Chapter Three — Kid Liquorice

7 March 2010 at 21:02 (Artwork, Dreamsong, Kid Icarus, Kid Liquorice, Random Randomness)

copyright silver arrows 2010

‘I’m sick of this, Father. Can’t we do something else?’

‘On your feet, Kiki, come on.’

Kiki let out a growl of irritation as she heaved herself up. ‘I’m not even better from the last time,’ she complained, clutching her arm. ‘One of these days you’ll kill me with your training — and then I can think of some people what will be sorry for some things!’

Callimachus sighed. ‘If you’d only hit the stone as I told you, you wouldn’t have got hurt.’

‘And don’t bury me somewhere manky,’ Kiki continued. ‘I want somewhere with flowers, somewhere nice.’

‘Sure.’ Callimachus picked up another pebble. ‘Hold your dagger properly, come on, don’t slouch. Now for the last time, Kiki, please hit the blessed stone! Ready?’

She nodded.

Callimachus threw the pebble.

Kiki side-stepped.

‘I’m going inside.’

Callimachus trudged dejectedly to the fireplace and began to prepare dinner. He’d had such high hopes for his daughter, but it looked like he’d never make a warrior out of her. It wasn’t that she didn’t have the ability; she just simply didn’t try. She did however have a natural affinity for archery – only because she considered it a sport rather than a combat skill — but any other kind of combat training didn’t interest her in the slightest. Fighting, as she put it, bored her to tears.

She had no objection to verbal fighting, though. She was just like her mother in that way. What a temper! It must come of having pink hair. But she was so like Asteria in so many ways that it fair broke his heart. He wanted to tell her about her mother, share with her all those happy memories, but he simply hadn’t the heart. Maybe when she was older he’d tell her; maybe then they’d both be ready.

Kiki clumped in now, in her muddy sandals, with a liquorice stick hanging out her mouth, and sat down in front of her loom.

‘Get that out of your mouth, Kiki, you’ll spoil your appetite.’

‘I can’t do that, Father, it’ll get ruined.’

‘Wrap it up, it won’t get ruined.’

With an exaggerated sigh, and a look of long-suffering patience aimed squarely at Callimachus, she got up to put away the offending sweet.

Luna – that was what he had originally named her, after the moonlight, because it reminded him of Asteria. Yet somehow the name had never suited. It sounded too delicate, too graceful, qualities she definitely lacked. He shook his head in resignation as she carefully rinsed and wrapped up the liquorice stick and put it in her pocket, then wiped down her sticky hands on her chiton. He was about to admonish her, but then decided not to. What was the point? She’d always been like that.

Maybe he should have just named her Liquorice and been done with it. Certainly as soon as she’d learnt to crawl she was out in the fields digging up liquorice plants and chewing on the roots, gurgling happily to herself, ‘Ikki ikki kikki!’ — he supposed she was trying to say ‘liquorice’ — and the name ‘Kiki’ stuck. It suited her so much better, he thought; it sounded playful and frivolous, which was exactly what she was.

Right now she was sitting at her little loom, totally engrossed in weaving one of her everlasting tapestries. She looked up at him. ‘Can I’ve some of that magic moonshine thread?’

‘Are you planning on selling that tapestry?’


‘Then you can’t.’

‘Oh, Father!’

‘No. If you use it, you can’t sell it.’

‘I won’t sell it, Father,’ she said earnestly.

‘Go on, then.’ He looked at what she was weaving. ‘Is this going to be a dove?’

‘Yes, I’m going to put some silveriness in its wings.’

‘That’ll be nice.’

‘I know a song about wings; shall I sing it?’

‘Yes, I love to hear you sing.’ Callimachus smiled. A beautiful voice was another thing she had inherited from her mother.

Kiki cleared her throat and began.

‘Up! cried the children
Far, far away
We’ll fly to the land where the angels play
On velvet wings, we’ll sail the sky
And — ‘

She stopped abruptly. ‘I say — Father…’

‘What is it, sweetheart?’

‘Where is this land where the angels play?’

‘You mean Skyworld? Here, wash your hands and sit down: dinner’s ready.’

‘Yes, Skyworld… that’s where the angels live isn’t it?’


‘Then why are we down here?’

Callimachus looked sadly at his plate. When he spoke, his voice was barely above a whisper. ‘I lived there once. A long time ago.’

‘Then why did you come here?’

He was silent for so long that she thought he hadn’t heard. ‘I did something bad,’ he said at last.

‘Bad how? Are you an outlaw?’ She was thrilled at the prospect. An outlaw! How romantic and exciting! She’d read a book about a band of outlaws last week, and now here was her father, an outlaw himself!

Callimachus fiddled nervously with his fork. ‘No. I — I made a mistake. I — let someone down.’


‘Never mind how. Finish your dinner.’

‘Yes, sir.’ The topic was definitely closed. She was about to re-open it anyway, but she noticed how sad her father looked and decided to leave it. Whatever it was he did, it didn’t really matter. She hated it when he was unhappy. She thought she’d cheer him up. ‘I’ll make some more butter tomorrow if you like, Father.’

He smiled. ‘That’ll be a great help, Kiki, thank you.’

The sun was was just dipping below the horizon as Callimachus strolled from the pasture with a collection of pebbles clutched in his arms.

‘Oh, Father, not again!’

‘No, not again.’ Callimachus smiled. ‘We’re going to learn something different this time.’

‘Oh — thanks.’ He was probably going to try swordsmanship again. This was going to be so utterly dreary.

He threw a pebble at her. ‘Catch.’

Kiki deftly caught it; if a game of catch was all she had to deal with, she’d be happy.

‘Now throw it back at me, Kiki. Hard.’

‘Umm… okay.’ She flung the pebble at him and gasped in amazement as a burst of light from his hand flung the pebble right back at her. ‘Groovy!’

‘It’s the Halo attack, and you’re going to learn it.’

‘Me?’ she cried in disbelief.

‘Yes, you.’

‘I don’t know how.’

‘Which is why I’m going to teach you. You have that light in you, too. All you have to do is concentrate it in the palm of your hand, then release it, like this.’

Kiki gaped at him in alarm.

‘Once you’ve got the hang of that,’ Callimachus continued, ‘you can make one big enough to surround your whole body: it’s the ultimate defence. Watch this.’

Kiki gaped in even more alarm as an even bigger burst of light knocked her off her feet. ‘Wow.’

Callimachus nodded. ‘Now it’s your turn, you try the little one, in your palm. Go on.’

She looked lamely at her hand. ‘What am I supposed to be doing?’

‘I told you. Concentrate your light into the palm of your hand.’


‘Just visualise it, Kiki, that’s all there is to it. Here, try repelling this stone. Maybe if you have something to focus on it’ll be easier.’ He flung the pebble at her; Kiki held out her palm.


‘Come on, Kiki, you’re not even trying!’ He threw another.

‘Ouch! Stop it!’

‘What’s wrong?’

‘I don’t think I have this light in me. I’m only five; I’m probably too young.’

Callimachus sighed. ‘You’re not too young. Try again.’

‘Owww!’ She flung the stone back at him. ‘I hate this! I don’t know why you’re making me learn all this stuff. It’s an utter waste of time!’

‘I’m trying to make you independent, Kiki. If something should happen to me, you need to be able to protect yourself.’

‘From what? The sheep?’

Callimachus sat down and held his head in his hand. What was he supposed to do? She never even tried, that’s what annoyed him most. He thought back to his own training. Ah… he’d had difficulty with this technique, too. How had he overcome it? Oh yes, he remembered. Apollo had shot an arrow straight at his head and the instinct had kicked in. So if Kiki felt she was in real danger, it should work for her, too.

He opened his eyes and stood up. An arrow would be going too far, but if he aimed a larger stone so that it just skimmed by her ear, that might be enough. He found a small rock; that was something like. Kiki was looking at a little cut on her hand and frowning. Callimachus smiled.

‘Hey, Keeks! Over here!’

His aim was perfect, but he hadn’t counted on Kiki jerking to one side just as the rock reached her.

copyright silver arrows 2009 all rights reserved

‘AAAAAAAAARGH!’ There was a dull thud as she crumpled to the ground.

Callimachus walked slowly to the inert form of his daughter and sighed.

On second thoughts, who cared if she could master the halo technique or not?

Kiki’s first words upon regaining consciousness were, ‘I’m never talking to you again, EVER!’

‘Kiki, that’s the butter churn you’re talking to. I’m over here.’

She turned towards the fireplace where Callimachus was sitting. ‘I’m never talking to you again, Father. EVER! I say, are those pancakes you’re making?’

‘Yes.’ He paused. ‘Hey, Kiki, I was thinking. We might leave off the training for a little while.’

She sniffed haughtily; it did not befit her dignity to reply.

‘I’m sorry about your head. Really and truly I did think you’d stop it. Does it hurt still?’

Kiki sat up. ‘Not really. At least — not so very.’ Her face lit up as he carried a plate over to her bed. ‘Are these for me? Scrumptious!’

Callimachus watched in fascination as she wolfed down the pancakes, one after another. How did she even manage to get enough air? He thought of something.

‘Kiki,’ he began tentatively. ‘Are you — are you happy here?’


Callimachus tried again. ‘But don’t you feel you’re missing out? Wouldn’t you like kids your own age to play with, friends? You have so little here…’

Kiki swallowed and put down the remainder of her pancake. ‘Father, I don’t know what you mean.’ She was silent for a while, then added vaguely, ‘Anyway, you said it isn’t safe for us on the mainland.’

Callimachus looked out towards the open doorway, towards the vast expanse of sea. ‘Not the mainland,’ he said quietly. ‘I meant Skyworld.’

‘Skyworld,’ she breathed out in wonder. There was that mysterious place again. ‘I don’t know. I mean I don’t know anything about it. I guess I don’t mind going if you really want to go back.’

‘Not me, Kiki. You.’

‘By myself?!’ She began to panic. ‘Don’t you like me anymore? Is it because I can’t learn that Halo thing — ?’

He smiled and took her onto his lap. ‘No, it’s not that at all. Kiki, I love you more than anything and I want you to have the best. This is no life for a child, you deserve so much better. There’s so much for you in Skyworld, maybe when you’re a bit older you could go there — ‘

Kiki cut him off abruptly. ‘I have no idea what you mean and I’m not going anywhere without you, so don’t even try to make me.’

‘But you’d be so much happier there, so much safer. Skyworld is where angels belong.’

Kiki thought about it for a moment. ‘I don’t say there’s nothing in that, Father, and I should like to go very much, but I am utterly not going without you and that’s that.’

‘I can’t go back, Kiki,’ Callimachus said sadly.

‘Then neither can I.’

‘Father? What’s wrong? Wake up!’

Callimachus jerked out of his sleep, drenched in sweat, Kiki tugging frantically at his arm.

‘Father you were shouting and nearly crying, even,’ Kiki cried, her voice trembling. ‘Did you have a bad dream?’

Callimachus sat up and found he was shaking.


He’d been getting nightmares a lot these last few weeks and they’d been getting worse. Whatever he’d been shouting, it had obviously scared his daughter. He smiled at her to reassure her, but it was not a convincing effort. ‘I’m all right, Kiki. I’m sorry if I scared you. Go back to sleep, sweetheart, good girl.’

‘Okay.’ She climbed back into her own bed and was soon snoozing away.

Callimachus stared up at the ceiling. The fire had burned down to an amber glow and he lay still in the darkness, worrying. I need to make her stronger, he thought. The nightmares — nearly all of them involved something happening to Kiki; she had to be able to protect herself.

copyright silver arrows 2011

He hadn’t forgotten what he roared atop the mountain the night his wife died. No doubt Zeus hasn’t forgotten either. His judgement, when it arrived, would be a terrible thing to behold. Callimachus felt a surge of anger well up inside. If Zeus dared to harm Kiki, if he lay even a finger on her, he’d —

He stopped. What could he do?

Besides, he thought sadly, if anyone was going to be struck down, it’d be him.

Kiki noticed straight away the next morning that something was up. Callimachus hadn’t woken up until late morning — that in itself was unusual — and hadn’t complained at all when he saw her chewing on a strawberry bootlace before breakfast.

This wasn’t right.

She eyed him anxiously as they sat in the field and watched the sheep. She poked him with a willow wand and he didn’t say a word. She pulled up a handful of grass and sprinkled it over his feet and he didn’t even move. Impulsively, she grabbed a lock of his hair and started to plait it; that always annoyed him.

Today he didn’t even notice.

Kiki was scared. ‘Shall I sing a song for you?’

He continued to stare into the distance, as if he hadn’t heard.

‘Father…’ she said plaintively. Suddenly he seemed to wake up. He looked at her for a moment with a curious expression on his face, as if he knew her but wasn’t quite sure who she was. He pulled her onto his lap and held her tight. Too tight.

‘Father, you are crushing me to nearly absolute death!’

He loosened his grip on her but didn’t let go. Kiki felt drops of water fall onto her arm. It wasn’t raining. She looked up at him; he was crying. Kiki felt desperate.

‘Father — we can start training again today if you like,’ she babbled. ‘I’ll really try hard this time, I promise, honour bright.’

He spoke now, his voice hoarse. ‘Do you really mean it?’

She hesitated. She hated training, but she hated this even more. She’d never seen her father cry: something must be badly wrong. She felt she would do anything to make him feel better, to see him smile again.

‘Yes, Father, really and truly.’

Callimachus smiled through his tears. ‘Thank you, Kiki,’ he whispered. ‘Thank you so much.’

Kiki was surprised at how much less tedious her combat training was when she actually put some effort into it. Not to say that she liked it — she’d want to be completely desperate before that happened — but it wasn’t so bad as it used to be. And it seemed to cheer her father up, that was the main thing.

‘You’re getting quicker, Kiki.’

‘Thank you.’

He was almost back to normal now; he even laughed when she split his arrow down the middle during archery practice.

‘You know, Keeks, one of these days you’re going to be a better archer than I am.’

‘Hardly. I bet not even Apollo can shoot as well as you.’

That statement seemed to remind him of something, for he went silent again. Kiki sidled up to him and held his hand. ‘Father…’

The sun was setting now. He looked out to the sea, towards the mainland, though it was invisible from here. ‘How would you like some geese Kiki?’ He said suddenly.

Kiki was surprised by the abrupt change of topic.

‘Geese?! Whaffor do we need geese?’

‘They make good guards. They might be useful — ‘

‘Against what, the sheep?’

‘You and your sheep…’ He tousled her hair. ‘But you never know, we might get raided by pirates or brigands or anything. We should have something to alert us to intruders. Plus, you’d get eggs, too. I can get a small flock next time I go to Sardonika. I need to pick up some yew for a new bow for you, anyway.’

‘Sardonika! But that’s ages away, even ageser away than Serane!’ She’d been to Sardonika once before: the seasickness was awful and besides anything else, it was the dullest agora she’d ever been to.

‘If I leave in the morning, I can be back by sunset, if there’s a good wind. You don’t have to come. I need you to keep an eye on the sheep anyway.’

‘Uh huh.’ She thought about it. Actually, she didn’t mind his going without her: she’d get to do some things she couldn’t do when he was home. ‘Yes, I don’t mind, geese would be great.’

He smiled. ‘Good. Now pick up your bow and follow me till I show you something.’

Callimachus took her hand and flew upwards, Kiki clumsily flapping her wings to keep up. Whatever this thing he was showing her was, it was awfully far away.

‘We’ve never been this high before,’ Kiki panted. She looked around. Crumbs! They were almost at the clouds now.

‘Do you see that big cloud there? Fly to that and we’ll have a sit down.’

Kiki sat down, breathing heavily, grateful for the respite.

‘Is this Skyworld?’

‘No. Skyworld is much higher than this. To get to Skyworld, you’d have to go east from here. He pointed. ‘That way, look. And higher up. As long as you fly upwards and eastwards, you’ll find it.’

‘Uh huh.’

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Callimachus turned to face her, his expression serious. Kiki recognised that face: it usually meant she was in trouble. She scanned through the last few days, trying to think of what she’d done wrong; maybe he’d noticed the strawberry bootlace after all.

‘Kiki, I’m going to tell you something, and I want you to listen well.’

Kiki nodded, but she didn’t like the direction this was going. Strawberry bootlaces were not involved.

‘Even angels have to die sometime.’

Kiki felt her insides go cold; why was he talking about dying?

Callimachus took a deep breath. ‘Kiki, if anything should happen to me, you’re to go straight to Skyworld, okay?’

‘But — ‘

‘It should take you about a week, maybe more; your wings aren’t very strong. But if you fly by night and rest during the day, you’ll be all right.’ He took an arrow from his quiver and looked at her. ‘Do you understand that, Kiki?’

‘Yes. Father — ‘

‘There’s a bottle of nectar in the chest, take it with you to drink on the way, and the pouch of jewels if you need to buy anything there. And it’s very important you take your bow — don’t forget the quiver — and your daggers at least, in case of komaytos.’

‘What are komaytos?’

Callimachus nocked the arrow to his bowstring. ‘See that?’ Kiki hadn’t. He shot and a strange jellyfish-like creature fell from the sky. ‘That’s a komayto. They come out at night up here and you have to watch out for them, they’re killers.

Kiki nodded dumbly.

‘When you get to Skyworld, ask for Pit. He used to be a good friend of mine, you’ll be safe with him and he’ll make sure you’re looked after.’

‘Okay.’ Kiki didn’t understand why he was saying all this. Why should anything happen to him? He was the strongest and bravest and cleverest man in the world and no one could ever beat him. But for some mad reason he was making her repeat all these dreary instructions until she could repeat them back perfectly.

‘Now don’t ever forget that, Kiki.’

It was stupid — there was no way she was going to Skyworld without him. She was sleepy. She sat on his lap and hugged him. ‘You’ll absolutely never abandon me, will you, Father?’

‘Absolutely never.’ He smiled at her. ‘You’re more precious to me than the world and all it contains, little one.’

Kiki snuggled closer and closed her eyes. ‘I love you too, Father,’ she said dozily. ‘You’re my favourite and my best.’

Callimachus continued to appear distracted the following week, and Kiki tried her hardest at training to cheer him up.

‘Great, Kiki, you can block nearly every attack I throw at you now.’

Kiki beamed. ‘I’m getting better, aren’t I?’

‘You certainly are. How about we have another go with the halo attack?’

‘Ummm,’ she said absently. Not this again. Blocking those stones with her dagger wasn’t so bad now she was getting used to it, but that halo thing was too hard.

‘We won’t bother with the stones this time,’ he said; Kiki smiled with relief. ‘We’ll try a different approach. Let’s just concentrate on getting that light of yours to manifest itself. Close your eyes and relax. Just visualise a ball of light in your hand, like this. Have a look and try to imagine your own.’

‘I’m not sure I can.’ she said lamely.

‘You can. Just relax and focus on the light. You practise for a bit while I get dinner ready, okay?’

And because she so desperately wanted to please him, she did try.

She trudged in forlornly when Callimachus called her in for dinner.

‘Any luck?’

‘No.’ She slumped into her chair. ‘I just have a headache.’

‘It’ll come with time, try not to tense up so much.’ He began spooning out the food.

‘No carrots for me, Father.’

He gave her a generous helping. ‘You need to eat properly or you’ll stay a titch forever. I say, Kiki, if there’s a good wind tomorrow I’ll take the boat out to Sardonika and get those geese for you.’

‘Oh yes, that’ll be fun. I wonder if they like playing more than the sheep do?’

Callimachus laughed. ‘I’d say they do, but you mightn’t like their idea of playfulness much. Well if there’s anything else you want, be sure to write it down. If it’s fine tomorrow, I’ll leave at first light so as to be back as soon as possible.’

‘Uh huh… okay.’

He slept badly again that night. Kiki was jolted out of her sleep as Callimachus shouted out.


It was raining heavily outside and Kiki was scared. She crawled out of her own bed and climbed into her father’s. He was crying now, in his sleep, and covered in sweat.

‘Please stop, please stop,’ she whispered, as he shouted out again.

After a while his breathing calmed, and his nightmare seemed to be over. Kiki stroked the hair off his face and hugged him tight.

‘One day, Father,’ she whispered, ‘we’ll both go back to Skyworld, you and I together, and I’ll be trained so well that everyone will say I’m the best warrior ever, and you’ll be so proud… and they’ll all say how brilliant you are, to train someone so good… the best father in the whole absolutely world… and perhaps we’ll have a nice house there, with a garden and flowers… and a field for the sheep… and you won’t get bad dreams anymore… and then… maybe… maybe…’ And she fell into a deep sleep.

Callimachus had already left when she awoke the next morning. He’d left her some breakfast and she ate it greedily before going to the pasture to let the sheep out. She chewed idly on a piece of liquorice as she watched them. There wasn’t really much to do today: she’d got the week’s laundry and mending done yesterday, and the butter would last for a few days yet. Maybe she could practise her halo again. Yes! She’d master the small halo, the one in her hand, by the time her father got back and he’d be so delighted!

She spent a few hours on this, but without any luck at all.

‘Never mind,’ she said to herself. ‘I can practise other things.’ She spent a few minutes smashing up the straw dummy with her sword, realised this was even more boring than the daggers and went back to the sheep. Chasing the sheep was always fun and she didn’t often get the chance to do it as her father frowned on it so. She wondered if geese would be even more fun to chase than the sheep. Probably, she thought. Plus they honked.

Exhausted, she lay on the grass and stared up at the clouds. One of the sheep started sniffing around near her feet. Kiki sat up. ‘Oh, Flossie, what do you think?’ she said dreamily. ‘A whole world in the sky, how about that? Would you like to go there, Flossie? But you look so like a cloud yourself that perhaps they will think you are one, and build a house on you.’

Flossie regarded her silently.

Kiki sighed. Sheep had always been poor conversationalists. She missed her father. She was a social creature; she needed someone to talk to.

She mooched about for the rest of the day. She got so lonely without Callimachus. Perhaps this was what he meant when he said she was missing out. Maybe another little girl to play with would be nice. Perhaps she would ask him for a sister when he came back.

At sunset, she drove the sheep back to their enclosure and stood by the harbour, ready for her father’s return.

She watched the sun dip below the horizon, the sky fade from red to inky blue, the stars begin to come out from their hiding places, and Callimachus still hadn’t returned. Thick, grey clouds were rushing in from the direction of the mainland and light drops of rain started to fall. Kiki barely noticed as she scanned the horizon, looking for any sign of her father’s boat.

At once the heavens opened and the rain came down in torrents. Kiki screamed as a flash of lightning lit up the terrible sky and she dashed back to the house.

I hope Father will be all right, she thought as she huddled under the blankets.

After a while, the thunder stopped and the rain eased off and fell in a steady shower. Kiki helped herself to a hasty supper of bread and butter. Father should be back by now, she fretted. Why didn’t he come? He knew she hated thunderstorms.

She sat on his bed with a cup of milk and read for a while, anxiously glancing towards the door every so often. By midnight, her candle had burnt down, but Kiki, already lost in a deep sleep, didn’t notice.

She woke the next morning fully expecting to see Callimachus getting her breakfast ready and she was surprised to see that he hadn’t returned last night. She went outside and looked out to sea; it was if there had been no storm at all. The sun was shining, the deceitful sea was tranquil and the sky was a bright, clear blue. She went down to check on the sheep. They looked a bit scruffy, but otherwise fine. She should have put them in the barn last night, but in her fright she’d forgotten.

She flew up to the top of the mountain and scanned the horizon again: not a soul to be seen anywhere. That her father had abandoned her was out of the question. Probably what had happened was he got delayed at the agora and had to leave his return journey to today, on account of the storm. That seemed a reasonable enough explanation to Kiki and she was satisfied that he’d return sometime that afternoon.

But by sunset he still wasn’t back. Maybe something had happened to his boat, perhaps the sail needed mending. Or maybe the geese were causing trouble. Perhaps they’d escaped and he had to spend all today catching them.

By the next evening she was running out of explanations. She thought back to what he’d told her about going to Skyworld if something should happen to him.

Perhaps he’d planned this all along, she thought with a stab of fear. Perhaps he’d always planned on leaving her —

No! She wouldn’t believe that! He loved her, she knew he did, and he promised, he promised. Something bad must have happened — something bad had happened to him and if it was really true, she’d have to do what he said and go to Skyworld.

She didn’t want to do that.

She’d wait for him a little while longer. He might come back and find her gone and he’d hate that. She’d wait a few more days, he was bound to come back.

A week passed and Kiki had to finally face what she’d been evading.

I don’t want to go, she thought. I don’t want to abandon my father. But I have to do as he said and maybe someone there can help me find him. She took courage at this. Yes, someone — Pit — would find her father for her and everything would be okay again. She dragged out her bag from under her bed and carefully placed in it a bottle of nectar. What else? Oh yes, the jewels. She looked in the little pouch: there weren’t much of them, but he’d told her there was enough to buy a little house of her own in Skyworld. Well, she wasn’t planning on staying that long, but he’d told her to take them so she would.

Her clothes were a mess, she’d best change them first. She rummaged through her chest and pulled out what she called her magic moonshine chiton. It was the most comfortable outfit she had and very tough — it never tore, ever. She pulled it on then slung her quiver — don’t forget the arrows — over her shoulder, strung her bow and tucked her daggers into her belt. There, that was all.

It’d be dark soon, and then she could set out. She walked down to the pasture and let the sheep back out. ‘You might as well enjoy yourselves until we come back, poor things!’

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The sun was nothing but a thin band of gold on the horizon now, and Kiki felt an inexplicable sadness as she stood on the mountainside, and watched it dip below the sea. She started; the thought struck her that her father might arrive just after she’d left. She had better leave a note, just in case, and then he could always go after her and get her back. She went back to the house and picked up a crayon and a piece of paper and wrote in her neatest handwriting:

You hav not come back so I am doing like what you said and going to skyworld if you chase after me now you can probbly cach me but if not you can just wate outside skyworld and then I will come to you
Love Kiki xxx

There. Now he’d know what to do. Nibbling on a bit of cheese, she flung a handful of liquorice bootlaces into her bag — one never knew when one might feel like eating liquorice — and double-checked she had everything.

She noticed her father’s bow hanging on the wall. On a whim, she strung it and flung it over her shoulder too. It’d be something anyway, and she could give it to him when she found him again.

She carefully put out the fire and stepped outside. She waved goodbye to the sheep below and taking a deep breath, she squared her shoulders, flapped her wings and flew up towards the sky above, higher and higher, until she was just a silver speck among the stars.


1 Comment

  1. Anonymous said,

    🙂 Aww.

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