As was said, those of Cain Coven differed greatly from common men and women.
Now the girl Elfeena, born of a Coven witch, might have elicited fear or revulsion if seen by an ordinary person. Approaching three years of age, and learning eagerly from her mother, Elfeena was all spindly, with skeletal limbs and fingers. Her tallness (for her age) was achieved, in spite of a short torso, by very long legs and neck. The roundness of her large head was made more startling by her widely set eyes, by a mouth that was barely more than a slit, and by the strange appearance of her tiny ears. All of this set within a complexion of perfect albinism.
With Elfeena’s willing help and surprising strength, mother Merylyn had gathered sufficient deadwood to build them a small but comfortable shelter. Walled on one side by the roots of an enormous fallen tree, then cleverly disguised as a green hill, it served them well, having been favoured by whatever oaths that Merylyn could lay upon it.
Elfeena had proven to be a quiet child, and her mother despaired at times of her slowness of speech. Whenever they went for their dusky walks, Elfeena would wear a faint smile and would reply to Merylyn in monosyllables, all the while keeping a firm grip on her gown.
On the sixth day of the sixth month, Elfeena’s sixth birthday, Merylyn had made them a nice stew of roasted rabbit, mushrooms, and leeks. When they were done their supper, she gathered her daughter to her. Stroking her hair, and having kissed her forehead, she spoke in low tones: We need help. And, you will need more than I can give you. Our walks have been a little longer each night, to a purpose. I have had a visitation in the night, a guidance. We must go, many miles, over the tall hills. There, we will be welcomed. The people are Others, like us. They know we come. It is called Coven Gryndal. It will take many days, and we must shelter as best we can.
The little girl raised her face to her mother. There was that faint wistful smile.
“It is all right” was all she said.
To be continued…