- Vol. 04
- Chapter 03
Image by Manon Bellet
The VeilThe city slept below, except for two small boys who waited until all of the lights were turned off before they tiptoed across the cold linoleum floor, crept down the stairs, pulling their shoes and scarves on, and emerged into the frost bitten night time.
The youngest boy, with flaxen hair and autumnal eyes, shivered and huddled beside his brother for warmth.
‘Perhaps we should leave it tonight,’ he said, stuffing his star-like hands into his pockets. ‘There’s always tomorrow.’
His brother snorted; the boy with copper hair and seaweed-green eyes, the boy who was three years older and should know better.
‘I knew you’d wimp out. You always do.’
He turned and moved away from his younger sibling, leaving him exposed to the harsh winter elements.
‘What are you still standing there for? Run back to Mom and Dad and blame me for everything.’
A ribbon of embarrassment streaked itself across the younger brother’s face and the boy clenched his fists.
‘The veil doesn’t exist anyway. You’re making it up.’
The older boy sneered, an ugly grin snaking across his mouth.
The younger boy nodded.
‘Well, if you’re not too much of a scaredy cat, you’ll follow me and I’ll show you that the veil does exist. But if you’d rather run home to Mommy–’
‘I’ll come,’ he said. ‘But you better not be lying.’
The VeilThe walk was far longer than either boy expected and eventually their legs began to slow as the distance took its toll on them.
The oldest boy stopped, his head tilted towards the sky.
The youngest boy looked up and saw the veil of impossible hopes and dreams floating above. It looked so fragile and flimsy like an underdeveloped jellyfish that he had to suppress a shudder.
‘I thought it would have been pretty,’ he mumbled.
‘It is pretty,’ the older boy growled. ‘You’re just too young to appreciate nice things. Right, I’m going to catch it.’
The younger brother watched in horror as his sibling climbed an old and worm-ridden tree, inching his way up the trunk until he reached a thick branch.
‘I think we should go home now,’ the young boy called.
‘Not likely. I’ve come this far, I’m not going home without it. The veil will be mine. All mine.’
The wind blew ferociously around them, upsetting the branches on the gnarled tree. The oldest boy ignored the trembling branch and climbed on to it. His brother looked away knowing that the night wasn’t going to end well.
‘Are you watching down there? Here I go!’
The youngest brother focused his autumnal eyes on his older sibling and watched as he fell towards the veil.
Suddenly the veil slipped out of the way, as silent and discreet as only a veil knows how, removing the safety net the oldest boy had taken for granted, and woke the city up with his dying scream.