“Hey, slow down!”
Helia laughed as she raced past her brother. She had left him trailing in her wake since they had first learned to walk. Now that the twins were fast approaching adulthood, she was the fastest runner in the family and poor Hadros could only lag behind.
“Come, on Helia! It’s not fair!”
“The gods aren’t fair, Hadros! No one ever asks Hermes to slow down!” She grinned and picked up her pace. Her brother’s panting breaths were lost to the wind as she flew through the forest, darting over large rocks and fallen logs. It was the most amazing feeling in the world to run without limits, without boundaries. Trees became a blur of green and sounds of birdsong ebbed and flowed like the river’s tide.
Poor Hadros. He’d never catch up to her. Helia decided to take pity on her brother and stopped, waiting for him by a clearing. He was nowhere to be seen. She couldn’t even hear his steps any longer. She craned her neck and looked around, getting impatient and a bit worried. Even Hadros wasn’t that slow. He should have come into view by now. Where was he?
As Helia was peering into the depths of the forest in an attempt to see some sign of her brother, she heard the sound of a twig snapping from somewhere to her left. She turned her head just in time for a shadowy figure to lunge at her, knocking her out of breath as they both tumbled to the ground. She struggled to stand up, pushing the other figure off her, but it was relentless in its attack.
Helia couldn’t believe it. He’d snuck up on her! Her brother burst out laughing.
“You should have seen your face! Who would have thought that ‘Helia the Swift’ could be ambushed, huh?”
He laughed again, but was cut off by Helia headbutting him in the chest. They both fell to the ground, grappling with each other and kicking up clumps of dirt.
The siblings almost jumped at the sound of their father’s voice. Haeron was standing at the edge of the clearing, arms crossed over his chest and one forehoof pawing the ground. Their mother Hali stood next to him, failing to hide her amusement.
“It doesn’t matter how old you grow,” she said, “You’ll always behave like foals.”
Helia and Hadros stood up, tails drooping. “We’re sorry.”
Their father shook his head, his stern expression giving way to a wry smile. “Alright you two. I think you’ve had more play time than you can handle. It’s almost time for supper.”
“Alright,” they said, in unison.
Helia looked over at Hadros, a sly twinkle in her eye. “Race you!”
With that, she galloped off back the way they had come.
“Hey!” Hadros charged after her.
Haeron sighed. Hali laughed and patted him on the back as they trotted along behind their children.