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Since I missed FEF last week – and since the last scene in Little Twins is so short – I’m going to post the last two scenes today. If you missed the beginning, here are parts One, Two and Three. Once again, I apologize for the head-hopping.
Little Twins, Part 4
Short legs kicked happily against a rock as Kindra cheered. Her father was helping train some of the youngest boys – specifically William Bayn, mean-spirited eleven year old that he was – and had just taught him a lesson that looked as if it would hurt for days to come. An excellent reminder not to rush into an attack, but for Kindra just another reason to worship her father. Fennec would always be there to protect her from the bullies.
With one last, good cheer, Kindra settled back onto her rock and took to watching some of the other training matches. The older, more experienced warriors gave the best shows, of course, swinging their weapons in wide arcs and deflecting attacks gracefully. She felt herself drawn to watch the younger warriors though, trying to learn with them as she watched them repeat the same motions over and over again. She was impatient to begin training.
The training leader, Wolf, called a break and Kindra hopped off of her rock and meandered through the exiting warriors to find her father. She came across Tom, Will, and the rest of their friends, and giggled to see Will limping after the lesson from her father. “They are going to call you Mockingbird if you ever make it as a warrior,” she taunted him with a smile. “You dive head-first and end up getting hurt in turn.”
“At least I don’t look like I’ve been mauled by a bear,” he spat back. Everyone laughed and Kindra fumed.
“I’m going to be a warrior,” she said, voice haughty, “and I didn’t want my hair getting in the way like yours does.” She stuck out her tongue and immediately regretted it as the future warrior barreled into her and they both fell to the ground. Blood bloomed across her taste buds as she bit her tongue, and tears rimmed her eyes, but for Eoin she was going to fight back her hardest. So she bucked and squirmed and eventually twisted herself into a position to bite his arm until he let go. Scrambling up, Kindra smiled with redlined teeth – she’d drawn blood.
“William Bayn!” Petoskey yelled across the field as he saw the tail end of the scuffle.
“Kindra Odion!” came from the opposite end of the field, and she immediately stopped smiling. That had been her father, and he had not sounded pleased.
“S/he did it!” They chimed in unison.
“You know better than to attack a girl, even if she did start it,” Petoskey said. He fully believed she started it – Kindra was constantly harassing the five friends, and they her.
Will kicked at the dirt. “But she’s not a girl; she’s Kindra.”
“Much as you all try to ignore the fact, Kindra is indeed a girl and needs to learn to stay away from the trainees during practice.” He turned his eye on her and she looked shocked at the accusation in his voice.
“I juth came to wath my dad!” she protested around her swollen tongue and glared at the five friends who were ruining her chances to practice.
The warrior sighed. “Well you’ve watched, now back home with you. Shoo!”
Kindra relented and began to slowly drag her feet home. She smiled, however, as she heard that all five of them would be punished. Standing by and letting your friend beat up a girl was not warrior-like.
Kindra ran out of sight before the pain in her swollen tongue overtook her and she began crying. Warriors didn’t cry, but she was far from being a warrior yet. She was just wiping off her face when her father came into view, and she banished the signs of her cry and jogged over to him.
“There’s my Little Fish,” he scooped her up and planted her on his hip despite her age. “I was afraid you’d been hurt in that little scuffle.”
Kindra grinned, the faint pink of her teeth the only outward sign of what had happened. Her tongue still smarted, but she ignored it until she spoke. “Will you theeth me now?”
“Will I what?” Fennec teased, but grabbed her chin with a big hand. “Out with it, Little Fish.”
Obligingly, Kindra stuck out her tongue, which was puffy and had a row of red tooth-marks across the top.
“Ouch, it looks like that hurts.”
“Noth ath much ath Will’th arm,” she grinned.
“Oh, you evil little fish,” Fennec said with his own grin. “Not a word to your mother now; she’ll skin me alive if she finds out you’ve been scrapping with the older boys. And then you won’t be able to come to my practices anymore.”
“Ok.” Kindra promised and he sat her back on the ground so they could walk home together. Her little hand was engulfed in his big one and she smiled up at him with admiration in her eyes. Someday she was going to be a warrior like her father.