I stomped through the forest, kicking everything that was in my path. How dare he! How dare he order me about like a little boy. In front of the whole village as well. 

My father had demanded I attend the council meeting and when I had refused he had threatened to banish me from our family in front of the whole village if I dared to disobey him. My eyes had flared in anger, but I bit my tongue. It just wasn't worth it. 

The council was full of boring, old men that argued for hours about the most trivial things. I was annoyed to see I was forced to go, when even the Elder's son Zulfikar wasn't even there.

My father wanted me to join the council when I was off age, but it was the last thing I wanted to do. If only mother was here, she'd see to it that I was free to do as I pleased. 

Once the council was finished I had left in a hurry before I had another argument with my father. The forest was the one place I felt at peace. 

"What's got you in such a huff?" 

I turned round and saw Zulfikar walking towards me. 

"My father made me sit in on another council meeting. They are so tedious, I can't stand it." I said. "Why is it you get away with not being there?"

He laughed. "I disappear on meeting days, so there is no time for my father to tell me to come." 

"I'll have to try that." 

Suddenly, there was a loud crack above us. We glanced up and as we did, two figures fell from the trees crushing us to the floor.

"Meghana!" I shouted, as I realised who was on top of me. "What are you doing, spying on me?"

She blushed. 

"I wasn't... I..." 

I stood up and saw who had fell on Zulfikar. Atma, the village mute had his eyes wide open as if scared. I rarely ever saw him, no one did, so it was a surprise to see him. Then it dawned on me he had been hiding with my sister. 

"Atma?" I asked, raising an eyebrow. He raised his hands in the air, and began to do some signs I didn't recognise. Of course, he was doing sign language but I had never bothered to learn. 

"He say's he just came across her, nothing happened." Zulfikar said, watching with a bemused expression. 

"It's true." Meghana said hurriedly. "It's not what it looks like." 

"Hmm." I pinched my lips. "It best not be either, he's way too old for you." 

Meghana blushed again. "I'm going hunting, I'll be back later." And with that she hurried off before I could say another word. I turned round and noticed Atma had vanished as well.

"Don't worry, different directions." Zulfikar said noticing my anger flaring up again. 

"I swear, today has not been my day."

The End

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