For 100 Drabbles of SummerMy Table
I am Annivale Elaniel. Annivale meaning hidden. Elaniel meaning Elan’s daughter. Elan’s daughter. That name has shadowed me since birth. I am Elan’s daughter. Named for my mother. A bastard. An unlucky girl-child with no father.
It doesn’t matter how good I am or how hard I try I am always Elan’s daughter. The no good spawn of the village whore.
All my life I’ve worked to rid myself of her taint. I save every coin I can get. The hope to someday leave this place, that name, drives me. I take every job I can find. It isn’t much.
The elders see me coming and turn up there noses. I’m an embarrassment who should have been drowned at birth. No one will dare hire me. They’re all too afraid. As if I’ll infect them just from proximity.
I do get some work. There are plenty of travelers passing through our village. They hire me as a guide sometimes. I may not have many marketable skills, but I do know the mountains and forests that surround my hell.
When I start thinking that maybe I should make my living on my back like my mother, I flee to the wilds.
The ancient trees, the rocks and dirt that seem alive, the caves and old mines that shelter me, the land whispers her secrets to everyone. Everyone is too loud to hear. I am quiet. I listen. And in return she gives me peace, solitude, and protection.
When I was a child there was an old druid who lived nearby. He took me in, taught to live off the land, showed me how to live with nature, rather than against it.
He passed into the next life just two winters ago. My mother went the next spring. Now I am alone.