When Zale found him, Hali was standing naked under the waterfall he had created. Zale called out to his twin, but as the name left his mouth he knew Hali wouldn’t hear him. Mumbling a string of swear words, Zale took off his boots and almost all of his clothes. He put his big toe in the water and commanded the river to hold him.
Slowly, he walked on the water’s surface and when he got within the waterfall’s spray, he told the water to stay away from him. He reached out a hand and the curtain of water parted. Hali snapped open his eyes and stared out at him.
‘What are you doing?’ Zale asked.
‘Enjoying a shower,’ Hali replied.
‘I’m sorry things didn’t work out with grandad. Maybe, next time I should go with you.’
‘I’m never going back there,’ Hali cut in with a shake of his head, sending water drops flying, ‘He won’t listen to me, he doesn’t care.’
‘That’s not true!’
‘He can’t do anything, just like we can’t,’ Hali stated and stepped forward.
He came out of the waterfall and stood opposite Zale on a large rock. Water dripped off him and returned back to the river. The sound of the waterfall masked their conversation and air bubbles popped around them. Hali stared at Zale, who reflected him perfectly. It seemed to be only their expressions which were different as Hali looked anger and Zale calm.
‘Then we’ll go and talk to the others,’ Zale suggested, ‘someone else will listen. Maybe we could band together and make him see.’
‘What’s the point?’ Hali dropped his shoulders and turned away.
Zale frowned, ‘you can’t suddenly be done with this! You’ve been trying for years.’
Hali got out of the river and not carrying about his clothes, set off into the trees. Zale clenching and unclenching his fists decided to let his brother go. Turning away, he put his clothes back on and went to the cabin. There were chores to be done and Hali clearly need to cool off.
Hali enjoyed the feeling of dry soil under his feet, but not the undergrowth that clawed at his skin. He pushed passed it all and found himself going uphill on an old deer track. He followed the track along, not caring where it led too. He just wanted to get away from his twin, his thoughts and himself. The track joined an actual footpath two miles later and Hali followed it around and down back to the river.
Human voices echoed in his ears and he slowed his steps. Keeping hidden in the dense bushes, he peered down at the river and saw a family below him. The mother was sat on the river bank on a blanket and next to a wicker basket. The father was in the river with the three children- one girl and two boys- they were paddling and building a stick structure. A yellow dog appeared from behind a tree, a large stick in its mouth. Hali watched the dog rush into the river, drop the stick and began to bark loudly. Hali cringed away from the noise, but couldn’t take his eyes off the family. The father threw the stick and the dog chased after it, dashing into the undergrown and trees. The man turned back and began helping his children make a dam.
Hali was drawn to turn away, but he ended up watching the family complete the dam and leave. He gave them a good few minutes, before he moved and walked down to where they had been. His body felt stiff from the hour or so of standing still, but he ignored that and came to a stop next to the dam. The barricade of branches let a trickle of water through in places and really it was doing nothing to hold the river back.
He knelt down and began tugging the dam apart. The branches easily give way to his strong hands and he let the river carry them away. The water seemed grateful to have been released and sung merrily to him. Hali finished off breaking the dam and sat back on the grass. The water surged and tumbled on its way.
To Be Continued…
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