Read this first.
Calder’s mind finally stuttered back to full consciousness. There was a dull throbbing in the back of his head as he forced himself to open his eyes, one at a time- a feeling he had grown to be all too familiar with over the past four years.
Light had not broken and washed over the hillside town quite yet. The sky remained black as Calder dragged himself out of bed, flicked some water at his face, and yanked a few layers of clothing onto his body in a weak attempt to keep warm in the winter frost.
Outside, the rest of the Morgans were already up and about. Calder knew that as soon as he set foot in the barn, his cousins would be on his case about how he needed to wake up earlier, how he had to put in a better effort into what he did, how he should really start dressing better because he was this close to turning into an icicle on a tavern wall.
Casp, the eldest, might have been a powerful figure in Bluff Pike, but he certainly was not high in the Pyramid Of Authority Of Calder. Calder was at the top of that.
Jo might have been a mere eleven years old, but she was a force to be reckoned with. She was the first to rise, the last to fall asleep at night. When she was younger, Jo was almost a shadow, never fully exposing herself, constantly on the move, but she had become more grounded after…
Calder was barely out the door and he already felt his breath catch in his throat, unable to fully circulate through his lungs. Everything leads back to this.
‘When ya’ get home, tell Casp n’ Jo I’m sorry.’
Calder never did. He could never bring himself to, because he was too busy trying to convince himself that she shouldn’t have to be sorry. He shouldn’t have to be sorry. No one should have to be sorry.
So he decided to take the road that was beckoning to him, first with a single scaly finger and then with wide open arms that had an illusion of being just as Fiona’s used to be. But Calder was betrayed, betrayed by his own conscience, by no one but himself.
And there was absolutely nothing he could do.
About a year ago, I wrote that little bit of flash fiction… and today I decided to try and continue it on as an annual sort of thing. I have absolutely no clue where this will go, but it might be fun, so let’s just wait and see what happens.