A warm breeze brushed through the trees scattering freshly picked flowers. It was not strong enough to blow away the ones knotted together, though, as little Rosomon had been set about her task for the better part of the afternoon.
She looked up at the happy sounds coming from the other side of the bushes hiding her. She had been so focused that she did not realize the other children had gathered their flower crowns and are now ready to leave. “Maybe next time,” she said quietly, watching them go.
So badly did she want to join them – but she knew better. The last time she attempted as much they ran away before she could even say, “Hello, I am…” Had she scared them? Sometimes children are scared of silly things. She was afraid of that painting in the hall and Mother’s cat and even the pudding that Miss Cladogh loves to make. It was truly terrifying how the candlelight casts a jiggling shadow on the dining room wall! She did not think she was particularly frightening, but maybe they did… Regardless, she would rather learn to make their flower crowns than anything Mother would make her do – so behind the bushes she stayed.
At last, her crown was done. She placed it on her golden curls and scooped up the remaining flowers in her little hands. Making her way up the path toward home, she hummed a song the children like to sing. It was a lively tune, and she began to skip along.
As the house came into view, she noticed the sky beginning to change color. Perhaps she had been away too long?
Ascending the steps, her wrist was yanked on from below sending her stumbling back down. “How many times must I call your name!?”
All she could see are Gunter’s familiar blue eyes bent close to her face. “I am sorry, Cousin,” she replied kindly, already used to his moods.
The eyes narrowed for a moment before he leaned back to stare down at her, still holding her wrist too tightly. A charming smile came to life on his face, “Very well, then. Come… I have something to show you.”
The taller boy charged up the stairs, towing the girl along, headless of her having to nearly run to keep up and clutching flowers to her chest. He continued on, starting and stopping abruptly to vier through the people before reaching another set of stairs. The girl had never gone up the spiraling staircase before – Father had forbade her. She tried to tug away, but the boy simply tightened his grip and hauled her forward.
She did not understand why he insisted upon dragging her everywhere, for she would follow him if he would but ask. But, no, this was always how it was no matter how old they were. She could not remember a time when he did not tow her about. Sometimes he would show her interesting things, but she knew that when he finally let her be her wrists would be sore for the next two days.
They reached the top, and she froze there, forgetting to breathe because of the beauty before her. Everything was coated in red with the setting sun – the leaves, the grass, the stones, the people…
The boy took her closer to the edge and stood beside her, “Look at it all… Do you see it?”
Of course she saw it. What did he mean? He was surely a confusing boy.
She must have not been paying him enough attention, because he grabbed her chin and grinds, “Do you see it?”
Her eyes widen, “Yes.” It was the same as she had seen her whole life. What does he want her to see?
Seemingly satisfied, he let her go and turns to the view, “Did you hear? I will be leaving soon.”
“Oh?” she was having a hard time following his thoughts.
“‘Tis an honor, really. I will train more, and I will fight. I will show those in defiance that they will never win.” The boy stepped closer to the edge. “Do you see it?”
The girl did not like this anymore, but he tugged her to the edge with him before she could step back. “Do you see it?” All she saw was the fever in his eyes as his gaze met hers. “Since you are clearly too simple, I shall tell you. It is mine – everything my eyes land upon. The mountains. You. The trees. That horse. Everything.”
The boys chest puffed out in pride, but his eyes narrowed once again when she did not immediately concur. “Fine – you can just stand here until you can see it…”
At last he let her go and stepped back, but her arms flashed out to balance her trembling frame. In her effort, the crumpled flowers fell from her fist. As she watched them sink to the ground below she thought, This is not silly.