Sometimes it feels like both a blessing and a curse to be a writer. A blessing because my mind can come up with imaginative, highly detailed ideas and a curse for the same reason when those ideas trail into peculiar-seeming observations. Regardless, when the inspiration to write strikes me, I tend to grab it because it doesn’t happen as often as it used to.
This morning I received inspiration from a post on Twitter and when it was suggested that my brief observations could become something more, I decided to run with it. I rarely share something that I’ve just written, but in this case I made an exception and I really hope I don’t regret it…
Beneath the pale violet sky filled with curling wisps of white clouds and among the curving red and orange-leaved trees of Suramar, the air smelled of warm sunlight on the grass, dried leaves carried on the autumn breeze, a hint of woodsmoke, and the metallic tang of freshly polished plate armor. That last smell made Srilari open her eyelids. As a blood elf demon hunter with no physical eyes in her sockets, she didn’t need to open her lids to see, but it was a force of habit she doubted would ever go away.
Puzzled by the smell of armor polish, Srilari searched with her demon hunter senses until she found the origin. She had an ideal view of her surroundings as she stood beneath one of the tallest curve-branched trees along the northern road leading into Suramar City. It only took her a moment to spot the source, a male blood elf paladin a bit down the hill and across the road from her. He had long blond hair partially pulled into a tie at the top back of his head and coiffed with usual male blood elf flair. Sitting on a woven blanket laying upon the amber colored grass, his green eyes focused on the scroll he held open in his hands and he was quite oblivious to her curious gaze upon him.
As she observed the paladin, Srilari realized he was the origin of more than just one of the smells she had detected. Although he sat partially in the shade of the long, flowing branches of one of Suramar’s beautiful trees, the sun shone on the grass around him and the breeze stirred in a few scattered piles of fallen leaves at the base of the tree shading him. There was a small cook fire crackling near him producing the woodsmoke she’d smelled, and over the fire hung a tea kettle on an ingenious metal apparatus that kept it at the perfect distance from the flames.
Srilari tilted her head in confusion at the tea kettle and then spotted a teacup and saucer sitting by the paladin’s left knee. There was steam rising from the cup and when she focused her senses on it, she detected a hint of tart citrus that made her nose wrinkle. It was an unfamiliar smell to her and not one she was entirely sure she’d enjoy tasting in tea. Nonetheless, it was nowhere near as offensive to her nose as the smell of metal polish coming from his gleaming silver and gold plate armor. She wasn’t even certain how plate wearers could sit down comfortably in such stiff armor, but they all seemed to manage somehow.
Although the blood elf paladin was still oblivious to her gaze on him, Srilari stepped further back into the shadows and underbrush of the tree behind her. The last thing she wanted was to draw unnecessary attention to herself. Not the easiest task since she had curled demon horns rising out of her black-haired head and burning fel green eye sockets she refused to blindfold, but she tried anyway. There was something about him that her heightened demon senses had picked up on and she wanted to investigate further without being so obvious.
With her demonic sight, Srilari could see much more than the physical forms of those around her, she could see what she felt were their auras, their life force. While the blond blood elf man was blindingly bathed in the Light as most paladins were, there was a slight shadow around the edges of that brightness that confused her. Taking further note of his features, she realized he was familiar to her, but more from reputation than her actually being in contact with him. He was a paladin of high regard, well-liked, friendly, and competent in battle. After all she’d heard of him, the shadows puzzled her further.
Noticing motion near the paladin, Srilari raised her gaze from him and saw a lovely blood elf woman with smooth auburn hair and wearing an alluring purple dress approaching him carrying a basket containing a bottle of wine and other Suramar delicacies. The man looked up at her approach and the shadows around his aura instantly vanished leaving no trace. Despite herself, Srilari smiled before quickly turning away. Whatever happened between the couple was none of her business and she knew it best to focus her attention far away from them. Even so, her thoughts turned to what they had that she felt she never would.
As a demon hunter, Srilari was convinced that one of the things she’d sacrificed to gain power was a chance at love. An ironic fate really when the blood elf had purposely chosen to devour a succubus demon’s heart to gain her demon hunter abilities. The other demon hunters had been confounded by her choice of demon. She’d made her choice hoping that the distracting and manipulative abilities of a succubus would give her even greater power over demons of all persuasions.
Unfortunately, all it had done was make her a flirt and not a very good one at that. Despite the succubus demon hissing in her mind to lust after anything that breathed, Srilari always managed to keep such urges in check and she never went after anyone who was obviously already involved. There was still a chance she could channel the demon’s abilities to her benefit someday, but until then she waged an internal battle not to throw herself at anyone she found attractive.