**A guildmate of mine recently opened a “challenge” ficlet thread, where we were supposed to write a short (less than 2 pages) scene from our character’s childhood. It was supposed to be either pivotal or revealing of something about their character. I think Aely is about 7 in this, maybe a little older, and while I’m not sure it’s a particularly *important* moment from her childhood, it does tell about her family. That, and Brother Olfric, who is probably to be credited with her becoming a paladin… but that’s another story.**
Rain pounded the roof, but inside the tiny house were four people (and one large dog) in relative warmth considering the weather. The front room served as both kitchen and living room, and a tall, redheaded man snoozed in a hand carved chair in one corner by the fire, his little son sitting on the hearth playing with a toy.
Given the tranquility of the scene, the yelped protests were slightly out of place.
“Ow. Mumma, dinnae! Tha’ hurts! OW”
In one of the two bedrooms, a freshly bathed little girl frumped on a stool in a slightly oversized nightgown, her green eyes filled with indignation that would’ve been serious if it wasn’t quite so comical. Behind her, a pleasant looking dark-haired woman brandished a comb with practiced accuracy.
“Sit STILL, Fiffy. It won’t hurt so if you dinna struggle.”
The woman yanked the comb through another snarl, her long fingers unwinding yet another bit of sticker brambles from her daughter’s birdsnest of hair.
“Did ye not comb it a’mornin’ like I told ye?”
The mumbled response warranted another yanked knot.
“What’d ye do that got ye in alla this mess anyhow? That skirt’s near ruined.”
“Jus’ climbin’ trees wi’ -OW- Bert. He dared me t’ climb th’ haunted elder tree – y’ken, th’ one in th’ churchyard!”
“Brother Olfric’ll have ye ears for breakfast if he catches ye again, ye ken? An’ that tree isnae haunted. Jus’ older e’en than Brother Olfric.”
The disgruntled “Aye, Mumma” that emerged from the damp mess of red curls held only a hint of defiance.
The woman sighed, deftly braiding that evening’s project into a tight plait and securing it as best she could, knowing another night of combing was likely ahead of her the next day unless it kept raining. She didn’t know how that child could look and act so much like her father, right down to that little stubborn edge in her voice.
Tripping once on her nightgown, the little girl scampered out into the front room and clambered over the dog and into her father’s lap, waking him up and asking for a story.
He blinked at her sleepily, then smiled.
“A’righ’, jus’ a short’un thow. Les’see… I s’pose th’ best stories all start wi’ “Once upon a time” ayeh?”
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