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The Clearling - Assignment Example

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THE CLEARING Kallan blinked as she emerged into the clearing. Setting her basket down, she brushed her long dark hair off her damp forehead; it had come undone again, escaping its restraining pins. She sighed as she thought about how angry her mother would be if she were to see her now with her untidy hair and mud splattered skirts…
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Download file to see previous pages She dragged her basket over to the spring, then knelt and scooped up some of the clear cool water to drink. Refreshed, she lay back on the grass and closed her eyes, not caring about the further stains her clothes would suffer. She had been hunting in the forest all afternoon for berries, so that her mother could make her famous berry pie for their “special” guest, who was coming to dinner tonight. Kallan did not want to think of that “special” guest, her stomach tightened every time she did. Her parents had been looking for an eligible suitor ever since she had turned 16 last spring and Mr. Goodwyn was the result. He was rich, owned a manor house on ten acres of land and he was well connected at court. “The perfect husband!” Her mother had labelled him. “A proper gentleman.” Her father had announced happily. But, Kallan did not like him, never mind love him! And aren’t you supposed to love the person you are to wed? She thought to herself miserably. Lately, she had found herself spending more and more time in the forest, trying to avoid Mr. Goodwyn’s frequent visits. But, there was no avoiding him tonight; for, it was tonight that he was to make his formal proposal to her father, asking him for her hand in marriage. A silent tear rolled down her cheek and she made no attempt to wipe it away, instead she listened to the singing of the birds around her. Then, faintly she heard something else, sweet distant music accompanied by the tinkling of bells. As she listened, it came closer until it was all round her. Blinking she sat up and gasped in amazement. The sun had set and faint stars were beginning to shine, and in the faint light she saw that in the once empty clearing, now stood at least a dozen silvery white horses, their brightly coloured harnesses jingling with tiny gold bells. But, what was more astonishing were the people, if people they were, who were now dismounting from the beautiful horses. They were tall and slender, and moved so gracefully that they seemed to flow over the ground. One of the figures was playing a harp, the source of the sweet music she had heard. Stooping the figure set the harp on the ground and turned to Kallan. “Now, child, do not stare so. Have you never heard of The Fair Folk?” The speaker was the loveliest female Kallan had ever seen, she was tall and willowy with a fountain of coppery curls falling in waves down her back and around her angular ageless face. “W-well, yes…but,” Kallan stammered in a half whisper. She had heard tales of The Fair Folk, but she had thought that that is all they were, tales. The woman smiled gently down at her. “Come join us my dear, we are stopping for our evening meal.” She held out her hand and Kallan scrambled to her feet and took it “I am Taylliana, Elf Queen of Fernin.” Kallan gasped and tried to curtsy but the queen stopped her saying, “None of that child, it is not necessary. What is your name?” “Kallan My Lady.” “Well met Kallan.” the queen said “Now come join us.” She led Kallan to where a brightly coloured silk covering had been placed on the grass. Kallan sat down dazedly and politely accepted a glass of what smelt like berry juice from the queen. She could not believe what she was experiencing, it all seemed so unreal. “This is Kallan.” The queen announced to the rest of the elves as they sat down and began passing bowls of fresh ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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