Swift Feet

We burst into the gardens in a hasty tumble of giggles and brocade; I’d long since forgotten about behaving decorously, once more the young girl who beat all of the boys at foot races. I stumbled on my robes, tucking the long fabric up under the marigold sash that cinched them at my waist. When I looked up, Shugo was grinning at me, and I wrinkled my nose at his obvious delight with our disheveled state. “I can’t believe I let you persuade me,” I grumbled, spending a moment trying to fix my hair. After a moment, I gave up, freeing it from its comb to hang loosely down my back.

Shugo just laughed, snatching my comb and dancing out of reach as I tried to snatch it back.

“Don’t think I won’t win races still,” I growled, giving chase. He darted around the stone lanterns that edged the pond, his boots kicking up pebbles that drew the tame fish to the surface. I changed course to leap across the narrowest edge of the pond, tackling him to the ground, and snatched my comb back with a triumphant grunt. “Hah!”

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