Chapter 2: Cripple Creek
A/N: I'm making every little effort to come back from the dead and into my writings…it isn't working so well. But that is no excuse and I apologize for laying it on you.
DG just managed to see Glitch's coils of hair disappear off the edge of the cliff. Screaming, she ran over to where he once stood. Luckily, there was a built in ladder in the canyon wall.
"What are you doing?" DG asked. "You could have killed yourself!"
"I'm sorry, DG, but I have something to do." Glitch said as he got further up down the ladder.
DG tapped her foot for a moment, hoping her friend would come back up. When it was clear he was going to complete whatever he had to do, she shouted for him to wait at the bottom and ran back to the group.
Cain and Raw were up and clearing away any sign they were there. Her tutor was waiting for her when she came running back.
"Guys…Glitch sorta jumped off a cliff." DG said, "I think we should follow."
"I'm not jumping off a cliff for zipper head." Cain said.
But they all tagged along behind her and continued down the ladder. They found Glitch a few steps ahead of them, staring into wide creek. It wasn't very deep, and probably only came up to her knees. But yet it was enchanting poor Glitch, who couldn't take his eyes off it.
"Does this seem familiar?" DG awkwardly asked.
"Yeah…I think this is Cripple Creek." Glitch said. "I used to play here."
The grass was wet with dew under their wet feet. A bird happily chirped above them as they ran faster and faster to their destination. With two little sailboats in hand, they planned a race. Whoever's boat went the faster got the other's helping of apple pie.
Prince Ambrose, age six, and his older sister by two years, Princess Lavender, were known for these sorts of things.
They made it down to Cripple Creek, their little paradise. Little trees surrounded the area with the little water way in-between. They both threw off their 'outside clothes' to be in their swimming outfits. Just plain little gray tops and bottoms that had been residing under their other outfits. Dressed like this, they looked like normal little children, not the little royalty they actually were.
The creek wasn't very long, but it was deep enough. They both jumped into the warm water, it coming up to about their waist. Lavender tended to be more feisty, splashing and tossing water at her brother. Ambrose was more technical, moving quickly away from the waves.
When they both were finished getting used to the water, they went to the starting rock and got their boats ready. The little prince's was very smooth, unpainted, and professional. He had their tutor help him sand it down and add little sails to the top. ("Guaranteed to go as fast as the wind." His tutor had promised him.) Lavender's was unsanded and blocky, but painted just likes the ones they saw in the stores at Central City. A pretty little satin sail accented the vibrant red boat.
"Are you going to cheat this time?" Ambrose asked cockily.
"No." Lavender said as she sat her boat in the water, "I never cheat. You just don't like to lose."
Ambrose frowned at her, but she didn't take notice. The wind was picking up and it was about time to the race to start. The two got ready and, as soon as Ambrose shouted three, their little boats were off.
At first, Ambrose's boat was in the lead, easily curving ahead of the rocks and past the dips. But suddenly, it got caught between a rock and the wall. Even though it was slower, Lavender's boat got to the ending rock.
"You cheated!" Ambrose shouted as he got out of the creek.
"No, I'm just smarter than you." Lavender pointed her nose in the air at her brother's antics.
Ambrose got his boat and put back on his clothes. Lavender jumped out of the water, too, but didn't put on her dress. Instead, she walked up to her brother and placed her hand on his shoulder.
"Aren't you going to race me again, Ambrose?" Lavender quietly asked.
"No." He said, shaking the water out of his mass of hair. "Every time I try really, really hard to make a really, really good boat. But you always win! I worked forever on this one. Now you get my apple pie and I really wanted some and…and…" His voice cracked with tears.
Lavender pulled her little brother into a soft hug and told him to hush. It hurt to see someone she loved dearly be so upset.
"How about if this race was a tie. You can keep your slice." She suggested sweetly.
"You won it fair and…"
"Nope, it was a tie." Lavender smiled.
Ambrose smiled back at his sister. As soon as she got dressed, they raced back to the kitchen.