I chose the image of the tiny waterfall in the creek for my twenty-minute sprint this time around. I decided to come back to an earlier image prompt (#22) and explore K and M a little more. I continued the exercise of not using gendered pronouns that I tried out in that one as well because it’s an interesting exercise.
No Going Back:
K stood looking up along the creek in the early morning light. K’s parents were still asleep and K had packed up everything they wanted to take with them the night before. M had promised that everything would be alright once they left this morning and M’s parents would smooth things out with K’s.
Now that it was almost time to leave, K was nervous. M had always been nice to them, as had M’s parents and siblings, but K spent so many years trying to hide everything and not let anyone know that it seemed strange to have admitted it. And that was before considering the whole running away thing.
K noticed as soon as M stepped out the back door. M didn’t say anything, just walked over to stand beside K.
K shifted closer to M. It had been an enlightening few days talking with M’s family. After sixteen years believing that none of it was real, that admitting it would lead to either being committed or locked away in some research lab for being a freak, K still wasn’t quite used to the idea that empathy and telepathy were real things that science accepted and understood.
M gently draped an arm around K’s shoulder, pulling K into a half hug.
“Ready to head out?” M asked.
“Nervous,” K replied. It would be good for M to know that. K wasn’t sure if M could still pick up on emotions despite the shields K had developed to protect against all the noise from others’ emotions and thoughts.
“I’ve got your back,” M said. “There might be some tough bits, but we’ll get through alright.”
K nodded. M believed it. So did M’s parents. K believed that M wanted to help, but knowing M’s parents did too gave K more confidence that it was okay to leave with M, which was a bit like running away.
“Come on,” M said, using the arm around K’s shoulders to turn them and head them toward M’s car. “I grabbed your suitcase and your coat from the rack in the hall,” M said. “You said that was everything you needed.”
“Yeah,” K agreed. Enough clothes for about a week and the books K had brought to read while on vacation with the family. There wasn’t much else K would miss really. M had offered to drive straight to K’s house so they could get anything they needed, but really K didn’t have anything. K’s parents didn’t believe in keeping material things. Clothes were utilitarian and the books they kept were mostly for K’s home schooling. K didn’t even own any stuffed animals or toys anymore. The few K had owned were given away years ago.
“Let’s get on the road then,” M encouraged. “There’s a place about forty minutes away that does great breakfast. I figured we could stop there for a bit then head to my place.”
M squeezed K’s shoulders before letting go, then opened the passenger side of the tiny sedan.
K slid into the seat, closing the door and buckling in as M walked around the car. K looked out at the three cabins the family had rented. It was a new place they hadn’t tried before, but K liked it. Having three buildings for all fifteen of them had meant it was quieter at night and K slept better. There were also more places to sneak off to and be alone.
M started the car and carefully turned around in the narrow drive before slowly heading up the gravel driveway to the road. K didn’t look back. Looking back wouldn’t help any. There was no going back now anyway.