Prompt: #5 Friendly competition
Story: The Paelenor
The sandy-blond teenager glanced to his right and down, a small smile flickering on his lips as his eyes landed on the youngest member of their team. At only eleven, Takara was already a tough little girl, and her partner, Hyassh, took good care of her.
“Janelle didn’t send you up here to complain again, did she?” The boy asked warily, glancing further back at where the brunette was trying to sweet-talk Sigmund and Rester into carrying her pack. He winced—Sigmund looked ready to bite her head off if it continued much longer.
“Nope,” the girl chirped, her small legs swinging even faster to pull ahead of seventeen-year-old. Hyassh flew along side her, leathery wings flapping in Mies’s face for a moment and the teen cringed.
The bat dove, gaining speed, and then wheeled about to fly on his partner’s opposite side and Mies relaxed a little, picking up his own pace to keep up.
“How far do we have left to go?” Takara asked, while picking up her pace.
Mies frowned and hurried after her, “It’ll be a few more days yet, before we reach the river.”
“I’ve never walked so far,” Takara said, “At home I walked to and from school, but it was only a few kilometers.”
“I always rode the bus,” Mies said—it would take him all day just to reach his school if he had to walk.
“Think we’ll ever get back?” Takara asked. She was walking faster again, her pace just shy of jogging.
“Of course,” Mies answered confidently, “After we finish our purpose here, I’m sure we’ll be able to go home.”
“I kind of like staying here,” Takara said, frowning at the teenager as he matched her pace, “Everyone thinks I’m really important.”
Mies was about to reply—he was sure there were lots of people who thought she was important back home, too—but before he could even open his mouth, the girl took off in a run, a mischievous smile on her face as she looked back.
The teen considered for half a second before taking off after her. Takara let out a shrieking giggle and ran faster, leaning into the wind as she strove to outdistance the long-legged boy.
Mies just grinned and picked up his own pace, sprinting until he finally caught up. He grabbed the girl’s arm to stop her. Takara’s face was flushed with the exertion, and she was giggling madly. Mies’s brow was coated with a thin layer of sweat, but he laughed breathlessly along with her.
Rester and Janelle caught up a second later, once their laughter had died down—the boy holding the girl’s pack—and Sigmund trailed behind them.
“What is it?” Rester asked anxiously, “What’s going on?”
Mies and Takara exchanged a look and started to laugh again.
“Just a little friendly competition,” Mies supplied after a moment, grinning.
Janelle frowned, “Is this really a time to be playing games?”
Mies shook his head guiltlessly, still grinning. “Let’s keep going,” he said, setting the pace at a walk again.
Takara grinned at the others before scurrying after the older boy and slipping her hand into his as they continued to walk.
“Idiots,” Sigmund grumbled as he passed Rester and Janelle, his hands shoved deeply into the pockets of his black leather jacket.
“… We should go,” Rester said at last, moving after the others. Janelle followed his lead silently.