Morning often arrived with the beckoning call of nature but on Pil’s fifteenth birthday the sound awakening her was something new and exciting; the hypnotic swish of the ocean.

Pil stretched beneath the sublime silk covers of her large bed cushioned with the softest feathers before standing, walking over to the deck of her sprawling bedroom. Her sleeveless silk white nightgown brushed against the perfectly polished wooden floor as she shuffled sleepily forward. She pushed aside the billowing white curtains that acted as the entrance to the wooden deck, breathing in deeply as the moist, warm air coated her bare skin. The unmistakable saltwater and fishy scent of the ocean greeted her instantly.

She opened her eyes, awestruck by the expansive turquoise water that stretched as far as the eye could see. The water was so beautiful and so clear that she could see hundreds of different fish species milling about their daily routines in the water as well as the lovely reef that coated the ocean floor.

It was this very morning that reminded her of the privilege of her exquisite life. Being the adopted daughter of a wealthy elven assassin was interesting, to say the least. Her mother’s unique occupation required them to always move from city to city. Though it was sometimes difficult for her mother to take care of her properly it allowed Pil a chance to see all of Adalor at its most glorious.

And now here she was, gazing at the ocean from the deck of a stunning seaside mansion.

Pil had always heard of the ocean. Her parents used to tell her stories of their first experience seeing the Great Blue Ocean. Her father, a strong, handsome man with a milky-white skin and jet black hair, used to recall the fascination of seeing the vast body of water as a child and the awe of knowing that all of that water stretched for miles.

Her beautiful mother, a slight but kind woman with dark hair and a pallid complexion, would tell her about seeing the waves incessantly overlapping her feet for the first time and how magical it was.

Pil never thought that she would see the ocean but now that it was here before her, it was almost as if she could feel her parents’ presence with her on that deck.

With tears streaming down her face she placed her right hand on her left shoulder, sighing deeply. A smile spread across her face as the rising sun warmed her face as it emerged from behind a puffy cumulous cloud.

She heard the door to her bedroom open followed by the sound of approaching footsteps. She looked back, catching a glimpse of her tall elven mother, Mestra Galerunner, approaching. Her dark hair tumbled like rippling waves down her back, her light brown skin shone in the sunlight, and her face seemed even more stunning with the sunrise lighting it. She was dressed in a gold and white nightgown beneath a sweeping white robe embroidered with golden swirls. She looked exactly like one would imagine a beautiful, wealthy elven woman to look.

Upon seeing her, Mestra smiled. Pil’s heart warmed at the look of unadulterated love in her mother’s expression.

“You’re crying?” Mestra noted, wiping the tears from Pil’s cheeks.

Pil chuckled, turning back to gaze at the view. “It’s just…” she shook her head, “the Great Blue Ocean is more beautiful than I could ever imagine.”

Mestra’s smile widened as she held Pil in her arms. “It is, isn’t it? Especially here.”

And she was right. “Here” meant the Teleda Islands; a trio of stunning tropical islands covered in dense jungles filled with butterflies and lovely birds, rolling hills, crystal clear natural pools beneath cascading waterfalls, and fancy mansions where the wealthiest citizens of Adalor resided. It was nicknamed “The Paradise of Adalor” and Pil, looking at the unforgettably beautiful sunrise, could see why it was named as such.

“I hoped I would one day see the ocean because my parents used to tell me about it all of the time. And now, there it is.” She laughed. “What a way to start my birthday.”

Mestra turned her daughter’s face toward her, admiring the beautiful young woman she was becoming. “When you came into my life my whole world changed for the better. I can think of nothing else than to give you the best birthdays you could ever have for what you have given me, an old elf lady.”

Pil laughed. “You’re not even old for an elf. You’re just 723 years old.”

“And compared to you, that makes me ancient.” Mestra kissed the top of Pil’s head before leaving the deck. “Come, love. We’ve got a big day ahead of us.”

Pil allowed herself one last long glance at the ocean, admiring its calm rippling presence beneath the brightening sky, before hurrying after her mother. She knew she was about to have one of the best days of her life.

Discover more about these characters in my first short novel, PIL, which is available on Amazon and Kindle. Just click the link here.

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