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Dassh'ryo clenched his fists in anger. His best friend, Kay'rashal, had just burst into tears at the verbal abuse from the twin Twi'lek bullies.
“Look at them Risha,” The green-skinned brother sneered. “Red and blue, just like a grekel hen.”
“Yeah Resh, a stinky fat hen. Maybe they would like to peck in the dirt like one too.” Resh's sister laughed and made a menacing motion towards Kay.
Dash hated the twins. Resh'vida and Risha'vida were fifteen years old, the same age as Dash, and they loved to pick on him and Kay. Dash was often teased about his rare red skin coloring but he felt protective about his blue-skinned friend Kay. They had been best friends for as long as he could remember. She was a year younger than Dash and was often the target of Resh and Risha's bullying.
They all looked up as a luxury yacht spacecraft rose from the nearby spaceport and roared into orbit. They were on a low hill that bordered the spaceport, just on the outskirts of town. Large duracrete foundation slabs had been poured there in anticipation of a development that never took place. Surrounded by a wall the abandoned lot was a favorite place for the city children to come and watch spacecraft arrive and depart. It was also an excellent place to escape the scrutiny of their parents.
“Leave us alone!” Dash growled.
“Or what?” Resh asked. “Are you going to snivel us to death?”
“Yeah, are you and your crying baby going to wash us down the hill with your tears?” Risha grinned evilly.
“Let's just go Dash.” Kay stammered between sobs.
“Going to run crying back to your mommy?” Risha jeered.
“Shut up Risha,” Dash gritted his teeth. “We're going to leave and you better not follow us. Let's go Kay.”
Dash grabbed Kay's hand and together they started walking down the hill towards the entrance.
“Hey, don't you dare just walk away from us!” Resh yelled. “I think it's time we teach these sitting mynocks a lesson sis.”
Fearing the verbal abuse may become something more physical Dash and Kay broke into a run as Resh and Risha started after them. Dash picked up speed down the slope but Kay had troubling keeping up and was beginning to lag behind. He knew he could outrun the twins but he feared what would happen if they would catch up to Kay. Sliding to a stop he yelled to Kay. “Keep running!”.
Unable to stop Resh collided with Dash and they both tumbled down into the dust.
“Why you snarkin nerf herder!” Resh picked himself up balling his hand into a fist. “I'm going to punch your lights out you little twerp.”
Twisting around Dash tried dodging but the blow connected near the base of his skull. Resh's fist had hit just underneath his lekku, the tentacle-like “brain-tails” emerging from the base of his skull. Dash reeled backwards as stars exploded in his vision. Knowing that Risha would soon join in on the pummeling he grimaced through the pain and launched to his feet. Running as fast as he could he saw Kay waiting for him near the gate that led into the city. She had a horrified expression on her face and her lekku were twitching, indicating danger. Twi'leks could manipulate their lekku and had developed a language using them understood only by other Twi'leks. Dash was an excellent sprinter and could hear Resh and Risha swearing at him as he lengthened the distance between them.
As Dash leaped over a pile of refuse and through the entrance, Kay pushed the broken gate shut with a squeak of unforgiving hinges. It wouldn't stop the twins but it might slow them down enough for Dash and Kay to get away. Together they ran down the empty street and skidded around the corner onto a long boulevard. The speeder traffic wasn't heavy but it would have been a fatal mistake to attempt to cross before the signal indicated they could. Panting heavily Dash squeezed Kay's hand. The signal finally flashed “CROSS” and hardly waiting for the speeder cars to stop they sprinted across.
Wiping her eyes Kay looked back and said “I don't think they're following us. Maybe they decided to give up?”
“For now maybe,” Dash wheezed, out of breath. “I think we better stay away from those two for a while. It's almost the end of the school year and we won't have to see them all summer.”
“Unless you have to go to that stupid formal government supper your mother made you go to last year.”
“Thanks for reminding me about that Kay.” Dash remembered how his mother's new job in the planetary government made him cross paths with the governor's children last summer. The twins often bragged about their status and didn't let him forget it that whole evening.
“Sorry Dash,” Kay turned to him. “Dash, thank you so much for being my friend. I don't know what I would have done without you there. You didn't have to turn back and face them for me.”
“Of course I did Kay!” Dash felt awkward at this sudden display of emotion. He looked at her. “You're my best friend and we have always had each other's back. You would have done the same for me.”
“Speaking of, how's your lekku feeling? It looked like Resh got you back there.”
“Yeah.” Dash rubbed the back of his head. In a change of mood he gave Kay a big smile. “Well, it could have been worse. He could have hit this handsome face of mine!”
“Oh yeah, right!” Kay burst out laughing. “Actually, I think he would have improved it.”
Feeling the fear of the moment drain away, they started walking towards the transport station.
For a time they walked in silence, neither of them wanting to talk about what happened at the spare lot.
Kay sighed. “I guess we better catch a ride home. I've got to study for the history test tomorrow. I need something to take my mind off all this.”
Watching a ZV-41 swoop bike fly past Dash replied. “I can think of other things to occupy my mind than school.”
“Hah! How do you even pass your grades Dash? I think if you could have your way your would spend every day down at the speeder track.”
“Speeder racing? How do you know that's what I was thinking about?”
“Because that's all you ever think about!”
“Fine.” Dash grinned. “You got me there. I guess you just know me too well.”
“Of course I do dummy,” Kay paused for a moment. “I guess I won't see you until after the last exam. We definitely need to celebrate afterwards.”
“Absolutely. Hey, we can catch that latest holo. 'Speed or Die'.” Realizing his selfish request Dash quickly added. “Uhh, I hear there is a great love story in it.”
Kay punched Dash playfully on the shoulder. “Oh brother. Why do I even ask you? So where are your parents taking you on vacation this summer? You're lucky. You always get to go to the coolest places.”
“I think we might be heading up into the mountains.” Dash thought for a moment. “Hey Kay! I've got a great idea. I'm going to ask my mother and father if it would be OK for you to come along. On my vacation, I mean. What do you think? Do you think your parents would let you? I know you love hover snowboarding.”
Interrupted by the transport arrival, Dash and Kay flashed their travel cred chips and hopped on.
“Wow. That would be awesome! I don't know if my mom will let me though. I'll have to get her in the right mood. I'm totally going to bake her some fresh Funge-bread before I ask her.”
“Mmmm, Funge-bread. Yeah she'll definitely say yes then! You'll make a loaf for me too right?” Dash licked his lips referring to the traditional Twi'lek bread.
“Sure. You always sucker me into that. Are you sure you want me with you on your family vacation?”
“Absolutely. Hover snowboarding will be boring by myself. And who's going to make me Crumblebuns if you're not there?”
Kay laughed as the transport slowed announcing their stop.
Dash waved goodbye. “I'll comm you as soon as I find out from my parents.”
“I'll be waiting.”
Dash kicked off his boots as he strode into his home. Dash's parents Cham'ryo and Na'ryo both had excellent jobs and it definitely showed in their home. In typical Twi'lek fashion it was sunk into the ground to help ward off the heat and the beautiful green grounds were obviously tended to daily. It was like an emerald oasis in the surrounding dry suburb. The wall surrounding the property encompassed a roomy workshop, a gardening shed and even a medium sized pool. Dash had grown up in this house and was used to the hired yards keepers coming and going. He had spent hours watching his father work in the workshop creating various technological marvels. Under his mother's direction the entire house was laid out in crisp perfection like the front cover of a home holomagazine.
“In here Dash,” his father called from the kitchen. Cham'ryo was a middle-aged Twi'lek with kind eyes. His red colored skin identified him as a Lethan, a rare subspecies of Twi'lek. His long lekku hung straight down his back and unlike other males of his species did not subscribe to the corpulent obesity that was so common in families of wealth.
“Hey father. Where's mother?” Dash asked.
“She has been assigned a major project at work and we won't be seeing much of her for supper over the next few weeks.”
“Oh. I was hoping she would be here. I kinda have an important question to ask. Are we still going on our family vacation this year?”
“I believe so. Your mother's project should be finished by then. There is this beautiful cabin in the Arjule mountain range that I've been eyeing. I hear there is an excellent hover snowboarding course as well. I thought you might enjoy that part.”
“Yes, great! So… I had this idea and I really hope it works out. It's just a shot in the dark but I figured it can't hurt to ask. Can Kay come with us?” Dash hardly paused. “I know it's our family vacation but she's basically family and she loves hover snowboarding as much as I do, probably more. It would be so much fun to have her along. So what do you think?”
Cham leaned back in his chair and looked at his son. “Ahh.” He said with a sly smirk on his face.
Dash's red skin somehow managed to turn a deeper shade. “Father! It's not like that at all. We're best friends and she loves hover snowboarding too and she never gets a chance to go to these places.”
“I didn't say anything, son,” his father said with another smile. “That sounds like a wonderful idea. I don't think your mother will mind but I'll talk to her tonight.”
Cham handed Dash a wrapped package and declared. “Dinner is served. Your favorite, Giju sliders.”
As they ate the burgers they chatted about school, speeder racing and Kay. Pointedly Dash left out any details about the twins and their bullying. His father wouldn't understand anyways.
When Dash finished his food, Cham said. “Don't you have an exam tomorrow?”
“Yeah.” Dash grumbled.
“Well it's time for studying. Off you go.”
Dash went down to his room and flicked on the holocomm to call Kay. After a few moments her image appeared on the table.
“Heya, I asked my father and he said it was OK if you came on our vacation!” Dash said excitedly.
“That's great! What did your mother say?”
“She isn't home. Father said she has some big project over the next little while. That stupid job has her gone more and more.”
“I'm sorry Dash. I'm sure things will slow down eventually.”
“Yeah, well, I hope this doesn't affect our vacation. Father says it shouldn't.”
“I hope so too. Sorry Dash, I need to get back to studying. I'll let you know as soon as I get an answer from my parents. When these exams are done you and I are going shopping. There's this new line of hover snowboarding gear out and I'm totally buying a new outfit.”
“Girls,” Dash rolled his eyes.
“Oh shut up Dash. I'll comm you later. Bye.”
“See ya.” Dash closed the channel and sighed. “I guess I should at least start studying.” He said to the stack of school tablets sitting on his desk.
….this is a continuing story….
….check back at a future time….