Once in the door, we learn more of Elfride...
Posted September 11, 2008
The previous 3 episodes of this story can be seen here:
Oona: Please, Elfride, have a seat, and I’ll bring some tea while we wait for Junco. She stepped out on an errand, but she should be back soon.
Elfride: Thank you – I think I could use some! What a pleasant room…
Junco: Ah, you have arrived safely. I trust your journey was not too eventful?
Elfride: *laughs* I’m not sure which was more, um, lively -- the trip, or the arrival!
Junco: How so – though I can surmise, thinking back on my situation when first I came here. *chuckle*
Elfride: I was greeted by the UN-welcome Wagon! A one-woman operation – or, I should say, one-girl. With a deceptively innocent face –
Junco: An excitable child is Miss Tabitha. She seems to have a grudge against Elves, though no one has been able to ascertain why. The mistress of this house takes it in stride, as do the rest; so shall we, then.
Oona: You’re back, Junco – and you found your guest. I’ll leave this for you and give you both some privacy, then.
Junco: Most gracious of you, Oona, but if Elfride does not mind, I would like for you to stay, and understand further the reason for this visit.
Elfride: I don’t mind – please, Oona, join us.
Oona: Thank you – I admit, I’m curious!
Junco: As you may know, I offer my services to those who seek what is lost. Elfride asked me to find her Elven origins for her, as she did not know who else she could turn to for such a delicate task.
Elfride: I realized that it would take an Elf to find an Elf – although first I had to find another Elf -- not easy when you’re a city dweller!
Oona: But -- you are an Elf, aren’t you?
Elfride: Yes -- *soft laugh* but I was raised among humans, by humans, and for many years did not think I was an Elf – until the passage of time took away my human parents, then my human siblings, then their children – and I seemed to remain little changed since reaching adulthood.
Oona: How sad! But, your ears – how was that explained?
Elfride: It was regarded as one might a birthmark. My hair often concealed them, and when noticed, shined on with a joke. Most humans don’t believe in Elves, anyway.
Oona: And how did you explain your not aging at the same rate?
Elfride: This was trickier, though once again, part of a joke – I’d found “the Fountain of Youth”, something to that effect. Or, leave to visit other cities for years at a time, and return as my own daughter, for the benefit of neighbors, friends and relatives other than the immediate family.
Tabitha: *muttering* #@$% tricksy Elf!
Oona: *startled* What? Is that you, Tabitha – where are you? Why are you hiding in here?
Junco: *softly* Pay no attention, Oona. I have known of her presence all along; leave her be.
Oona: Oh – if you say so, then, Junco. Elfride, now I want to know -- how did you come to be adopted by a human family?
Elfride: Well, that is the murky part. When I was a child, they used to say that they found me under a cabbage leaf, which is what people then used to say euphemistically about where human babies came from. In her later years, as her health declined, my human mother told me that the old saying wasn’t far from the truth in my case. I was indeed found under a leaf, of a huge fern, in the woods, when they were on a nature walk. My mother was delighted that I was a little girl, as she had two sons, and her only daughter up to that point had died some months before of a fever going around. In those days, since records weren’t kept with such accuracy, my father and mother devised a ruse to pass me off as their own. They owned a house in the country, not far from where I was found, to which they often retreated from the city where they also lived. She pretended to need convalescence due to her bereavement, until an appropriate amount of time passed before making my debut. Thus I grew up accustomed to subterfuge, low-key as it was.
Oona: They were doing all this as best they knew how, weren’t they? You seem to have been loved and well-cared for –
Elfride: Yes… I really was. I’ve had a long time to think about it – and, considering the circumstances, I have had a good life. However, I feel it is time to find out my real family – for which Junco has proved invaluable in my search.
Tabitha: Booooooo-ring!!! I got what I wanted, so I’m outta here! **exits**
Oona: Well, that’s a relief! Sorry about that, Elfride.
Elfride: I’m getting used to it! *laughs* Anyway – Junco has actually found a living Elf relative of mine, which was not an easy task, as it appears someone worked hard to obfuscate what lay behind the situation, if not outright obliterate the evidence.
Junco: Aye… ‘twas a classic tale of vengeance, pride, and greed, in the name of power. An ancient motive, ever recurring over the millennia, told many times over, with new names and faces. And here sits one of them, come to this house to find another.
Oona: Does this mean – here -- living here?
Junco: *smile* It does –
Oona: Now I’m REALLY glad Tabby left! Oh my… is it who I think it is?
Are you thinking what Oona’s thinking?
Of course, we haven’t heard the last from Tabitha on this matter.