Chapter 2

2.

Zena and Sheeno

The strangers came the next day. It was Peto who found them, and led them to stay in travelers rest, by the cave that Nora had been working on the day before. After lecturing Peto on the dangers of talking to strangers, Nora went to see them herself. Two girls about her own age. The taller one had the longest brown hair Nora had ever seen. She was wearing along dress that swirled when she turned, and a cape over her shoulders. When Nora looked closer, she saw that it was strands from the silk plant woven together. Nora shuddered at how long it must take. The other girls’ hair was brown like tree bark, and her skin was like wise. Her clothes were obviously off the supply cart, like Nora’s, but they were shaded to blend with a forest background. She smiled when she saw Nora approach, and Nora saw green teeth like he leaves of a tree in summer. Could it be? She wondered.

The girl in the cape introduced her self as Zena. “My mother was a god, and my brother and I left my father after she died. Being a mortal, he didn’t understand us, see. Being part-god, we’ll live to be 200 if we aren’t killed. We can’t get sick either. But our bodies have the same organs you do. This is Sheeno, by the way.” The brown girl smiled, showing her green teeth again. “Are you a…” Nora couldn’t finish the sentence. The brown girl smiled again. “I’m a sneak-elf. Me mam and pap died ‘bit ago. I met Zen’ a than. ‘Mind if we live with ‘ya?” she had a voice that sounded like wind in the trees. Nora nodded. “Sure. I’m Nora. Make yourselves at home. The little girl is Peto.” Zena tilted her head a bit, and her expression became misty eyed. “You are strong, Nora. But watch Peto. She has a sense of curiosity and an ability to see the best in everyone. That could become invaluable.”

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