Curious

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I hummed to myself as I swung back and forth on the swings, my little hands gripping the cold chain tightly. Jack had warned me that I couldn't really fly like Peter Pan, that no matter how many happy thoughts I had I would need pixie dust first. But as I moved through the air and swung my stockinged feet, I could almost believe he was wrong.

When I was as high as the swing would go, I jumped off, totally prepared to fly away like Wendy. But the ground pulled me back down and I hit the grass hard, rolling like Papa taught me so I wouldn't get hurt, but I knew I would have some bruises in the morning.

I stood up and brushed grass off my pretty dress. Ma had gotten it for me and would be mad if I got it dirty. I looked around and saw a group of girls jumping rope and singing Oor Wee School.

I smiled and went over to them. "Can I play?" I asked.

One of the girls glanced at me, "Sure." And I got in line behind her, looking at her bronze curls tied with a pretty blue bow. My hair was in pigtails, with pink ribbons that matched my dress.

The girl looked back at me again, this time her face was confused. "What's wrong with your eyes?"

I blinked, "Nothing."

The other girls had turned to look too. "Why do they look like that?" The girl asked.

I shrugged, "I dunno, I was born this way."

"Your Ma have gold eyes too?" Another girl asked. She had brown hair in braids.

I frowned, "No..." I had noticed that before, Papa, Ma, and Jack all had dark hair and hazel-green eyes.

A really tall, red haired girl with lots of freckles pushed through the other girls. "Hey I heard about you!" she said. "Yeah my Ma told me about you. She said you're a demon child. You got the devil inside you."

I backed away, the other girls were looking not so friendly now. "No I don't!" I protested.

"Yeah you do!" The girl said. "My ma said you brainwashed yer family. Used yer demon eyes she said, made them think you was their baby."

"That's not true!" I cried, but no one believed me.

The girl pushed me. I stumbled back, my face felt hot and my eyes were burning. I wanted to cry, but I didn't have time because those girls were getting closer. I could see that they wanted to hurt me. So I started to run.

I ran as fast as I could, I could hear the girls behind me. They were calling after me. Calling me names. Mean names. I stumbled but didn't fall.

Gotta be careful, I thought.  If I fall they will catch me.

I woke up gasping for air, my heart pounding hard like I really had been running for my life. It was still dark and the fire was just coals. I ran a shaky hand through my hair and remembered how those girls had beaten me up. I had run home crying to my family, told them what happened, and then they finally told me the truth.

Kendra? My head snapped up to meet the violet gaze of Nisvārtha. He looked tired and confused, but also concerned.

I waved him away, It's nothing, go back to sleep.

I would love to, he muttered. But I was not sleeping. He sighed, Is something the matter?

I rubbed at my face and sighed, It's complicated.

Perhaps I can help. I looked at him, his eyes were sincere. I have found that a problem is more easily solved with two minds instead of one.

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