his surroundings than the grapes on his door handle, he would have heard soft giggling coming from around the corner. But as it was, he was too distracted by his dilemma to notice.

******

From her place at the corner where the hall to the lords’ and ladies’ studies cut away from the main hall, a young elf girl slipped away, having a very hard time keeping her giggles to herself. Her name was Ayelen.
The girl could hardly keep from bursting out in laughter as she rushed down the elegant halls, her feet padding softly on the lush, red velvet carpet beneath them. Quickly she darted out into the lobby, fell back against a rising banister, and began to laugh uncontrollably.

Ayelen was a member of the Cealagor Clan. With long, jet black hair and deep brown eyes, she was as beautiful as she was talented. There was only one thing about her that made her so incredibly different from the rest of her kin: she laughed…all the time.

Often called Gaira, which meant “laugh” in elvish, Ayelen was known for her smile and distinct laugh. Most of the elves found it odd. It was one thing to laugh incessantly at a party. It was another thing to laugh when there was, to them at least, nothing to laugh about.

“What is so funny?” came a voice from nearby.

Ayelen jumped in surprise, afraid one of the nobles had caught her. She relaxed when she saw who it was.

“Oh! Good morning, Shanti! You should go visit Lord Aulay,” Ayelen laughed, straightening herself and breathing deeply to try and catch her breath.

“Did you put grapes on his desk again?”

“No. On the door handle to his study.”

“Why didn’t you invite me to come watch?! That would have been funny to see!”

The two elf girls laughed, then Ayelen looked at her friend. Shanti was a bit taller than Ayelen herself. She had long, wavy, golden hair and mysterious hazel eyes. She was a member of the Elvanor Clan, and had been one of Ayelen’s friends for a long time. Although she was far more serious than Ayelen was, Shanti still knew how to laugh. And, of course, there were few in this, or any other realm for that matter, who were not entertained by Lord Aulay’s aversion to grapes. He wouldn’t even drink wine because of its grape origin, something that was quite unusual for an elf.

“Aren’t you supposed to be on guard duty?” Shanti questioned, shifting her intricately-carved healer’s staff from one hand to the other.

“Yeah,” Ayelen groaned. “But this was so much more fun!”

“Go to work,” Shanti sighed, poking the younger elf with her staff. “I’ll walk with you.”

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