“You know, there were times I didn’t think we would even get here.”
Tell looked up at Keya, taken aback by the statement. Throughout the entire expedition, she had been the one who had led the way, the one who had kept them all going when times had gotten tough. Of course, it was expected of the Leader to know what was best for the entire Group, but Keya had done the impossible.
She had bought them home.
Below him, the clouds floated like they were small white islands on an invisible sea. The Retia Mountains had been the final hurdle, with no pass through the centre of the mountains Keya had been forced to lead them over them.
It’s beautiful up here, Tell thought to himself. If he were older, enough so to build his own house, he would set up camp just here, in the clouds.
Not that he would tell anyone, of course. The Gods supposedly lived up here, and even Keya had been hard pressed to be given permission to make the trek up into the God’s homeland in the clouds.
“Really?” Tell asked. The word formed a small cloud in front of his lips, the cold snatching at the vowels of the words and turning it into a corporeal shape.
“Yeh,” Keya patted Tell on the shoulder roughly. Tell’s cousin was tall for her age, and as strong as any horse they used to pull the wagons and chariots, so what she considered a pat most would be a thump by anyone else.
“Thanks for all your help,” Keya continued, giving Tell the I’m serious and older now listen to me look which Tell knew only too well from all the times she had caught him trying to scare Mr T’s chickens out of their pen.
“Yeh, well,” Tell replied, shuffling his feet. He had just done what he had felt was right at the time, Keya had been so busy with all the Elders it had seemed natural to organise the younger ones to keep them occupied and even get some of the simpler chores done.
“Seriously,” Keya knelt on the rocky mountain beneath them, looking Tell straight in the eye, “this is your future we’ve found. It’ll be your home, and your grandchildren’s home too.”
“My home,” Tell whispered, floored by the gravity of the word. His people had never had a home, not really, in almost 3000 years.
“Yes,” Keya said, nodding down to the southern side of the Retia Mountains, “shall we take a look?”