OF :: Rainy Days

Title: Rainy Days
Arc: Taratia
Rating: PG
Written: Summer 2005
Summary: Ellira laments how her pregnancy is driving her elder daughter away.

These characters, stories, and ideas are the original, copyrighted work of Nicole Sharp and are protected under a Creative Commons License.

Ellira glanced up from the shirt she was mending when her daughter paced before her for the fourth time in a minute. The child’s profile was just visible beyond the hood of the cloak she wore despite being indoors. Her lips were set into a fine line, and she wouldn’t stop worrying at the seams of cloak no matter how much Ellira chided her for it. Rain continued tapping at the window as it had for the past five days. Three more steps and the child turned to pace back toward the door to her father’s workshop.

With a sigh, Ellira set the shirt down. “Ilarwyn Selatiru, what is the matter with you?”

The child straightened, her eyes snapping to her mother. “What did you call me?”

“You heard what I called you, darling,” she replied with a reproving expression.

“You never say that name,” the child insisted. “Not here.”

“Well, it got you to stop pacing, now, didn’t it?” The child fidgeted. “Don’t you dare start again, Ilarwyn.”

“Yes, Mama.” Little fingers pressed harder as they rubbed thinning seams.

“What have I told you about ruining those seams? Do you think I enjoy mending, child?”

The little girl shook her head, the distant, anxious look in her eyes intensifying. “No, Mama.”

Ellira sighed again. “I know you’re restless, darling, but you can’t spend all afternoon pacing up and down the room. Perhaps we could bake cookies.”

“There’s no flour,” the child answered without looking at her mother. “We ran out the day before yesterday.”

“What about your lessons?”

“I finished the newest book yesterday.” She drew her brows together. “I hope Grandmother sends a new one soon.” Ellira noted that she was beginning to rub the edges of the cloak again.

“What about the game she sent you?”

“Papa stepped on it. He said he would fix it, but he hasn’t,” her daughter complained.

Ellira leaned forward, a difficult task considering the size of her belly, and caught Ilarwyn’s tunic, finally attracting the girl’s eyes to her own. “And who left it where she ought not to have?”

The child’s skin flushed brighter for the slightest of instants before she looked away and regained control. “I did.”

“What’s bothering you, sweetheart?” Ellira asked as she leaned back.

Ilarwyn shook her head. A moment later she started pacing again. Ellira pulled herself to her feet with a grunt. This second child felt like more of a burden on her than Ilarwyn ever had. Then again, she reflected as she set a hand on her aching back, bearing her elder daughter had been a different sort of burden. As she watched the melancholy on the face of her daughter as the girl marched past, Ellira cursed—not for the first time—the fact that carrying this child lessened her ability to know her daughter’s mind. She closed her eyes, remembering the way Ilarwyn’s body had once fitted perfectly against her own.

The sound of crying brought her back. Ilarwyn dragged a forearm across her eyes, glanced for one moment at her mother, and then ran to her own room. Ellira winced as the door closed. “What’s the matter with you, girl?” Ellira called. She frowned in the direction of the workshop. How could Teleron continue working like that? Was he completely oblivious? Muttering two lines of a prayer, she made her way toward her daughter’s room. She knocked twice before calling her daughter’s name. A few more sniffles were all she heard in reply. “Ilarwyn Isallyn, you open this door and tell me what’s wrong.” Renewed tears. Ellira bit back a sigh and set her forehead against the doorjamb. “Ilarwyn, please. I can’t stand it when you won’t talk to me.”

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