Kelanori Summerleaf pulled her cloak tightly around herself as she left her home. The chill in the winter air nipped at her ear tips as she made her way towards her brother’s home. As she walked along, she was sure she felt the sentinels’ eyes on her even more than usual. She kept her eyes on the ground in front of her. They all know. She hastened her pace.
Her brother was outside crushing some dried herbs. He looked up as she approached, a worried look on his face. “Kel…”
“It’s true? Is it really her?” Kelanori asked before he could say anything else.
He lowered his head. “Yes.”
“Teri, who died then?”
He shrugged, still looking down, and mumbled, “It looked like her.”
Kelanori frowned. She sighed, “Where is she?”
Terivanis looked up, “Upstairs. Did you want me to go with you?”
She did. She wanted any kind of support she could get while facing the woman, but Terivanis looked frazzled enough. Had he been sleeping at all? “No, I’ll be fine alone.” He nodded as she went inside.
The ramp leading upstairs circled around both inside and outside of the building. She made her way up it, each step feeling heavier than the one before. At last she reached the room at the top. She knocked outside of it.
A voice called out. “Come in.” It sounded like her. Kelanori took a deep breath, and gathered her courage. She stepped inside.
The woman sat at the table on one of the benches. She leaned against the wall and propped her feet on the other bench in front of her. She looked up as Kelanori entered and sneered, “Oh, it’s you.”
There was no doubt left. “Mother.” She frowned at the woman. “How could you?”
“How could I what? Get caught? I suppose it happens to the best sometimes.”
“No! How could you let us believe you were dead? We’re your family! Do you know how much pain you caused Terivanis? And the twins? Both of them cried when Teri told us. Do you even care?” Kelanori struggled to stay calm.
“Of course I care!” She glared at Kelanori, “About them. Admit it, you didn’t miss me. Some priestess you are. You don’t even care about your own mother. All you ever did was contradict me and cause me pain.”
“Me?” Kelanori gasped. “You’re the one that was gone all the time. You left me to raise your children, and when you did come home, you would break every single rule I had set for them.”
Her mother rolled her eyes, “Dear, if you hadn’t of made those asinine rules in the first place, then I wouldn’t have let them break them.”
“They were not asinine. They were sensible. I guess I should not have expected you to understand that.”
“I hope you don’t do that to my grandson.”
Her mother grunted, “I always thought you would loosen up after you got laid. I was wrong.”
“Mother!” Kelanori’s ears darkened. She was quickly losing her grasp on her inner calm. “How could you say such a thing?”
Her mother shrugged and twitched an ear. “Because it’s true. I was wrong.”
Kelanori darkened further. She decided to quickly return to questioning the woman. “Where were you all this time? Why didn’t you let us know you were alive?”
“I went a few places. I didn’t think you wanted me to come back.”
Kelanori remembered she had often said that, many times directly to the woman. “The boys needed you.” It was the truth. “They needed to know you were alive. They needed their mother. You should have let them know you were okay.”
“Who said anything about being okay?” She held out her arm to show the burn scar that ran from her knuckles on the back of her hand to her elbow. “I fought until it was obvious we were losing. I have other scars. You would probably turn dark purple and scream ‘Mother!’ if I showed them to you.”
Kelanori looked at her mother’s arm. A burn scar was there for sure, “You should have sought healing. The scarring wouldn’t be so bad if you had.” She looked closer, “What are all these bruises from?”
“When I was arrested. They weren’t very gentle.”
“If you hadn’t run, it wouldn’t have been so bad.” Kelanori knelt beside her mother and held her hand over the bruises on her mother’s arm. She closed her eyes and whispered words of healing.
Her mother drew her arm back, “Stay away from me.”
Kelanori stood up and stepped back quickly. A startled look was clear on her face.
“I don’t need to feel indebted to you.” Her mother snarled. “Besides, that demon is supposed to do it. I’m waiting to see how long it takes before she admits that she really can’t heal.”
“I was only trying to help.” Kelanori sighed. “Vajarra? She’s a very good healer. One of the best.”
Her mother shrugged. “She has yet to prove that to me.” She reached in her bag and took out a pouch of herbs. She put a leaf of one in her mouth.
“Why are you being so difficult?”
“I ask myself the same thing about you sometimes. I should have never come into town.”
“Me? I’m not the one refusing healing and saying that the draenei are demons!”
“You’re the one arguing. I’m your mother. Don’t you dare take that tone with me, you little brat.”
Kelanori glared at her mother. Had she really gotten worse during her absence? She didn’t remember her being so rude before. They hadn’t gotten along, but here they were yelling at each other already. As she opened her mouth to speak, another voice interrupted.
“I heard screaming. Is everything okay?” Terivanis stood in the doorway. He looked ready to run. Kelanori couldn’t help but smile at his pose, despite her upset with her mother.
“Your tyrant of a sister has taken it upon herself to make sure my stay here is as uncomfortable as possible. The least she could do is show some respect for her elders. Of course since she’s screwing an elder, I doubt that will happen any time soon.”
“Mother!” Kelanori’s ears turned a dark purple.
Terivanis looked away and scratched his beard. “Oh.” He glanced down the ramp to his right before looking back in the room, “Kel, I think Ornasse was looking for you.”
He nodded. She quickly left the room, and joined Terivanis on the ramp. “Is he really looking for me?”
Terivanis shook his head, “Not that I know of. I couldn’t leave you up there alone.”
Kelanori smiled slightly, “Thank you.”