Autumn and Winter are characters in my Stranded World setting; this story is earlier in their lives than most of the stories.
“It’s about Freedom.” Autumn sat on the edge of the bridge, feet dangling over the edge, not so much looking at the water as looking at the reflections in it. Hers, wild-colored and wild-haired, and his, cool-hued and smooth-tressed. Even here, even ‘dressed down,’ he looked proper.
“Of course it is about freedom. Everything in life is.” Winter spoke in measured tones, careful tones.
“How can you say that?” She twisted to look at in properly now, him, the connections between them, the lines around his life. “When you are so tied up in strands, so smoothed-out and constrained?”
“How can you say you are free?” His voice was, of course, calm. “When you do not know where your next meal will come from, when you are uncertain where you will sleep at night, when you have no home?”
“This is the life I chose.” Autumn tried not to raise her voice too much. He was her brother. He was her big brother; he would always be her big brother.
“And this is the life I chose, Autumn.” He patted her shoulder. “You find your freedom on the open road, and I… find mine in an office. Are we not both free?”
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