“Never reason with angry gragorons,” Hesi muttered to himself as he waded through a stream. “They’ll eat you.” He tightened his grip on the leather pouch he was holding. The gargorons, small dragon-like creatures, guarded well their hordes of syrup-y honey, called liro. There were safer places to find liro, of course, but it didn’t taste taste as good. No one was able to get the gragorons’s liro except the highly trained Hesi.
“Hey, Hesi,” a tall girl with flowing blonde hair said, skipping up to him. “What’d you have there?”
“You know what I have, Sami.” Hesi laughed. “I risked life and limb to get it for you, fighting against the fiercest gragorons--”
Sami giggled and reached into his pouch, liro oozing out of her palm. “It looks good. But anyway, the Council is very angry at you.”
“What for? I’ve been a perfect angel all week, don’t you think?”
“I wouldn't know,” Sami pouted. “You’ve been gone so much, not listening to your lowly girl at all.”
“Hesi!” A loud voice boomed. “You are in huge trouble! The council demands your presence immediately. (Go away, Sami.) Come on, little brother. You’d better hurry.” Hesi’s brother, Boan, stormed up to them. Sami ran away, her small feet barely touching the ground. Boan dragged Hesi to the clearing where the Council of Justice waited. The trees towered hundreds of feet above Fafom village. Cottages lined the circle, and in the center of the clearing the councils debated. There were four councils: Justice, Safety, Emergency, and Family. There were seven members on each council, and no one could be on two. All males from Fafom over twenty years of age had to be on a council for at least two years.
Boan stopped inside the ring of people who had gathered to watch the hearing. he motioned for Hesi to continue walking. Everyone parted when they saw him.
“Poor Sami,” someone whispered.
When Hesi was in the middle of the circle, the councillors filed in. Hem, Aral, Iowli, Ris, Gerin, Dal, and Hesi’s father, Weo, took their seats. Weo was nearly trembling with fury.
“Let us begin promptly,” Hem said. “Hesi, what is your plead?”
“I don’t even know what I did, sir.”
Ris groaned and rubbed his temple. “A few hours ago you started a raid on some gragorons, correct?”
“It took a while to complete, didn’t it?”
“Um, yes sir. I didn’t want to be incinerated.”
“Well, as soon as you began,” Weo thundered, “A herd of them came to our vulae fields and devoured most of our livestock.” During the nine months of winter, the Fafoms ate mainly vulaes. The vulae were about the size of small children. They didn’t taste good, but they had a lot of meat on their bones and reproduced quickly. Without them, the Fafoms would not be able to flourish the way they did.
“Oh,” was all Hesi said. That had never happened before when he collected liro. Why had it now?
“As such, we must take proper measures to ensure this won’t happen again,” Dal said, in his silky voice. He seemed pleased to exploit one of Weo’s sons. “I propose banishment.”
“What!” Hesi squeaked. Some of the girls in the audience giggled.
“He is hardly out of childhood,” Aral said.
“All the more reason to get rid of him before he corrupts the minds of the others.”
“I further the motion!” Iowli shouted. Gerin agreed. Weo lobbied for a softer punishment, but the other councillors overruled. Hesi had four hours to leave Fafom, or face death for defying a council.
“The Council of Justice is adjourned.”
Boan led Hesi to their cottage to pack food for the journey.
“Where am I to go?” Hesi whispered, stunned. He had once seen a man banished for stealing. But killing the vulaes was an accident.
“I don’t know. You might be able to come back sometime.”
“What about Sami?”
“What about Father and I?” Boan demanded. He sighed.
Oh, I love it. This nameless book sustains me as I wait for some friends to read through POV to help me edit it. The wait is so long. :P