weed is from the earth

What Falls and What Grows 4

“Roots of the weed sucked first life from the genesis of earth and hold the essence of it still.  Always the weed returns; the cultured plant retreats before it.”

- Beryl Markham

Warning: Alexandra has a very foul mouth.


The trolls in the market didn’t bother Alexandra as she walked through them. She made eye contact with some, nodded to a few, and even found a few smiles aimed to her, but no one stepped on her path, and no one spoke. She understood that it was a time of mourning; they were feeling the loss of a trusted figure just as they were curiosity over a new one. She didn’t take offense at the lack of conversation at all; what she wanted was silence, and a chance to be alone with her thoughts.

Eventually she walked until a warm glow encompassed her body, and she looked up to the enormous crystal that fed life into the caverns. She couldn’t tell if it actually was alive or not – was the hum in her blood louder, a greeting? Or was she only imagining it?

She nodded to it, just in case. Surely something that gave life to thousands of people had to have one of its own.

There was a bridge that led to the Heartstone; picking her way along the edge of the cavern, she deliberately focused more on her thoughts than her surroundings.

She had been Changed and switched to serve as a watcher, a gatherer of detailed information. Her human family had sailed from Wales to New Jersey shortly after her ‘birth’; she had been swapped for their child for the purpose of following the trolls across the sea, finding their trails and watching all of those, both troll and Changeling, who came to the new world. Her job had been to observe, so she refused to see now; she couldn’t help but notice people, details, sounds and smells, but everything was filed away in favor of thoughts and emotions. Her job ended with the death of her familiar in 1964. As far as anyone knew, she – Verity, Petra, Leta – was dead as well.

As far as new beginnings went, Trollhunter wasn’t too bad a start.

But therein lay the problem, didn’t it? A Changeling as a Trollhunter? Changelings were known to be capricious, unpredictable, self-serving, and malicious. Their very existence was a lie; everything they were was a lie.

Whoever had decided to swap the whelp Alexandra for a Quaker baby clearly had not thought it through. Alexandra’s community, her third childhood, was steeped in the values of honesty and integrity. For her very nature to be so dishonest still rankled at her.

The thrum of the Heartstone grew louder in her bones as she drew closer to it, slowly strolling through the market until she reached the bridge. There were no signs, no indications that the Heartstone was forbidden, and so she stepped onto the bridge, half expecting it to crumble beneath her feet.

Why did the Heartstone feel so warm to her? Changelings were…very nearly things, to both trolls and Gumm-Gumms alike. She would have expected something like the Heartstone to reject her outright. She was no longer one of its hearts – a child taken and changed into a weaving of abominations – but the hum was steady, and the light was warm. She didn’t enter the hollow center of the crystal but put a hand to the glowing mass. It, and her amulet, pulsed once.

“You seem conflicted, Trollhunter. I trust that the training session was a success.”

Alexandra didn’t turn around. She’d heard Vendel’s soft footsteps before he’d appeared from the hollow of the crystal.

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3

In that moment, I became connected to the green life of the Earth. Trees, flowers, weeds, crops… from the most ancient to the most humble… they spoke to me. And when I spoke to them, they listened… and answered my call. I gained other powers. Immunity to poisons and viruses. Innate control of pheromones. I lost myself for a time, immersed in an emerald dream. i was pulled back by a driving purpose. To protect. To save. I am Poison Ivy.