Pine stared pointlessly across the empty lawns and gardens, wishing for something,foranything,to happen. With his feet dangling from a branch not twenty feet from the ground, his eyes traced the high walkways that surrounded the five acres of their primary estate. There was nothing of note, no movement but for a single guard that walked the rampart. Their host of servants seemed to have business elsewhere, for the gardens and courtyards were bare, and the manor was near silent.
His early morning had been filled with tutelage and roaming the grounds, but one could only be so entertained by the home they’d grown up in. Now bored to tears, he had resorted to climbing trees, though even that lost its novelty in time and he was left to seeing how well he could aim his falls.
As luck would have it, one of the head servants entered the courtyard just as he was landing in a damp flowerbed. Pine froze immediately, his eyes wide with the thought of punishment.
Duran was a downy grey color, with a snout that was slightly longer and ears that were more pointed than the usual Cakumi. He walked with unquestionable confidence that held him almost a head taller than the rest of his kin. Though his job simply entailed running errands for Pine’s father, he was particularly well-off for one of his kind. To find a Cakumi who did better than hard labor was rare, unless, of course, they were of a noble house. Duran’s lineage had been paired with that of Pine’s family for many generations, and his particular likeness was directly attributed to house Demasa. The man was sharp as one would expect of head servant…and he found Pine lurking amongst the beds immediately. There wasn’t even a chance of concealment.
“Why am I not surprised?” Duran sighed, his voice deep. “Get away from there before Ya’ille comes around. Trampling them will earn you more trouble than you’re worth.” He shook his head and then dusted his formal black vest.
Pine jumped quickly from the bed, thankful that the Cakumi hadn’t been in a bad mood. According to the deep divot he’d made in the bed, Ya’ille would not be pleased.
“You won’t tell?”
Duran almost chuckled and shook his head, “as long as you keep your tailless behind from these beds. Otherwise I might have to reconsider. These blue sproutlings are quite hard to come by…”
“I promise,” Pine told him, placing a hand over his heart.
He waited for further interrogation, but Duran wasn’t interested in what Pine had been up to. With a stiff bow, the Cakumi trotted off past him without another word. Pine watched as Duran made his way down the hill towards the back wall. There had been a scroll tucked into his vest pocket, Pine realized. The man had soon disappeared out the back gate.
There was now even less for him to do, he thought bitterly. Ever since he’d broken Jo Hattery’s collarbone he hadn’t been allowed outside the grounds. They’d only been playing, as he’d explained a thousand times, but his mother hadn’t let him out of the house since. She kept giving him these awful stares, going on about how all the other mothers must think that he was a bully, a menace to society. Really, there should have been no reason to keep him away from his practice. All the other boys dealt with each other knowingfullwell that they could go home with more than a few scrapes and bruises.
Decidedly, he made for the estate wall, finding the closest stairwell and taking the steps two at a time. With his hands in his trouser pockets he began his circuit. He hadn’t gone very far before something pricked at his ears. Laughter.