A Sister’s Absence (Part 1)

“You look adorable!” Oak screamed, her voice splitting

the air.

“Leave me alone,” Zola replied, rolling her eyes.

“Look at this tunic… It’s practically falling to the


Zola looked down, cringing as the dark fabric grazed

against the grass.

“It’s not my fault! They thought I would grow to be your


Oak burst out laughing at her sister’s frustration,

caressing Zola’s golden hair with love.

“I’m sure you’re still growing –“

“Oak they need you at the gate!”

Their mother’s voice made them turn, concern etching on

Zola’s face as her older sister was summoned to, most likely, battle.

Oak noticed her sister’s quivering.

“Now now, I’ll be alright. Soon you’ll be joining me

anyway!” She joked, heading away from the garden with a wave.

“If I pass…” Zola muttered, kicking the dirt floor.

She watched her sister’s diminished form, then, with a

sigh of both fear and exhilaration, she turned and walked in the opposite direction.

It was time.

The city was quiet as she made her way through it, the

early morning sun sending slivers of pink light through the heavens. It was beautiful, which was a shame as Zola had no time to watch the sky. She had to pray.

“Kesia, god of the earth, please hear me,” she began, her

voice scratchy and raw. “Please let me pass the exam, please let me join my sister –“

“Zola don’t tell me you’re praying again?”

She turned, her cheeks flaming pink.