The young girl swept her platinum blonde hair over her shoulder as she glanced out of the window and down at the ground below, watching to see if any of her neighbours were around to see her sneak out. Reassured by the gentle quiet of the night, she swung one leg out of her window frame and turned her body to grip the vines that grew alongside her treetop home. Slipping out, she edged across the wooden boards that made the wall of her house until she reached the walkway that reached between two large oak trees. Gripping the hilt of the sword at her belt, she crouched low and moved as swiftly as possible across the wooden bridge, towards the ladder that would take her to ground level and therefore, closer to her lover. Her pulse raced and the uneasy tumbling of her gut was the familiar anxiety she felt each time she snuck out. It had become a regular routine to leave her small, safe village in the middle of the night and travel across the vast forest to a beautiful clearing that was usually lit by moonlight to meet the man who she risked so much for. As she started to climb down the ladder she felt a swell of excitement and grinned to herself, suppressing a giggle. She forced herself to walk with swift stealth until she was twenty paces from her village before she broke out into a run, away from her people and towards the meadow.
Their kinds had the greatest antithesis: her people were elves, his humans, and hers held a deep misanthropy, greatly impeding their opportunities to spend time together. Because of her peoples’ unwillingness to change their views, she and he were forced to keep their relationship surreptitious. It was difficult, and some nights she cried for hours on end because of the unfairness of it all, but they persevered. It was all worth it to see his face again, to hear him speak, to hold him and be held by him. A burst of exuberant laughter escaped her and she leaped forward by three strides as she ran. Her hair flew loose behind her, whipped around by the wind while her loose white cotton blouse fluttered as she ran. It didn’t take her long to reach the destined clearing, and she ran forth, calling gently, “Thomas, dear Thomas!” Her heart swelled with exaltation as she waited to her his mellifluous voice call back.
Instead, it was a hoarse groan that reached her ears before a familiar voice choked out, “Khiiral…”
All colour drained from her face and she felt her stomach lurch as the metallic scent of blood wafted towards her. Terrified of what she was going to find, Khiiral forced her feet to move towards the source of the sound. When she saw her lovely, sweet Thomas laid in the lush grass, bleeding out with an arrow still embedded into his gut and a note tied to the shaft of it with red ribbon, she had to dry heave. With shaking hands, she reached out to untie the parchment as sobs racked her chest. The two neat lines chilled her to the bone.
We cannot have you breed with human scum. Do not bother coming home.
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