Art: 048/100 Themes - Childhood

"Enfantea." Childhood. - 48/100 Themes.

Rivek's mother, step-father, and step-brother all die in a yet-to-be-determined accident. So Rivek does what any person who wants to save his own hide does - assumes his dead brother's identity. Because he is clearly too young to govern Cordelain, the lands are put under a steward, and he is sent to live with his step-father's cousin - who happens to be Bohren's father. Bohren, a spoiled only child, resents this at first, but the incident above warms him towards the intruder. When he finds out Rivek is illiterate, he teaches him to read. Thus, an epic bromance was formed.


Summer was the best. Bohren stood at the foot of an immense apple tree. He knew they were still unripe and very sour, but at eleven years old, the climbing itself was fun enough.

He grabbed the lowest branch and lifted his legs into the air for a little swing. He planted his feet against the sturdy trunk. Gingerly, he walked his hands to the base of the branch until he could wrap his entire body around the width of the tree. Using the knots in the bark as footholds, he stretched himself upwards. The first place the trunk split was low enough that he could reach it with his hands. With a small kick, he hoisted himself up into the forked limbs. 

He sat for a second in this great tree-seat, surrounded by green leaves. "Hello," he said to the nearest branch. "Nice to meet you."

He took a twig and shook it like an extended arm. "I'm sure you've heard of me. I am Sir Bohren from Tabir, and my father is the High Grand Super Lord of Tabir. And one day, I'm going to be like my dad, and I'm going to be a knight with armor covered in so many diamonds, you'll look at it, and you'll go blind. And I'm going to slay a dragon and rescue a beautiful princess with lots of yellow hair who will fall in love with me."

He stood, carefully balancing each of his legs on a branch, and bowed. It threw him off, and he quickly shrank back to seated position. Once he thought he was safe from his own teetering, he looked up. The apples had started to grow. This one right above him looked a little kind of red. 

He stood again and reached his arm up. He plucked the only apple within his grasp. His mouth watered, imagining the delicious sugar and juice. Without hesitation, he bit into it, and his mouth was flooded with a sour taste so strong it made him suck in his cheeks. He spat out the wood-hard piece he had bit off and threw the rest to the ground. Gross. 

What now? He looked down from his mighty perch and saw something a few rows of trees away: a skinny boy with messy, black hair. He wore peasant's clothes that were far too big for him. The shirt he had fell to his knees. He held his arms extended towards the sky. A dozen brown sparrows sat on his outstretched limbs, tittering and flapping their wings like excited schoolgirls. 

"Hey. Hey! You! You're the new kid, right? Better move. They're going to poop on you." 

The black-haired boy looked up, right at Bohren. He dropped his arms, and the sparrows flew away in a chirping flurry. Even from this height and distance, Bohren could make out a strange shape on the boy's right cheek.

"Yeah, you! Come here." The strange boy stepped over slowly. 

"Come on." Why did he take so long just to walk over? Bohren flattened his stomach against a branch. They were deep, crossed, purple scars - one vertically down his right eye, and one horizontally across his cheekbone. So weird. Bohren leaned over to get a better look.

"What's wrong with your face?"

And Bohren fell.

He hit the ground on his left arm. Something cracked. He tried to get up, but the pain was unbearable. It was as if his entire arm were a pulsing, muscular fire. He cried.

Silently, the other boy turned and took a step away.

"You're can't leave me here!" 

The scarred boy took a knife from his pocket and snapped a twig from the low branch Bohren had been climbing on. Then, he made a spiraling cut into the edge of his shirt, turning the bottom hem into a long ribbon.

Then, he came back. He grabbed Bohren's arm, making him scream again and causing tears to roll down his face. Bohren rubbed his sniffling nose with his good arm. He put his arm back down, and a trail of clear mucous extended between his upper lip and sleeve.

"Hey!" he muttered. "That hurts." 

The boy set the branch against Bohren's arm and began wrapping it there with the ripped piece of shirt.

"Can you talk?" 

The boy narrowed his strangely bright, blue eyes and shrugged, but he continued to tie the makeshift splint around Bohren's arm. Bohren watched, tears almost lost in wonder at the bandaging process. Much to Bohren's pained chagrin, the boy finished by bending and tying the fractured arm to Bohren's chest. Bohren yelped as he tied the last knot, very, very tight. The boy gave him a small smirk. 

Did he think this was funny? "Your name. Give me your name." 


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