Wednesday, June 3, 2015

SWC- The Well of Realms

 Here goes nothing.


I pull the rope through the squeaking rusty pulley above the well. Not for water, not for any reasonable purpose at all. It's for memory's sake, and even more to keep me from realizing how mad my plan is.   

I just catch the rope from slipping through my hands. "Cordon? Uh. . ." I keep hauling the fraying rope. Keep it nonchalant. "What are you doing here?"

"Looking for you." The setting sun behind him gives the illusion of a nimbus surrounding his long, hazel hair. He saunters over to the well. "What are you doing here?"

"Oh, just went for a walk." A broken bucket handle surfaces from the well. "I love the twilight."

"I know." Cordon's voice is wispy. His thoughts are elsewhere. 

I sigh and look out at the wood. The secrets of the trees, the whistle bird who stubbornly nests in the same tree every year, the last of the sunlight as it kisses the damp earth good-night. 

"Eelistlle." Cordon catches my gaze and now I can't look away. "You're missing the human race again, aren't you?"

"And what makes you think that?" I give him a lop-sided look. I've never been a good liar. 

"Because elves don't take walks by the Well of Realms. In fact-" He leans an arm over the stone wall of the well. "Most avidly avoid it."

I lean against the wall also and stare down into it's darkness. Just like I did five years ago. Is that all? It felt like ages ago when I fell into this well. 

"They are beneath us," Cordon stresses.

I look him in the eye. "Just because they live in the Underland, does not make them beneath us."

"You know why they were banished there, Eelistlle." We've argued this before, but just us. Nobody else knows. "They destroyed everything they touched here."

"Yes!" I almost shout. I've never shouted at Cordon. "Yes." I breath. "I know. But Cordon, they-" I turn away. How do I make him understand? All that time I spent down there. They- the humans- they're not all that we're told. Perhaps they didn't fit in our world, but-

"I thought that all you wanted was to come home," Cordon says. "That's what you told me."

I face my mentor. "That is true. But. . ." I sigh. "They are a mess, like you say."

Cordon crosses his arms and gives me that smile that says he's tolerating me, or proud that I'm thinking for myself. He uses that smile for various reasons actually. 

"They have flaws, but they try. . ." I don't know what I'm saying. I was never good with words.

"They fight against each other."

"But they have hearts, and they can be noble. Cordon, they can be good," I'm practically pleading. "I have a friend down there. He needs my help. I know it!"

Cordon pinches the bridge of his nose. "I trained you for more than this."

"Who is to say that this is not an honourable cause?" I say. "Who is to know it is, or that it is not? Does anybody know for sure whether his undertaking was worthy of his life until he is at the end of it?"

Cordon swallows. We look out at the last arc of the sun through the pathway in the woods.

"So you are going then?" His head is down, but he still peers up at me.

"Yes," I say. "I- I'm not scorning my family, Cordon. Or our home. I will miss it all. I- will miss you. But please, understand. I have to do this-"

"Eelistlle." He claps his hands on my shoulders. "You have grown and matured so much. I only wished that, well." He smiles. "I thought one day I would have the privelge to fight beside you, as an equal. I am proud of you."

I breath deep and nod. 

"Go then." He gestures to the well. "Aid your friend. You are always welcome to return, but I do not know if your path will lead you back."

"I know not either," I say.

"But if you fall for some human female." Cordon jabs a finger toward me. "Then I shall come retrieve you myself."

I crouch upon the well wall. "Cordon, don't be ludicrous."

We nod to each other. The way my father and other elfin kings nod to each other. As equals. With respect for each others' different paths.

I plunge into the darkness of the Well of Realms. 

Brilliant Digital Illustrations by Sylar113

If you want to join the Summer Writing Camp link up the last day is this Friday. Just leave the URL to your post in the comments here. Have an awesome week!    


  1. I love this, Elves.... :) elves make me happy.I love your writing style. I would do this, I am just super busy this week. I might still try to squeeze it in today though.

    1. Thanks so much! It's a little different than what I normally write. Kind of spur of the moment too. Elves are always fun! :)

      Yay! I am so glad you joined the link up! I'll add your URL to the next prompt post. You have no idea how this made my day. :)

  2. I did it, I wasn't going to do it but I did,

  3. I love this! It was so awesome. Elves are awesome, always, forever. Were these characters part of a previous story, or did you make them up just for the prompt? This story ROCKS and is equally amazing either way. :)

    Also, every time I see this prompt, I don't think of it as, "You miss the human race, don't you?" I think of it as, "Did you freaking misplace the human race again?? STOP LOSING THEM! I TOLD YOU A THOUSAND TIMES TO REMEMBER WHERE YOU'RE PUTTING THE RACES!" lol like some race of gods that keep track of all the living creatures. XD *cough* aaaaanyway.

    1. Thanks! I made it up for the prompt.

      Oh my goodness I never thought of it that way, but it makes so much sense! And it's hilarious! :) You should do the prompt and use that idea. It would be so cool!

    2. I did it I did it! I thought I wouldn't have time, but I did it! :D

      hehehe it was fun! I'll definitely keep doing this! ^.^

  4. *flails* Oh wow, this is super interesting! There's a lot of history between the elves and humans, and ooh, loved the irony of falling for a "human female" at the end. (because in these stories, chances are they will. XD)

    1. Haha! Thanks! This comment really made me smile. :)
      Irony. Yes! It's not a working story; just something for the prompt, but I might continue it in other prompts. We'll see.

  5. GOSH


    and I know that cap locks are thrown around a lot here on the internet and we use asdasdlgk-s and all caps and disjointed sentences to convey emotions stronger than we actually feel BUT

    I love it.

    I really, really do.

    "I sigh and look out at the wood. The secrets of the trees, the whistle bird who stubbornly nests in the same tree every year, the last of the sunlight as it kisses the damp earth good-night." You, Ashley, are a beautiful writer. This is the truth.

    "Does anybody know for sure whether his undertaking was worthy of his life until he is at the end of it?" And THAT is the sort of line that would get put in a fancy font and a lot of people would Pin it on Pinterest.

    Because it is beautiful.

    I mean, I really, really like this story. I liked that other one too - The Job - but this is at a higher level. It's so spare. It's like the beginning of a novel. Psst. You should write the novel ...

    A question: what do elves look like? I'm imagining them more LotR style than The Elves and the Shoemaker. Correct?

    Anyway I really really like this story.

    Goodbye for now.

    1. Your comment just made my whole day. Really.

      Thank you so much!

      That description. I thought, this is an elf's last look at the forest he loves, what does he think? And that's what came of it. And then I second guessed myself, and third guessed myself. But Eelistle refused to think any differently, so it went in. And I'm so glad that it was good!

      Oh, thank you! I was mildly proud of that one. But then I wasn't sure if I should be even mildly proud of it. All the same though, it seemed true and true to Eelistle, so it stayed.

      Yeah, I'm actually toying with the idea of writing an actual book for Eelistle. He was not supposed to take over my life. Because have I to work on Oddball. I rather like the elf though. But I did write more about him for the SWC #3. I think it's called the Cold Rescue or something pathetic like that. :P

      I dumped originality out the window and stole LotR's elf style. I love Tolkien's elves. Where did he get his elves? They are so majestic, purposeful, and solemn as opposed the shoemaker elves who I always consider to be smallish, clumsy, fun-making, and mischievous.

      THANK YOU!


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