Wearing clocks covering their faces, seven people stood before the Seasonal River, one of the boarders to the Seasonal village.
“It’s time to leave,” The second shortest of the bunch said “It won’t be long, before it’s night, making this a lot harder than it needs to be.”
“Of course River,” A male said, also the second tallest of the group.
“Everyone’s asleep,” River said, “Autumn, Summer, Luna, Spring and Winter, you can put your hoods down,”
“Of course,” Summer said, before taking the heavy hood off his head. The others did it a bit slower, Winter was worried; she knew her father stayed up a little later than everyone else, so she didn’t know if he spotted them. Summer was the only one, who didn’t have someone, who liked to stay up a bit late, for work. The Meadow’s did as little as they could get away with, while the Imani liked doing as much work as possible, thinking of only the worst case scenarios.
“Do we really have to start here?” Winter asked the giant hole where Lily fell through was gone. Still, Winter knew where it was, and it bothered her.
“Winter, it wasn’t your fault,” Autumn said, looking down at the dark brown haired girl.
“I know, it wasn’t,” Winter said, looking up at the boys matching, but way lighter hair.
“Knock it off you two,” Summer growled, “We have to start here, so don’t complain,”
“Summer, you have to remember what happened here, even I hate this lake, river thing,” Luna said, her sliver hair blowing behind her.
“Fine,” Summer muttered, while everyone rolled their eyes.
“Don’t walk on the river than,” River told them, she’ll never understand why her parents named her, after a pool of water, but they were dead and they never told her. She could guess, but she was more than likely wrong.
“Fine,” Winter said, she was going to have to do it, didn’t mean she was going to like it, the sooner they were away from this spot, the better.
“You better leave,” River said, pointing right.
“Aren’t you coming grandmother?” Spring asked she thought her grandmother might come, because the village would of thought she had something to do with the disappearance.
“No, I’m too old,”
“What are you going to tell the others?” Winter asked, she knew she had a reason to leave, but what about the others?
“Winter is the easiest,” River said, no one really thought highly of the girl, and they were planning to make her leave anyway, so they won’t care.
“I see, they would see it as guilt and that Winter really did kill Lily,” Luna said she was disappointed in her tribe, that they would think Winter was that cold.
“What about the rest of us?” Autumn asked he could see Summer’s reason; the green eyed boy was hot tempered at the best of times.
“Summer’s temper, would be the reason he left,” River explained “He’s more than sick of how things are run, and what the Imani family did to their own child.”
“What about us?” Luna and Spring asked
“Spring always saw Lily as a sister, so her reason for leaving would be sadness,” River said, looking then blonde than at Luna “You saw Winter as a sister, so she left because she hated the treatment Winter was getting,”
“What about Autumn?” Winter asked, looking at the brown eyed boy.
“He just lost his family,” River said, “I’m sorry for your loss,”
“Sorry Autumn,” The others said, they were worried about Lily’s death, when a whole family had just died? They just lost about half the tribe in one night, because of their own actions. They better hope that the River or Mountain tribe doesn’t see this, or the reason behind it.
“That’s what you’re going to tell everyone, isn’t it?” Luna asked taking Winter’s hand into her own, if their asked by another tribe what they’re doing, they’ll need a reason.
“I can’t tell them you ran away, they’ll look for four of you because of it,” River said, when she looked at the youngest and the shortest “Winter might be looked for, but only to be killed, nothing more. Everyone knows she can hunt.”
“What do we tell the other tribes?” Spring asked, running away wasn’t a good reason; they’ll be killed, because no one wanted extra mouths to feed, unless they had a useful talent. All of them could do something to help any village; luckily they gave travellers a week. To either leave or prove their worth.
“Winter you’re going to have to lie about your age,” River said “You look young enough to be eight years old, they won’t know any better.”
“I see,” Autumn said it was like a puzzle, if Winter had to preteen to be a child, than they had to be a family or tribe.
“Oh I get it, we’re a wondering tribe,” Luna said, her grandma was slyer than most foxes.
“Yes, of course,” River told them “You’re part of the lost Wind tribe,”
“Wind tribe?” Winter asked she never heard of them
“They were around in my parents time, and that’s when they were killed,” River explained “It’s easier to say you’re grandparents survived and ran away,”
“Most of us,” Summer said,
“Yes, Winter is the grandchild to the survivors,” River said, a plan forming in her mind or third eye. “Luna and Autumn are her parents, Autumn coming from the River tribe or the Mountain tribe, depending on you ran into.”
“Summer and Spring,” Winter said “So they’re going to have to lie about their ages as well,”
“Of course, Autumn and Luna are in their late twenties,” River said putting her hand over her heart “Summer and Spring, you guys meet them on their travels, but you don’t remember which village you were born into,”
“It works,” Summer said, he was glad that he didn’t have to pretend to be a parent.
“I have to go,”
“Good bye River, and good luck,” Autumn said, they watched their elder walk back to the village before putting their hoods over their heads and walking right, along the river. Autumn and Luna made sure to hold Winter’s hand, just in case they ran into anyone.