The sun rose on the cool, crisp summer morning and the light of the sun touched the grass and revealed the morning dew. The grassy fields swayed as the morning breeze gently brushed them by and in the fields was a small hut made from wood and stone blocks. On top of the roof, watching as the sun was rising from the valleys nearby was a young man who couldn’t have been no older than seventeen.
His hair was brown, his head was shaved but had hair at the top, spiked up and a small fringe covering his right eye along with a long, thin rat-tail flowing behind him. His hair also had a few platinum-silver streaks which were surprisingly natural. His skin was white but tanned from his hours of work in the sun, he had some dirt ingrained into his calloused hands and his eye color was yellow, his most prominent feature was his pointed Elf ears.
The young man lifted his right hand and stared at it before watching as a little amber colored light appeared in his right hand. He watched as the light began to move around and soon started to spread around his hand.
“Come on, come on.” he whispered to himself as if to try and push himself further.
“Erik!” a voice hollered out from below which caused the young man to lose his concentration and the amber colored light to disappear. He looked down from the roof to find a middle-aged woman with brown hair held back in a bun and kerchief covering her head, gray streaks from age, glasses over her light eyes, crows’ feet on her face and she wore a simple tavern gown with an apron “Erik! Are you up there?”
“I am Ma!” the young man named Erik called out. He began to jump down from the roof but lost his footing and fell face first onto the ground.
“Oh, honestly dear! I wish you’d stop going up on the roof.” his mom huffed “You keep getting hurt when you climb down.”
“I like going up there Ma, helps me think. Is there something you need?”
“I wanted to ask if you milked Maybell this morning?” his mother asked.
“Milked her moment I got up.” Erik smiled “Just like every morning.”
“And the chickens?”
“Fed and all the eggs were collected.”
“Did you feed Miracle?” Erik rolled his eyes a little bit.
“Yeah,” Erik smiled “Old Miracle was fed.”
“Erik I wish you didn’t resent that horse so much.” his mother tsked “He was your father’s after all.”
“He reminds me too much of Dad.” Erik confessed “and what irritates me is that he represents someone I expect to call my dad and he just left us.” years ago, when Erik was little, his father Vilas AmberLight, an Elf from the Northern Grasslands vanished. While the details of his father’s disappearance were never explained, Erik always assumed he just left him and his mother without a care in the world. Erik’s mother however never thought so for whatever reasons.
“I understand why Erik;” his mother soothed “but your father will return one day. I know he will.” Erik just looked at his mother with a weird expression, he knew she could get like this when bringing up his father.
“He just left us out of the blue twelve years ago!” Erik pointed out “How long until he comes home?!”
“I don’t know,” his mother sighed “but there must be a reason he hasn’t returned. Erik, don’t forget the town festival is tomorrow night, can you please be a dear and go to town to help set up for our stand? Also, I have some crops that were just picked this morning ready to be sold. Please head to Bernstat’s shop and drop them off?” Erik sighed before nodding and then making his way to the stalls to fetch Miracle.
The market was a dusty place, surrounded by many buildings, stalls that had all your needs during the day, shops that were large and fine, filled with some of the finest materials. The market was bustling in the mid-morning as Humans gathered to buy the items they would need throughout their days or week. Fruits, veggies, new clothing, anything you can think of, they were buying it!
Erik took the carriage with Miracle pulling it behind and eventually stopped at Bernstat, a local shop keeper who sold goods such as groceries, armor from traveling warriors and any goods he can get his hands on.
Erik entered the shop with a few baskets filled with freshly baked bread, and a crate filled with newly picked fruits, and vegetables. An older gentleman looked up from the coins he was counting and smiled when he saw the young man enter the shop.
“Erik! It’s been a while!” he said with a hardy smile and cleaned up his coins from the counter “How’s your mom?”
“She’s well Bernstat.” Erik smiled “She’s getting some stuff set up for the festival tomorrow night.”
Bernstat is an old friend of Erik’s mother Margret. They’ve known each other for many years, and he was the one who ordained Margret and Vilas’s wedding as well as help the family after Vilas left all those years ago.
“Are you here to drop off some goods?” Bernstat asked while adjusting his glasses.
“Yeah, Ma wanted to focus on the goods for the Potens’s Festival. She asked me to drop all of this off and get the stall assembled so we’re ready for tomorrow night.”
The Potens’s Festival was held every year in Mavina to celebrate the great wizard known as Potens and his win against the necromancer Astawrath. It was a tradition held every year to honor Potens and it was also a great time for vendors to make money. This summer was the three-thousandth anniversary of Astawrath’s defeat, making it the biggest one yet.
“What do you have for me today Erik?” Bernstat asked.
“Some fresh bread, fruits and vegetables.” Erik shrugged as he put the baskets onto the table.
“Your mother’s bread.” Bernstat smiled “My customer’s go insane for this stuff. I got one customer up north who buys your vegetables. They literally pay extra to get it shipped immediately. Would 150 Mavins do?”
“That would be plenty!” Bernstat handed Erik a pouch filled with golden colored coins before Erik handed Bernstat the baskets of goods and scooted the crate near the counter “Always a pleasure Erik! Samantha and I will see you tomorrow at the festival!”
“See you then!”
Erik left Bernstat’s shop with the coins in hands and made his way to Miracle who was grazing on some nearby hay. He patted the older horse before making it up to the cart and began to ready Miracle for their journey to the spot for the stand.
“Hey! Half breed!” Erik stopped dead in his tracks at those words, he knew that voice and it wasn’t one he liked. Erik’s yellow eyes turned to see three boys about his age making their way towards him. One on the left was tall with bright red colored hair, one on the right was short with black hair and the one in the middle had green hair and freckles.
“What do you want Peter?” Erik sighed, knowing where this was going. The boy with green hair chortled a laugh.
“Oh, nothing in particular freak.” the one called Peter laughed “Wanted to see what you were up to.” the three boys began to surround his cart, causing Miracle to graze his foot against the ground and snort as if to warn the boys.
“Peter,” Erik sighed in a monotone voice “I don’t want trouble, I just want to get on my way and do my job.”
“The one your mommy made you do?” Peter taunted “Why don’t you get that disgusting Elf father of yours to help- oh wait, he can’t can he? Because he doesn’t want a half breed son like you!”
Erik could literally feel his blood boil at that comment. Before Erik could react, a rock was thrown directly at Peter and his cronies.
Thwack! Thwack! Thwack!
They all looked in the direction the rocks came from to see a girl with a long, loose orange braid, blue eyes and a green dress-like shirt with brown pants and dark brown knee-high boots, tossing a rock into the air with her bare hand.
“So, you get your joy out of making fun of someone for things they can’t help?” the girl replied darkly “You want to know how I get my happiness? Seeing idiots like you beaten to a pulp!” she continued to throw rocks at the three until all three made the decision to run off, realizing this girl had the upper hand.
“This isn’t over!” Peter hollered “You’ll pay for this AmberLight!”
“Yeah!” the two boys hollered in unison before another rock hit them and the three ran off with their tails between their legs. The girl laughed and tossed the rock to the ground before joining Erik over on his carriage.
“Throwing rocks?” he cross-examined “That’s new, even for you Isabella.”
“I told you to just call me Izzy.” the girl named Isabella replied “And your little magic show almost started up. You don’t want that getting out in the public, don’t you?” Erik looked at his hands and hid them in his pockets until he could see the dim lights dissipate.
“God what a bunch of jerks.” Izzy commented “Can’t they just leave you alone?”
“I’m used to it by now.” Erik sighed “It’s been going on for years, everyone in this town isn’t too fond of me.” growing up for Erik wasn’t always the best. Being born a Human-Elf hybrid had its drawbacks, especially in the town of SnowFall which looked down on interspecies marriage.
Erik was never accepted by a lot of the adults or the school children because of his Elf heritage and the stereotype that follows Elves (that of which follows being haughty, egotistical creatures). A lot of children bullied Erik, especially Peter and his goons Ellis and Topias. The only people in this town who truly accept Erik for who he is was his mother, Bernstat and his wife Samantha and Izzy, who’s his best and only friend.
“You’re out here with Miracle?” Izzy noticed “That’s kind of a rare sight. You normally don’t want anything to do with him.”
“Ma made me take him out.” Erik explained “I have to set up our stall for The Festival tomorrow.”
“I see. Mind if I help you? I don’t really have anything to do today anyhow.”
“I don’t see any problem with that.” Erik admitted “Hop onto the cart. I’m on my way to the spot right now.”
“Sounds good to me.” Izzy ran up to the front of the cart and hopped onto the passenger side of the cart and soon. Erik took the reigns on Miracle and gave him the motion to move.
The spot was a small one near the town’s fountain and right next to a few other stalls that were preparing for tomorrow night. Erik and Izzy hopped off the carriage and made their way to the back where the piles of wood, box of nails, and tools all sat. Izzy and Erik made their way to a nearby piece of wood and lifted it up. Izzy was always gifted with athletics and knew her way with weapons such as bows and arrows and a sword. Erik on the other hand knew a bit about working with swords from what Izzy taught him; but he was never as gifted as her when it came to athletics.
Erik and Izzy began to add the first wooden pillar onto the stand and added a few more, creating a frame for the stall. Erik began to try and climb one of the poles they planted into the ground only for him to lose his footing and fall flat on his butt.
“Want me to handle this?” Izzy asked him.
“Go ahead.” Erik handed her the hammer and nails and watched with amazement as Izzy nimbly climbed a nearby shop’s walls, balanced herself on a small ledge before balancing herself onto the structure they so far built and began to hammer the nails into the spots that needed it.
“Show off.” Erik muttered under his breath.
“Who just saved your behind earlier today?” Izzy questioned, waving the hammer in her hand a little too carelessly. Erik just stared at her before letting out a sigh.
“Sorry Izzy.” Erik explained “Just have a bit on my mind.”
“About what Peter said? He’s a jerk Erik, don’t listen to him.”
“No,” Erik spoke “this morning Ma and I got into a bit of a disagreement. We spoke about my Dad and I still don’t understand why she’s holding onto him. Also, the fact my “almost accident” with Peter and his pals happened.” Erik was “gifted” with a strange ability for a very long time. It manifested around his ninth birthday when he and Izzy were playing by the nearby riverbank.
He never told his mother about this out of fear and knew whatever this power was, it was dangerous. When he was about nine, Erik and Izzy got too far into the nearby woods and soon came face to face with a bear. The bear was angered that Izzy and Erik went too far into its territory and when it tried to attack Erik, Erik’s powers manifested and let out a large aura of amber colored light, scaring the bear away. Since that day, Erik has always been cautious to use his abilities and tried to teach himself how to wield it better.
“I see,” Izzy understood, as she hammered another nail into the frame “why don’t you just tell your mother Erik? Maybe she can help you.”
“I don’t want her to worry.” Erik explained “She worries about me enough and faces a lot of ridicule for marrying an Elf to begin with. She does enough for me, and I don’t want her to carry another burden.” Izzy rolled her eyes a little bit when Erik looked away.
“You’ve been practicing it I assume?” Izzy quizzed after finishing one spot and moving onto the next section “Any progress?”
“Hardly.” Erik groaned “I got it passed my arm today but that’s about it.”
“Any good idea what it could be?”
“Not really, it can protect me if need be; but I think it can heal me too.”
“It can heal?!” Izzy almost lost her balance on the structure hearing this.
“Be careful!” Erik warned “But yeah I think it can. I cut my hand the other day plowing the fields. I went to go find a bandage; but before I could, that same light appeared and healed my wound.
“So, it can heal you and protect you.” Izzy pondered as she added the last nail and made her way down “I never heard of anything like this before. Have you ever seen your mother use this?”
“No. In fact, I don’t think Ma has it.”
“So, it leads to your father. Elves are proficient in magic; it could be from him.”
“Maybe, but I don’t even have my Dad around to ask and I don’t know anything about his side of the family.”
“Only one way to find out.” Izzy added.
“I don’t know Izzy,” Erik admitted uncomfortably “I really don’t like bringing Dad up in a conversation with Ma. The conversation always ends up badly and just thinking about Dad isn’t really something I like to do.”
“Erik,” Izzy sighed “how do you expect to move forward when you won’t take that step forward?” Erik remained silent from that comment “Exactly. Erik, you need to be honest with your mom. If you don’t tell her, it’s going to get worse. She might know what’s going on.” he looked at Izzy with pure silence before letting out a long sigh.
“I guess I can try.” Erik admitted “I’ll find the right moment and ask her then.” Izzy looked Erik in the eye and could see he was indeed being serious about this “I’m going to get the tarps out of the cart.” he made his way over to the cart and began to pick up one or two tarps to hang over the stand they were building. Once he got them both, Erik tripped over a stone that was on the ground and fell into the mud, coating himself in nothing but mud. Fortunately, the tarps didn’t get dirty.
“Honestly Erik,” Izzy laughed jokingly “You really are a handful.”
Erik sat up while still sitting in the pile of mud. He was coated in the liquid earth from most of the front of his body. His hair was plastered to his head, most of his face was covered in mud, his shirt was drenched, his pants were coated, and he could feel his boots getting filled with it.
When sitting up to look at Izzy, he wiped the mud off his face to reveal his yellow colored eyes and watched as Izzy laughed. Seeing her like this, he couldn’t help but laugh too.