By Chelsea S.
''She's crazy!'' exclaimed Leblanc Sakieut, observing her aunt from the kitchen window of her family's house.
The house was a 200-year-old still-living tree hollowed out at the base of the trunk. Leblanc lived with her mother and father, the only remnant of the Sakieut family, with the exception of her Aunt Karena. The tree-home had been in Leblanc's family for several generations, passed down from one to the next.
The leaves and nuts of its branches were the most valuable currency in the realm of Jotunael, the home of all the Eldicians, including her family, who were the wealthiest of all the creatures in the forest. Jotunael was a great forest, unlike all others, filled with immense and ancient trees foliated with emerald and sage greens. The ground was obscured with lush mosses and ferns, that glowed whenever sunlight could pierce through the thick canopy above and reach them. It was a magical place filled with all sorts of wild things that were fortunate to call it home.
The Eldicians were a unique group of beings that populated Jotunael. No other creature in the world could ever be like them. A typical Eldician is about three to four feet tall and has hair covering their entire body, even the females. Their hair though, is what set them apart from all other beings; it is even more fine than that of a unicorn and has powers beyond belief. Rare gems adorn the priceless hair, making its value even more indeterminable. While Eldicians are not very human-like, their qualities are not those of animals. They are distinguished and civilized, yet closely resemble an overly large squirrel with a bare face.
''She's absolutely crazy!'' Leblanc exclaimed again, turning to face her mother. Leblanc's hair was a pale golden color, so pale it looked almost as silver. Dark, blood red rubies held her long hair in place, out of her eyes. The thin layer of hair that covered her limbs and the rest of her body grew thicker and longer on her head. ''Mother, she'll catch her death!'' She turned away from the window and looked at her mother, who looked much the same as she did, except her mother's hair was a darker gold. ''Aunt Karena is outside, dancing around in the rain.''
''She's always been the odd sort,'' Aislan Sakieut replied. ''She's brilliant, though. Smart as an Enthootian, she is. It's surprising she's not one, herself.''
''No, dear. In-thoo-tee-an,'' her father said walking in. ''Enthootians are a nasty type, for how clever they are. Many ages ago, they would often attempt to capture us Eldicians, and many of them succeeded, but no worries, they've all disappeared now. It's said that some have even outsmarted humans,'' Fuzieu told his daughter. He was taller than the other two and had reddish-brown hair. ''And Aislan, my sister is no Enthootian.''
''Oh, I know,'' his wife replied, ''But she's still so different from all of us, living alone like she does, with no protection. She'd be better off coming to live with us as you offered her last Spring.''
Fuzieu shrugged at this, ''She's independent and doesn't like to be around others that much. They annoy her too easily.''
Leblanc had gone back to the window of the kitchen, looking outside for her aunt. ''Well, whatever she is, she's crazy as they come.''
Aislan gave her daughter a warning glare. ''Let's sit down and eat. Norman has fixed a spectacular meal, and it shouldn't go to waste, with our bellies empty like this.''
The family of three left the kitchen into the dining hall, where food was laid out like grass in a field. The entire table was covered with an enormous feast! There was a multitude of different dishes cooked in many spices with fruits and vegetables galore. The smell of steaming sauteed mushrooms filled the room, along with the aroma of warm apple pie to follow the feast.
''Mmmmm,'' Leblanc said, sitting down to eat with her parents.
Meanwhile, outside the window Leblanc had been looking out, Karena Sakieut was just about to leave, to be on her way home to eat. Her dark golden hair with pale gold streaks was sopping with the rain that had been falling for the past three hours. Karena loved rain and storms and thunder; something about it excited her so.
She had just started to turn to walk home, when she spotted something crouching around her brother's house. The something was taller than any Eldician she knew, but older also. His back was hunched as if he had been bent over all his life. The glare of the strange creature looking at her told her right away, 'An Enthootian!' Karena gasped for breath and turned to run home quickly. She had to hurry, or the only flame of what was left of her family would be extinguished.
The older Eldician ran as quickly as she could to the tree that was her home. She dashed inside to a closet and started flinging things out of it. At the bottom of all the junk, she found a metal box that she had stored away many months ago, in case of an emergency like now. If that Enthootian captured one of them, the horror that would come--but no, she could not think of that now. She opened the box and inside found many bottles filled with various potions for different emergency situations.
A small bottle labeled 'Falkirian' in the corner of the box caught her eye. She grabbed it quickly and dropped the box in haste onto the floor.
She ran even faster back to her brother's home, to where the Enthootian had been lurking. He wasn't there! Oh no! Am I too late?
A muffled whimper of fear came from the window above her head. It was her niece, Leblanc. Knowing that the Enthootian was inside now, Karena rushed to the front door of the house and ran in without knocking.
She ran into the dining hall and found her brother, sister-by-marriage, and niece backed into a corner with a small puff of fur standing between them and the ugly Enthootian. She noticed a goblet of wine on the table next to him. Slyly and quietly, she poured the potion into it, knowing that the Enthootian would reach for the drink, before he could discover her. Just as she had corked the small potion bottle back, and concealed it, the Enthootian turned to her.
''Get yerself inter that there corner with the rest of 'em,'' he spat out at her.
She quickly moved over to her niece who was quivering uncontrollably and who had tears running down her face.
The Enthootian laughed at the girl and the small puff of fur that Karena could now distinguish as a small squirrel leapt at the ugly creature that loomed over them. The Enthootian batted the squirrel away effortlessly and the small animal hit the wall. As he laughed more, the Enthootian reached for the goblet of wine next to him.
Leblanc cried out again as the small helpless ball of fur across the room moved a little bit. The Enthootian laughed again and took a long draught from the goblet in his hand.
His laughing died as a funny feeling came over him. He felt as if his skin was being stretched out, but looking down, nothing was wrong. He looked over at Karena and noticing the satisfied smile on her face, he sighed in fear. ''Falkirian?'' he asked her.
''Falkirian,'' she replied with a smugness that surprised her.
As she said this, his insides stretched even more, as if they were butter spread over too much bread. He ran from the room as quickly as he could, to find the witch of the forest and to see if she could cure him. He would never again mess with the Eldicians and would tell all other Enthootians that it was best to leave them alone. His insides lurched again and he ran even faster to find the witch, so that the potion would not leave its lasting effect on him.
As he ran from the house, Leblanc rushed over to the small squirrel. She dripped one of her tears onto him, healing him in an instant. The small animal rubbed up against her in thanks. Leblanc turned to her Aunt Karena. ''Thank you so much Aunt Karena. You saved us.''
''Don't mention it. Others will expect me to do the same for them if you do,'' Karena replied as sweetly as she could.
''Won't you stay for dinner?'' Aislan stopped her, walking out.
''No, thank you, I've got my own at home and would rather go,'' she replied again, walking out of the house.
Aislan looked over at her husband, ''I told you, she's different.''