I wrote this about two or so years ago and just now dug it up. It is inspired by the following stories:
- The tale of Luthien and Beren, a story within the ‘Silmarillion’ by J.R.R Tolkien
- ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’ (original)
- ‘Little Daylight,’ by George MacDonald
- ‘Afternoon of the Elves’
All are excellent reads, especially if you enjoy fantasy. Hopefully they will inspire your own writings as they have mine.
“The Exodus of the Elves” Or “The Love of a Fairyre”
A Double Tale of the Wife of a Mortal
Let me tell you a tale of dust motes and sunbeams, of elves, of fairyres, and jolly companies. Listen to the sound of my voice, listen to my tale. Imagine you can hear me, even though you have no idea what my voice sounds like. Imagine this story is real, even though it’s not. Elves don’t exist. That said, let me begin my tale…
Once in the time before times, Mankind and Elfkind lived in harmony and peace. A peace that was not to last forever. Like some game-seeker’s deer, the elves began to be hunted for sport, for Mankind saw them not as equals, but as inferior.
And so, the elves withdrew–deep, deep into the forests; into the mist-filled mountains, and to the kingdom under the sea. That was nearly an age ago now.
Now, Mankind can no longer see elves, no matter where they search—neither over land nor under the stream; neither beyond the sea, nor beneath its waves.
All the risings of great cities have brought about the Exodus of the Elves. The elves were protectors, but mankind banished them. The elves would defend women and children, young and old from the wicked creatures that roamed the earth.
There was, however, a fairyre of elf-kin who stayed behind. She took human form till a hundred years and a day should pass and she turn to permanent immortal form of a body made new. She despised flattery, made dignity a cloak of invisibility, and waited for the one who would seek her heart with diligence and love.
She let all the knights on destriers pass by; she wanted a warrior, but not a man who trusted in his own strength. One day such a man came, reminding her of her Lord. He rode a donkey, helped those in need, defended all, and was humble in heart.
She danced at night, under the moonlight bright. Lilies were in her hair and rings upon her fingers. By chance—a trick of Fate—he saw her. And he watched, moonstruck. But she fled, for she could sense a mortal nearing.
“Fair maiden, don’t go!” cried he.
“And why not?” the sound came from above his head, among the treetops. He looked up but could not see her, save for her eyes which glittered in the darkness, and the white moonstreaks in her hair. “You are mortal and must become immortal to win me.”
“Tell me,” he requested humbly, “How I may do so.”
“Love me when you find me.” And with that, she was gone. There was not a sound save for the approving whispers of the trees and the eerie call of a fierce owl—old and wise.
A month and a day passed by, but the mortal man did not forget the immortal maiden. Who can tell how long he waited? I cannot tell; that is a secret of the elves.
Then one day the man (as is a habit for all men, it is their curse) got himself lost in the woods and saw a figure in the moonlight.
“Fairye! Don’t go!” called he.
But when she turned, she was no fairye, but was ugly and withered.
He neared and bowed. “Dear mother,” he said in respectful tone, “Please, do you know where the fairye maiden is?”
There was a glimmer of a solemn smile in the Ancient’s eyes. “You cannot find her until you become immortal. No base human may win the heart of a fairye.”
“Dear mother, tell me then how I may become immortal.”
“Would you love her when she was old and all prettiness had faded?”
“Yes, for the fairye must be loved without conditions.”
The woman smiled, her eyes bright through the wrinkles crinkling up around her silvery eyelashes. “Are you a man who keeps his word?”
“Then do not come searching for her for a year and a day. If your love lasts that long, then seek her out and she will allow herself to be found.” And with that, the woman vanished into the moonlight.
He waited a year, he waited a day, and then returned he to the place.
She smiled at him as he approached, her face young again. “Where comes your gentleness? Where comes your strength?” she asked him as he stood before her.
“From the Lord,” said he, then gave her his own question, “Fair maiden, where is your faith?”
“In my Lord.”
“Do you love me?” asked he.
She smiled. “Yes.”
“Then wait a year and a day, and have faith in God that I will return. If your love lasts that long, then I will kneel before you as a man in love.”
The fairye smiled, a glimmer in her eyes, though whether of approval or amused laughter, who can tell? Then she vanished, and the warrior rode off alone.
A year and a day passed, and the man returned and stood before the maiden. She had eyes as clear as a mountain stream. He sank deeply into them, searching for the long-lasting love she had proclaimed.
He found what he sought in those depths, the window of the heart and soul. He knelt in humility and rose in joy. And in the light of dawn on the morrow they were wed.
And that is how a mortal man became immortal, and a how fairye learned to love.