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Tales of Thanksgiving: A Drabble Collection: 5. Of Love, Mischief, and Flowery Prose
My dear friend Rhapsody adores Celegorm and Maglor, so gifts for her always involve trying to fit them together into a story. In "Of Love, Mischief, and Flowery Prose," young Celegorm realizes the gravity of the pranks that he plays on his older brother Maglor and seeks atonement for his misdeeds.
The relationship that might have existed between these two contrary brothers is a source of endless speculation for me "Of Love, Mischief, and Flowery Prose" is set during the same year as my novel Another Man's Cage, so Celegorm is equivalent to a seven-year-old and Maglor is a young adolescent. The ficlet is a quibble, so it is exactly five hundred words.
Happy Sinterklaas, Rhapsody, and thank you for all that you do!
Of Love, Mischief, and Flowery Prose
My brother Macalaurë is in trouble with our father most often of any of us. I am rambunctious, Nelyo is contrary, and Carnistir is downright mean (or so Atar says), but it is boring Macalaurë who is in trouble the most.
Occasionally, it is my fault.
For I adore-absolutely adore, in the same way that I adore strawberries, swimming holes, and newborn hound puppies-annoying my second eldest brother. Annoying him until his ears turn red and he wastes his pretty voice on screaming not-so-nice words at me. That Atar inevitably hears. And punishes him for.
Then, later, I think of it with regret, for Macalaurë is kind (usually) and rarely deserving (truly) of my mischief. Like when I knew that he was to meet his girl-friend on the morrow and spent the whole day washing and pressing his best clothes and even wiped the mud off of his boots, only to have me trip the next morning while running from Carnistir (who was trying to bite my hair) with a cup of grape juice and-
Well, it was an accident that I tripped. It truly was. However, I could have aimed for the big expanse of floor that would have been easy to wipe up instead of Macalaurë.
White tunic turned purple and grape juice dripping off the tip of his nose, Macalaurë called me "cur of Oromë" and other things that I am too young to hear, much less repeat.
So Macalaurë did not see his girl-friend that day. He was permitted to make his excuses and send a letter of apology, though Atar read it first and made him rewrite it three times for whining too much or being senselessly malicious or being too sentimental. Macalaurë's excuse for the latter complaint was that he merely wished her to know that he loved her. "She knows," Atar said, "without flowery prose." For my role in the hubbub, I was to deliver the letter to our neighbor, who was going to Tirion and would see the letter received by Vingarië.
I was sent to Macalaurë's bedroom to collect the acceptable fourth attempt at a letter. His eyes were red-rimmed, and he shoved the letter into my hand without a word or glance. He was back to wearing his boring gray tunic and trousers, and the ones I'd ruined-made clean and pretty the day before-were balled up in the corner.
I will admit: I felt bad then. But my stubborn tongue would not twist into an apology, and I left Macalaurë alone, letter in hand, to go to the neighbor's.
It was a beautiful day at the start of autumn, yet I'd ruined it for my brother. Skipping along, enjoying the warm breeze and midday Treelight, this gave me pause. And when I paused, I saw that the autumn orchids were in bloom, nodding violet heads over the road.
Carefully, I affixed one to the letter. So that Vingarië would not doubt that Macalaurë loved her.
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