When to Run

Written by Bobbie Meri

Photo by Sane Sunny

The town of Braduk was one full of average people, each very busy with their own business. It was old and, as such, was filled with mostly old people. There was a great deal of young ones too, of course, though one rarely noticed that except to discourage them from being too loud. Braduk was the only town for a good many miles and only one of three towns in whole Entenea where the Nuri people resided. 

As far as old towns went, it was fairly standard by being entirely stiff. Not in the mind, necessarily, but in the back – especially when the Nuric people spent so much time hunched over their work. Farmer’s work, writer’s work, counter’s work, merchant’s work, you name it, every Nuri person was assured to be bent over it. Stiffly stuck, the people were, and it was this bit of attitude which made the running – running no less – and the shouting and the oddly festooned tears of Robin Gimrey that had every head he passed turning to stare in wide-eyed bewilderment. His shouting was an awful racket, going on and on. “Viviana!” he cried, over and over again “Viviana!” and the more heads he flew by the more heads shook with bitter disappointment. 

Robin Gimrey had nearly always been a mark of disappointment, you see, so even though it was a surprise to see him running against the wind and shouting a ridiculous name, absolutely no one was so shocked as to stop him and ask what madness he’d just now conjured. The reasons for Braduk’s general dissatisfaction with him weren’t particularly great, but as was said, they were stiffly particular people. Robin did things nobody else did, and that made him a nuisance. For one, his clothes were most always folded up at the ends, as if he didn’t like the tailor’s work. This made him ungrateful. For another, the boy wasn’t at all prone to haggling with the merchants, as if their work was actually worth the sheepish prices they set. This made him stupid. Worst of all, he was tall. Upsettingly tall. It was insulting how tall he was; nearly three inches taller than Caroney Billock, who had won the record in 241. 

There were countless other things, too: His tree climbing through gathering season, his mutterings as he went to town, and his willingness to burst into tears were usually the first few that came to mind about his case of strangeness. Most Bradukish Kind would make the worst of him out to the behaviour of his father, who always wandered home at Worst Hours with a mug in his hand and who always left when the best of any Healer’s work was meant to be done. Most Bradukish Kind thought Hennik Gimrey, said father, was the worst Robin Gimrey had to offer, but this wonderous shouting might just change their minds! Shouting, shouting. Absolute nonsense, why not? The boldness of him to call out at noonish! The impotence of him to run the streets with no mind to poor old grannies who walked!

On and on Robin sprinted, his chest heaving madly. Never had so much exercise hit him in his life! But Robin knew that once he finally came to the bend before town’s end, he would see if he had done enough of it or not. “Viviana!” Maybe her excellent Mellean ears would pick him up, learning her to stop. Maybe, if he was just lucky. The bend came, and tears reached him, streaming down his cheeks. He could hardly take his air anymore and knew he couldn’t last much longer. “Viviana!” 

She was there. Somehow, despite everything, she was there, short fifty foot-fall, accompanied by her father and her Uncle. Their magnificent horses were swinging their tails, hair gleaming. Her hair shone too, far more welcoming of the sun. “VIVIANA!” Robin bellowed at the top of his wearied lungs. Hope filled him unbarred now, each tear that it brought so much incredibly more sensational than anything Robin had let himself before. “VIVIANA!” He gave everything he had to the scream, his feet carrying him rhythmically forwards. “Viviana,” he murmured again, her horse wheeling to face him just as blackness took over and he fell to the dirt.

Bobbie Meri

Bobbie is an aspiring novelist and poet who is currently working on a fantasy novel “They Who Fight Fire”. With their fiery dedication and a history of performing on stage, Bobbie has managed to write three unpublished novels since their introduction to writing in 2015, passion flowing through the voices of their characters as plainly as their ink does to paper. Bobbie plans to publish after their second year in secondary school!

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