TITLE: Elenath



DISCLAIMER: The characters from Lord of the Rings, their wonderful world are borrowed from J.R.R. Tolkien. The plotline and all other characters are copyright 2002 Emily (

SUMMARY: An Elf-babe is abandoned in our world, through a magical gate, to be raised by a human woman. This is the story of her return to her true home.


Summer Templeton's grandmother had always told her never to talk to strange Elves in the woods, or anywhere else for that matter, or she might find herself swept away to another world never to be seen again. As a child growing up in rural Indiana, this warning had frightened her greatly and she always stayed away from the forests that grew and creeks that ran all about her house. Then as a teenager, she rolled her eyes at the very idea of Elves. Elves! She began to agree with some of the locals who said her grandmother had a few screws loose.

"Crazy old woman thinks she met an elf one day back in '76!" they'd guffaw when they thought that Summer was out of earshot. "I hear those mountains down south'll do that do a person – make 'em think they see things they really don't."

Summer never understood anything they were talking about and didn't much care. Having no memory of her father or mother, she bestowed all of the love she would have given both on this one dear old woman who had raised her from infanthood.

That love hadn't grown less now that Summer was 25, and that fact certainly didn't make saying goodbye any easier. Her grandmother was dying and Summer felt that her heart would surely break. On that final day as she waited for the Hospice nurse to arrive, the young woman slowly ran a brush through her grandmother's long silver-white hair and thought about all of the wrongs Grandmother had righted, and all of the hurts she had soothed. Junior high school had been particularly rough, she recalled. The other children teased her mercilessly because of her ears. They were not overly large and didn't stick out as is the case with most ears that are laughed at. In fact they were perfectly lovely ears aside from the fact that they were pointed. Oh, they'd called her names. Summer smiled as she remembered some of them, and Grandmother asked what she was thinking of.

"Do you remember the time I came home from school crying because the kids kept calling me 'vampire bat', Grandma?"

"Oh, Summer," the old woman spoke softly with a smile in her voice. "How could I forget? What was that other name they called you? The one that upset you so much that you tried to tug your ears right off your head?"

Summer laughed. "They called me Mrs. Spock and kept saying 'live long and prosper.'"

"You couldn't stand the thought of being Mrs. Spock. You wanted to marry Captain Kirk. You were always such a fanciful child, thinking up grand adventures and writing poetry. And always singing too…. Would you sing a song for me now, Summer?"

"What would you like for me to sing?"

"Oh," said the old woman, "Just make something up. Anything."

Summer thought for a moment, twirling a ringlet of her dark auburn hair around her finger. Merriment danced in her hazel eyes and she stood up and put her hand over her heart and sang a song about a fair maiden who sat on a rock and did not want to marry a Vulcan named Spock.

The old woman's laughter filled the room for a brief moment before she sighed and closed her eyes. "You are the light of my life, Summer, and I love you dearly."

Summer leaned down and kissed her cheek. "I love you too, Grandma. Now maybe you should rest."

"No, Child. There will be plenty of time for that where I'm going." She sighed. "Please sit here next to me because there is something that I would like to tell you. My time to do so grows short. I can feel it in these old bones."

Summer pulled up a chair and sat down, tenderly holding the old woman's hand as Grandmother spoke soberly. "I have a confession to make. I'm afraid I've been a very, very selfish woman."

"What?" she asked, "You certainly have not! You gave up everything to raise me when my mother and father ran away. How can you call that selfish?"

"I should tell you about your mother and father. I should have told you the truth about them long ago."

Summer's heart was fiercely loyal and she shushed the old woman. "Grandma, if you found it necessary to not tell me about them, then I trust your judgment."

Grandmother smiled and patted Summer's hand. "Then trust my judgment now, Child, and know that it is necessary to tell this story. I pray that you believe what I say." She paused and looked the young woman right in the eyes as she said, "Your mother and father were Wood-Elves, Summer, and so are you."

And the old woman told of the vacation she took back in the Summer of '76 to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina all by herself "because I was a stubborn old mule," she laughed. She told how she had hiked deep into the mountains and found the most wonderful, pure mountain stream and had sat there on a rock just basking in the sun, listening to the burbling water and watching the trees sway back and forth when, out of nowhere, two radiantly beautiful people appeared, one with a small bundle in her arms.

"When I say they appeared out of nowhere, Summer, I mean it. They didn't pop out from behind a tree or a rock. One moment there was nothing and the next moment there were the two of them, panting and gasping for breath as if they had been running from something and very frightened. They were your parents and the bundle was you."

She told how the Elven couple had spoken to her desperately, begging her to take the child and care for her until she was fully grown because their world was no longer safe for such a treasure. "They said they would come back for you if the evil lessened in their land, and to keep you near water and wood that they might find you.

"I warned you away from the wood and water because I so came to love you that I never wanted to let you go, not even when you were fully grown. But now I am leaving this world and have realized the error of my ways. Of course you must go back, Summer, and soon."

"B-but-" protested the poor girl. "How can you expect me to believe this? Wood-elves, Grandma? It's impossible! You must be mistaken! And even if it were true, why would I have to go back?"

"I know it sounds crazy," Grandmother spoke carefully. "Bring me the box hidden beneath the loose floorboard in my bedroom."

She walked carefully away to get it, shaking her head. Poor Grandma. It was bad enough that the cancer had stolen her ability to care for herself and enjoy life. Now it seemed to be taking her mind as well. Perhaps she would never know the truth about her parents. Her fingers tingled a bit as she lifted the shoebox out of its hiding place, but she took no notice. On the lid her grandmother had written the word "Elenath."

"Elenath," her grandmother whispered when the box was handed to her. It sent a warm sensation through Summer's heart. "That was your Elven name, you know. Here." She lifted the lid and pulled out a delicate chain of the purest gold Summer had ever seen. On it hung a green jewel that seemed to move inside when she gazed into it. "Look into the stone, child. I never could see anything, but your mother swore you'd be able to see right to your true home if you ever longed for it."

Obediently, she looked and gasped at the forest that appeared there, the trees waving gently in the breeze. She looked harder and saw people moving about…. People with pointy ears just like hers. "This is unbelievable."

"It sure is, isn't' it? What do you see?"

"Others," she answered, "Others like me."

"See," said Grandmother, "Your old Grandma still has her wits about her." She took a map from the box as well and handed it to Summer. "You must go back. I've marked the place in red and I hope that they'll send someone for you. If not, there is a curious marking on one of the stones there. All you have to do is touch it and speak your name and you will be home."

"But this is my home," Summer protested.

"It cannot remain so, Child."

"Why not?"

Grandmother sighed. "Because, Elenath, Elves are immortal."


That night long after her grandmother had gently passed on to her heavenly home and the hospice nurse had gone away, Summer sat and thought. She felt such great sorrow at the loss she had just experienced that she felt she herself might die. Restlessly pacing the old house, she realized that there was nothing here for her now. What would it hurt to follow the old map? Sure, her friends would miss her, but they would go on with their lives, wouldn't they? What did she have to lose? After all, if she got there and nothing happened, she could always come back and return to life as usual. And especially now, no one would blame her for taking a long vacation.