Disclaimer: This is a story written by Elena Larsen, the owner of Bless the Outdoors. Do not copy or use it without permission!
Her blue eyes were met by strong hazel ones which stared back at her in their usual confident manner that made the young girl close her mouth and glance down at her feet. She had started up a discussion with her mother about the biological needs of human beings; however no matter how free spirited her mother proclaimed she was it was clear that her conservative views shined through in this matter. It was not because the woman was religious. No, not at all but she was extremely romantic, and she did believe in eternal love between only one man and woman.
Asta believed in love as well. Just like her mother, she liked the idea of finding her soul mate. But now that she had for the fourth time broken up with a boy, she had been so sure she was in love with; the young girl was therefore not sure what to believe anymore. It somehow seemed easier to believe in the Darwinist point of view, when it came to sex, love and relationships between men and women. She felt that it was a naive idea to wait for a soul mate your entire life, and now that she grew older, she believed her mother to be quite naive as well.
Asta and her mother were alike in many ways, but they were also different in others. Despite the hair and eye colour, they looked pretty much the same. They were petite, slender and had pointy noses which made them look like curious mice. However while Asta’s mother had long hay blond hair, she herself had dark locks that seemed to only be able to reach her shoulders. Her mother’s eyes were strong, wise and hazel. She had very intelligent eyes, which were able to shut her daughter up just by one glance. Asta had deep blue ones. Her blue eyes were like a contrast to her dark hair and pale skin. She seemed tough, however as much as she wanted to appear logical and wise like her mother, her eyes always seemed to fail her. They were big and innocent.
“Asta? Are you listening to me?” Her mother’s voice interrupted the girl from her angry and defeated stare at the ground. She kicked an imaginative stone with her shoe before turning around facing the calm face of her mother who held up a wrapped duck. “What do you say if we had roasted duck for dinner tonight?” She asked while weighing the meat in her hands. “It is a good one with minimum fat.”
Asta rolled her eyes. Her mother always talked about health and nonfat food. Her daughter however had a whole different opinion on food than her dear mother. She liked traditional meals. She liked a fat duck with crispy skin. She liked steaming boiled potatoes with a good sauce, and she loved different kinds of meat. Christmas was her favourite holiday for food. The recipes were the best ones, and even though her mother had several times tried to convince her father and Asta to have a healthy Christmas, the two of them had continuously allied against her.
She had not eaten duck for a long time, so the girl therefore smiled happily back at the older woman who then put the duck into the basket.
When they finally arrived to the cashier, Asta felt quite tired from all the shopping. She was not like her mum who could stay and look at discount prices for hours and hours. She went inside and bought just what she needed and quickly walked out again. In a way she was more practical, and she thought herself to be more organised as well.
While packing the bags, Asta glanced outside the window from the shop. They have had humid weather this October and now that November had arrived, she had desperately hoped for snow, but it seemed to be delayed. The girl grabbed the heavy bags as she continued glancing at the window while walking outside into the darkness. It was barely five o’ clock in the afternoon, but the evening fell early at this time of year. The street they walked down was small and wet. Small lanterns from Halloween were still standing outside some houses which made their whole way back home way cosier.
For some reason the young girl felt her heart racing. She hated when her emotions betrayed her like that. Not that they had a reason anyway. She was not in love. She did not believe in magic or in a soul mate. But it still felt like butterflies were fluttering inside her stomach.
Asta liked to see herself as an adult. She was seventeen years old and in high school. She was one of the best students in class and with her hard-working personality she took great notes for every course, which of course gave her good grades. Her teachers seemed to respect her, and now she really wanted her parents to do it as well. But out from the looks her mother gave her and their discussion earlier, it seemed like her parents would not accept the fact that she was adult.
Angry tears appeared in her eyes just by the thought of her parents still treating her like a little girl. Automatically she started walking faster, and ignored her mother commenting on her sudden change in speed. Asta hated her emotional personality. She could cry about almost everything, and she felt extremely weak and exposed when that happened.
Changing arm to carry the heavy back, she marched into the driveway of their humble home. Asta’s family lived in a small house just outside the town. It was surrounded by tall pine trees and had a large garden in which her mother liked to work. Asta however liked the forest, and she often took a stroll there. Especially when she was emotional like she was today. She hated feeling defeated, when she argued with her mother, and she hated reacting the way she did now.
When she walked into their house that had a nice aromatic smell of incense, she placed the bag on the table and started unpacking. Her mother soon joined her. She took up the duck and started preparing it immediately while Asta was putting the vegetables into the fridge. From the living room she could hear her dad snoring on the couch. Small cracks came from their fireplace and the open door to the dark room showed a gentle red glow from the burning fire.
After a few minutes a nice smell from the duck in the oven filled the house. Her mother leaned against the kitchen table with a glass of wine in her hand and a satisfied sigh. She has had a hard day at work. For some reason her mother always complained about her work. She always seemed stressed and after sipping to her wine, she walked into the living room to wake up her husband and scold him for not keeping an eye on the fireplace.
With a grunt he stood up and put some more wood on the embers. Immediately the fire alarm started ringing and her mother yelled through the noise about him not being careful. He should not let the smoke out.
“Asta! Open the kitchen door!” She yelled to her daughter who was now sitting in front of the table in the kitchen and reading Harry Potter.
Their kitchen door was a glass door that led one to a small terrace and then the garden. From the garden a sea of dark green pine trees spread towards the horizon. A pale moon was now shining on the dark sky and the young girl leaned against the door frame to enjoy the view that met her eyes. She looked up at the moon and smiled at the light. It fell on the pointy tips of the trees and reflected on the grass of their garden.
Asta was about to step inside again, as something caught her eyes which seemed to get the same colour as the moon above her. From the slim trunks of the trees something white appeared. At first she thought that it was the moon that made tricks with her sight, but as she continued watching she realised that it was not the moon.
A milky white mist was slowly rising from the ground and floating in small waves out from the forest and into their garden. It was so heavy that the girl could almost see the waves it made as it hit her feet. As much as she wanted to look back and call her parents to come and see this, she was not able to. Her eyes were fixed on this, and she was like stunned. The white mist was wrapping around her feet and almost lured her into stepping further outside. It was simply because she was holding onto the door frame that she did not move.
More and more mist came. It twirled around in small clouds on the meadow. Making small enticing sparkling lights appearing. It twisted round and round – almost dancing to some silent music. But then the girl realised. There was actually music. The hoot from an owl, a sigh from the branches of the trees, gentle footsteps in the wet grass from an animal, a flute, a bell, some distant laughter.
And right there, in front of her innocent blue eyes… The eyes she hated and which were the only ones that showed her true soul. Her eyes that could see the magic of nature, something not many could see anymore… The elves appeared.
They were not physical as in Tolkien’s tales. They were like the mist… They were the mist. And just like the mist that had appeared ever so quickly, they disappeared as it pulled back into the forest – swallowed by the wet grass, the small hills and the dark earth, leaving a young girl standing and staring into the midair with a hand over her chest feeling the hammering heart against her fingers.