Aethr’s nose felt funny.
Being outside for the first time since her master’s completely tragic - and natural, she stressed to no one in particular because she was alone - passing, the first thing she did was find a colorful patch of bright yellow flowers and shoved her face into them. Then she sneezed, sending weird peppery dust and petals scattering into the soft breeze that only threw it back at her where she sneezed a second time. She sat there, sniffling in confusion at her runny nose, legs sprawled out in front of her and her hands resting on the ground between, just staring at these flowers and wondering if this was how they were supposed to be. Rarely had she sneezed in her master’s home, so perhaps it had been safer back inside. But she didn’t want to go back inside, she wanted to sit here and contemplate these pretty flowers and the odd conundrum they presented with their unknown. Everything was so new and different, but the flowers were the first she wanted to ponder.
Had her master liked flowers? He had a book on them, stuffed with dried and crumbling specimens flattened between the pages. The paper had been stained with what had once been their vibrancy, lost in passing time in the musty old tomes. She kind of wished she had brought that book with her, but she hadn’t been able to locate it in her haste to leave. When she opened the one book she had grabbed, it contained no dried flowers, or many pictures at all.
Maybe he had liked flowers, and she should take some back to his bones. Would she see his spirit if she went back with flowers and would it be calmed if she brought him an offering? Could spirits be assuaged with gifts of flowers?
Aethr shuddered at the thought that he could come back to this realm as a spooky ghost, and also, if he came back, he might put her back in the cage.
No, it definitely wouldn’t do to find that out. She was better off not returning to that house, to the cage, and instead focusing on these flowers. They smelled good... and if they smelled good, they might taste good. See, this was the point in contemplating these flowers! Aethr could sit here and wonder about their possible uses as a food item, and there was no need to do anything else! Ever! ...Or at least until she was satisfied with her answers.
Or, also, until she plucked one from its healthy green stem that had a satisfying, crisp snap when removed, and put it in her mouth. It had no real taste to it when it lay idle on her tongue, but when she chewed it she was overcome with instant regret. It was so bitter and foul and foreign that she spit it out in an instant, trying to keep her tongue out of her mouth so that she wouldn’t taste it again. With a whimper, she scrambled away from the flowers. First they made her sneeze - twice - and now they coated her tongue with gross.
She threw her hands in the air, chittering angrily at them. She was mad enough that she might just take them to the cage and make them think about what they had done! How would they like that?
But the affront didn’t last too long, because how does one stay mad at pretty flowers who never asked anyone to eat them anyway? They really were pretty.
This led her to wonder if there were more flowers, with different petals and more fascinating colors. She would just have to take one with her for comparison just in case she did find that there were more flowers with different colors and petals. She plucked another with that gratifying snap, clicking her tongue in warning against any funny business at it, and then slipped it behind her little pointy ear. She made a mental note; flowers were good for looking, bad for eating.
Other than flowers, she became fascinated with the trees, the pinkish purple leaves that she had never seen before when she was in the cage. They were pretty too, and she absolutely wanted some of the leaves to take with her, just like she had her flower. Very carefully and with many apologies, she broke off a twig with three fat leaves resplendent on their perch. It was a little too big to stay behind her ear, fumbling for a moment with both the twig and the flower until she gave up and decided to just hold the twig in the hand that didn’t carry her book. One of the leaves had fallen off in the struggle, and she stuck that behind her other ear instead. Armed with her stick, she found some vines (which she tied some strands into a loop and wore like a sash), some funny looking moss (she took some off of its boulder and used as a makeshift hilt for her stick), and plump blue berries (these stained her fingers in a deep violet color and were great for smearing swirling patterns on her arms). She also had several handfuls of treenuts and shining rocks.
She sat in the shade of a giant tree with draping vine-branch-leaves, with her small collection of new things displayed in front of her. Aethr had only a small pouch on her make-shift belt from cloth torn from her master’s robes, and could not fit all of her collection inside.
Did she have too many things?
She might have gathered too many things.
Aethr took her time, picking out only the most eye-catching things - which was a task in itself because the only reason she had gathered so many things was for their eye-catching-ness (she didn’t know the word for what she meant, but they were pretty).
The light of the sky had started to diminish; casting long shadows from the boulders and shrubs and trees. She wished her master was here so she could ask him if this was what the sky normally did. Was the sky supposed to get dark? Home had only gotten dark when it was decided that she needed to go to sleep. Usually because he would wrap a blanket around her cage, and bark at her be still and stop her noisy chittering. But this was not her cage, and she had no blankets, yet the darkness was intent on setting in. She was also starting to get uncomfortable with the small, intermittent shivers that her body liked to do now that the light was going away. There was no recollection in her brain on if she had ever shivered before the cage. The tattered cloth she had fashioned raggedy clothes from did little to stop the shivering.
It was getting harder to see, too, and that was a shame since she really wanted to look at her new things to take her mind off of the shivers. There came the dilemma of going back to the home and giving up her adventure now that she couldn’t see or stop trembling.
What did people who didn’t have a cage do when the light went away and they had no blankets?
Well, there had to be something that people did outside of their cages, she decided with a nod to herself. With that, she put all her rocks and treenuts and berries into her pouch, picked up her stick, and headed towards the last vestiges of the light. Maybe she could find the light and ask it to come back. Was the light a living thing? This, she didn’t know, but she’d never know if she didn’t try.
Aethr walked and walked and walked, even after the light had fully gone away, hoping that it was just hiding and she would come across it at any second. Her legs started to ache all the way down to her feet, but she had to find the light! Sometimes she tripped on small roots or rocks that she didn’t see in her path, which hurt her toes, and those times she’d have to sit down to rub her feet. She found that her shivers could be stymied by curling herself up. So, she’d curl up and rub her feet, eyes diligently focused on the last place she saw the light. It was getting more difficult to uncurl when it was time to press on. Her muscles screamed in protest every time.
She was also terribly sleepy.
Aethr found a tree with a gap between its thick roots, filled with dried stuff on the dirt. There were no rocks in the soil to cut into her feet, and it had an almost cage like feel when she crawled inside to investigate. This was a blessing in its own way. With the feeling of familiar closed quarters paired with the dark, her exhaustion intensified several times over. There was a comfortable peace under this tree, and the outside air stopped giving her shivers. Her master wouldn’t even have to chastise her for making noise or rocking her cage. She fell asleep as soon as she laid down and curled up, leather-bound book under her head, and her stick nestled in the crook of one elbow.
These are excerpts of things from a feral Bosmer’s perspective. Sometimes she remembers things in chronological order, but she often falls victim to tangents.
Author's Chapter Notes:
I’m finally uploading all these silly little excerpts/drabbles of one of my favorite characters that I play in Elder Scrolls Online. I usually take her around and role-play with her, and she is a bundle of joy and wonder to everyone who meets her (even if, canonically, the other person doesn’t act like it), and I have so much fun with her.