Sorry, So

The earth was terribly dry. Already the leaves were wilting and the petals had crumpled to hang down in drops the color of coagulated blood: a red so dark it was nearly black. She wanted to rip the petals off one by one. Little girls played that game still, didn’t they? Now he loves me…he loves me not…

Because it was so dry, it was difficult to dig. Anya had found the little hand spade where she had tossed it so carelessly only days before. Was it so recent that she had celebrated her birthday with cakes and presents? Only weeks ago. She almost had not gone to him to get the rose bush. Surely the drawing of the blossom he had sent with Esthyr should have been enough. Why was it never enough?

Eruviel said Anric went on a trip. He had never mentioned a trip to her. Or had he? She was so distracted lately. Perhaps he was just getting away from how terrible everything was now that… And then, all this. She never wanted something like this.

What did she want? Eruviel’s voice echoed in her mind. Do you even know what you need?

Did she?

The metal of the spade cut into the dirt. How could it be so dry when it was so close to the water? It should not be thirsty. She looked up at the sky. The sun had faded long ago. The darkness enveloped her and gave her the courage to trespass onto Anric’s lawn to dig in his backyard. Perhaps the neighbors did not know yet that he kicked her out. They seemed fond of her. They could not have known she kept such turmoil trapped inside.

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. The spade fell rhythmically like the beat of her heart.

Thunk. Shh. Thunk. Shh. The earth fell in an ever growing pile. She would have to put it back. Perhaps Anric really would never know.

Thunk-shh. Thunk. Thunk-shh. Thunk. Her arms grew tired and started to drag across the lawn. She was so tired.

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

She jabbed the ground with the spade and felt it penetrate a root. The rose bush shuddered. Appalled at her carelessness, she let out a cry and dropped the shovel.

“Oh, no, no-no-no. I am so sorry, little Charm, so sorry.” She reached into the dirt to pull it away with her hands. “So sorry. So so sorry.”

As she dragged the dirt out of the hole, more fell back in. She dug in deeper, pulling more and more away onto to have it tumble right back.

“So sorry so-.”

The sob broke out across the lake and bounced off rock to fly back to Anya’s ears. The noise triggered something inside of her and the tears fell to the crumbling ground before her. Her cries shook her with terrible, wracking jolts throughout her entire body. She fell forward onto her hands and then sank to the ground.

“I’m so sorry.”

Her cheek rested against the earth as the floodgates finally opened and all her pain, confusion, and fear fell to the soil around the roots of the Dalish Charm in Anricwulf’s backyard.

“I’m so sorry. Don’t die.”

Her tears watered the land as the moon passed in its wavering course and the nightingales sang to the stars.

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Letters to Nowhere: Dalish Charm

*sent tied to the leg of a very put out bird*

Dear Eruviel,

This is to nowhere, because I do not know if it will ever find you on your journey. I guess I could have written to Eirikr, but he’s so sullen and all too worried about Ninim to pay much mind to something as small as a rosebush. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Anric’s home is actually under the mountain. Luckily there is an opening above it so that I can still see the sky. I think that I would go mad there otherwise, being so cut off from the rest of the world. He loves it, though; he always jokes that he’s either half-Dwarf or half-goat. He seems perfectly at ease beneath the mountains in the vast  caverns with their twists and turns. I still get lost going from his home, just off the square, to the gates of the neighborhood. He keeps encouraging me and telling me that I’ll find my way. He reminds me so much of Morty the way he nurtures me. He believes in me in a way no one else has, except maybe you.

Speaking of Morty, I wrote him before we left to inform him of my absence (not that he cares) and to inquire about the rosebush (he took it back). When I first saw his reply, I admit that it crushed something delicate inside my heart. I never imagined he would take the bush back! I’m certain he just does not wish it to die, but I was coming back. I was going to take care of it.

Rose Burgundy Iceberg™
Rose Burgundy Iceberg from White Flower Farm (used pending permission) Click to visit the site!

I just wanted to know how often I needed to come back and tend it – it was my excuse to come back and tend it. Eruviel, I do not know how to read him now; he wrote as if I was going into the Dark Lord’s realm never to return. Anricwulf is being very understanding about all of it. He promised we could get a hearty bush to plant outside his home, but no matter what we get, it won’t be the Dalish Charm. It won’t be Morty’s own creation. I feel like I’ve betrayed him somehow: he left one of his children with me and I neglected it. But I am being foolish – it’s just a flower, right? It isn’t as if I was out shopping with Esthyr and lost track of the girl.

I wish you were here. I wish Eirikr was  here and that this whole mess was behind us and everyone was safe from harm. Things here feel like they should be that way: trouble-free and happy. Anric is traveling a bit less, but we find things with which to occupy ourselves within Durin’s Hall. There’s always a bustle and the fires always burn. Snow fell yesterday – so much for spring! It was just a light dusting, though I could only imagine what it would have looked like on the burgundy petals of those rosebuds. Would a chill like that kill them? Can such a delicate thing survive the cold stone of the mountains?

Dwarves aren’t as interested in drawing and painting as Elves and Men. They prefer statues made of their heavy stones and metals. I’m just trying to fit in, really. You would think it wasn’t all that hard since the trade between Erebor and Dale had strong ties. Yet, I never really saw that part of things. I never dealt with not knowing what someone was saying as they laughed and stared at me. I never found myself a minority among a strange people with foreign customs. I always faced the selected Dwarves my father brought home to banquet. They were on Man’s turf, just as they were in Bree.

Now I am on their turf. And of all that I might have learned in my homeland, my little Dalish charm isn’t getting me very far.

With love,

Anyatka