Archive for June, 2010

Shopping

Rabbit.”

Burrr”

Noo, rabbit.”

“Rabbit” said the human in the rabbit costume, in a surprisingly deep voice for a rabbit. Mirae stared at the ‘rabbit’ for a moment, then looked up at her mother for reassurance. Leafsong reached down and picked her up, hoisting the baby onto her hip and shrugging apologetically at the costumed man.

“Sorry. I thought perhaps – she learn new word. But no.” Leafsong mumbled in her heavily accented Common, turning away from the rabbit and his proffered flyers for Perrin’s Westfall Vegetables – Carrot Sale This Week! Mirae frowned up at her mother, clutching at the worn neck of Leafsong’s tunic.

Come on Mirae. Next thing on the list.”

Leafsong squinted at the crumpled shopping list, trying to decipher her mate’s erratic handwriting. “Does that say bullets? Ballast? …Bananas?” She snatched the paper from Mirae’s tiny, grasping fingers. “Let’s go for… bananas. Your an’da likes Tel’Abim bananas!”

As she wandered through the Trade District, weaving her way through the street stalls and fellow traders, she could not help noticing the eyes turning her way- the surreptitious peeks over a shoulder, the seemingly casual glances; although, she reasoned with herself, they were not directed at her so much, as they were the child in her arms. It was true that the year old baby shared the same characteristics as Leafsong herself; the fluff atop her head was the same ivory shade, and her eyes grey.

However, the baby’s features lacked the awkwardness of her mother’s; making her face appear almost a refined version of Leafsong’s own. The crooked teeth and long nose had been redressed by small, neat (and perfectly straight) replacements. Leafsong’s own tangled, wavy hair (now only displaying her natural shade at the roots) was the doormat to Mirae’s fine, silken rug. The grey pupils which appeared clouded and often sulky on Leafsong, were transformed into lustrous silver on her daughter. The combination proved effective; and Mirae, at a meagre one year, was already drawing glances.

Leafsong, who was thoroughly used to being passed over even before she began carrying around this attractive accessory, snorted to herself and ducked into a quieter alleyway. Sitting on the edge of an upturned barrel, Mirae on her lap, she pulled out a corn husk from her satchel and handed it to the baby. Mirae grasped it, and began to gnaw on a corner delicately. Leafsong rocked her back and forth while she ate, snickering immaturely.

“I don’t know where you got your good looks from, baby. Sure as anything, I ain’t beautiful. And your an’da weren’t a stunner even when ‘e was young.”

Mirae blinked up at her mother solemnly, clutching the rusk in her sticky fingers. Leafsong blew a kiss down to her, then cackled quietly to herself.

“Perhaps you got the looks, but no brain. That’d explain why you can’t speak yet. Ha!”

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Untitled

She finished off the letter with a labourious signature, her letters as round and clumsy as a child’s first penmanship. Running a critical eye over the lopsided paragraphs, she let loose a dismissive huff and rolled up the parchment, ripping off a piece of ribbon with her teeth to tie around the scroll.

“Did you want to add a note to my pa?”
“What?”

She scowled at her husband, scooping up Loredar with one arm and trotting across the shopfront with the letter in hand. Depositing the baby alongside his sister in the crate which still served as their crib, she squared up to her reflection in the mirror and began to fretfully rake fingers through her ponytail. Flora’s eyes slid sideways to goggle at her brother, and she let out a series of throaty gurgles. Loredar made no reply, blinking sleepily.

“Y’know, like a friendly greeting. How are you, father?”

Aphel frowned at her, peering over the top of the newly-mended reading spectacles which vanity only permitted him to wear indoors. She frowned back, her hair even more rumpled than before after the interference, standing up on top of her head in a series of peaks and whorls.

“How are you, father?” he queried, tapping the tip of the quill on the countertop. “The man is four thousand years younger than me. In addition, in the majority of situations where we are forced to interact, we detest one another.”

She scowled at him, then quickly smoothed her fingers over her forehead to erase any lines. “Pfff. Fine.”

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((New computer!))

I’ve been playing WoW for two years on my laptop, and I just recently got a desktop when I moved home to Britain. It’s like playing a whole different game =)

Laptop

Desktop

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Leafsong’s Diary 25.6

Query: Can you get into trouble for trading goods which are then used in illegal activites? Surely not – if so, the blacksmith would be liable for any dagger-wielding highwayman, the arcane reagent dealer responsible for every harmful spellcast. As a Gladefall of the GHE, I am wholly aware that our products (the alchemical ones, rather than the herbal remedies) are often used for nefarious purposes. In fact, our third-largest contract is the Steamwheedle Cartel. However, I generally prefer there to be some distance between my person and the crime being committed. Let me explain further:

I was in the Cathedral yesterday, resting on one of the stone benches beneath a cloister after some ‘light activity’ in the main hall (loot count: three jars of wax from the candles, a vial of perfumed oil, and a small silver candlestick from a side chapel). A human man, who smelt more country than city, sat down beside me with a grunt and closed his eyes. Of course I could not just let him sit there in peace, so I launched into my sales spiel. He halted me halfway through, and asked if I had anything to numb living flesh. I had, as it happens (extract of frozen Wintersbite, mixed with ethanol), and he went on to ask me whether it could be used in syringe format. It was not the first time I had heard this question, so – through habit – I lowered my voice, glanced about to check that noone was in earshot, and assured him that it was wholly suitable for use in syringe format. He seemed pleased at this, and gave me twenty silver for a single pot of the mixture.

My mate came to find me then, sauntering in with the expression of faint derision he reserves especially for places of Light-worship. I rose to accompany him home, as it was time for the twins to feed, when there came the sound of a scuffle in the shadowed corner of the vestry. My husband drew me away quickly (he has been involved in so many altercations at the Cathedral, that he has been warned with banishment if he involves himself in any more), but I was able to see from the corner of my eye that it was that same human man, brandishing a syringe loaded with the distinctive pale blue Wintersbite tonic, in the face of another rapidly slumping male. It was most disconcerting. I couldn’t wait to distance myself after that, and challenged my husband to a footrace through the streets of Stormwind back to the GHE. He won (how? How? He is ancient), but I was so grateful to be away from the scene of the crime, that I neglected to give him the beating he deserved.

(I have realised one thing about myself: that although I am perfectly happy to supply the reagents needed for nefarious activity, being in the presence of the actual activity itself alarms and unnerves me.)

Well, even if the Guard do trace the syringe back to the GHE, I can always claim innocence. I don’t think anyone recognised me at the Cathedral, I have a forgettable face.

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Leafsong’s Diary 23.6

Analith’s acorn hat is finished! Not by me. When my husband found out that Analith was going to be appearing alongside the spawn of the whorequeens (i.e. the other mothers in the Kaldorei mothers meeting); he set about constructing the perfect acorn hat with the same fervour with which he argues a case in front of Staghelm, or pursues an enemy through the back alleys of Stormwind. The final result was….certainly unique. Analith’s acorn hat is constructed from remnants of a pit lord’s armour; exotic Zangermarsh mushrooms; glowing elements from an Eredar. I am not sure if it will even fit on his head! No, no I’m sure it will fit.

The play, Lunar Love (as it’s now being called), is going to be performed a week from now. Against my will, I have been conscripted to be an extra. I will be a tree, holding an acorn. I am sure it is because noone else wants to hold my fat baby for two hours. I have seven days to come up with a tree costume. My cousin said, unhelpfully, that I should have paid more attention to my druidic study. And that then I would be able to transform myself into the Tree of Life, and have a ready made costume. THANK YOU, SHYLA, FOR YOUR EXCELLENT ADVICE. Hmph.

In other news, my husband’s military activities are all going well (I think). They seem to be winning more battles recently, and have only suffered a few losses. I am very proud of my mate, even if I worry about the risk he is taking. He has been fortunate enough to only have had a few injuries inflicted on his person. I got shot in the ass during one of his recent excursions. I have been sitting out on most of them since that time.

The other babies are all doing well. Mirae has begun to toddle around, and her new mission in life is to clamber onto the chest to see her reflection in the big mirror by the door. It is very annoying; I turn my back for three seconds, tending to twin, and I hear her little fingers scrabbling at the chair. The twins are nearly a month old now, and they are just starting to get over their wrinkled, prune-like stage. We still haven’t bought a crib for them, but they’ve been getting compliments from customers, who admire their bright, beady little eyes and their fluffy heads. In fact, sales have gone up by 15% since I started displaying their crib-box on the counter. They are already a valuable business asset!!!

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Child-rearing

“What are you doing? That’s my best ammunition pouch!”

She looked up, her face luminous from exertion, and sporting an expression of barely suppressed rage. Sitting cross-legged on the counter, she was clutching a clump of leather in one hand and a slightly bent knife in the other. Scraps of discarded material lay around her like confetti. Aphel crossed the shopfront and plucked the pouch from her grasping fingers, studying it in disbelief.

“This was a gift from my superior during the second push of the Silithus War. It has silithid chitin sewn into the-”

He was cut off abruptly as she snatched the clump back and began to hack at it once more with the knife, her teeth audibly gnashing. Aphel opened his mouth as if to protest, then relented and leaned back against the counter. Soothingly, as if calming an angry infant, he ran a cool finger down her flaming cheek.

“What is all this about?”

“I’m- makin’ – an hat.”

He was about to automatically correct her grammar, but one look at the murderous light of her eyes changed his mind. Instead, he studied the misshapen brown lump with solemn gravity.

“I think it’s a bit small for your head, darling.”

She snarled up at him soundlessly, drawing her lips back over her teeth like a saber. He continued to smooth her hot cheek, well used to the volatile temper of his lifemate.

“It’s – not for me. S’for Analith. He needs a costume.”

“A costume? For what?”

“The Kaldorei mothers group is staging a childrens’ play. Lunar Love: The Story of Malorne and Elune.

Aphel frowned, glancing up to the first floor balcony where his twenty one month old son slept soundly in the cradle beside his sister.

“He can’t be in a play. He can barely walk and talk coherently, let alone follow a script or stage direction.”

Leafsong gritted her teeth as she made another inexpert slash.

“He is playin’ an acorn. I am making him a little acorn hat. See?”

Aphel nodded in faintly bemused understanding, before gently removing both dessicated pouch and knife from his wife’s clawed fingers. She clung onto them for a moment, then groaned and put her hand over her eyes.

“I’ve been tryin’ to make the bloody thing since teatime. I ain’t even got started on my stock reports yet.”

He kissed her cheek, laying the items down on the counter beyond her reach.

“I’ll make it for you. My father was a tailor, I must have inherited some of the haberdashery genes.”

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Away!

Away till Sunday, picking sis up from uni! Post on sun evening!

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Leafsong’s Diary 15.6

I officially take back every time that I have complained in previous entries about being too busy and harassed, balancing my druidic study with looking after the babies and running  the GHE:SW. It seems that, in one fell swoop, two of those three responsibilities have been stolen lifted from me. My druidic lessons came to an abrupt halt after my Shan’do decided collectively that two years was more than enough time to display any natural aptitude (which I did not); and apparantly the majority of my duties at the shop have been taken over by Shyla, my cousin. I have to do the seed-sorting once a week, occasionally operate the shop front (which isn’t a huge commitment as most of our business comes from catalogue order), and when I’m lucky, I get to do a delivery round. Though, I admit, I don’t miss doing the inventories!!
It seems as if I have been pushed into the “mate and mother” role by everyone around me. I know that my husband is happier when I stay at home, ‘out of harm’s way’. Which is very unfair, because I do not go looking for trouble when I go out. It finds me. Case in point, that overweight Draenei paladin who attempted to brain my fawn for no reason the other night. Shyla smiles at me, concernedly, and encourages me to distance myself from the business side of affairs. I’d like to think that she is just doing it to be supportive of the family, but I know that she is always resentful of the fact that I am a Gladefall of the Gladefall Herb Empire, whereas she is just a Thornweaver.
It isn’t that I don’t like looking after my children. I love my babies to pieces, and I love to spend my time with them. Analith, at eighteen months, is just getting old enough to be useful. After much effort and bribery with sweeties, he can chirp “Big Sale, ‘erbs!” on demand. Mirae is still rather slow developmentally, but as I said to my husband, with a face like hers, she isn’t going to be relying on her brain in the future. For some reason, he seemed very annoyed by this! Loredar and Flora, who are just over two weeks old, are what you would call good sleepers. In that they only wake up at one a.m, three a.m and five a.m (as opposed to every thirty minutes). It is alarming how quickly your body can adapt to an irregular sleep cycle, though. With Analith, I used to stagger out of bed every few hours feeling as if I was dying. Now, when I heard a “Ra ra ra” from the nursery in the middle of the night, I can hop up as if it were nine in the morning.
Query: Is mothering a skill? Are people impressed by full-time motherhood? Not in my family, at least. My own mother, Elune bless, never took a moment to rest even after the birth. She was carrying us around in slings when we were a few hours old.
Look what happened to her, though!! Dead at two thousand from a mere chest infection. There has got to be a medium between working yourself to the grave and hanging around the house all day. Perhaps I should get a hobby? Maybe I should re-engage in my ‘light-fingery’. That’d be a nice little profit, for only an hour or two’s labour. Hmmm, I’m not sure if my mate would approve of that. He was very annoyed about bailing me out the other day; if I do it too often, he might leave me there to ROT.

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Under Arrest!

“She’s in Cell 14, North Wing.”

Aphel bowed his head in gruff thanks, the lines around his mouth rigid with disapproval. A moment later, a commotion from elsewhere in the prison caused him to raise his eyes  once more in a questioning glance. The human warder shuffled his feet, unwilling to face the accusing amber stare; directing his gaze at the metal tips of his boots.

“There’s been a bit of a problem with the prisoners in the East Wing. And, urhm, the West Wing. They’re..a disruptive lot.”

Aphel said nothing, merely nodded and began to descend the dank stone steps which led to North Wing. The guard coughed once more, pointedly.

“You’ll have to leave your weapon here. There’s a rack.

A moment later, the gleaming blue steel polearm rested alongside a clutter of dull iron; ostentatious as a peacock among pigeons. The guard, whose fingers had not left his scabbard from the moment that the notorious Ashamal Shalah’aman had crossed the threshold. He shot the impassive Kaldorei a guarded once-over, his eyes sweeping over the blue robes which did not quite hide  the outline of a mail hauberk beneath.

“Have you got any other weapons on you, sir?”

Aphel considered the man for a moment, quietly. A moment later he offered a clipped denial. The guard looked somewhat dubious but waved him through, with an inward sigh of resignation. After all, he thought to himself dryly, it wasn’t as if it was the man’s first trip to the Stockades.

Leafsong? Leafsong.”

A string of curses rang out from Cell 9, and Aphel wrinkled his nose, avoiding a puddle of suspicious looking liquid slowly draining into the gutter. The North Wing, as were the other wings of the prison, stretched beneath the cobbled streets and dirty canals of Stormwind. Lit sparsely with guttering torches, buckets placed in strategic locations to catch drips from leaking rafters. Distant cries from the problematic East and West branches of the prison were barely audible through the thick stone which divided the cells. Squinting at a grimy marker, Aphel turned a corner and was confronted with another cacophony of shouting; some voices booming with alcohol-enhanced hilarity, others pleading and placating, a select few bellowing with rage.

Leafsong.

” ‘Usband! Finally.Over here! Two cells past the spinning Draenei!”

Aphel shot the Draenei (who was indeed rotating in a rum-soaked haze) an incredulous look as he passed, entering the last cell in the row. The small room was split in half by a row of iron bars, the space nearer Aphel was littered with various apparatus of inflicting pain. Leafsong was sitting in the corner of the barred area, as far as possible from her drunken, slumped cellmate. As soon as she saw her mate, she shot upright and leapt over to the bars, wrapping her fingers around the cold iron and pressing her face between them. Aphel said nothing for a moment, letting the silence grow heavy between them, his golden gaze meeting her pale one dispassionately.Her face was already assembling itself into an expression of unashamed charm.

“It weren’t me!”
“You were caught stealing a pocketwatch from a visiting lord.”
“I was framed!”
“You were caught with your hand in his pocket. Literally. Stuck there. He dragged you halfway around Cathedral Square before the guards arrived.

She scowled back at him, lowering her eyelashes defensively.

“Well, it weren’t my fault that my rings got tangled in a loose thread. In fact, it’s your ring! So, it’s actually…your fault. Ha!” She held up her hand triumphantly, where the blob of elementium gleamed on her bony knuckle. Aphel snorted, approaching the bars and bowing his head to hers. She looked at him solemnly, her head only an inch below his. Rubbing her cheekbone with his thumb, he shook his head in disapproval.

“I paid your bail. You’ll be walking out with me.”
“Hurrah!”

His glower cut off her excitement prematurely as his fingers crept over to her earlobe and pinched it, roughly.

“Is there something you’re not telling me, Leafsong? Because, the last I checked, the wife of a Shalah’aman and the heir to the GHE did not need to engage in petty theft.”

She avoided his gaze, then squawked as his grip on her ear tightened.

“Oi! Aah, let go. I’m just keepin’ my skills honed. Don’t want to go soft. I learnt my lesson though, I’ll keep the rock ’round my neck the next time I’m feelin’…light of finger.”

He pursed his lips but removed his fingers from her ear. She caught them and pressed them to her mouth, looking up at him from beneath her eyelashes. Finally, he grunted and raised his eyes to the grimy ceiling, shaking his head.

“The twins need feeding when you get back. Elurina has given them the bottle, but they don’t like it.”

Leafsong smiled toothily at him, kissing his lined fingers once more before curling them in her own.

“I missed you.”


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Attack Saber

Leafsong clapped her hands, imperiously.

“ATTACK, SABER!”

Ashaid shot her a contemptuous look. Leafsong repeated the command, raising her voice several decibels. The saber curled its lip, before ambling over to where Aphel was flat on his back, fiddling with the underneath of the motorcycle. Leafsong scowled, scrambling to her feet with some difficulty, holding a kicking Flora.

“Oi, ‘usband! Your saber is disobeying my orders!”

With a grunt, Aphel retracted himself from the bowels of the malfunctioning bike and sat up, a smear of grime across his cheek. Analith, noticing his father’s distraction, took the opportunity to rummage through the toolbox with a malicious cackle.

“What are you ordering him to do, exactly?”

Leafsong rolled her eyes and unfolded her arms, gesturing vaguely.

“You knooow.”

Aphel deftly plucked a gyrospanner from Analith’s chubby fist, as the little boy advanced towards Mirae’s turned back. Mirae, unaware of her narrow escape, continued to sit in the grass and place ripped-up daisies on Loredar’s round stomach. “No, I have no idea.”

“I’m trainin’ him to be the official GHE Attack Saber!”

Aphel’s jaw sagged slightly.

“What.”

“You know, to attack potential burglars. Like a guard dog. Attack Saber! Hooo!”

Aphel frowned at her, patting Analith on the head placatingly as the grumpy baby toddled off towards his discarded wooden horse.

“I’m not surprised he won’t pander to your ridiculous requests. That is the most demeaning thing I have ever heard. Ashaid is descended from the matriarch of the Wintersaber tribe.”

Leafsong made a dismissive noise with her lips, shifting Flora to the other arm. Stepping over the other children on the rug, she shuffled over to her husband.

“This grass needs cuttin’. You can do that after you fix my bike’s exploding brake problem.”

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