Kailla and Assan arrived back at their camp at dusk, as the moon was rising into the deep purple sky. As usual a red fire roared. Against the cliff on which the camp sat, gleaming blue waves thundered.
Many of the tribe's people had already retreated to rest. In fact, few people were sat around the fire. Most of them were elders, except from one. He was similar to Assan in the sense of appearance, but there was a large age difference between them. There was also an ocational glimmer of intelligance in his eyes. Assan and Kailla strolled over to the crackling fire and sat around it, beside the younger man.
He turned to face them. "Kailla. Brother." He looked at each of them in turn.
"Tako." Assan muttered. Tiredness washed over his face like a flash flood. As a distraction, he put out his hands, warming them with the heat of the fire. Both Kailla and Tako looked at him in surprise, considering that he was always full of life. After a moment of feel watched Assan looked back. "What!!"
Tako shook his head. "Nothing." Kailla looked at Tako. He had the same tanned skin as his brother did. Other than age they were pretty much identical. Apart from a huge gush over the right side of Tako's face. It was healing nicely, the scab had already covered the edges, but the centre of it was still open. A drop of sparkling red blood trickled out.
He turned to the elder beside him. "Ira, have you heard anything from the fire tribe in the west yet??" Tako asked her. She shook her head.
"What? Where are you going?" Assan very suddenly became aware of his brother again. He looked at Tako in disgust. "The fire tribe?! The same one that stole our land and drove us out of our homes?!"
"Assan, it's not like-"
"Have you come totally mad?" He interupted. Assan angirly drew himself to his feet and turned to run off. Kailla stood quickly, she placed her hands gently on his arms, and turned him around again.
Ira glanced up at the outraged boy. "They have changed a lot since then boy. I would know, i've visited them myself." She spoke in a croaky voice. She was a cripled old woman, but one of the wisest of the elders. Her ankle lenth hair was grey like a strom cloud, and was worn loose other than a few plaits at the side of her face. She sat carving a toy boat from a block of wood.
Assan sighed, yanked his arms from Kailla's grip and fled. Kailla began to call after him.
"Your wasting your breathe." Tako muttered. She turned and knelt at the fire once again.
Kailla played with the end of her white dress. Then she started to poke around at the embers with a stick. Sparks flew out onto her skin, she ignored it. Suddenly she was attacked by flashbacks.
Voices pulled her back into the present. "You're thinking about him, aren't you?" Ira said. Kailla's eyes flicked open. Tako had gone, leaving just her and the elder alone. The fire had died down.
"Aren't you?" She repeated. Kailla nodded faintly. Tiny tears gathered in her eyes. She held them back. "I know it's hard for you, for you to have seen it."
Kailla frowned. "Hard?? You think it was hard for me?" She said harshly. "I was forced to watch my father murdered. And think it was hard?" By this time she was roaring. They both stood.
Ira's eyes flamed. "How could you be so selfish! You weren't the only one to have lost someone!!" Kailla stopped dead, still as a rock. She remembered the night, a storm thundered. Many people lay dead or injured in the dirt. The village was a pool of blood. Suddenly she remembered something, something she should have never forgetten.
After Kailla's father was murdered, she knelt over him, crying. As the fire elementals were leaving the village, they burnt everything. Kailla and her father's corpse were trapped in their shack, now up in flames. Ira, who then was very young, broke down the door and dragged her out before the shelter caved in and killed her.
Kailla glanced at Ira's left arm. A twisting burn crawled up from her wrist to her neck. She released her tears. Crying for forgivness.