May’s Writing Challenge: Day 28

So I’ve thought about it, and I decided to post the next part of this short story today. I am hoping to write more of it later today, so maybe tomorrow’s post will be the next part. Anyway, let’s get on with it. Here it is, the second part of what I started yesterday.

“They don’t like me. They’re mean and ignore me all the time. I ran away so I didn’t have to be there bothering them anymore.” She grumbled it all so quickly, he wasn’t sure he even caught it all.

“Who doesn’t like you?”

“My sister and my friend. They are so busy with eachother that they never have time for me anymore. He is so in love with her. He used to spend all of his time with me, now I don’t get to see him unless he’s putting me to bed.”

She seemed genuinely distraught by this, and he crouched down so that he was closer to eye level for her.

“I am sure they both miss you and are very worried that you ran away.”

“They probably don’t even know I’m gone.”

Narrowing his eyes slightly, he thought of ways to convince her to go home. He knew none of them would work. She was a young child, but she seemed very certain in what she said. And despite the voice in his head that said she was probably overreacting, he was scared that she might not be. He knew how cruel people could be, even to children. Was it really so impossible to think that she was better off leaving her sister and this male friend?

Then again, maybe she was overreacting to all of it. For all he knew, her sister was not much older than she was herself, and this friend she spoke of may have even been her own age. Children were always finding new friends and unintentionally hurting eachother.

“Will you let me take you home?” he asked after a long silence.

“I don’t want to go back there,” she said, her lip quivering slightly as tears formed in her eyes once more, “Please don’t make me go back. I want them to worry.”

He nodded, then scooped her up in his arms.

She squealed in delight, giggling as she wrapped her little arms around his neck. He couldn’t help but smile as he carried her through the forest. It had been three thousand years since he had held a child her size. He didn’t realize how much he missed it until he held her, wisps of her hair brushing his face in the light wind and her giggles in his ears.

She had no fear in her. She did not question where he was taking her. She trusted him in ways that he wished others would. It stung him, but it gave him a great sense of relief to know that she did see him as a friend rather than a threat. He meant her no harm, and he was happy she understood that.

It was only an hour later that they reached a small clearing with a shelter off to one side. It was his temporary home while he was taking a short break from work, and although it was nothing grand in any way, it was home, and he smiled inwardly at the sight of it.

No more than just a one room shack, he wished he had more to offer her. If it came down to her staying for a night before he could convince her to go home to her family, he would be more than willing to sleep outside so that she could have her privacy. It would not be the first time he had sacrificed his own bed for someone in need, and it was sure to not be the last.

Pushing the door open, he carried the girl inside and set her down on the small bed there.

“Is this where you live?” she asked, and he noticed that her feet were dangling freely from the edge of the mattress, the bed too high for her to touch the floor.

“It is right now, yes.”

She looked around from where she sat, her legs still kicking rhythmically as if without thought. He remembered his daughter doing the same thing when he was human so long ago, but he pushed that memory from his mind, lest he break down and be of no help to his company at all.

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