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  Zanetta considered herself more of a Springtime darling than a fan of the Harvest, but acting as if she didn’t relish in the fun and mishief the season brought along with it would make her a liar. Painting her self in the leftover ochres intended for her lips and eyelids and using the various colors to convince the clan that she was either bloody or diseased was delightful. And while the so-so temperatures of Autumn didn’t compare to Spring’s perfect balance of warm and cold assisted by the sun’s golden rays, she apperciated the that fact that she had yet another season where didn’t have to walk around with a sweat cloth or wear heavy fur insulated leathers. Plus, the Autumn sun’s more muted yellow-tinged orange had it’s own quality especially when watching it dip below the landscape.

  Her brother, Tavarus, adored every aspect of fall. He glowed when the leaves crisped and the wind chilled. She was quite sure that in the event that it was ever personified he would hug it and never let go. She’d know the spirit had gotten into him when he took the clan’s celebratory gourd from the Aravel, washed it well(normally he would refuse to wash anything well but his body and his mace in spite everyone else’s annoyance) and prepared cider for everyone. He did his best to keep her from slicing sour, green apples into the mix for laughs. He would then take out the paper he saved all year and volunteer to teach the clan’s children how to write letters in Trade. It was good to teach them ways to communicate and network. Modern Nomadic behavior was part wandering, part connections to trusted individuals and part diplomacy. Of course, the children had known no one outside the clan so once they were done they were allowed proudly hold their work in their little hands for the rest of the day and then they would throw the letters in the fire that warmed them and lit up the evenings.

  Once Tavarus was so sure the children had their fill of the cider he would take some fermented honey tincture and pour it in, and share it with it whomever didn’t have scouting or hunting duties the next day. It was rare that her brother would indulge in a drink—Something about it making you soft around the edges—so in the few times that he did he tried to make it special. When it seemed like everything was winding down she would see him still sitting near the fire, thinking over a piece of paper of his own. He had met quite a few people due to the clan’s lifestyle. Ironically, he hadn’t seen some of them since first meeting them for the same reason. With drink on his tongue, he would write to them about small things probably as if they had just spoken yesterday.

 

Normally the day would end with peaceful rest until the next morning.

 

Normally.

 

This year he came to her like how a child came to their parent after they found out they wet the blankets.

 

“I need you to track the mailer.”

 

The mailer wore a certain uniform and she had a light enough step to follow without being seen. It seemed simple to do but there was one problem.

 

“Why? Trying to make sure your letter gets to whomever?” She asked, rubbing the sleep out of her eyes.

 

He said the next words carefully. “I need you to steal my letter back.”

 

That would make her little mission a fragment harder.

 

“You wrote something weird didn’t you?”

 

“Weird, pathetic, and everything else.”

 

“The Creators and the Maker, what did you write?”

 

“Remember Lyniel?”

 

His ex-girlfriend from clan Meluiben whom he ambicablly broke up with.

 

“You spent days deciding whether or not you wanted to break it off. How could I not?”

 

He sighed. “I think I might’ve written something that can be interpreted a particular way. It’s...gooey.”

 

 “How gooey?”

 

“I wrote that looking at the trees reminds me of the time we drew maple from them.”

 

“Not too bad.”

 

“Then I wrote that I remembered the maple being as sweet as she is.”

 

She hesitated. “Well, I guess on the surface that doesn’t sound too platonic but sweet can apply to anyone. It just means a person is really nice, right? For instance I think Gilvas and Syleth are sweet.”

 

“You liar. You think they’re bratty.”

 

“I’m trying to help you.”

 

He put his head in his hands. “I know. I’m just surprised and a bit upset that I did this.”

 

“ If you don’t mind me asking.” She wrapped her arm around him. “Are you sure you two want to be apart?”

 

“I’m positive. We can’t keep up with each others lifestyles. You’d think as two clan elves we would have something in common but clan cultures are so different sometimes.” He said and she heard no lie. This was just the acccident of a man wrapped up in sentiment.

 

“How long ago did you mail the letter?”

 

“It took me thirty minutes to get the human settlement to mail it and another thirty to get back. So an hour.”

 

“The mailer’s probably in the next town over already.”

 

“Does that mean you can’t get it back?”

 

“Have a little faith in me will you? I’ll steal it back. But you know that makes it two times that you owe me now. The halla, now this.”

 

“I’ll just wait until you have yourself a problem of the heart then you’ll owe me.”

 

“You sound so sure.”

 

He shrugged. “You’re not immune to it.”

 

“Right. Cover for me if i don’t make it back by morning. And do try to get in contact with me if the clan decides to move a little earlier than expected.”

 

With that she got her daggers and her bow and arrows, and started after the letter.