Working on it...
"He loves me." I pulled a petal from the rose. "He loves me not." I removed another.
"Malika, forget about it." My sister Kira's harsh voice broke the spell. I looked up sharply. The rose fell from my hand.
"He is coming back for me," I muttered, dropping the last rose petal. It fluttered down and landed in the fountain without a sound, then slowly drifted away from me.
Kira's eyes narrowed. "Listen, Gunner left years ago. He's not going to come back anytime soon." She settled beside me on the fountain.
He'll come back eventually." I dipped my hand in the water and stirred the petals around. A few sank down below the surface. "He told me he would."
"Then he's a liar." Kira shook her head. "From what I hear, he's a pirate now."
"Rumors, rumors," I said, my voice airy. I began to weave my hair into a golden braid. "One can't believe everything they hear."
I ignored Kira's disapproving look and instead turned my gaze towards the cloudless sky. It was a beautiful evening. The sun had just touched the water, and I could almost hear it sizzle. The bright orange sun leaked color into the blue around it, painting the sky with pinks and yellows and reds. The water created a mirror image, marred slightly by the ripples in the water's surface.
I frowned when I saw something abnormal in the image. "Kira, are we getting a shipment today?" Because nearly everybody in Rotion lived in small communities in the chain of infertile islands, we were shipped supplies about once a month to support our community. We had just had one recently.
Kira shook her head. "Gunner has driven you mad. Our shipment arrived days ago, remember? We're not due for another one in at least a month."
My frown deepened. "There's a ship out there." I shielded my eyes and pointed out towards the horizon.
Kira followed my gaze. A look of worry settled over her face. "That's odd," she muttered. "We never get visitors, and I was sure we hadn't missed anything in our last shipment."
I got to my feet. "What else could it be?"
Kira's look was unsettling. "I don't know."