Wyatt sprinted into his room. He was ecstatic for his uncle to read him a bedtime story, as usual. He jumped onto his bed, lights dim, as his uncle came into his room. The man sat down, with an old crusted book in his muscular hands. He turned the page, and as he did, a loud clapping boom filled the room. Wyatt curled into a ball and hid under the covers as the rain poured. His uncle chuckled.
“Wyatt, my dear boy,” He said, ruffling his dirty blonde hair. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.” Wyatt’s eyes opened wide.
“Of course there is! Sammie said that thunder was the gods shaking the clouds in anger. And when it rains, they’re crying! When the gods are sad, everyone is sad,” Wyatt replied, peeking his head over the covers.
“Oh, but don’t you know the real reason of thunder?” His uncle asked, closing the book in his hands. Wyatt shook his head.
“Well, instead of that story, how ‘bout I tell you a new one. You see, it all started with four brave heroes…”
Mist ran through the woods, her dark red hair flowing like a river of fire behind her. She moved quickly and breathed heavily as she dodged the huge pine trees surrounding her on all sides. The footsteps gaining behind her. She dared not to look back, afraid of slowing down. She stepped lightly, veering away from the trunks of the giant ancient trees. Suddenly, she tripped, and the footsteps slowed to a stop as she face-planted into the ground. Grass and spuds flew everywhere, and she was pretty sure she crushed a few mushrooms with her legs. She felt a hand grab the back of her shirt. It pulled her up into the air. She struggled under the hand’s grip, but it was no use. He had caught her.
“Gosh darnit, Mason! How are you always faster than me??” She sighed as he put her down. She shoved him into a patch of mud behind him. “Even with the training, you keep beating me!” The boy smiled. He ran his fingers through his dirty brown hair, his ocean eyes shining playfully.
“I dunno, Mist,” he shrugged. “Guess I’ll always have to be the best.” She glared at him.
“You aren’t the best at everything, you dipwad. You’ll never be as good at hunting as I am.” She pulled out her bow, still out of breath. She put an arrow in the notch and pulled the string back playfully.
“Hey, hey! Easy,” Mason said as she aimed at his torso. “I admit, you’re the best hunter. Race you back to the Hut!” He challenged. Before Mist could say anything, he was dashing down the path. Laughing, she set off to sprint after the runt. Dodging the massive trees once more, she caught up to him, and they ran side by side. Before they knew it, they had almost ran into the side of a stone building in a clearing. The sky was dense with trees, but you could still see rays of moonlight falling through the holes in the clumps of leaves.
The Hut was where they lived. The ground by the front door had been matted down from many steps being taken, leaving only packed dirt behind. There were stairs leading to a wooden door with multiple locks on it.
Mist walked up the steps and creaked open the door. Inside, there was a girl with tan skin and dark brown hair, which was pulled back into a messy bun. She had a spatula in one hand and the other rested on the wooden counter. The smell of fish filled the air as she flipped a ginormous bass in a pan that was rusted on the bottom.
“Hey, Opal,” Mist greeted, dropping her bow on the floor. The chef just waved and shook the pan back and forth, making a sizzling noise.
“Oof, Opal. Fish again? We always eat fish,” Mason complained, sitting down on a stool. “Why can’t we go to the market and get some actual food? Or why can’t Mist catch something decent for once?”
“Because I couldn’t find anything else, and the market is too far away,” Mist answered, picking off a large blue fruit off of a tree growing through the wall.
“And because I haven’t been paid yet,” Opal chimed in. “No money gained, no money spent. If I don’t got any money, we can’t go shopping. We-”
“Went over this, yadda yadda yadda, I know, I know,” Mason groaned. He stepped off the stool and grabbed a fruit off the same tree that Mist had, and took a big bite, spewing juice everywhere. Mist shielded her face from the projectiles.
“C'mon, Mason. You gotta start at the bottom,” she said.
He turned around to face Mist, looked down at her, saluted playfully and plopped down onto the matted-down couch. He picked up a remote lying on a splitery table in the middle of the room and pushed a button, turning on the ancient t.v they had.
“Hey, has anyone seen Micah? He went out this morning and hasn’t come back since,” he said as the sound of static filled the air. He flipped through the channels, and different channels made random noises as he skimmed. Almost as soon as he asked that, the door burst open. A boy about Opal’s age, around 18, stepped through the door and swung his backpack off his shoulders. He spread his arms, as if expecting people to run up and hug him.
“I’m baaack!” the boy chimed, closing the door behind him. Mist looked up after sitting next to Mason on the couch.
“Dude, where were you? You’ve been gone almost all day,” she asked, looking back to the t.v.
“What? No ‘Hey, Micah! Welcome back! We missed you oh so much and thought you were dead!’?” Micah complained. He sighed and walked up behind Opal, peeking over her shoulder. “I get no appreciation around here. Hey, we wanna eat that, not throw it as a flaming projectile,” he said, noticing the burn marks on the fish. “Can’t we eat something else? We’ve had fish for four days in a row.”
Mason threw his arms into the air. “Thank you!” Mist smiled and grabbed the remote from his hands. Before Opal could respond to Micah, he opened his mouth and her voice rang out.
“We have no money. Once we get money, we will go to the market. If you want to complain, complain to the Utopian Government. Or Mist, you pea-headed idiots,” she finished as Micah closed his mouth. “That what you were thinking?” He asked Opal, back to his normal voice. She glared at him.
“You know, it’s not that impressive if we know you can do it now. Mimicking is just annoying now. I can talk perfectly fine, Micah,” Opal replied, sighing as she threw the burnt fish out the window.
“Thank the Gods,” Mist muttered. “What, I gotta go hunt now?” she asked louder.
“Oh, you people underestimate the power of the Micah,” Mason said, not taking his eyes off the t.v.
“Oy, how did you know?” Micah asked, rummaging through the worn-out backpack. He finally pulled out his hand, and a large sack came out along with it.
“Oh, wow, a bag. How’s that gonna feed us?” Mist asked, throwing a pillow at Micah. He proceeded to open the sack, and dump out it’s contents onto the ground. Hundreds of gold coins clinked to the stone floor. Mason jumped off the couch. He rushed up to the pile of money and scooped it up with greedy hands. Micah scowled and stepped on his fingers.
“The Competition,” Micah said as Mason glared and dropped the coins.
“You won something in the competition?” Mist asked. Only the strongest, fastest, or smartest won anything in the competition. And Micah was none of those things.
“No, of course not,” Micah replied. He waved his hand and a small gust of wind came into the house.
“I stole it.” the wind picked up the coins and dropped them into the open bag in Micah’s hands. “Duh.”
“Oh great, who’d you take it from this time? It’s not like you do this for a living,” Opal said, searching the cabinets of the small kitchen for something to throw together. “Instant noodles…? Frozen corn…? Hm…” she thought out loud. Micah laughed.
“You guys- you guys remember the big beefy dude with all those tattoos but he had this one little tuft of hair on his head? It made him look like a unicorn?” Mason said, snapping his fingers. “I’m willing to bet that’s the guy,” he laughed.
“Bingo,” Micah said. He stuffed the bag back into the sack hanging off his shoulder. “Never saw it coming.” He looked at Opal, who had given up on looking for something to create that was semi-edible.