“We can’t kill him.” The pronouncement hung in the clearing like a gloomy smog. “I mean, we may want to. But we can’t.”
Amelia raised her head. “Torture?” she suggested hopefully.
She was subjected to a hard stare from her brother, a towering and noble figure of reluctant righteousness.
“Outlawed,” said he.
“Accidental homicide?” she offered.
“With you, it wouldn’t be accidental.”
Amelia tilted her head and felt her hair – so carefully arranged – snag on the bark. She ought to move position, but there was something poetic about sitting against the trunk of tree.
“Yeah,” she admitted, rubbing the hem of her pink dress. “That’s true.”
Another hard stare. A car whizzed by on the nearby road – you could just catch a flash of it through the trees.
“Alright,” she sighed. “But can’t we sell him?”
Her brother shifted on his booted feet, crunching leaf and twig. “You’ve got a dark character,” he commented.
“Oh?” began Amelia dangerously.
“Calculating mind,” continued the erstwhile male.
“Oh?” demanded his sister.
“Bellicose brain,” offered he, arms crossed and head tilted to the side just so. Sunlight caught at his fair hair and gave him a righteous glow.
“I have no idea what that means,” said Amelia, her eyes indignant. Her thoughts changed paths and charged towards a more dangerous subject. “Ask anyone,” she said, “and they will tell you that no torture is too good for him – no punishment too great. He … he …”
A hand was flung around in a sweeping motion that gestured to the entire clearing.
“Hanging is too good for him,” she pronounced, scrambling to her daintily sandaled feet and glaring about her.
Her brother rolled his shoulders and nodded. His face was luminous with his reluctant agreement. He was a peace-loving soul, and yet-
“Even you are angry with his … his … “ she was lost for words and yet the expression on her face spoke more than an entire dictionary of words ever could. “Treachery!” she exploded.
A nod. A shrug. “We’ll manage,” were the paltry words offered to soothe her.
“Manage?” demanded Amelia. “Manage?!” she said throwing her hands outwards. “Look at me,” she said. “Do I look like I can manage?!”
Her brother eyed the puffy pink dress; the hair sprayed white; the make-up speckling her face in the form of rebellious blue and purple polka dots.
“I am a cupcake!” the words were hurled at him. “How can I manage to walk home like this?”
Her brother closed his mouth, wisely withholding wisdom which would no doubt be ill received. Another car flew by, a bird chirped merrily in a nearby tree.
“Oh no, you don’t say anything,” Amelia said with a heated glare. “It’s not as if you’re much better. You’re dressed as a candle! A CANDLE!”
Her brother looked down at his golden suit and plastic globules which stood for the running wax. He didn’t need to raise a hand to his face to feel the yellow and orange paint which caked his skin. The paint which resembled a flame. (Or rather, was supposed to resemble a flame).
Amelia’s shoulders slumped.
“We’re going to have to walk home,” she said. “On foot.”
“Like this,” agreed her brother as a fleck of paint drifted off his nose and fell to the floor.
“Rob,” said Amelia in a mournful voice, “let’s never trust a watermelon again.”
I blame Rachel Heffington for this. I really do. Travel-By-Foot was the theme of this month’s Chatterbox.