Napsil stepped to the edge of the deck and peered down into the fog surrounding the trunk. Other trees—their trunks the color red becomes at night—rose from the mist below then disappeared back into it above him. Unable to focus in the clouds like this, he imagined himself floating in the sky rather than standing atop his tree-tower. Surely all he need do was to close his eyes and he’d drift away like any other atomized droplet. Vapor didn’t matter.

“We can’t do this any longer and you need to come tell the others,” said Napsil’s brother, Jate. Napsil’s eyes remained closed.

“You lead them.”

“No. That’s you, brother.”

Napsil tipped his face toward where the sun might be above them. He felt the mist coalesce on his forehead and a single drop run down his scalp through his short red hair. He brushed back his responsibility with a languid wave of his hand. “Lead them from here on. Lead them away. Lead them back. I don’t care. Neither do they.”

171 words on day 775