Monday, March 05, 2007
New Beginning 233
The first sign that something was wrong came when Hansa and Jalal, the saddle-maker's boys, came running down the dirt path before their hour as lookouts was up.
They'd been stationed at the top of the Bone, a scrubby spear of rock that stuck out higher than the rest of the hill where the clan was making camp. Sharp-eyed Parvad saw them first and cried out. It was not long before the whole clan could see them clattering down the path, their feet dislodging tiny avalanches of pebbles as they ran.
Natalja dropped the bunch of arrows she'd been fletching.
"Wrong way!" she yelled. "You're going the wrong way!"
The clan gathered around her; the gasping boys skittering to a halt in front of them.
Hansa looked back to where the Bone seemed to stick up higher than ever.
"It's too big!" cried Jalal. "We'll never make it!"
"It only takes one of us," said Natalja. "Now, come on everyone! This is our moment!"
"We're coming!" they all shouted. The entire clan started to move, led by Natalja, running up the Bone as fast as they could. Many fell by the wayside, flailing uselessly. Only the strongest and fittest would make it to journey's end.
Up the Bone they surged, faster and faster as if pushed by some invisible force. Hansa stayed at Natalja's shoulder, though he knew only one of them could make it.
Teetering at the very tip of the Bone, they launched themselves into space, hurtling forward heedlessly, tumbling toward the oval, greyish sphere floating before them. And then they saw it--an identical sphere, drifting out from behind the first--and they realized that they both would make it!
"Thank God," said Natalja. "Twins."
Opening: Margaret Taylor.....Continuation: McKoala