For some time, I have been very down on my writing. I wrote a long short story and polished a novella. Magnificent achievements, huh? My fingers were starting to itch to write something, so I pulled out a musty, ancient manuscript, took some Claritin and dusted it off. It doesn’t even have a title!! But it does have a synopsis which is a rather commonplace fantasy story.
As a child, the hero is fostered with humans. One of the reasons is that he possesses extreme magical talent that the Elves wish to keep secret until he is of age. When he is eighteen, he will be taken to The Vinings, the Elven institute of magic, and become a mage. Conflict: The hero and heroine are in love but mages are celibate. And the two young people come from different worlds.
Question: Do they know all their lives that the hero will be taken at eighteen, giving them time to grieve? Or is it kept secret and the hero’s father just shows up to take him away? Help appreciated!
Following is a bit of Chapter 1:
If she stared at him long enough, Ebien would turn and focus on her. When Ebien gave her his attention, it was total and intense as he was. He always sensed when she was looking at him. She loved simply studying him, any place, any time. His sharp, sculpted features, his pale hair swept now behind one pointed ear. Ebien was an elf. Yes, an elf living among Man. He was her father’s fosterling, his own father not having time to raise a young boy/magician. Egene, an Elven magician, traveled the Elven lands teaching the simpler powers of magic. His mother had died, along with his infant sister in childbirth, when Ebien was six.
Thus, Ebien had come to live at Graycourt Manor.
His arrival had caused quite a stir. In the worst rainstorm most people could remember, Lord Henry rode into the courtyard with a drenched Elven child behind his saddle. Immediately, speculation and vicious rumors greeted the event. It would be almost a year before a visit from Egene proved Lord Henry’s claims that Ebien was not his love child. Lianne had to believe Ebien wasn’t a relation…because she had fallen hopelessly in love with him at first sight.
Though she’d been a girl of four years when her father rode into the castle courtyard with that small boy perched behind his saddle, she vividly remembered her first glimpse of Ebien. The moment had taken Lianne’s breath away. From that instant, she’d had eyes only for the slender elf father handed down to a footman.
Gripping her mother’s skirts, she watched the mystery boy slide off the great black stallion. With the grace and agility of a deer, he landed on his feet. He then stood studying them with a stoic expression. Only the wide blue eyes betrayed emotion, and that merely a mild curiosity. In his dark green wool cloak with brown trousers and a deep green tunic, he looked like he belonged to another world—one of beauty and magic.
“My wife.” Her father’s gauntleted arm lifted as he swept them with eyes black as his leather armor. “My daughter…my beloved family.” He placed a hand on the newcomer’s shoulder. “This is Ebien. He is one of us now.” A flinty edge of command brooked no questions or arguments. “You will think of him as your foster brother or even your brother if you like.”
“Brother?” Her mother bristled, squaring her shoulders, and glared at the elven child as if he’d committed some outrage. “Henry, how could you? And bring your shame home for me to raise?”
Father drew himself up to his full height, looking like a bear in armor. His brow darkened like a thundercloud. “Wife, hold your tongue. Look at the boy! Does anything about him resemble me? He is tall, slender and fair. I am as dark as my forbearers. Is there one black hair in his almost white blond hair? No, I see you prefer to believe a lie rather than the truth. A lifelong friend asked me to care for his son until he was of age, and that if what we are all going to do. Welcome Ebien.”
Boldly, Lianne stepped away from her mother. “I believe you, Father.”
Father extended one hand to her and one to Ebien. “Come then, shall we get Ebien by a fire while a room is being prepared for him, and find him some dry clothes?”
With a strange, sideways look, Ebien took Father’s hand.
Impulsively, Lianne wrapped her chubby arms around the boy’s slim waist. She loved the smell of him—a forest after rain, fresh and green as spring. When he bent his head to gaze with surprised eyes at her, his hair tickled her cheek. It smelled and looked like sunshine.
He held her gaze, and time took a dizzying spin. In that mere second, an impossible dream was born.
Outside, footmen called to grooms, their voices snapping Lianne to the present many years later. But not long enough. The adult Ebien fastened serious blue eyes on her. Of late, he’d been so solemn and withdrawn that she hardly recognized the childhood companion who’d lit the pages of her days with high spirited mischief. She thrummed the small dulcimer upon which she practiced and stared at him through her lashes.
“What?” He attempted a frown, but the expression drifted into an exasperated smile.
“I was just looking at you.” Her face demure, she strummed the dulcimer. The soft strains of a love song resonated in the air.
“Why?” One slender arm, encased in red velvet, draped on the chair arm. Afternoon shadow outlined his straight nose, deepened the effect of high cheek bones, tipped a pointed ear red.
Why do people distrust Elves? He’s so perfectly beautiful. A long ago memory materialized before her eyes…her father kneeling to tell her that the Elves weren’t welcome amongst Man because of their ability to use magic. He finished by saying that what Man did not understand, he feared.
“Why was I looking at you?” For answer, she laid the dulcimer’s hammer aside and crossed the room to place her hands on his shoulders. From the garden below, the lilting melody of a flute floated on the summer air. When he tilted his head to gaze at her, his hair caressed her fingers with cool silken splendor. She was glad to see that mischief had returned to his eyes.
Think Lord of the Rings elves not Santa’s elves!