It’s dark when I slip out, yet neighbours already fill the streets. Letting myself awaken naturally was always a risk: but someone hearing my alarm and realising I meant to run seemed worse.
Only fields lie between me and the forest. If I sprint, they might hear me, but I’ll make it before sunrise.
Moments later, I hear pounding boots. Stones bite my feet, but I race on.
I leap the barrier around the Mother Tree, then turn.
Elders House and Hill stand at the barrier, rocks ready.
My fitness and willingness proven, I offer myself for a good crop.