To say at the very least that my description of the Fire Flower's festival is a bit romanticized might be true, but to my sister and I it is quite the understatement. The sun had just begun to peak over the tree tops, chasing away the night's shadows. Tiny dew drops made the grass and tips of flower petals glitter like jewels. The ocean's gentle breeze, carried by the wings of fairies, swept through the trees awakening the birds and other tree dwellers with a cool kiss. In through the white satin curtains the fairy-winds floated softly through all the rooms. I could hear the little peoples' faint voices giggle and tease as they carried onward and I rolled over in my sleep continuing to dream. Moments later I awoke with a start, there was a rather large amount of the white hair smothering my face and the warm weight of the owner laying on top of me giggling.
" Ether an amazing mass of giggling hair just dropped out of the sky and landed on me or 'tis my ridiculous sister, I wonder as to which it is? I said through the blanket of her soft hair.
"Perhaps it is both, my brother dearest!", she said playfully as she pushed away her hair.
I rolled over pretending to still be sleepy, " And why has the early decided to awaken this night owl, humm?" I yawned.
She poked my face in annoyance, "Come now brother that is not the way it is said! If I am the early bird then that makes you the worm and I will capture you and make go wherever I want."
Without warning I rolled over and pinned her, she squealed and laughed. " Where pray tell do you plan to drag me off to before food?"
She squirmed and jumped off my bed, a smile spread brightly across her face. " Surely not before breakfast no silly, but I do not want to wait too long! Earlier this morning the fairies whispered to me in their sing- song voices and told me that today will be grand. I could feel through my windows the happiness that fills our day and as I listened to their tiny beautiful voices I suddenly remembered what the day is. It is the first day of the Life Festival, oh silly me Evilard how could I have forgotten!"
I sat there on the edge of my bed watching my sister, Earradise dancing about as she described her wonderful fantasies.
"For one as fantastically smart and witty as you Earra, to forget a small thing as that you may be forgiven." I said matter of factly and she smiled.
"You speak of haste and yet we are both still in our pajamas." I said.
"Oh! another thing I have forgotten!" she exclaimed rather dramatically and I laughed shaking my head.
Sitting upon my bed Earradise waited for me while I dressed first, once I had finished we went to her room. I waited patiently with my back turned as she pulled out her festival dress.
" Your turned away right? Because if you're lying I'll sock you one!" I snickered and reassured her.
"Are you going to wear the dress you and mother made?" I asked her.
"Yes, I haven't worn it in a year I hope It still fits", she said. I heard a soft rustling as she put the garment out and a moment later she sighed with relief.
"It fits! However, could you tie up the back?"
"I knew it would fit all along you stopped growing quite some time ago!" I teased as I turned around to go and help her.
I was never very good at this sort of things so I tied up her dress as best as I could, which I thought was well enough.
"There, now let me have a look at you!" I said turning her about. She felt up her back checking my handy work, as it was.
"Tsk! You tie your boots well and still can not manage my dress! I will have to have Father fix it I suppose!" she said and pinched me.
"Ow! I suppose that was for the 'short' joke." She nodded. "And because you thumbs for fingers." she was indicating her dress
I laughed it was true, the laces were missing in some of the holes and were knotted up in some places, but at that moment it didn't matter. The dress; my mother made, looked magnificent against her pale skin. The color of the gown was an icy-blue and the bodice was powdered lilac. Beautiful and intricate golden swirls decorated the bodice and lilac and gold trim circled the edges of the ruffly skirt. The same trim lined the edges of the sheer sleeves and the off-the-shoulder neckline. White flowers accented the elbows and waistline, in addition to the trims at the bottom.
Mother had made the dress for Earra a year ago for her seventeenth birthday. So happy and proud Earra danced about, with that bright smile across her face and mother Watched her crying happy tears.
"How do I look?" she asked and mother pulled her in,hugging her tight, "Like a Snow Princess," she said kissing Earra's cheek. It seemed like yesterday that our lives were whole.
"Brother?" Earradise's voice pulled me back to the present and from her expression, I realized my mind had wandered away while she was speaking to me.
"I'm sorry what were you saying?" I asked dazed.
"I asked, how do I look?" She asked.
"You look like a Snow Princess," I said, brushing a stray hair away from her face, she smiled.
"Mother said that once."
Father had awoken a few hours before us, so when I went to make breakfast he was outside smoking and watching the daybreak over our land. Earradise was still in her room putting up her hair and decorating herself. The smell of bacon and eggs wafted through the house and poured out of the kitchen window.
"One wiff and I could almost taste those eggs and bacon, you're quite the cook my lad," Said father. He put out his pipe and sat at the table reading a booking.
"No father, I am merely decent when it comes to cooking," I said as I handed him a plate filled with seasoned eggs, vegetables and bacon.
"You're too modest my son, but have it your way. If you weren't to become a ranger I'd bet you be a famous cook," he said this with a mouth full of food.
"Papa! Mama would have give you a hard time for talking with your mouth full," said Earra chiding him playfully.
We both jumped for nether us heard her walk down the steps and into the kitchen.
"My dearest, most darling child you mustn't sneak up on me so!" Father said exasperatedly.
Taking her hand father pulled her to where he could see her.
"But if I don't then how will you stay in practice?" She giggled
Choosing to ignore the question he spun her about to see the dress fully and then sat her down upon his knee. Sitting down I placed a plate for Earra and of course one for my self. Father had noticed my handy work on Earradise's dress and was re-tieing it.
"When you should ever be wed my son you'll have to be better practiced at lacing up or down a lady," he said winking at me. I rolled my eyes and shoved food in my mouth so I didn't have to respond, he laughed. Finishing his food quickly, he kissed Earradise and clapped me on the shoulder.
"Well I am off early to help out down town, I assume that I will be seeing you two later," he said putting on his weapons belt and hat and then headed out to the stable. A moment later I watched him ride down the path heading for town, until he disappeared from view.
"Papa is still grieving," said Earradise quietly.
Even though a year and a half had passed since our mother's passing, Earradise and I both knew that to him it still felt like yesterday she was with us.
All I could manage was, "He will be fine I hope," and I basically muttered it.
Earradise was silent though the rest of breakfast time, once finished we headed into the stables. While we saddled up our horses she finally broke the silence that seemed like it would never end.
Her face gently pressed against her horse's course mane she asked, "Why am I the way I am?"
Her voice trembled with fear, an emotion I never expected from her.
"Never have I doubted you or mama or papa, I have always listened and did whatever was asked of me. I know that all of you have protected me because I am different and it makes me feel so loved, but since mother's death I've felt that there is more to it. I might be blind dear brother, but I am not a fool or unperceptive. Something is going to happen, something that will change not only our family but the whole of humanity and I'm scared... I'm scared, because it has something to do with me and the past and I don't know how it's going to start or how I'm going to stop it." She was facing away from me and I knew she was crying.
Resting my hand on her shoulder, I could feel her shaking.
"I love you, you're my sister and I will protect you always, but not because you are different. I protect you and father protects you because we are family and it is my job as an older brother to annoy you and love you. And if something terrible does happen I will be with you and help you in anyway I can you know that right?" She wiped away her tears and nodded her head. I held her tight to me for along time until she finally pushed away. I want to ask her more about this scary premonition she was feeling, but I didn't want her to be further upset.
"Now lets put this drama behind us for now and listen to those fairy voices that were saying how wonderful the day is going to be, alright?" She nodded and smiled.
We mounted our horses and set off to town. All the worries of the morning were soon behind us and the rest of the laid ahead promising and hopefully fun