(( My prompt word was ‘fish’. There are no actual fish in the story, but it starts with fishing! ))
“Magister Fairsong! What are you doing? We have fishermen who come into the village to buy from. There’s no need to soil your hands.”
Hethurin Fairsong looked up. The council members tended to watch him a little more closely when Terellion was out of town. He should be used to it by now, but he had just leaned back to relax with his fishing pole in hand. “It’s quite fine, Hirdle. I enjoy fishing.”
Hirdle Mountaincrane seemed taken aback. “Are- are you sure?”
“I’m positive. You didn’t need me for anything did you?” Hethurin asked, eager for the human to leave.
“I… Well, no, but I did come to inform you of a discovery made this afternoon.”
Hethurin reeled in a little of his slack, but made no move to indicate he was ready to leave his fishing spot. “A discovery?”
“Yes. Is Terellion back yet? This could concern him as well.”
“I just translocated him and his horse to Westerfair this morning. It took some time off the trip, but I don’t expect he’ll return for another few days yet.” He regarded Hirdle curiously, “Why? Is something wrong with the sword? His sister is in town to look after it while he’s gone.”
“Oh no, no. It’s not the sword. It is highly irregular for an adahi to leave his mage behind, but I suppose it’s all for the best in this instance. At least you’re not both gone. You should finish up and meet me at the town hall.”
Hethurin twitched an ear, realizing that Hirdle still hadn’t told him exactly what the discovery was. He decided it would be easier to drop it, and just go find out for himself. “I’ll be there shortly.”
He reeled in his line, and closed up his small tacklebox. Whatever Hirdle’s discovery was had better be good. He loved Terellion, but his adahi and husband did not share the same passion for fishing as he did. Although he always said he wanted to go with him, Hethurin believed he was bored most of the time. Either that or they wound up doing something else and not fishing at all. Not that something else wasn’t fun too, but it made actual real fishing easier to do when Terellion made his short trips to get supplies for the small village’s school.
He made his way into town. The home he had just moved into with Terellion was along the way. They had been in the town together for over a year now, and had both decided that they were going to need a bigger place as they wanted to adopt. Thus they sold Terellion’s old home and moved into a bigger one closer to the town center. He stopped there and left his fishing gear, before continuing on to the town hall.
He noticed a delivery wagon in front of the town hall, which was a rather small building, but it suited the small town quite well. He climbed the steps and went inside, noticing a group of people huddled in one corner.
“Magister Fairsong, there you are. We’ve been waiting for you.” Solrys Lightweaver, the only elf on the town’s council, noticed him approaching first.
The others turned to look at him, and that’s when he saw the little bundle in Deydesli’s arms.
Solrys spoke again, “Deydesli came to us this morning and insisted that we check the crates in the shipment coming into the general store today.”
Hethurin looked around at the others. There was one he didn’t recognize, and he spoke next.
“I swear. I have no idea how she got in there. I’ve come all the way from Aduandel and never heard a peep. I’ve unloaded and loaded boxes along the way. I’m not sure where the one she was in was from.”
“We believe you. We do not intend to look into the matter much. It’s quite obvious that whomever put her in the crate meant to abandon her.” Solrys reassured the man. He turned to face Hethurin again. “The real matter now is finding her a home. Hethurin, we know you and Terellion have been meaning to adopt, but you also know we don’t have any orphans here.”
Hethurin nodded. “That is correct. Terellion was going to ask at the Kingsfall orphanage about the procedure with them while he’s there.”
Deydesli approached him and passed the bundled baby to his arms. “She’s very new.” She lowered her voice to a whisper, “I know for a fact that Terellion will say yes. Why don’t you take her for a few days until he gets home? She needs a family, and you will be excellent parents.”
Hethurin looked at the others again then back at the baby in his arms. She was sleeping. One of her hands was up against the side of her face. Her fingers were so tiny. “I’ll have to discuss it with Terellion, of course, but I will gladly watch her until he gets back. Then we can make the decision together.”