Legacy of the Kallic Diaspora
The boy was 15 or 16, Degana never remembered exactly, and Dekana did not care to talk of it. At the time, they were only 12. That he remembered clearly. That and the sun. For some odd reason, he always remembered the smell of the sunlight. And yes, he always had to explain to Dekana that sunlight had a smell. This made her laugh, which made him smile. But then he frowned at the memory of that day.
Degana and Dekana had been playing with their cousins, Shale and Tolien, when he showed up. Degana could not remember which clan he was from, or even his name. He may never have known his name. Anyway, he came. And he immediately approached Dekana. All the boys liked her, and he was no different, this boy. But Dekana took no notice of him, she had no time for other boys. And besides, she was in the middle of a game of hookra!
This seemed to infuriate the boy, he did not take her rejection well. Perhaps he felt he had lost face in front of his playmates, perhaps he was just the bullying type. Who knows, who cares. What he did, thou, that Degana cannot forget, that he did care deeply about.
The boy went up to Dekana, and slapped her across the face. No warning, no words, just a stern look and a hard slap. It left a red mark, and Dekana, brave Dekana, struggled to hold back her tears. And me? I admit what happened next was a blur, most of it was related to me later by Shale and Tolien, Dekana does not like to speak of it. For my part, I remember a ringing in my ears, and a slow growl that came up from my belly, then yellow. I saw the color yellow, like the burning sun, and I smelled the sunlight…
As Shale tells it, I was a Fury, leaping at the boy like a tiger at its prey, relentless in my attack. I laid into the older boy, and quickly pummeled him to the ground, where I continued to beat him about the head until blood flowed, and my cousins pulled me off him, all of which happened before any of his friends had a chance to react. Most of them sat there in slack-jawed amazement. Ultimately, they picked him up and carried him off. I began to calm down, and started to remember. And my first lucid thought was: Dekana!
She looked at me, I will never forget it, a look of astonishment, with some admonishment, but also with a certain amount of pride and awe.