I knew it, today was my birthday! Though not a regular custom, celebrating the day one was brought into this world, the circumstances of my birth are quite exceptional. Mother’s words, not mine. She likes to remind me of how I came to be as often as she can. You see, it is common for people of different lands to live and wonder in this country but ironically the liberty comes not without its prejudices.
Before I was born, the ruler of long ago saw fit to open the borders to the many known races and cultures of the known world, granting opportunity to those who swore fealty to the dominion. Skilled, wealthy and committed denizens who weren’t from an unfriendly nation, flocked to this continent with the promise of a new and prosperous life. With the condition thou commit themselves entirely. It was proclaimed that a grand civilisation of man opened its boarders to the vast world of the unfamiliar. It happened so long ago, history is surely blemished by time and generations of speculation.
Some will argue that it was all a ploy designed to instigate an alien levy on first generation settlers. The same people mutter opinions that this land never belonged to the throne in the first place. Hence the animosity between certain militant cultures, shall we say. But that is a different matter altogether. I for one am certain it was an economical solution to the Grim Deluge. A great flood that killed indiscriminately by means of destruction, famine and plague. Many were met with ill fate, ultimately dwindling the population to an unprecedented number. What better remedy than to replace lost citizens with people from beyond the seas. One might assume much as to say their prospects were better suited before arriving here. Alas, their perseverance and sheer desire to live somewhere anew, paved the way to the eclectic nation we live in now.
You see, my father came to this town an immigrant via the merchant ship called the Cypran, the biggest of which has ever docked in these waters. I am uncertain as to the true nature of his visit but what I can tell you is, my mother succumbed to his charm the moment they gazed upon one another. His skin a shiny bronze from the ocean spray, hair like the sun and eyes like a clear sky in summer. A handsome exotic from a foreign world. He would carry a spear with him everywhere he went as if threat awaited around every corner, besides that he seemed a relatively immaterial man. Yet mother was smitten. Elf kind of any diversity is most unheard of here, for many are said to be illusive creatures who rarely settle in the company of man. Idle talk I am sure but father is the closest bond I have to any semblance.
He would hunt game in our neighbouring woods at the dead of night and one would think made an honest living selling game and pelts to the townsfolk. All the while living on the beach like an irresponsible hermit. They first met formally on one of mother’s barefoot strolls across the black sands, which she still walks this day on occasion. One peaceful evening brought them together and they both bartered memories of days gone. It did not take father long to plot his way to my mother’s heart and from there on they were as good as wed. She insisted he occupy our guest room until the day he found himself in my mother’s. It is rather strange to talk about my parentage in this manner but I am not a child anymore, I am aware of the intimate nature of love. Though the thought of them both committing the act resulting in my existence, does make me a little ill.
The morning after he had vanished, leaving mother alone and with child. I will never forgive him for that, no matter what his reasoning. Mother would never tell me the particulars, should my mind become burdened with more questions.
I would tell you his name but I do not know it. Regardless I would not be permitted to utter it within the walls of our home. I only know this much because our homekeeper Editha told me in confidence. She has been in mother’s employ for almost twenty years and knew father as long as she did. I am so very fond of her and her loving demeanour, she’s an aunt to me in many ways and might as well be a permanent member of the family. She baked us all orange fire cake today, the first time I have ever tasted such a zesty fruit even if they do grow not a day’s journey inland. Editha is a wonderful cook amongst other things, I think I shall request this recipe again for future occasions worth celebrating.
I must proclaim, there is more good news! I have thought of a name for you. Two winters ago, I befriended a girl who was so very fond of climbing. The baker’s daughter, one of five and the oldest of her sisters. She could climb anything from the stone walls surrounding us to the tallest pines along the cliffs. Like a cat, she clawed her way to the apex of her obstacles. But she was never very good at descending. One evening, we both rose to the forest top and watched the sun set on the horizon, the air was clear and all was beautiful.
I could never climb as high as she did but perhaps it was for the best. The fall was long and every branch was disturbed. I can still imagine the pine cones dropping around her like the early signs of heavy rain. Her father, a simple man of salt and rye, could never support a cripple along with four other children. He had little choice but to offer her to the Raffteilis convent where she will be kept whole. If she continues to live, she will be forever nameless under the eyes of their God. I do wish to one day see her again.
I don’t think I’ll make a habit of naming inanimate objects but henceforth, you shall continue her name. Yes, Heidi sounds nice to me, I do hope you like it.