‘Don’t pretend you enjoyed it, I saw your face out there!’
Silo was almost running through the forest now, his gangly legs deftly jumping over fallen logs and piles of leaves, while I had a hard time keeping up. His long dark hair danced behind him in a pony tail, painting wavy patterns in the frozen air.
‘Slow down. And no, it wasn’t the best time I ever had…’ I had to stop talking because a sticking branch caught me mid-step and made me trip. My face was the first to feel the impact with the earth.
‘Ugh,’ Silo said, turning and helping me up on my feet. ‘Will you stop doing that?’
‘I’m not smashing my face on the ground on purpose, you know,’ I grumbled.
‘Well, you do it often enough to make me doubt that.’
I tried to shake off the dirt like a dog, which only made my baggy clothes fly up my nose and flop around my skinny frame. Silo couldn’t resist a throaty laugh. As soon as I was finished making myself look even stupider than usual, he turned his back on me, and rushed off to his destination yet again. I could only follow, silently sulking inside.
‘What’s that you said, Rya? He was following you?’ Silo yelled loud enough for me to hear through the rushing wind around my ears.
‘Yes, he was following me, and no, I am not making it up.’
I heard the hint of a grunt ahead of me.
‘Well, don’t you think that Hopefuls have better things to do than follow… well, nobodys?’
‘Haha,’ I said. ‘I don’t think you get the concept of stalking,’ I said. ‘See, stalkers usually have hidden agendas. Not that your tiny…’
‘Hey!’ Silo said, halting mid-run to turn around and point his index finger at me. ‘Do not include the word tiny and me in the same sentence.’
I laughed drily. The joke would have been good if he hadn’t told it a hundred times already.
The faster we ran, the stronger I felt the bubbling of fire inside of me. It made me feel nauseous. Before I could stop for a breather, a fly smashed right into my face. I rubbed it off quickly before it dried off like a tiny corpse on my cheek. A few seconds later, a bush came out of nowhere and scratched my newly-attained scar. It took all the strength I had to keep from screaming and thus revealing myself to Silo. Even my best friend would not sympathize with a Medley. I shuddered at the sound of that word in my head.
‘Come on!’ I heard him scream far ahead of me. Where the tall trees ended and the cliffs began, there was a large groove that lead into the largest crate I ever saw. Silo and I enjoyed running, or I should say that Silo enjoyed the running part, while I preferred walking there. The Lens Cleft opened up a view of dead serenity over a family of cliffs and hollows, which promised to be our home one day.
This was the fate of the Fledgeling: faceless, nameless, one of many who would never see the world beyond the Donum Concaves, and who could only make a small difference, if any, in the world of Osculum. My heart sank deep within my chest, full of disappointment and regret. Silo, on the other hand, was beaming down at the dark hole called 'our future'. His family never did expect any more of him.
Sadly, neither did mine of me.
Sadly, neither did mine of me.
‘Come on, let’s go back. Mother’s making poultice,’ I said.
Silo made a disgusted face. He was just about to add a similarly charming comment when he turned to look at me.
‘Is that bird crap on your face?’
I groaned in earnest.