DynDoeth with serious face and determined stride entered the room and advanced directly toward Joulupukki. Standing to face the elf, Joulupukki, was intent on getting some answers, but before he could utter a sound the Elder Elf raised a hand and said,
“It is time. We must speak.”
He grabbed the taller man's arm and lead him toward the back of the house down a hall he had not noticed, and into a small alcove off of the main corridor. DynDoeth motioned for him to sit in one of two chairs facing each other only a small space apart. He took the other. Joulupukki started to speak and was silenced by a gesture from the elf. After a few whispered words by the Elder, he visibly seemed to relax some what and said,
“Now you may speak. This space has been protected from prying ears.”
The auburn haired man looked around him and saw nothing different. DynDoeth said, “You will not notice any visible difference in this space. The only way to detect the enchantment is by using your inner senses.” Joulupukki closed his eyes as if he had been instructed to do so. At first there was nothing, then, as he allowed his senses to stretch to the outer limits of the space, he could feel his probing being reflected back upon him like his reflection in a mirror.
“I feel it he said,” as he opened his eyes and looked at his companion. The elf's own eyes widened noticeably.
“Lumi said you were strong but I feel perhaps I have under estimated the limits of your gift. I told you I would answer your questions. I think it is time to answer at least some of them, but first, let me ask you a question, if I may. Joulupukki nodded for him to continue. “When you were a child did you know your father?”
“No, not really,” was Joulupukki's response.
“I was very young when he died. I remember the name he called my mother.
It is carved in her headstone in the last village we lived in.” A sad almost reverent expression spread across the elder's face at hearing about Joulupukki's mother.
“We suspected that Aisling had passed when you arrived here alone and only two hundred and sixty two years old, so young. Such a sad day for the world when one so good and gentle should leave it.”
“You knew my mother?” was Joulupukki's response.
“Indeed, I knew her quite well. Such a beautiful soul. I hope she did not suffer.”
“No, she died quietly in my arms,” he remembered as his voice trailed off to a whisper. Two hundred and sixty two years, alighted in his thoughts.
The elf reached out and grasped the man's shoulder,
“I feel the sorrow that bleeds from you my son. My ears shall listen long for the sound of your mother's songs, until we all meet again in the next world.” He looked into the elder's kind eyes as a sad smile stretched his rosy cheeks. “I'm afraid now we must get back to the business of this world. Did your mother ever speak of your father?” DynDoeth asked.
“Only briefly and never in detail,” was his answer.
The elf's response came without hesitation,
“Ever the wise woman was Aisling. A child's slip of the tongue could have shortened his life before he grew to be a man.”
“How do you know my mother as Aisling?” questioned Joulupukki.
“That was the name that Erlenkönig gave to the love of his life. A sad union some believed, but one that made them both very happy. Also, one that destroyed their lives, but before the worst came to pass, you were on your way and by then there was nothing they could do. We all knew her as Aisling.”
“I'm confused, DynDoeth, where did you meet my mother?”
“Your father brought her to our village many years ago. At that time the village floated off of an island much south of here, it's name, Erin. It was so lush and green. Many of our fairy kin chose to stay behind in this beautiful,
enchanted land when our village had to move to a safer location.” He breathed a heavy sigh and continued, “humans breed like rabbits, and it is not safe to live around them, so, once every several hundred human years, we must move our village to a place where we have little contact with man.
This is becoming more and more difficult as time passes and humans spread across the face of this world; although, we have managed better here than we had expected, nearly two hundred and fifty years now. Such a strange creature, curious and intelligent, but closed minded and rigid. Many, like your mother are the kindest and most gentle beings ever to live, but many are willing to take advantage of the gentle ones for love of power and greed.”
He shook his head sadly. “Humans are the most wondrous creatures in our world, but they are also the most feared and dangerous.”
Copyright © James Inman | Year Posted 2021