Annabel Ashcroft

Faerie (Aether)

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Interlude 22: Birthdays and gifts.


Yes, after 5 months finally something new. I admit, I missed writing and even though I am sure this will get piss poor views, I did this for mainly myself. After all, that's what people keep telling me, write for yourself and no one else, so I did it. ;-) On a side note, the last interlude I did was all the way back in March of 2020. :O Shows how little I have been doing these now.

Annabel stood on the balcony and looked out over the landscape before her. The obelisk in the distance glowed an evil looking red, it's glow spreading out before it like the land was on fire. The pretty blonde gave a discontented sigh, it never ended. After all these years of doing this, all the quests, the fights, the adventures, the victories, the defeats, and yes, even the deaths; after all of it, it STILL continued to happen, and Annabel was really sick of it.

Frustrated tears began to fill her eyes and she blinked them away, finishing the motion with a wipe of her hand to make sure they were gone. She really needed to stop doing that, after all this time she STILL cried over every little thing it seemed. Damn it, she wasn't sixteen anymore. No, she was not. Instead Annabel was now twenty-six years old, her birth day having recently come and gone. It hadn't been much of a celebration, which wasn't surprising. None of her birth days had been since coming here to Eorzea. There was always something happening during them to prevent any real party from happening, always something demanding her attention. It was not FAIR damn it!

Hell, when WAS the last real party she had had? Annabel thought back on the subject, tapping a slim manicured finger to the side of her face. Adora's party for her, all those years ago; in fact it was right when she.......Gods....

Annabel gave a start, had it been THAT long?? She raised her hand and counted on her fingers. one...two....three....three years.......She had been doing this for three years now. Annabel remembered back when she left home, she had turned twenty-three on the voyage to Eorzea and now she was twenty-six. No longer a young woman, but an adult one whose youth was fading bit by bit as she crept closer to thirty.

Annabel gave a snort, should she even care about that now? After all, she WAS married now so she didn't have to attract a suitor. And besides, her beauty had not done her any favors in the past, maybe it WAS better if it just faded away, lost to time.

Despite herself, Annabel gave a small laugh at that. Oh who was she kidding, she was a Du'shenea; like all the women in her family Annabel's looks would probably persist well into her middle years and beyond if she took care of herself. Look at her Mother and Aunt Alice, they still both looked great as old as they were. Annabel had no doubt she would follow their example, probably even more so with her beauty. Was that a good thing? Annabel wasn't really sure.

But enough of that, Annabel gripped the handrail. THREE years of her life wasted on, she let go with one hand and pointed it at the obelisk, THIS and others like it! It was enough to make her scream.

But was it REALLY a waste? After all, it WAS what she wanted, right? She did leave home hoping for a better life and to become a better person in the process; hadn't she done that? Hadn't she helped countless people, saved cities, countries, hell, even worlds for crying out loud? And she called that a WASTE? Annabel shook her head in disbelief, her honey-blonde hair and the ornament in it swishing back and forth. Gods, she WAS an idiot, a ditz, and everything else her sister Alea could come up with.

But then she stopped and bit her lip. Why did she think that? Was she truly disappointed, no disillusioned with her accomplishments? Did they truly make her.....content or merely happy that she had done those things to help people out.

Annabel gave a groan; she REALLY did not want to go down this path, hard thinking made her head hurt and confused the hell out of her. But it seemed it was what her mind wanted right now and she reluctantly allowed it to continue. Annabel just knew she was going to pay the price with a massive headache in the morning.

"Please something, distract me," Annabel said to the air. "I so hate headaches."

"I do too, yet for some reason I allow you to persist in giving me them."

The spirit of Minfilia Warde popped into view causing Annabel to groan. This was NOT the 'distraction' she had wanted. If anything, this annoying ghost would probably give her even MORE of a headache by the time this was all over and done with.

"Minnie, WHY are you here? Don't you have someone ELSE to haunt?"

"As a matter of fact Annabel no I don't and for the hundredth time, NOT a ghost! Why you keep calling me one I'll never know." Annabel opened her mouth to speak but Minfilia interrupted her. "No, DON'T tell me, I REALLY don't want to know."

"Then WHY did you ask in the first place," Annabel said with an annoyed tone as she crossed her arms against her chest.

"Um, rhetorical you silly blonde ditz", the spirit pointed out. "I am SURE someone told you what it means."

"Yeah, I think that dopey Dragon mentioned it once or twice. I swear you two just LOVE to confuse me."

"Well honey, we gotta take what entertainment we can get when we're dead, the afterlife is VERY boring at times. Honestly Annabel, it's part of the reason I DO put up with you."

Annabel made a face, "yay, lucky me. Now WHY are you here Minnie? JUST to tell me I am doing something that displeases you?"

"Um, I think that's a given, but no Annabel," Minfilia shook her head. "I saw you fretting and thought I better see what is troubling you. From your face, it looked like something more than your typical shallow reasons."

"Gee thanks," Annabel said with a touch of sarcasm. "Your SUCH a caring 'friend'. But if you must know, I was just thinking of how much time this has taken up of my life. THREE years Minnie, this has taken up three years of my life."

"Three years?" Minfilia said, a little surprised. "THAT short? I could swear it was much longer. Then again putting up with your antics makes any amount of time seem far longer than it is."

"Minfilia! Wow, way to be supportive, if you are going to be like that, you can just go away now and leave me alone!"

"Sorry," Minfilia said, chastised. "Ok Annabel, fine, why is this upsetting you?"

"Why?" Annabel uncrossed her arms and spread them out. "Minnie, I started this whole thing when I turned twenty-three, I just turned twenty-six. Three years I have been doing this crap and there is STILL no end to it!" Annabel emphasized that statement by pointing to the obelisk in the distance.

Twenty-six? Minfilia hadn't realized that Annabel's birth day had come and gone. Being dead, Minfilia's sense of time was not what it used to be and she sometimes lost track of how much has passed in the real world.

"Oh Annabel I'm sorry," the spirit said with sincerity in her high voice. "I didn't realize your Birth day had come, it's hard to keep track of days sometimes. I hope you had a nice one."

Hearing the sincere tone, Annabel gave her friend a melancholy smile. "it was....ok. You know, everyone is so busy with....stuff now, no one has time for things like that."

The disappointment in Annabel's voice was evident to Minfilia's ears and the spirit could see it upset the woman. These days though, it seemed a lot upset her now, and Minfilia worried that it was overwhelming Annabel. The girl was was right, it never ended.

"Annabel....." Minfilia really didn't know what to say but felt she should say well, something. Those too blue eyes looked at the spirit expectantly, waiting. "Well Annabel," Minfilia finally said, "if a gift would cheer you up I would be happy to give you one. After all, it's only right that your friend SHOULD give you something for your Birth day."

Now it was Annabel's turn to be surprised. A gift, from Minnie? HOW in the world was someone who was, you know, dead, supposed to give her anything material? This puzzled yet intrigued her and pushed away the earlier melancholy she had been feeling. "Well Minnie," Annabel said hesitantly; "if you want to give me something I certainly would appreciate it, what did you have in mind?" As long as it wasn't another headache, Minnie was VERY good with giving her those....

Continued: part 2

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