Emmeline sat on a box that a sailor had kindly lashed to the railing on the deck of the little sailing ship. She stared out at the sea, watching waves roll by as she idly chucked shells of a few nuts she’d taken as an afternoon snack into the water. She was deep in thought when the little blue light, hardly noticed during the brightness of full daylight, meandered nearby.
The little fairy had been always somewhere nearby from the first day Sevé had mad her appearance. Emmeline had never sent her away for any reason. Unlike most mages with familiars, Em hadn’t immediately taken advantage of her diminutive companion. She didn’t asked anything of Sevé except to engage in conversation, though she often had to hide a laugh when Sevé played her little unseen pranks, usually on people that annoyed Emmeline.
“Whatcha doin’?” asked Sevé. “That’s a lot of water,” she added.
Emmeline watched as Sevé grew from a speck of light into a tiny person. “It is, very much. It’s probably a little different than what you are used to.”
“Yep, but there is water there too. Just not so much. On the isle there is the icy lake at the mountain, and the little lake people made, and the big lake with the fish.” one by one she counted lakes on her tiny fingers, “and that’s about all. No big blue nearby, but I’ve heard tales of big blue waters before, like near the first home.”
“The first home?” Emmeline repeated, her interested piqued. “What is that like?”
“It was in the far long ago. Sevé remember. We lived neath the summer trees and all was happy. Never was there night, just shades of day.” Sevé said. it seemed a happy memory for her.
“That does sound lovely. I bet there were many songs of those days few know now,” Emmeline looked far out to sea for a moment, then her eyes slid to Sevé. “I think it would be wonderful to hear them again, don’t you?”
“Yes! Sevé does not sing them very well. La la la!” she tried to sing, and it was pretty in a simple kind of way. Then Sevé collapsed cross-legged, cradled her hand on her chin, and said, “Sevé tried, but I don’t know the words so well. It was in the far long ago. The windwalkers would know, or the icesurfers, or the deep forest peoples.”
“Perhaps when I go to the Mother Tree again, Maryswenifar will teach me a song,” Emmeline said. “But after that things get dangerous. Sometimes things might even get terribly serious. Can I count on you to help keep things from getting too heavy?”
She giggled and almost fell overboard, flying up and taking her spot again, “If it is too heavy, Sevé cannot lift it, but she’ll try!”
Emmeline laughed. “If there are too many frowns I hope you can help turn them into smiles.”
“Sevé try,” she said with a smile. “Does Emmey have non-smily times?”
“Sometimes. But not too often, I think,” Em said. “There is a time for sadness, but it’s no good to go around frowning all the time. Unhappy. Unhealthy. Un… seelie?” She shook her head. “I don’t really know what I’m talking about.”
“Unseelie? Heard that. Human word for something they don’t know. Good fey, bad fey. All the same. Not just good or bad, honorable or dishonorable, happy or sad, dark or light. In the end we are all gray, only mortality makes one good or bad.” Sevé replied.
“I wish the world were all shades of grey. But most people don’t look at it that way. I try to see the good in everyone, even if they’ve done bad things, but it is hard sometimes,” Emmeline said. “Once there was a shadow elf woman, a priestess of Tyaa that I tried to convince to come home to the Mother Tree. She more or less spat in my face and chose execution. I don’t think I’ll ever understand her choice. That made me sad for many days, but I needed to be. Someone needed morn her passing, for it may be this world will never see her again, for good or ill.”
Sevé replied, “if she is fey, she never goes away, she just goes home. But the mortal part of her? Sevé doesn’t know. Sometimes Sevé thinks, peoples care more about ideas then themselves. Good or bad, Sevé doesn’t know.”
“I don’t either, Sevé,” Emmeline said softly.