‘Nyron, get away from fire!’
The eight-year-old gold-haired boy, startled, recoils from fireplace and inquiringly stares at his mother with lilac eyes. She came closer and gently strokes bristle, ruffle hair.
‘I have asked you not to approach the fire. It can flare up just into your face,’ she says with apologetic tone. Her eyes gaze him tenderly, ‘Do you know, your eyes have the color of sky at night? Come here, I’ll read to you’
Pointing at the small bed, covered with thin woven blanket, mother takes from the shelf a handwritten book.
From the neighbor room one can hear giggles and rustles: Korvin and Lucis play rollers. Nyron was easy to imagine brothers stared at some small items like thread hanks, wool clews and textile snips from mother’s working-box, leather and wood pieces from father workshop. Under their glazes all these dribs and drabs are crawl together to form some vibrating balls. Balls are rolling at the floor, jumping to the air and flying, rebounding from boys and from walls. Sometimes they are splitting to components and collecting new balls again. Nyron would like to play rollers very much and he tried once and more, but unsuccessfully, and than Korvin stopped to invite him. The boy again thinks about the reason, why it is so hard for him to play rollers, than for Lucis, who is one year younger. Every time when he tries to put items into the ball, they rushed along so fast, collide with crack and rattle. Of course, everything, that could be broken, was broken, scared parent come running into the room and scold ten-years-old Korvin.
‘Hey, are you frozen?’ smiling, mother draws Nyron, kisses his cheek and makes him, still flushing, seat to the bed.
‘Read about the Great Rockles’ Suppresser!’ squeaked the boy, covering with the blanket.
‘I have read it four times,’ wearily mutters she, turning over the pages, ‘Why don’t you want to listen about Chanter Ingor or about Skilful Shvorkh?
Nyron frowned, his breath became frequent. The wooden bed start to tremble though the boy doesn’t move.
‘Well, calm, dear. I’ll read about the Great Suppresser. Get quiet.’
The bed stops trembling.
‘Nyron, sweetheart! I’ve been asked you not manipulate things, especially when you are angry.’
‘Why do they can manipulate, but don’t me?’ says boy in offence. It was not the first time he asked this question and he knew the answer beforehand.
‘Because you have to wait until you’ll be ten years. You will go to the High-grade school where you be taught to control your power,’ explains mother patiently. ‘And if you start to use it now, you could break something, injure yourself or someone else. You do not understand, how to hold down you force. I think you are too strong for your ages.’
Gritting his teeth, Nyron stared at the moving picture in the book. Deeply inside he understands: his mother was right. But unfairness of the situation makes him protest again the mind arguments.
Caravan rumbled somewhere nearby, high-pitched whistle sounds approaching. Mother gave a small start and turned from the unread book.
‘This should be daddy. I go to meet him and we’ll continue. Agree?’
Nodding gladly, Nyron discards the blanket and follows mom.
Korvin and Lucis also stopped bustle, glimpsing hastily at their balls. Balls had immediately collapsed at the composed parts, which whisked out at the stated places.
Jumping to the sill, Nyron flatted his nose to the window. In the lilac twilight he succeeded to discern his father, who moved away from caravan and now approaches the house. Whistle ceased; father opens the door and steps into the front room. There he was met with the boys, who are jumping impatiently at the threshold, and Krea’s, Lucis twin-sister, squeals of delight. Smiling, he moved inside the room, stroking children’s heads in passing, and embraced his wife.
‘How is your work today, Gerg?’
‘Everything going well, Mira,’ he kissed her lips and glanced back to children who smile slyly at them.
‘Don’t you know, why do they always jolly? What is so funny, when we kissing?’ asked he with an innocent voice. Mother looks at him smiling and just shrugged.
Nyron looks at his parents thinking: all family friends diligently say that he is the most common their son. Let’s take, for instance, Korvin. He was most like father: tall, swarthy with wiry red hair and dark brown eyes. Or look at younger twins - Lucis and Krea. They are not tall, with pearly skin, blue eyes and golden hair, and their hair is so soft and silky to the touch. This couple is most like mother. But Nyron combines his father’s height with wiry golden hair. And his eyes are lilac now but with the age they became more and more dark. Looks like light-blue and brown colors are mixed in uncertain proportion.
At the same time another discontent thought came to his mind. These friends always says, that his character is not father’s, not mother’s. And his power… For a long time this family does not has no one lower thought-creator, except this boy. After these words, friends are usually shaking their heads, clucking their tongues in disapproval and whispering ‘Take my word, keep your eyes on the boy or he could easy perish out of a homestead.’ They think that Nyron can’t hear anything!
Mother was the only one, who never considered Nyron is a lower thought-creator.
The entrance door opens and Veer came inside, hobbling and shaking off his rough-woven gray cloak. Discontented, Nyron stopped staring at the Korvin’s hands – he just has showed trick with the peace of solid water to juniors. Under brother’s simple dictates water transforms into sphere, then grew dim bar or even spinning like a small whirlpool at his palm.
Veer was a visiting teacher, who prepares children to school. He interestedly stares at Korvin’s palm and says with a husky voice, ‘I am very glad to see the progress you’ve maid. You certainly be entered to the middle-grade school.’
Veer clears his throat and add ‘All of you can learn from Korvin. Now I will teach juniors, and you read this in meantime’.
He passes Korvin a bundle. With a barely visible annoying expression on his face the boy pulled out from it a very old book. It was so threadbare and shabby, that he barely read the title: ‘Water for Beginners. Influence the Form.’
Nyron, Lucis and Krea take their seats at the round leather pillows near Veer; the last one sat at the low stool and starts teaching. Korvin settled himself in the very corner of the sofa, woven from zlees’ bars, and intently reads the book. Nyron looks at him only for one moment – when Veer for the hundred, or even hundred-and-one, time repeated in a monotone voice.
‘Remember one thing. Only concentrated study and persistent work helps you became a real masters and thought-creators. Regardless of what will you decide to do in the future, and what craft will you choose: a furniture maker or a tailor, a fire-blower or an aquarian, a culinary expert or may be a warrior – in any case your success depends only of your skills. Only your mastery of influence at living and inanimate nature will guarantee you future and life.’
‘If you did not master the simplest things, you just could not survive out of your home.’
Veer repeated these words almost every lesson and after this he starts to teach children influencing at small items. They have already studied the light water impact – water in the stable vessel starts to waving and spill out of it. Later they have learned to bend zlees bars in the Veers’ hands and make balls from different small items…Or rather juniors have learned; Nyron goes amiss with this work. He gasped.
Veer had always irritated at him. He shakes his grey shaggy head in disturbance and gesticulates sharply, trying to explain how to makes water not spews from the vessel making everybody wet, how to bend barns without crumble them into dust on the teachers’ clothes and how to collect small items into a simple ball, but not to explode this clobber at all directions.
Now he starts to show how collect together two pieces of leather, and Lucis and Krea succeeded. Their pieces could hold together only for a couple of seconds, but it was a real success as compare to Nyron’s “achievement”. The boy just can’t unite pieces. He puts mind efforts to its edges, but leather starts to melt and spread with hissing.
Boy startled, rags immediately spread into two ranking plashes.
‘And again you do not hear, what I told you! I told easy impact to the very edges of leather and order them to connect!’
‘But teacher, I did everything as you told me!’ Nyron mutters plaintively.
‘You did everything as I told? But you’ve melted them! Is it easy impact?!’ the whole Veer’s face shaking – bagged cheeks, long thin nose, even grey bushy eyebrows are shaking.
‘I don’t want to melt…’
‘But you’ve did it! You don’t study anything until you do not start listen me carefully. You’ll do not enter even in a low-grade school!’
Nyron peered at Korvin with a widely opened eyes, the brother gives him an angry glance and hides under the book again. Lucis with Krea also exchange glances and giggle, covering with hands, but Veer looks at them sharply and claps himself at his knee.
‘Training and training again! Until you couldn’t connect the pieces at least for one hour! Two lessons later I will check your skills. And now I would like to continue our talk about numbers and what can we do with numbers. Number-nomic is a great science…’
Nyron finally lost his ability to concentrate at the lesson. Instead of numbers and their properties he saw a very sharp picture: junior brother and sister proudly inform parents about entrance to the middle-grade school while he is sitting at home because he was discreditably expelled from the low-grade one accompanied with loud shouts ‘You’ll never be a thought-creator!’
Glancing at Lucis, he saw the boy does not listening his teacher, involved in his own speech, but, keeping his hands gravely folded, slightly smiles to Krea. And the girl responds him the same. At the floor Nyron saw the reason of these smiles. Children are playing with the small thread hank, throwing it to each other. Veer roared at them ‘Nyron, number-nomics is also uninteresting to you?!’
The boy startled but in a moment he smiles gently and whispers, bending to Veer, ‘Teacher, Lucis with Krea draw my attention. They’re playing with threads…’
Veer looks sternly at hushed children and mumbled, ‘In any case they can do this, unlike you.’
Nyron feels his ears are flushing. He looks wistfully to the window and thinks, if this lesson does not end as soon as possible, he’ll falling through the floor. And any of all long-lasting dictates, which hold the floors and the whole house in solid condition, could not prevent this. So big is his shame and offence!
To his carefully concealed satisfaction Veer does not stay too long. In a little while he mumbled something about important lesson at Gordin’s home, pulled on his cloak and went out. Korvin goes to escort him and he permits him to leave the book, though Korvin didn’t ask about it.
Turning back to the room Korvin stands with his arms akimbo and speaks solemnly to Nyron, who tries to look absently.
‘Our father will be discontented. You don’t make any progress. At your ages I could do everything, I was taught. And in addition you are complaining at Lucis and Krea.’
Children exchange glances and giggled again.
‘You both shouldn’t rejoice. You are one worse than another!’
Korvin sleeks his wiry red hairs and looks to the dense-air window. Juniors jumped to him and screaming in to voices, ‘Korvin, can we go for a walk?! Can we? Can we?!’
‘All right, all right. You can go.’
Flinging over their suede jackets, children run to the door leading to the platform. Nyron sniffs and also moves to the entrance doing his utmost to assume the most independent air.
‘Why are you so lazy?’ brother’s voice caches him up at the threshold.
The boy turns up and says with the most belief and sincerity, he could put in his words, ‘I am trying, indeed. I understand the importance of this. And I am really trying.’
Korvin does not reply him, just shakes his head and whispers something faraway. Nyron went to the open air, wishing that his ears stop flushing.
The platform was made of light-colored wood and it connected to the house with a footpath. It was quite big, not as big as more reach houses has, but big enough for walking and playing. Not far from the platform rise up trees of their own plantation, swinging on the gigantic bubbles. Nyron comes to the edge of the platform, leans over and looks down. Panorama, which comes to his view, momentarily makes him feel dizziness. Only yesterday just under the platform stands the Dietro’s house. But when at night the huge rock from the below appearances here, they decide to rise above.
Now Nyron has the possibility to discern in details the whole landscape, stretched below. There was a grayish-brown new born rock and approaching clumps of zlees, migrating at the air bubbles, like all other plants here. Mesmerizing viscid whirlpool now reflects daytime bright-yellow sun and grey-blue sky. Further can be seen a mix of crumbling rocks. These rocks are slowly milling each other inside the wall of rising solidifying water. Tomorrow evening this wall will finally solidify and it will be possible to admire at the huge boulders and small stones, frozen together in the rigid water mass. Though this beauty is very brief; water wave is sliding down and finally grinding the rest of rocks into the dust. Later from this dust will raise new rocks of new forms and colors.
In a little while the sky changes its color; the day sun sets and the night one rises at the opposite direction from the horizon. This sun was teeny and light-blue; it colored the sky fade mauve. The color is going dark, and very soon deep lilac twilight covered the world. The whirlpool and the solid water wall with frozen rocks inside are glimmering mystically. The trees near the house pulled in fleshy brown leaves and replace them with flexible black wiggling tendrils. The flowers on the tips of these tendrils were sparkling with white lights. These lights attract different night leaving creatures. The trunks of the trees themselves became shorter and dark.
Nyron turns off from the magic sight, he used to look on every evening and listens carefully. The caravan roared not far from here. Father will return very soon. The boy grows sad. Father will be really discontented.
Inseparable twins, Lucis and Krea, uttered a joyful scream when they heard th coming rockles. Nyron peered into darkness. The caravan hovered and the strong airwave from rockles’ wings makes trees clasp their sensible tendrils to the trunks. A shadow of a man jumped from the caravan. The man stretched out his hands and flies to the house with a high-pitched whistle. When seeing children on the platform, he turned his way and, approaching, jumped over the fences.
Showing the great enthusiasm in playing the toy-rockle, Nyron carefully crawls on his knees to the doors of his parent’s bedroom, drawing pitiful toy on the floor. “Accidentally” standing near the door he strains his ears to hear muffled voices reached from outside.
‘I don’t know what I should do with him, Mira! He can not do anything. May be Veer was right: Nyron couldn’t enter even in low-grade school.’
‘Don’t speak so, darling. Veer was not right. He is just a visiting teacher and he does not want to recede from his views. I am sure Nyron’s failures are not by the reason of idleness or luck of power. Just by the reason of low concentration! And sometimes it seems to me the reason is his power excess… What if he is higher? What if only High-grade school teachers could provide him lessons to control this power?’
‘Mira, you say nonsense!’ father’s voice became angrier. ‘How it could happen with him – to be the higher? You know well the fact: our clan never has higher thought-creators. Our children could be either middle or lower ones!’
‘Gerg, if it never happens before in history, it doesn’t mean, it is impossible at all! May be our child will be the first one!’
Father’s laugh was tense and angry. Nyron winces, feeling himself so lonely and cold from this laugh.
‘Mira, I can understand you: you love your son and you would like to see him better, than he is. But why don’t you tell the truth to yourself? The truth is that Nyron is completely unskillful!’
The last fraise swipes Nyron, he feels that something “bites” his eyes.
‘Quiet please. Children could hear!’ hissed mother. ‘You do not want to believe in your own son! Is it so hard just to take him to the enrolment meeting at the High-grade school? Just to try. And if they’ll reject him, we could try to enter middle- or low-grade school. But what if he will be accepted to the High-grade?!’
‘Mira, Mira! I don’t want to disgrace myself. People will ridicule me. What do they say? That I’m going crazy!?’
‘Other people’s opinion is more important for you, than your own son’s future?!’
They keep speaking behind the closed door, but voices became low. Also Korvin turned back home from his friend and looked suspiciously at Nyron, who is still sitting near the door. Boy crawls in the opposite direction.
Toy-rockle flaps its wings at Nyron’s hands. “Completely unskillful!” These words continue ringing in his head. A ringing laugh was heard. Nyron looks at the open door to the platform. Korvin plays tags with Lucis, Krea is squealing and clapping her hands. Nyron stands. Then he comes to the toys, scattered all over the juniors’ beds. This is Krea’s favorite doll and this is favorite Lucis’s soldier: so bright and nice with flexible hands and legs. They were made from leeboo wood. Nyron remembers, once he accidentally crumbled such box when he tries to open it at the Veer’s lesson. Remembering his own feelings at that moment, he looks at the toys, smiling slyly. He images, that tries to move them, just budges, strains himself… Colors faded, toys twitched, start to spill and quickly spilled into wooden dust. Nyron boots dust piles; fog cloud rises to the ceiling and than cleared away.
‘I am not completely unskillful!’ mumbled he. An idea comes to his head. He even stopped still at the middle of the room, astonished with the own courage. The idea was: if his father doesn’t want to bring him to the High-grade school at the 10th anniversary, he’ll do it himself! Run away and came!
The one problem: he can’t imagine how to do this. You can get somewhere if you can fly or by using a caravan. But you have to fly to caravan first. Nyron can’t fly. Father says that only higher though-creators can fly at far distances. He can fly not very far: to caravan or to the nearest houses – Dietros and Klores.
The boy looks again at playing brothers and sister and feels strange nagging suckled emptiness somewhere inside, near the stomach. If he had friends, he could discuss it with them. But neighbor children who communicates well with Korvin and with juniors, looked at Nyron cautiously, like he could hurt them. But he never hurts them…
Nyron pottered around his toy-rockle in the darkest platform corner. He went there only when Korvin and juniors get tired of their plays and escaped to the room. There Korvin continues to read the Veer’s book and juniors play with their toys. When load offended scream sounds from the room, Nyron quickly figured out the reason of it. Scream repeated: the second loss was detected too. In a minute Korvin jumped out to the platform, grabbed Nyron’s hand and dragged him inside. The last one does not resist; just one think was in his head: should he confess or not.
Lucis and Krea together are bursting into tears and, hiccupping, try to explain the scales of tragedy to parents. Korvin frowned ‘Have you touched their toys?’
Nyron glanced at father, who also frowned sternly, and without any hesitation desperately shooks his head.
‘This dust on the floor. Where did it come from?’ defines Korvin, sweeping light powder with his hand. ‘You had crashed it, hadn’t you? Similar to that box?’
Mother picked up her eyebrows.
Nyron shooks his head harder; a little bit harder and poor head could tear off. Father stepped to him, but mother stopped him, laying her hand at his shoulder.
‘Let me speak with him first’
‘Please, do it.’ He approached to juniors, seat them down to his knees and try to calm with the promises of new toys. Children stopped crying only when the amount of promised toys exceeds the loss three times.
Mother takes Nyron to their bedroom; Korvin looks at his back indignantly and shakes his head.
‘Why did you do this, darling? This was you, was not?’ She speaks so calmly, her voice was so quiet and sad, that Nyron no longer wants to lie.
‘Yes, I did this,’ whisper he, looking at his own nails.
‘Why do you offend your brother and sister? They did never do the same to you.’
‘I am not completely unskillful!’ he tries to scream, but his voice fails him.
‘You’ve heard the discussion I have with your father?’ mom looked much more upset. ‘Nyron, you should not do this! We discussed our adult questions; you can not understand it clearly…’
‘You’ve discussed me,’ muttered Nyron. Now he’s studying tracery of lines at his palms and glancing at mom.
‘Nyron…’ she grows silent; anxiety was easily read at her face. “How do you reduce those toys to dust? It was an accident with the box. But now it was not! Do you want them been reduced to dust? Do you make a dictate?’
‘No. I’ve just remembered how to open this box and tried to repeat it. I tried to move them, I don’t want to reduce them to dust, but they did…’
‘Well, let’s think so…’ she keeps concentrated silence.
‘Nyron!’ suddenly she squeezed his shoulders hardly. ‘If your father don’t want to listen me and persists in submitting you at the low-grade school, I’ll take you to the High-grade school. I’ll do this secretly and don’t tell him any word! But you also should not tell a word to anyone! Promise me! This will be our common secret. Agree?’
Startled, Nyron shakes his head. Mother had never speaks so serious to him and she never persuades him so fiercely.
‘And my dear, you should understand, that you did wrong with these toys,’ she smoothed his hear gently. ‘Your father would like to punish you, and I agree with him. Do you understand the reason?’
Nyron dropped his eyes and muttered ‘Yes, I do.’