Odd News

I twitch my finger at him to go ahead.

"Today's the last."

I roll my eyes under my lids and mutter at him. "Tell me something I don't know."

He laughs. "Let me finish! I got a note. Addressed to me."

"Yeah, so?" Our lovely playground home is helpfully equipped with suction pipes, sending notes around for the lazier, or most inept, kids. The less the clumsy ones move, the better.

"This one was different." Des lowers his voice. "This wasn't just Rae complaining about how twelve is a perfectly acceptable age to start dating me, this was from above." He pauses. "From my father."

I'm awake. In fact, I don't think I've ever be so alert. "What?" I remember, just in time, to keep my voice low and it comes out as a hiss. "That was only a theory. Who your parents were." My mind is scrambling for hand holds on this rock face of knowledge. "Do you have it on you?"

I'm sitting up, legs swinging on the outside of my hammock. I have one of the highest placed ones and a good 200ft dangles beneath my toes. If I were to roll out of bed and not be caught by the multitude of other hammocks drifting in the fake breeze like so many slips of paper, I'd be cat food.

Des is slowly putting a hand into his hoodie pocket, his face gleaming with some species of suppressed emotion. "I... don't know what to think."

Playful, optimistic and sarcastic, all of Des' normal self, is hidden behind his dark eyes and a pang of worry runs through me. "This is big. So very, very big. I mean I knew the captors read our mail... but sending it? I wouldn't really think they're allowed." I'm keeping my voice light, attempting to put the tall teen balanced on the set of monkey bars at ease.



He chuckles. "I'm fine."

"Of course you're fine. The parent you've never met, who shoved you into a playground the moment you were born, tries to contact you after 18 years via note. Of course you're feeling 'fine.'"

Des grins, knowing full well that I can read him better than Rae can misunderstand him. "I don't know why I try," he sighs. "Keeping my feelings from you."

"You're an overprotective oaf who always gets bested by the one he tries to save?"

"Oh come on, Maya," Another boy, blond hair sticking up like the legs of an overturned beetle, swings himself down from above. "He's hardly an oaf. Look how all the twelve year olds swoon over him."

"Micky! What is it with you and spying?" I laugh, knowing he's probably been here since the beginning.

"Spying?" Miguel asks. "I don't spy. I just have exceptional hearing."


The End

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