Light footfalls carried in quick procession down the steep hill, kicking up dust and pebbles in their owner’s wake. Kaede could just see the strip of gold-brown–the dirt road that lead to her village’s gates–ahead of her. With her arms outstretched like a bird, she giggled and squealed as she careened downwards, eyes closed.
“Caw! Caw! Caw! Wheee-heee!"
Lost in her own little imaginary world, the eight year old bounded and waved, leaping and making all sorts of noises. Kaede’s gait may have been hindered, but that didn’t stop her from having fun… Right up until bare toes caught against a stone and she was sent tumbling.
Down she rolled. Faster and faster, head over heels down the slope, then– ”Oomph!“ –directly into someone who had been walking down the path.
All the food in his pantry had expired while he was gone. His mission had taken a while longer than expected, and really, he had no wish to go re-equip his kitchen at the moment. Groceries would have to wait, he could smell the takoyaki calling him.