The familiar knot tightened in Gethyon’s chest as the others ran ahead. Like fish jumping from wave to wave, they leaped through the meadowland, giggling and squealing. Their laughter drowned out the whispers of the blue-green grass dancing around them. Gethyon didn’t share their excitement. Instead, a sick feeling in his stomach set his feet dragging.
Dephon led the way, as always, closely followed by Rylan, with his white-blond hair trailing behind him. The two girls shadowed them. His sister Callon, her flame-red hair flying like ribbons, ran hand in hand with her closest friend, Rechelle.
The name stung every time. Black-skinned, black-haired, pretty Rechelle, who laughed in his face whenever she saw him, who taunted him each time she stole Callon away from his side, smiling all the while. Anger and resentment boiled in his stomach. Her secret spite hurt as much as Dephon’s open hatred. It had been Dephon’s idea to race to the top of the ridge, knowing Gethyon couldn’t keep up with them…or wouldn’t try. All he wanted to do right now was turn around and walk home alone…but they’d mock him for that too.