Published on stormrise.com on January 5, 2005
'Why?' The cub
rose sputtering to the surface of the water. 'Why me? What
have I done to deserve this?' Young Clay coughed to clear
his airway and clawed at the silver locks plastered to his
face. You were born. The cold voice of reason whispered
the unwanted answer. Tears stung his eyes as he looked down
at his reflection. The image rippled slowly as he treaded
water to stay afloat. Did the truth always have to hurt?
sitting outside her family's den lost in thought when small
hands thrust a piece of earthenware under her nose. "Momma!
Look what I made! All by myself!" Clay flushed with
pride as he presented his mother with the misshapen bowl.
The elfess arched an eyebrow as she took the piece and inspected
the cub's handiwork. Even though she was biased in her opinion,
it was obvious that her son's skills were improving.
All by yourself, hmm?" Clay nodded fiercely, and Glade
smiled. Thornbriar had begun teaching his son his craft
as soon as the cub was able to walk. "Well, then, young
potter, I'd say your masterpieces are going to be famous
one day." She ruffled her cub's unruly silver hair
as she rose to place the new item amongst her growing collection.
after his mother in awe. "Do you really think so?"
The moment passed and he clapped his mud caked hands together
in glee. Papa had showed him which clay to use, and gave
some advice, but he had made this one without his father's
helping hands. And Momma liked it! The cub rushed off to
make another one, vowing to make it better than the last.
narrowed in anger as the scene played out before them. Thistle
watched unseen as his mother bestowed yet another token
of fondness to his poor excuse of a brother. It was painfully
clear which of her children Glade favored. It wasn't fair!
That whelp ruined everything! Thistle snarled as he recalled
the days before his mother Recognized for the second time.
His family life had been safe, secure, and full of love.
Now, that love was divided.
had never fully reclaimed his mother's love once she had
joined with another. Neither had he. Thistle had had enough
of being second-best in his mother's heart. It was time
he did something about that Clay. A wicked grin twisted
his features as he plotted his revenge. The young elf slipped
from his hiding spot and followed his half-brother to the
banks of the Lifegiver.
happily to himself as he collected the materials for his
next project. He knelt at the edge of the river, digging
up the soft clay that lay beneath the water's edge. Once
he was satisfied with the lump he had gathered, he retreated
to the dry shore. "This one's gonna be the best ever!"
he said softly as he began to mold the wet earth.
well, well. If it isn't my baby brother." Thistle kept
the sneer out of his greeting – barely. No use scaring
the brat yet. He strolled confidently towards the unsuspecting
Look! I'm making a jar for Momma!" Clay held up the
half-formed mass for his brother to see. He cocked his head
thoughtfully when he caught the glimpse of…something...veiled
in the amber gaze. "Do you want me to make you one
too?" The question was cautious, but full of hope.