Merit sat pertly on the edge of the wall. She was thin and delicate, with fragile wrists and ankles and fingers like bird bones that moved almost constantly, gracefully, but without the nervousness of small people. She pulled her thick black curls behind her shoulders and sniffed as she watched Callen from her perch. Callen continued to stack her branches, weaving the supple ones around the thick lower sticks. Native American Dwelling, it was, not an “Indian hut.” She worked swiftly, speaking softly under her breath, talking to the imaginary Indians (they’re Native American reenactors, she mentally corrected herself) that followed her.
“My name’s Sawgrass,” Callen called to her friend – her best friend. “You can be Honey Wind. Now come help.”
“I don’t play,” Merit answered to her best friend, in a tone that clearly implied she was far too old for such things. And she was; an entire year older and an entire year too old. A year was a great deal of time between the two girls, and they recognized that. But Sawgrass rolled her eyes.
“I’m not playing,” she said tersely. “I’m reenacting. It’s educational.” Merit stopped swinging her legs as she mused. She decided these were acceptable terms, even preferable to sulking on the wall. She joined Sawgrass and the two worked into the afternoon to finish the Native American Dwelling, though they both knew that they would burn it that night.