A Walk And A Conversation

They walked Indian file down the narrow woodland track, dodging the brambles and the mud puddles that spread across the way.

Eventually they came to a sunny clearing where some trees had been felled, and sat down together on a tree trunk to talk and get their breath again.

For a moment or two, they just sat in silence, content to be together, taking in the new configuration of the relationship they had entered, exploring the sense of something momentous beginning.

Flo became aware of Eb looking at her hair, glinting brilliantly in the sunshine. She felt immediately slightly defensive. This was a sensitive subject for her, and something she had never quite come to terms with. Everyone else in her family had started life with pink hair too, but theirs had all calmed down to blue, or at least purple, as they grew. Only hers had stayed pink, and she knew that, among the Kindred of the Quiet Way, it created the faintest hint of a question-mark over her mother’s credibility as an eldress – a daughter, full-grown, with pink hair!

Nobody ever said it, in so many words, but she knew.

“I know my hair is fancy,” Florence admitted, breaking the silence between them.”‘It just grows that way, there’s nothing I can do. It’s how I am – there must be something a little fancy in my DNA.”

Eb jumped. “In your what?”

“My DNA.” Florence smiled.” Deoxyribonucleic acid. The story of my making.”

Eb looked at her cautiously, setting aside for the moment that very long word. “In the story of your making? You think you may have something fancy right down in your roots?”

Florence looked right back at him. “Well ‘tis there to the roots of my hair, sure enough. And my mother says my smile is plain and fancy all at once; and she’s an eldress, so she can See.”