Twelfth Chime

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
OK, this was actually a short story that I had to write as a piece of English coursework xD but I decided to post it on here because I couldn't stand not having anything posted and I feel that this is the only piece I have written that is ready to be read by you lot :)
So enjoy and comment if you want to :)

Oh, and I know the title is rubbish xD

Submitted: May 03, 2009

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Submitted: May 03, 2009

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Dawn. And a slight breeze played upon the instruments of the forest as if a true maestro was at work. The wind whistled as it squeezed between the old gnarled trunks of ancient trees and the leaves whispered and passed on the secrets of the wind when stirred by its cold fingers. The wind grass sang and the air was filled with a quiet buzz that rose and fell like an enchanting melody. All sounds heard were slightly muffled, cushioned within the walls of ancient trees and the thick carpet of the leaf-strewn forest floor. But soon the wind reached the edge of the wood. The air it travelled through slowly opened out as the trees became less densely planted until suddenly, the wind reached a huge clearing. It then found the walls and gates of the city and attempted to enter, finding the cracks and fissures in the solid rock, until it dissipated and was no more.
Silence. A figure waited at the gates of the slumbering golden city. Tracing the patterns of the beautiful inlays, enamels and semi-precious stones adorning the gates with a slender fore-finger, the figure gazed at the distant mountains, where a soft glow appeared as the sun prepared to make its entrance into the world. The figure carried a long, carved wooden staff topped with a blue crystal that glowed slightly, dispelling the darkness encircling it and giving the figure an aura of powerful magic. The hand that gripped the staff was hidden by a full length cloak, the colour of the leaves growing in the darkest recesses of the enchanted forest surrounding the city. Slight movements of the cloak revealed the figure to be wearing a tunic in a lighter shade of green, held at the waist by a thick leather belt from which hung a cross-bow and dagger; however the figure’s face remained masked by a hood set low over their head. 
The gates that kept the elven city of Ellesarya safe waited patiently as the light brightened and began to creep down the mountainside, towards the city. Also awaiting the coming of the sun, the figure stood, still and silent, poised to enter once the gates opened to the first golden rays. As the light steadily brightened and crept ever closer to the entrance, the figure stiffened and took a quick expectant intake of breath. Seconds later the first sun’s rays hit the golden gates with a blinding flash, and they swung open smoothly and glided across the paved pathway leading to them, coming to rest on the lush green grass on either side. Once fully open, they exposed a square opening into the golden city. The figure swept inside and, silhouetted against the bright sunlight, threw back their hood.
Once inside the elf took a look around to inspect his surroundings. He was standing in a small area, paved in gleaming white stone. Directly ahead, a bridge spanned the river Elgowen, a thin silver ribbon that wound its way around the cliffs on which the city was built. Lining the edge of the bridge was a low wall, sculptured with intricate designs, displaying the dizzying amount of open space below. Upon these walls plants sat, sunning themselves in the early morning rays. Their pots made of coloured glass and set with semi-precious stones, the plants demonstrated the elves endless love of beauty. 
The elf strode across the bridge and entered the main plaza of the city. It was surrounded by buildings housing armouries, alchemy and potion workshops, blacksmiths, wand merchants, tailoring supplies and other magical workings. Benches and delicate end tables floated above the ground and other elves reclined upon them, engrossed in books or nibbling delicacies that appeared on the tables when the benches became occupied. 
A fountain stood majestically in the center of the plaza and statues of elves, animals and mystical creatures were grouped together in harmony, depicted in creamy marble. The statues resided in a basin coloured with lapis lazuli and when rivulets of water fell out of the statues cupped hands and touched the surface of the pool, they were bathed in soft moving patterns. It was the wide edge of the fountain that the elf chose to rest upon, watching other elves passing before him, not feeling connected enough with the rest of his brethren yet to occupy the benches like the rest of them. Looking down into the water he was faced with his reflection. His golden hair was lightly tied back by a strip of cloth the same colour as his tunic, which accented his slightly pointed ears and sharp elfin facial features. His eyebrows left his face at the edge of his eyes and continued for about an inch on either side of his pale face. But his eyes were the most striking thing about him.  They were blue, but the lapis lazuli paled in comparison to their extraordinary colour and depth. Around his neck hung a golden dragon, whose sapphire eyes gleamed in the light.  Its mouth opened to taste the cool, clear water, displaying a minute golden tongue and expelling a tiny wisp of pale blue smoke.
Rising, the elf seemed to gain a new purpose, setting off through the winding streets of Ellesarya.  Although he had seemed perplexed by the huge city before, he now seemed to be following a path he knew, or remembered well. After cutting across the city using numerous shortcuts, which led him between houses with their upper stories overhanging the streets in a way that would not be possible without the use of magic; the elf arrived at an open space that extended almost as far as the eye could see. He had reached Moonacre Meadow.
As he began to cross the meadow, he suddenly stopped and bent down. Examining the grass, he found a tiny pale indigo flower. Reaching out he stroked the petals, which gleamed like brightly polished enamel. Remembering that type of flower, he reached into a pocket in the underside of his cloak, to draw out a perfect version of it. He had kept it with him for eight long years. Getting up, the elf saw in the distance his destination, the lake, Crescent Light. Upon a dais beside it, twelve chairs were scattered around one long table. The chairs were usually used by the twelve members of the Council of Elders who ruled the city of Ellesarya. But only one seat was occupied. 
In it sat an older elf, his hair, once bright gold was now tinged with grey. He too wore a green tunic but his cloak was folded over the arm of the delicate, spindly wooden chair on which he rested.  He was gazing down into the clear waters of the lake, his eyebrows drooping slightly, giving him a look of suppressed sadness. He was, in fact, gazing into the lake, contemplating whether it would be this mid-summers solstice when his son would finally return to him. It had been eight years since he had left, taking off into the forest, and not a murmur had been heard of him since. The older elf’s bright blue eyes followed the trail of a silver herring, the underwater scene lit with an unearthly dim blue light. It emanated from a beautiful crystal in the shape of a water lily that lay upon the lake bed and reflected most of the light that shone upon it. It had been the last project that he and his son had worked on together before he had left, and the older elf had begun to wonder if he would ever work on anything with his son again, or if he would ever even see him again. 
Suddenly, from the clock tower of the city a bell began to chime. It signalled the mid-summer solstice, the middle of the longest day of the year. If his son was to return it would be now. As the fifth chime sounded, the older elf was still expectant, by the sixth chime he was slightly saddened, and by the seventh he had given up hope. Rising he drew out of his pocket a tiny indigo flower, identical to one he had once given away as a parting gift but as he prepared to throw it into the lake a voice called out from behind him. 
On the eighth chime the older elf turned and disbelievingly stared at another, younger elf who stood with his hand outstretched. Upon his palm lay a tiny indigo flower. On the tenth chime the older elf drew in a long breath, and looked up into the younger elf’s face. Tears formed in his eyes and he stepped towards him. 
‘Elowyn?’ his voice was full of hope, but it trembled as it spoke the name. The eleventh clime sounded.
‘Father?’ the younger elf’s voice was raised in hope, and he too stepped forwards. Crying, they suddenly embraced, laughing together through their tears as they were finally reunited.  
And the twelfth chime sounded.


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