Lyllina sat underneath the big, willow tree as she gazed down below at the town. The wispy branches protected her from the shining sun and gave her comfort amongst the cool shade. The wind was calm as it fluttered past so little, only the furious flame ignited deep within a candle would flicker. A grin spread across her pale skin, like autumn leaves in the winter snow.
She saw her friends in the streets, searching for her no doubt. She giggled like wind chimes in the morning hours, sweet and pure. She watched them walk down the bumpy dirt roads, tossed to the side when wagons drove past. She laughed again and hid in the branches of the tree.
Lyllina’s bright blue eyes followed the rooftops, gleaming in the rising sun with fresh dew still in place. The red shingles sparkled as the yellow and orange shunned the rest. Windows opened, revealing children waking pleasantly and mothers busying about. The fathers had left early for a meeting in the town hall.
“Boo!” A nasty cry came from behind Lyllina as strong fingers jabbed her side. She squealed and turned around, her cheeks now speckled with rose.
Before her stood her friend, holding his sides in laughter at her reaction. He straightened himself though there were still chuckles erupting from his speech. “You should have seen your face! Remind me to do that again!” He grinned, flipping his dessert gold hair from his ocean blue eyes.
Lyllina huffed, folding her arms across her chest. “One day these pranks will kill someone and then you won’t be laughing, Vincin!” She moved to push him but caught her hair in the branches.
Vincin laughed again, managing to slip in the dirt and continue laughing. Her face grew hot, as her fingers numbly tried to get her free. She glared down at him, his perfectly white dress shirt now ruined by the mud.
He sat up, crossing his legs as he smirked up at her. “Do you need help?”
“None from you, thank you.” She hissed through clenched teeth. Her arms came crashing to her sides; her hair did not want to be untangled.
Vincin groaned jokingly and lifted himself to his bare feet. He crossed over and moved behind her in one graceful step, untangling her hair gently. He chuckled under his breath; Lyllina blushed softly, keeping her head low.
Lyllina’s heart beat rapidly in her chest, Vincin’s breath stuck sweetly on her neck. She closed her eyes, ignoring the lovely smells of flowers soaking up the dew. She ignored her pounding heart and just listened. Vincin sighed, tugging at her hair yet with such gentle gestures as if he never meant to harm her. His fingers were little bursts of light against her frozen skin, pale and shocking in the light.
“Hello?” A familiar voice chirped, skipping up the hill. Her brown curls bounced on her shoulders, her smile forming into a grin. “Vincin, Lina!”
“Alice!” Lyllina smiled, jumping into her friend’s welcome arms. They twirled in the sun before Lyllina stepped back into the shadows. Vincin held his arms open, earning only raised eyebrows and cheerful giggles.
“Vincin, you no good! You left me alone in those streets!” Alice rested her hands on her hips, with a slight scowl.
Lyllina bit her lip to stop from laughing as Vincin blushed lightly. He huffed and turned away, facing the town where Lyllina had stood before. He crossed his arms over his chest in wonder as he tilted his head.
“C’mon Vincin, let’s go fishing!” Lyllina popped in front of him with an eager grin, ready to go. “We can go swimming too, Alice, you like to swim right?”
Alice gave a short nod and stood beside her friend, smiling up at Vincin. Her brown curls rested on her shoulders as she looked at his white shirt disapprovingly. “What happened to your shirt?”
Vincin rolled his eyes and nudged Lyllina, messing up her hair with a laugh. “Let’s go!” He laughed and started down the path, narrowly missing her swooping hands.
“Vincin, I’m going to kill you!” She laughed and took Alice’s hand, running after their friend.
They reached a small pond, the water rippled over the surface. Vincin was at the edge, taking off his messy shirt. He threw it to the side and waved at the girls when he caught sight of them. He grinned and dove into the water, disappearing under the waves.
“Come on Alice, yoo-hoo, Alice?” Lyllina waved her hand in front of her, snapping her fingers. She glanced at where Alice was staring and she smiled. “Oh come on Alice; just join him in the water.”
Lyllina watched her blush, and pushed her on her way before she could argue back. Alice huffed and glanced back but Lyllina only waved, moving to the tree line.
Alice sighed and glanced at the pond, watching Vincin wave his hands for their attention. She smiled to herself and walked over, her ankles in the water, cold as it lapped against her skin.
“Hey, come closer! I can’t swim that far.” She pouted and waited as Vincin bobbed in the water then disappeared under the surface. He appeared a few feet away, his skin light and reflecting off the noon sun. He smirked at her and motioned his head to the side.
“Are you coming?”
“Yes yes, keep your shirt on!” She giggled and walked in further.
He chuckled, waiting for her. “I’m pretty sure you like me without my shirt on.” He smiled when she hid her face behind her curls and dived into the water.
Alice appeared behind him and splashed him with water, giggling then slipping under. Vincin yelped in surprise and turned in the water, trying to find her. He glanced in the water and saw something swim past but it was not Alice’s light skin as he expected.
She broke the surface with a smile. “Here I am!” She giggled and went to splash him but he caught her wrists. She frowned, tilting her head. “Vincin, I was just kidding.”
“Alice... look at yourself.” He moved her hands in front of her and watched as she stared at her light pink skin. “Are you okay?”
She screamed and moved back, thrashing into the water. She slipped on the soft sand and fell backwards, splashing the water wildly. Vincin hesitated before reaching for her hand and pulling her back. He picked her up and trudged towards land, glancing at her.
Alice’s soft pink skin started to ripple and shift to a light grey turning darker with every scream. He held his breath and walked faster, meeting Lyllina at the shore. She glanced at her friend whose skin now resembled thundering clouds in the sky.
Lyllina hesitated, holding a knife and a woven basket with a few fish. She glanced to Vincin who watched Alice with worry. “Is she okay?”
Alice looked up angrily, spots of red soaked through the dark grey. “Of course I am not okay! My skin is grey! What do I do?”
“Stay out of the sun...? Ouch!” Alice smacked Vincin hard at the back of the head.
“Hey,” Lyllina got their attention and tilted her head to the path. “Let’s take her over to Hank; maybe he’ll know what to do.”
“Why would Hank know what to do?” Vincin glanced at Alice, noticing her skin changing slowly back to its original peachy self.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Lyllina smiled, glanced sympathetically at Alice before starting back on the path with her basket, placing the knife inside.