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 The Rangress- Chapter Two
regular_contributor

Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:40 pm
Posts: 1323
Mon Dec 27, 2010 5:05 pm
 

Chapter Two

 

 

As they walked one day, Kestrel stopped.

“I’m hungry.” She announced. Strider winced.

“So am I.” he said.

“Yeah, I know. Neither of us has eaten anything all day. Why? I think I’ll throw up if I don’t eat soon.” Kestrel said.

“Well… You see, I thought today would be a good day, since there’s a village with a great baker up ahead- excellent muffins.” Kestrel stopped him.

“Ranger training. In other words- no food until tomorrow?” she asked.

“Sundown.” He corrected. “Well, except for Moxie, since she’s five.” Moxie fumed, ready for a quick insult, then paused.

“I don’t have a comeback for that, since I’m pretty sure I am five. Possibly six.” Moxie said. Kestrel snorted.

“There’s a good universal comeback- ‘says you’.” Kestrel said. Moxie snorted.

“Says you. Hey, it works!” Moxie said. Kestrel sighed.

“You’re irreprehensible.” Kestrel said. Moxie pursed her lips, trotted along for a bit, then sighed.

“Strider, what does irreprehensible mean?” she asked.

“Unable to be repressed.” He said. Moxie nodded. Then she groaned.

“Kestrel, what does repressed mean?” she asked. Kestrel half-smiled.

“Stopped. Held back.” She answered.  Moxie did whatever you call that little ‘finally!’ thing.

“Thank you!” she said. Moxie trotted, setting her quick eyes to analyzing her family’s walk.

 

Strider walked firmly, with a purpose. Moxie couldn’t analyze it. She didn’t have enough information. She looked up at Strider. He was hiding something, she reasoned, something about Kestrel. About the past. Something they deserved to know.

 

Kestrel had four walks. The first was confident, bouncing, happy. It was a friendly walk; the walk left from the- so long ago none could imagine them- days when Kestrel was a little girl. Later, there was the confident walk. The queen walk. The Topanga walk; the familiar walk. Kestrel walked only on her toes- not heels. It was the walk of a thief, light footed, good for practice but not too exerting, or suspicious. Then came the determined walk. It was when Kestrel looked most like Strider- it was an I’m going to get there, and you can’t stop me walk. Moxie, as she reflected trotting along, would not have been unglad to walk like that. Then, as the sun began to sink in the west, still burning brightly, but scraping the tops of the still-distant forest, she switched into the if I say I will get there, I will get there walk. Moxie sighed. She’d been doing the math, and thought it was probably mid-afternoon. Despite speaking not a word, they were a very loud group of travelers. Instead of the typical slaps (Moxie) and whispers (Kestrel and Strider) of walking, as well as the banter and repartee always going on between them, the group was dominated by the sound of protesting stomachs. Moxie out-stubborned them all, refusing to eat, saying she was just as adult as either of them- more so, on occasion. Kestrel had been amused- Moxie had shook her golden curls in a very five-year-old way, yet as mature and defiant as any of them. But then, they weren’t mature.

 

Finally, when the sun was halfway behind the trees, Kestrel collapsed.

“I am going to throw up,” she announced, and promptly did so. Moxie sighed.

“I am hungry.” Kestrel said, “So I am going to rant.” And proceeded, might it be added, to do so. Moxie immediately tore into what she thought was dried meat, but turned out to be dried fruit. She shrugged.

“I’m not cardamom,” was all anyone could make of what she remarked.

“Can I take a nap?” Kestrel asked. Strider nodded.

“You’re taking this much better than I did. When I did, I threw up three times.” He said. Moxie tore a strip of fruit with her teeth. Kestrel napped. Moxie ate.

“I think I’ll take a little nap too.” Strider remarked, and settled down for a nap.

 

“Wake up, or we’ll never make the village before sundown.” Moxie said, shaking Kestrel awake. Kestrel was small enough to shake. Strider wasn’t- if you were Moxie’s size.

“Whazzamatterwhichoo?” Kestrel muttered.

“Whatchamadderwhitoo?” Moxie echoed.

“Honestly…” Kestrel moaned, her stomach agreeing.

“Wake him up, and then let’s get going.” Moxie insisted. Kestrel sighed.

“Strider. Moxie wants you to get up.” She said.

 

They barely managed to make the village just after sundown.

 

“Muffin!” Kestrel said as they arrived. Moxie shook her finger.

“Now, now. What’s the magic word?” she asked. Kestrel thought.

“Now? Hungry?” she suggested. Moxie shook her head.

“Please?” Kestrel pleaded. Moxie nodded. They went into the bakery. It smelled so good Kestrel thought she would pass out. Finally, she got a fresh berry muffin, slathered in butter and honey. She immediately stuffed it into her mouth, sighing with pure bliss. Moxie giggled and munched on her dinner of a chacolato muffin.

“Whachoo ‘ooking at?” Kestrel asked with her mouth full. Moxie giggled again.

“You.” She said. Kestrel sighed, crumbs falling out of her mouth.

“I’m hungry.” She said. Moxie smiled.

“I know that, but did you have to wolf it down?” she asked. Kestrel bared her teeth in a wolfish grin.

“You’re a silly.” She said. Moxie shrugged.

“I’m five- it’s excusable. You’re… Not.” Moxie said. Strider sat down with a large basket of muffins, which he put on the table.

“Probably around thirteen.” He said. Kestrel shrugged and grabbed a muffin.

“And I still look like a tall ten year old.” She said, taking a large bite.

“We’re crazy.” Moxie said. Kestrel shrugged.

“And what’s wrong with that?”

“Nothing!” Strider laughed.

“I still say we’re crazy.” Moxie said, smeared with chocolate.

“In a good way.” Kestrel said.

“Very good way.” Said Strider.

 

And so it went until the basket of muffins was empty, and it was time to force Moxie to wash, clean off muddy boots, and go to bed.

 

“Moxie, clean.” Kestrel said.

“No.” Moxie replied. Kestrel sighed.

“Now I know why everyone says it’s so hard dealing with me. Moxie, you are covered in chocolate. Do you want to be covered in bugs?”

“No…”

“Wash.”

“No!”

“Is no all you’re going to say?”

“No…”

“Then I’ll do it.” Kestrel grabbed Moxie under one arm and scrubbed the squirming girl’s face with a wet cloth.

“Kestrel!” Moxie protested.

“Tomorrow I’m washing your hair.” Kestrel said, tucking Moxie in bed.

“Aw… Good night, Kestrel.”

“Good night, Moxie.” Kestrel blew out the candle.




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