Chapter 3 - "Not an elf"

Chapter 3 - "Not an elf"

A Chapter by Eleanor Ruth
"

In which Keyleth meets a familiar person and a visit is arranged

"
“Elf!” The now red-faced dwarf growled, reaching for where his axe would normally have been. Keyleth had tucked her hair behind her ears and Fargrim had jumped to the conclusion that she was a pure-blood elf after seeing that they were slightly pointed. Elves and dwarves had a history for not getting on well at all and Keyleth didn’t blame the ginger man for hating them. Elves were notoriously pompous.

“No, I am a half-elf,” she crouched down and let him look at her ears. “See? Not an elf. Well, not a proper elf anyway.” Fargrim grumbled what sounded like an apology and sat down, his face now calming down so that it was now pink with embarrassment rather than red with fury. “You are Fargrim Greyspear, are you not?”

“Aye, how do you know who I am, lassie?” He enquired. The half-elf smiled and sat opposite him. She opened her mouth to speak but was interrupted.

“Like that matters, Grim,” Ben said, impatience flickering in his eyes. “She mentioned Arlos and-”

“Arlos? It’s been a long time since I’ve heard someone speak of it. Have they sent you to bring me back?” He looked dejected when Keyleth shook her head. “You got here by accident then?”

“I did... I was out hunting in Syarg and then I just ended up here.” She looked up when she heard Alec mutter to Ben.

“What are they on about?”

“I wish I knew.” The taller man murmured. Fargrim looked over, glaring.

“Arlos is our home. All this time you’ve said I was drunk or on drugs, and now, even when someone else speaks of it you don’t believe me!” Fargrim was become more enraged, more so with Alec who was trying not laugh and failing miserable.

“Grim, mate, you are funny when you go on about your magic planet with wizards and dragons. None of that stuff is real. It’s obvious that you’ve got your little friend her to dress up as an elf to prank us.” He said after he’d finished laughing. Ben had stopped and taken note of the seriousness in the dwarf and the half-elf’s faces.

“Um, I think they might actually be telling the truth-“

A loud ringing noise cut him off and made Keyleth jump and Alec pulled a silver object out of his pocket. He cursed when he looked at it and put it back. Ben gave him a stern look.

“You know she’ll just call the cabin phone. She always does and I’m not lying for you this time,” Ben grabbed Alec by the collar of his shirt. Keyleth’s eyes widened when an even louder ringing noise came from the other side of the room. Ben rolled his eyes and he picked up the object that was ringing. It was in a black box that had a hole where the device had been held. The moment Ben removed it the ringing stopped and he put it to his ear.

“Hello?” There was a pause and Keyleth could make out a woman introduce herself as Angie and asked if Alec was there. “He’s right here, Ms Knight.” The woman in the device asked if she could speak to Alec. “Of course you can.” Ben grinned and handed the object to Alec, who tried to push it away until Ben pressed it against the shorted man’s ear.

“Mum! How are you?” Alec said, his voice rose in pitch ever so slightly to make it seem like he was happy to speak to her. ‘I’m fine. How are you, pumpkin?’ was the reply. Ben and Fargrim sniggered when Alec blushed. Keyleth looked bemused and turned to Ben.

“Who is he talking to? And is she stuck inside that thing?” She asked, a mixture of horror, confusion and amusement on her face. The huge man shook his head

 “It’s his mother and there’s no-one stuck in anything... Look, I’ll explain it later... Angie heard you and thinks he’s settled down with a nice girl,” Ben laughed loudly. “Like that would ever happen.”

“No, Mum, she’s nothing to do with me, she’s a friend of Grim...” Keyleth couldn’t make out what was said next but it made Alec’s cheeks turn bright red. “I don’t know if she’s single and even if she was I wouldn’t want to date her." The woman spoke again. "Because...” He stopped speaking and turned to Keyleth, who still had no idea of what was going on. He stared at her in a way so intense she thought her legs would stop working altogether and that they'd give way beneath her. It was almost as if he was trying to find a flaw.

Ben and Fargrim stopped laughing, still amused but wanted to hear what Alec said next as he went through the door marked ‘Alec’. The last thing the group heard him say before he closed the door was: “I’ve only just met her.”

“Oh my God...” Ben stared at the door in shock.

“What is it?” Keyleth asked, after regaining control of her lower limbs. Fargrim seemed to be in the same state of shock.

“That has never happened. Ever. Nothing. He couldn’t come up with anything.” The dwarf said eventually.

“Unbelievable.”

“What is?” The two men turned to face Keyleth and she took a few steps back, suddenly feeling uneasy.

“That man has been with so many women, he can find something wrong with one the very second he looks at them. Too tall...” Ben told her.

“Too short...” Fargrim added.

“Too busty...”

“Too flat...”

“Too blonde, too ginger. Too pale, too dark. Eyes too wide apart. Gap between the teeth. Every girl has at least one flaw in his eyes, no matter how tiny.”

“But he still fu-“ Fargrim started. Ben glared at him and the ginger man stopped talking.

“Let’s be clean, he still brings them back here, they leave the next day and he always finds a reason not to call them back, but when he looked at you, it was ‘only just met her.’ That’s not a flaw. He looked at you properly and in a way he’s never looked at anyone and he couldn’t find anything wrong with you. Not even your pointy ears.” Ben got up and walked over to her.

“What does that mean?” Keyleth asked, although she had a vague idea despite her lack of experience with men.

“I think he likes you. Seriously, properly likes you. Yeah, you’re a bit weird with your talk of elves and dragons and that Arlos place like Grim-“ An ‘OI!’ was heard from where Fargrim was sitting. “But still, this situation is just... Odd.”

Keyleth just stood there, trying to make sense of everything the two men had just told. She shook her head, yawning. This whole day had been exhausting and the only thing she wanted was to be at home, asleep. Ben noticed that she looked tired.

“I take it you don’t have anywhere to go.” He sighed when the girl nodded. “You can stay in my room. It’s neater than Alec’s. I’ll camp out on the sofa.”

“That is very kind of you, but I think I have caused you enough bother for one night...” Keyleth said, smiling gratefully. Fargrim stood in front of the door.

“Just say for the night, lassie. It’ll be easier to find your way back in the morning.” He told her. She looked between them and sighed. She really had no choice in the matter, but she had to admit that she was extremely weary. A growling from her stomach indicated that she was rather hungry also. “Plus, it sounds like you need a good meal in your belly too...”

Keyleth nodded, slightly embarrassed. Ben walked into the room where the white box was, the half-elf followed him inside to see what other contraptions would be in there. She was stunned at the amount of silver there was in the small room.

“All this silver must have been expensive to buy. You must be very rich.” She said, inspecting a curved tube over a metal bowl. Ben laughed.

“It’s not silver. Most of it is steal or plastic. Not expensive at all here.” He told her as he opened the bottom half of the white box. There was a sudden chill in the air as he did so, and much to Keyleth’s amazement it was coming from the white box. She went over to it and inspected the contents. It was freezing cold and inside there were a lot of flimsy boxes inside and bags of small green and yellow vegetables she knew to be peas and corn.

“What on Arlos is this wonderful invention?” She enquired, her eyes wide once more but with delight and inquisitiveness.

“It’s a fridge-freezer. The top half is the fridge which keeps food cool so that it stays fresh when we eat it, and the bottom half is the freezer which, well, freezes food so that it can last us weeks, maybe months.”

“I must take this back home with me. Father would...” She trailed off, her expression saddening. Ben frowned slightly, concerned.

“What’s wrong?” The young girl shook her head. She was clearly upset.

“I had an argument with my father before I left... The last thing I said to him was that he was an old fool,” she looked up at Ben, eyes shining with unshed tears. “What if I never see him again? That would be that last thing he will remember me saying. I did not mean it. I was just angry at him.” Her voice cracked as a single tear rolled down her pale cheek which was now slightly pink due to the rush of excitement followed by guilt and sorrow. Ben grabbed a long blue and white checked cloth and handed it to her. “Thank you, Ben.”

“Look, it hasn’t even been 12 hours since you got here. We’ll find out how it happened and by this time tomorrow, you and your dad will be laughing like that argument never happened at all, OK?” Keyleth nodded and smiled slightly. She wiped her eyes.

A thump followed by a stream of cursing made Ben and Keyleth look up. Alec stormed out of his room and threw himself on the sofa. Something had made him angry. Ben left the room to see what all the fuss was about. Grim had beaten him to it.

“What’s the matter, lad?” The dwarf asked. Alec huffed and sat up properly. He looked up at everyone individually, his eyes lingering on Keyleth longer than anyone else. He took a deep breath before speaking.

“My mum is coming to visit in two days.”


© 2012 Eleanor Ruth


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Eleanor Ruth
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Added on January 4, 2012
Last Updated on January 6, 2012
Tags: second moon of arlos, fantasy, half-elf, human, dwarf


Author

Eleanor Ruth
Eleanor Ruth

United Kingdom



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