Hello Readers! Here is my next daily writing challenge, and my friend and I switched it up this time around when she selected a song for our prompt! It’s a catchy, bouncy, and whimsical song performed by Celtic Woman, and I even embedded a Youtube video for anyone to listen!
I was inspired when I did some research and read the lyrics about one urging their lover to join them on a quest, and was told in Tolkien’s Elven language. It inspired me to think about two traveling Elves, and went on from there. Enjoy below!
Two cloaked travelers entered through the thick wooden doors of a pub near the river in town as soon as the sun had completely set. It was a calm summer night, but there was an air of tension between the two figures as they went straight towards the bar.
The heavy-set barkeep looked them both up and down while he wiped down a glass mug, his expression revealing nothing. “What’ll it be, boys?”
Dior, the younger of the two, peered over towards his companion. “I don’t think we need anything. Do we, sir?”
“Actually, we’ll take two ales, and we’ll both take the special if there is one tonight, kind sir,” Raegel replied with a small smile. He placed a few coins down, probably more than what his order was worth, but the barkeep nodded in confirmation before he turned away, a little pep in his step.
Raegel decided to lower his hood and even on the dim lighting, his silver-white hair gleamed like starlight as it fell almost halfway down his back, and he swiped a few strands behind his elongated ear. Dior followed suit, and his eyes darted around their entire setting, not missing a single face or possible danger.
“Where did your informant say to meet again?” Dior whispered to Raegel.
The older Elf sensed an uneasiness about his companion, which was uncommon for their kind. An elf always exuded calm confidence in any situation. Dior was almost adolescent when compared to him; his aqua eyes were filled with naive wonder and his golden-amber hair was only half his own length. He knew he was beginning to advance in his years, but Raegel knew he still had a lot to teach his apprentice currently sitting next to him up by the bar. But first, their mission.
“They made sure to keep it as brief as possible,” Raegel answered. He gestured for Dior to turn in his seat so they faced opposite directions. “They couldn’t risk any information being revealed, which based off the information they could share with us tonight, only proves how necessary it is to take these precautions.”
Dior frowned. “So we have absolutely no idea what they’ll look like?”
“Remain calm, the letter they sent informed me they’ll make a signal when they make themselves known,” Raegel calmly assured Dior, noticing the returning barkeep with his hands full. “In the meantime, breathe and enjoy yourself. there’s no need to be impatient.”
“Here ye go boys, just what ye ordered,” the barkeep set two bowls of a warm soup in front of them, then placed the full mugs of ale down next, not spilling a drop. “Pleasure to serve, it’s not every day we see yer kind around these parts.”
“Suppose that means business is usually in abundance,” Raegel commented.
The barkeep chuckled. “Ye could say that. Usually elves only visit Shirewood on serious business, I always forget yer kind need to eat too.”
Raegel made it a point to sip his bowl of soup. Not too bad, but he’s had better. “Not as often as most, but we need sustenance just like any living creature.”
Dior turned around on his stool. “Luckily, we are just passing through, so there’s nothing to cause much concern..”
“Right, right, well happy to have ye here tonight.” the barkeep nodded. “Let me know if ye need anything.”
The two elves both politely thanked him before he walked down the bar to serve other patrons, no doubt to wager on why the two of them were in their small riverside town in the first place. It must be an uneventful area for the two of them to receive this much attention.
Raegel took another sip of his soup before he turned back to Dior. “I quite liked the man, I wouldn’t have minded continuing our exchange with him, like how he referred to me as ‘boy’ even though I’m most likely three-hundred his senior.”
Dior didn’t even bother eating his meal. “If he’s not our informant, then why waste our breath?”
“Because our presence already draws much attention, as I’m sure you’ve noticed.” Raegel paused as Dior once again eyed the room and felt everyone’s stares while none of the conversations ended. “Why draw more attention to ourselves? It looks quite suspicious if two elves come into a bar, and don’t even bother to purchase a meal or refreshment, don’t you think?”
Catching the subtle dig, Dior finally lifted his spoon to his mouth. “I see your point.”
Raegel chuckled, and could sense the newfound relief wash across the room after. “There’s no need to rush these meetings. I know you have many years left, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take the time to enjoy these small moments from time to time.”
Dior took a large gulp of his ale, his shoulders dropping just an inch. “Yes sir, I just detest remaining in the dark on any of the information we need. You know how important this information is, and how much our Queen requires this information.”
“Our informant should have arrived already,” Raegel assured Dior. “Now, we simply wait for a signal.”
A curvaceous woman stepped up onto a small stage towards the back, and a small troupe of musicians began to strum their instruments. The woman immediately joined in and sang a song about two lovers; one urging the other to join them on a journey, of the ancient sun, and to seize the day. It was a campfire song that Raegel remembered from his younger days, before he became a soldier, and he’d lost his first love. He was impressed at the perfect elven pronunciation the human woman sang, so he turned his head to give her his full attention.
On stage, she smiled as she continued on, and even got most of the other patrons to gather around and joyously dance along; she even joined after a few other patrons gestured for her. Her smile was infectious, and her hair shimmered as it caught the light of a nearby oil lamp.
Still seated, Raegel watched over the whole scene with a mix of nostalgic joy and melancholy. He took a deep breath at the memories the song brought back to him. All the while, Dior finished his meal, then his eyes returned to scanning the pub as it began to fill up as the night grew late.
When the woman’s eyes met his own, Raegel knew that instant that he’d found their informant.
Thanks for Reading!
— Nick Goodsell