I suppose I am luckier than most girls. I am never in want of the necessities: food, clothing, and shelter; quite the opposite actually. Exotic dishes are constantly on our table custom to nations from all over the globe. My clothes are primarily simple, the focus being to portray an elegant young woman rather than that of a child playing dress up, which the numerous flounces and skirts belonging to the dresses of other girls my age seem to suggest. As for shelter, I lived in the bustling city of Caravanserai. This suited my tastes perfectly, I was near the cliffs where I went at any hour of the day, be it noon or midnight. The plentiful vendors ensured that my curiosity was satisfied and that I had plentiful fodder for my imagination.
I didn't have any friends, unless you consider my governess/teacher/guardian/every other possible role I needed to have in my life in the past or future. Her name was Valencia, and once I had been old enough to wonder at its origin she informed me of her Spanish heritage. From then on every night before I went to sleep I was regaled with stories of far off Spain, lovers locked in tango's embrace in cobble-stone alleys, and swordfights fought for the hands of fair ladies. Valencia did not age, she was an elemental. Fire was her birthright, she had informed me in a very matter-of-fact tone one night.
I had been eleven at the time and around then came the knowledge that most other people couldn't form fire with a snap of their fingers or heat cold meals with a glance. I also learned that most other children had parents, specifically fathers; and mothers for that matter. At that young age Valencia was the sole recipient of my endless inquiries so I dutifully asked her if she wasn't my mother, it was obvious to me even at that age that we could not have been related, who was she? And more importantly where was she? Same for my father. That night I had no idea of the enormity of what I was asking.
So at that young age I was informed of my mother's past. Her life at a theatre and her two loves, a pirate and an air elemental. Upon hearing this, my interest was aroused; having a pirate or an elemental for a father was something that had surprisingly not entered my mind in my numerous daydreams of life with my nonexistent parents. The story went on, however, and I learned of the Sea-goddess Sedna, my mother's gift of words, my grandparents' own bittersweet courtship, and finally my father's final wish.
He had become the wind itself. That's when my naïve, innocent mind had stumbled for a moment. If he was the wind than how could I have been born? I didn't know what exactly went into the process of making a child, but I had heard a child in the city's bazaar once say that he kept having more siblings every time his parents went into their bedroom. I didn't know what went on in that bedroom, some type of magic perhaps? One look at Valencia's face made me hesitant to question her on this matter. She continued with the story, seemingly oblivious to my questioning glances.
My mother had fallen into a depression after my father's disappearance that no one, not even that pirate, could pull her from. She had moved to Caravanserai to be in the one place she remembered him the best. She would stand for hours at the cliff's edge, sometimes writing at others debating on whether she should jump and end her misery. Valencia informed me that my father, seeing my mother's grief, came to her one night; temporarily regaining his human form. Once again, the fire elemental blurred over the details and I knew better than to question the reasoning for it. He left at dawn the next morning. Nine months later I was born.
Valencia had come to Caravanserai in search of my mother when she was in her fifth month of pregnancy. "I had a debt to repay." That was the only thing she would say about it at the time. Later on she told me of her half-sister's involvement which caused the departure of my father. When Valencia had learned of her sister's folly, she had spanned the globe searching for my mother. Once she found her, Valencia willingly employed herself to my mother's well-being. Valencia, being the extremely headstrong feminist I knew and loved was also very proud. In her eyes, her sister's mistake had tarnished her family's reputation and she was merely doing her part in restoring it.
My mother had loved me very much. Still did, according to Valencia, but she fell into a milder depression once I had been born. It was because I had silver hair. It reminded her so much of my father that once I was three years old she instructed Valencia to take care of me, they had become close over the few years they had known each other, and then ran to the cliffs. Once Valencia had told me this, I remembered a vague image. I had attributed it to my overactive imagination, but now I realized what it was. Unknown to Valencia or my mother, I followed her as she ran to the cliffs. Her hair had been a dark brunette at the time, and I remember her throwing out her arms in the likeness of a pair of wings. Before my very eyes she had transformed into a snowy white bird. It was so beautiful it had brought tears to my eyes. Then she had flown off, the wind caressing her feathers.
So now I was eighteen. Motherless. Fatherless. Dubbed the "unattainable beauty" by others my age. Frequently looked upon with jealousy and resentment by other young women, and lust and desire by many a young man whom I happened to bump into on my errands in the city. It did not irk me in the slightest. I found their company repulsive, they smelled foul and were very coarse in their ways. So my companions were the birds and other such animals who were privileged enough to have the ability to fly.
An ability I envied with every fiber of my being. Daughter of an air elemental and a shape shifter, and I could not fly. My very core screamed at the injustice. My very name, Aure, given to me by my mother in fond remembrance of my father, meant the breeze. In desperation I fled to the cliffs when it became too much, throwing my arms up much like my mother before me, but unable to fly. That is how I spent many days, kneeling on the cliffs, tears streaming down my face as the wind tousled my clothes and hair; wishing desperately for the blessed gift of flight while tethered by an iron chain to the repulsive earth.
So how do you like it? Leave a review and let me know what you think. By the way, Aure is pronounced "or" from what I can gather it has a silent "e", but correct me if I'm wrong. It is of French origin and means soft air or breeze.