Warm misty air filled Thendiel’s nose with the scents of dark soil and green moss. The forest was alive with the buzzing hum of life. Stealthily leaning her back flat against the nearest tree, her hair flung across her face hiding her against the forested background. Thendiel froze in anticipation.
She loved her mother but young ones of her age liked to play at, hide and seek, and Thendiel would not be left out again because of elfling braids. Through narrowed eyes she peered through a twining cascade of hair for others who might be hiding. Not seeing any she relaxed. Truth be told, she didn’t really have any trusted friends in the village. With a sigh Thendiel tugged at another twig lodged in her long hair. Giving up on it she tossed tangled hair and all back over her shoulder. She didn’t have time to play right now anyway. She could not help the sting in her nose as she realized the others had moved their game to the far side of the gardens and she was left out again.
“Fine, my friend, Willow, is coming from Ettenfalis tomorrow and you will all be begging us both to play.” Thendiel sadly stared into the distance hoping she was somehow wrong and someone would appear, but she was not wrong.
“Trees make better friends than you anyway,” she shouted into the empty woods. The tree she was leaning on tingled under the palms of her hands. Thendiel turned and pressed a wet cheek against its smooth bark as disappointment turned into a flood of tears. Empathy from the tree gave comfort to her senses. Thendiel sniffled, wiping her disappointed face on a sleeve. She thanked the young sapling. It was time she focused her mind on the task she was given.
Thendiel busied sympathetic hands alerting the trees with the greeting her mother had taught her. She smiled at the ancient humming songs she received. Each had its own name that surged through cambium layers down to the deepest of hearts. The trees stood majestically tall like a great clan. Their proud canopy of green shaded and cooled the ground keeping the forest inhabitants safe from the drying heat. Their thick trunks wore mossy coats of green on the shady north side while lichen formed whitish gray lacy patterns all along the edges.
As Thendiel came to the first sentinel she felt the familiar glow surround her as her palms touched its rough outer bark. She shared the herald of joyful celebration and caution and the tree sent back its sleepy acknowledgment as it woke from its long slumber.
A cloud of tiny white moths, hardly bigger than Thendiel’s fingertips, swarmed past in the moist air looking for cover from the hot sun. Thendiel sensed the elder trees whispering to one another through the underground tangle of roots. All the trees would be awake and prepared for Yavanni Elenea. – Excerpt from chapter one, Tales of Eldelórne: Book Two