The bitter wind sliced through the mountain air, howling a lonesome song across the snowy cliff sides where few could hear it. Aliella watched silently over a rock face as the wind tossed flakes of snow about, spotting a small rabbit fit for a meal. The feminine figure easily navigated the snowy terrain with Ivailo, a creature as white as the snow that peppered the mountains, following her quickly to catch their prey. She did not feel the cold anymore and the once lonely song of the mountains now sounded like home. Such had not always been true, however.
Finding shelter for the night, the snowy creature and its feminine friend made themselves at home in an open cave. Striking a fire, the female roasted the cleaned rabbit over the flames. She stared intently as she reminisced about her past; a time when she need not worry about the warmth of a fire to keep her alive through the night.
The warm sun winked through the thick canopy above Elata village, a place in everlasting summer. The sun nearly always shown, the waters of the Eloni River played a symphony to which all life seemed to dance. Aliella was at the river’s edge with the other women of her village, fishing for the feast they were to hold that very night.
It was on that night that one of the respected daughters of their village was to marry the chief’s son. It was an honor for the girl’s family that she had been chosen to wed one of the highest ranked men of the tribe. Although Aliella was happy for the girl and her family, she was glad it wasn’t her. Stories about the chief’s son, Aeros, circulated about the village, about his crude nature and unfaithfulness. The selection process for his bride had created a small rift in the village and sparked nervous energy among the women who detested Aeros. It was luck that the girl that had been selected was willing. The thought of the selection process made Aliella shiver and she continued about her work spearing fish and gathering greens for the feast.
The day seemed too short as the sun hung low in the sky, the rays casting an orange hue across the village. Aliella hummed along with the rest of the villagers as they quickly finished preparing the festivities. One such activity was to obtain an item from each of the soon-to-be-wedded parties and leave it in the other one’s hut. Whoever found said item first, they had the honor of cutting open the boar as signal for the feast to begin. It was Aliella’s task to retrieve an item of Aeros’ and place it in his betrothed’s hut to find.
Finishing with her current task, Aliella left the center of the village to do just that. Upon entering the hut, however, she hadn’t expected to find Aeros. Dropping to her knees in respect, she apologizes quick.
”My apologies, your honor. I expected you to be readying yourself for the feast.”
Aeros smirked, padding to the female who had just happened into his hut.
”Apology accepted… on the terms that you speak nothing of this.”
Confused by Aeros’ words, Aliella glanced up at the chief’s son. Before she could question what he meant by ‘this’, Aeros was grabbing her roughly and began pulling her towards the back of the hut. However, Aliella would not go quietly. Instead, she clawed at Aeros’ face and dug into his eyes as he attempted to rip at her leathers. After struggling for several minutes, she was finally able to wrestle herself from his grasp and sprint from the hut.
Clutching her shredded leather clothing, Aliella wiped a small spattering of blood from the corner of her lip as she ran as fast as she could from Aeros. She wouldn’t get far before the village guards caught up with her, holding her at spear-point. She couldn’t even question why before they were spouting accusations of lusting after the chief’s son.
Wrenching her by her arm, Aliella was tossed to the ground in front of the chief to decide her fate. Cleaning the dirt from her face, she sat up quickly, not hiding the disgust from her face as she looked upon her chief’s facade.
”Your beloved son threw himself upon me, dear chief. Please! Do not let him continue his antics. He will only continue to harm—“
”Silence! Such behavior will not be tolerated in this village. To offer yourself to a man on his wedding night… What a disgusting creature you are. Exile!”
Snapping from her reverie, Aliella pulled the rabbit from the flames and picked at the meat on the bones. Even now, the word "exile" seemed to echo off the cave walls. Her last days in Elata village had been her worst, but she still longed for the warmth of the sun and the company of her long lost friends. Those days were forever gone. Instead, she shared the cozy cave with her companion Ivailo, sheltered from the bitter cold by the jagged stone of the mountains. It had been years since she had seen Elata village, and yet she yearned to return nearly every night. Even her pale green pelt and blonde hair had changed to suit her new wintery home. Offering a gentle smile to her companion, Aliella curled up on the cold stone. Warmed by the fire and Ivailo’s soft fur, she slowly drifted off into slumber where dreams of her past life haunted her.