you?" "What?" Raphael frowned, "No, Mother. Don't be absurd. I just wish he wasn't so loud about it. J ust because he can fly doesn't mean he knows how to. Giving a bear a bow and arrow doesn't make him an archer." "Raphael, I'm sure your brother doesn't mean anything by it." "J ust the same..." He trailed off when her shoulders sagged and her head listed as the gutwrenching look of sad disappointment fell across her face. "I know he gets on your nerves, Raphael." She said, "But I wish you'd find a way to get along with him. He's the only family you have now." "Mother, that's not true. I have you." She smiled a wistful thing and gave a slight shake of her head. "I may not always be here, son." Raphael frowned as a horrifying thought crossed his mind. "Mother, are you planning to return to the wheel or something...?" She laughed and waved the thought off. "Oh, no. Raphael, no. I wouldn't leave you to watch over your brother like that. I'm not certain either of you would survive. But still, we don't know where life will take us. If? when? I'm gone, you and your brother will be the last of your line." Raphael said nothing, trying to decipher his mother's cryptic statement. "You'd do well to try to understand him." Raphael sighed and nodded. "As you wish, mother." "Good." She glanced over his shoulder. "Now go fetch him, if you can. Dinner will be ready soon." Raphael nodded and left the kitchen, exiting the wooden house through the front door. Their home was a simple affair, nestled at the peak of a small hill. A stump had an axe buried in its center, waiting for the stacked wood that had been organized beside it for the coming winter. Beyond was one of the largest trees in the region, casting a shadow and perpetual shade over the home. Raphael had silently wished Michael would crash into it, just once, and maybe that would curb his reckless enthusiasm. Raphael sighed as he turned his eyes skyward, spotting the orange trail Michael had left. He wasn't circling the home anymore; his laughing could still be heard in the distance, over the mountain. He was getting bold. Raphael cupped his hands to his mouth and called his brother to no avail. His white hair billowed in the twilight breeze, and he brushed it aside before calling for Michael again. Raphael saw