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Tales of Thanksgiving: A Drabble Collection: 12. Falling/Forever
Because I have more people I want to write for than there are days in December, some days will necessarily have multiple pieces. Today is such a day. Today is Caranthir Romance Day. Because I sometimes honestly believe that I am friends with Caranthir's most passionate core of fangurls, I usually end up giving stories about him the most as gifts. And romances are popular-particularly when that unreferenced "she" could be anyone!
So today, I have written two Caranthir romances, each five hundred words (though slightly different formats) and each a different pairing. The first is dedicated to Kasiopea, who is always such a help and inspiration to my work. A while back, she asked for a short story about Caranthir's betrothal to his wife, and the story is in progress and forever unfinished. One day (soon, I hope), I will finally finish putting all of the words in my mind onto paper.
"Falling/Forever" is about Caranthir during the days of his father's exile in Formenos when-according to my Felakverse-he first fell in love with his eventual wife Taryindë.
She loves purple.
She lifts an orchid to brush against her face, smiling, savoring. Or stares into the east, where the black sky and silver Treelight and reflection from the sea made a purplish hue along the horizon.
I lie upon my back and count the numberless stars overhead-or at least I pretend to. Really I am watching her.
A slender hand extends to the east, as though she can gather that purple sky and bring it to her. I think of armfuls of purple flowers bound in ribbons of the same and wonder....
But no. I don't dare.
II. Unsound Emotion
I tease her about it because she is not the sort to adore such a dainty color, preferring to ride hard alongside her brothers during the Spring Hunt to sitting primly like the ladies in Tirion, drinking spiced tea from mugs trimmed in purple.
She punches me for my insolence, hard jabs delivered to my side, knuckles and ribs. Bone and bone. It hurts and leaves bruises spreading beneath my skin, blue edged in purple.
"Look," I say, lifting my shirt. "Your favorite color!" and this time, she pinches me under the arm.
"That mark," she explains, "will be red."
"Purple," she tells me, "is better than black."
For I adore black and wear little else. "It is easy to match clothes in the morning," I explain, "and I don't have to worry about stains."
But purple, she says, is the color of nobility. Of honor and courage. And of proper love, not the sort defined by red and ruled by unsound emotions but the kind that lasts over ages, as trusty as a heartbeat.
Purple is the color of beauty-not youthful, frivolous beauty-but the kind that doesn't fade.
And at last: Purple is the color of forever.
"Then what is black?" I ask her.
She answers: darkness, nightmares, the end of the world. Black is the color of falling.
"Nonetheless," I tell her, daringly, "I think that you would look nice in black."
Both of our faces turn red: the color of unsound emotion.
There is a festival coming up in celebration of spring. The beginning of spring or-she says-maybe the ending of winter. "Are they different?" I ask, and she shrugs.
Though winter lingers, flowers are already emerging from the soil, and I am careful not to tread them. Especially the purple ones.
I dally long before making an appearance at the festival, for I feel silly. And I look silly too, judging by the way my brothers glance quickly at me and look away, careful not to laugh.
I suppose that purple is just not my color.
And the one for whom I wear it is not even here.
I am about to return to my chambers and exchange the purple tunic for a black one when I see her. Her face is reddened, like mine, and she wears a black gown with purple flowers affixed.
The colors of falling. And forever.
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