Atma

Atma had learnt the skill of being silent from a very young age. Being invisible was almost second nature to him, so when he spotted Dristi walking past the tree he was perched in, it was no trouble at all to stay hidden. 

He watched her stop and take in a deep breath of air which seemed to relax her. She looked tired and troubled, but by what he didn't know. He felt sympathy for the young girl before him. Like him she had been born without one of the senses most people took for granted. He couldn't imagine not being able to see the wonders around him.

Footsteps suddenly broke the silence. He carefully glanced around and saw the Elders Son walking towards the blinded one. Zulfikar had eyes only for the girl so it was easy for Atma to fade even further into the branches he was in without being noticed. He watched the way Dristi tensed as she waited for the stranger to approach her. 

From his hiding place, he heard Zulfikar inform her of the recent find. Another body had turned up, another girl. While digesting this information, Atma almost missed the couple kiss each other. If he could talk, he may have broken his cover there and then. The Elders Son with one of the Villager's Cripples? It was unheard of! 

Then he smiled softly to himself. If Zulfikar could get over the fact of a small disability, then he was destined to become a great Elder indeed. 

Once they had disappeared, he jumped to the ground quietly and looked about him. The forest was never quiet and he stood for a moment to take in Nature's own melody. He watched as a young fawn ran past him, closely followed by its mother who stopped for a second to look at him. He waited, frozen, till she finally decided he meant no harm and ran to catch up with her child.

Then he turned and headed deep into the forest in search of an old boar to take back to his mother. He didn't like taking a life away, but hunting meant surviving and since his mother had fallen ill, he was the only one left to do it for the both of them.

He made a mental note to investigate the mystery of the body that had been found once he returned. He doubted it would be common knowledge, but he was curious to know what had caused the death - especially if it meant there was a possibility that it could harm his mother. 

The End

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