Winter – 1019 YD
‘Eamon, stop!’ Kesia, eleven summers old, begged her brother. ‘Ma said to stay by me.’
__‘You run too slow!’ Eamon was three years his sister’s senior and almost two feet greater in height. He ran deeper into the woods.
__Kesia exhaled in frustration, continuing to lag after him.
__‘How do you intend to catch our dinners if you struggle to keep in step with me?’ he panted, veering suddenly out of sight.
‘With stealth!’ Kesia cried, ducking into a hollow tree.
__In the distance the crunching of feet on dried leaves continued under her brother’s forward motion. Realising he had lost his tail, he stopped. ‘Kesia?’
__Kesia was silent, clasping a hand over her mouth to smother a mischievous giggle.
__‘Hey, Kesia, come on.’ More crunching indicated backtracking. ‘Ma’ll kill me if you get so much as a scratch.’
__Kesia peered out to see her brother searching the woods in alarm. She glanced east to where the watch tower stood—deep as they were, it could no longer be seen. She felt a rush of disobedience as her mother’s strict orders to venture only within view of the tower played in her mind. Turning back to her brother, she decided they ought to return.
__She climbed out from the hiding place, peeling cobwebs away. Leaning against the empty trunk, she waited for her brother to notice her.
__Eamon stood in the middle of a clearing with the most of his back to Kesia. He turned slightly toward her, searching low-lying branches for his sister, when something in the corner of his eye caught his attention; he jumped when he saw Kesia standing against the tree.
__‘Lenyol’s Light, you scared the life out of me!’
__Kesia made to speak when a wisp of wind blew a handful of soil into the air behind Eamon, the rich earth ribboning in on itself. A second, stronger breeze lifted the leaves and sent them spiralling past her brother.
__As Eamon turned to see why the leaves moves so, a man appeared within a faint mauve fog. He smiled at the boy.
__The man, wild of beard and hair red in hue, grasped Eamon by the ear and enveloped him in his dark robes. Kesia remained frozen by the tree as both disintegrated into the falling leaves, left forever with the image of her brother’s face burning with desperation and stoic acceptance that a cry for help would imperil his only sister.
Image courtesy of: http://eskipaper.com/images/autumn-falling-leaves-ground-1. jpg