~ * ~
Now the threat she had been warned of all her life would walk next to her day after day. Naomi’s alarms and warnings sounded within her. “You must never show your gift! Beware of touching others unless you are sure they cannot feel you. You are special. Not even your older sister has your unique gifts. There are those who would harm you if they knew your secret.” The only punishments she received had been for ignoring this stricture. It left her in a lonely limbo.
Poor Kissre. Her punishments were more frequent and harsh, but Kissre seemed to enjoy indulging in misbehavior. The harshness of the punishments eventually insured Tyna’s caution, but drove Kissre to ever-greater defiance. She could suddenly hear her mama’s harsh “your older sister is an insolent child,” not even speaking to Kissre in her anger. Tyna smiled, just as she remembered Kissre used to.
Her face straightened. Now Kissre was the only person who knew of her talent, as Naomi called it. A daughter who couldn’t even exert herself to come to her mother’s funeral, a sister who was never around to discuss problems, and didn’t care that her only living relative was alone and struggling.
At the end of a long day of walking they halted on the shores of a much narrower and faster Hex. The water had a subtle rushing sound that made the steady wind blowing down the wide ravine seem colder. In the icy light of the setting sun, the northern upper cliff edges were picked out in gold, pink and rust striations quilted by navy shadows. Tyna took a minute to look at day’s ending spectacle.
“This is how it looks at home,” Kedriq said coming up next to her. “The Hex travels to Grotto Falls just so.”
“You mean Witch Falls?”
He smiled. “It is not called that in Cygna.”
~ * ~