Quinn looked down at his algebra book in confusion. Distaste.

This was absurd.

How in Mostevan would the ability to label the different kinds of equations ever be useful to anyone? They lived off the land and traded. There was no such thing as currency.

Concluded by the elders, The Island was the only dry place for mankind to exist upon. There was nothing else beyond the water. No questioning, No inquiring. Plotting escape was considered treason.

So Mosteven would very likely always be his home. There were very few job options that required high levels of scientific, or mathematical knowledge.

And besides, he was guaranteed to one day follow in his father's footsteps. Black smithery required little, to no mathematics. It was however essential, to possess a steady hand and be acclimated to a, rather heated, environment. A basic knowledge of different metals and proper fire were also cardinal traits of the everyday blacksmith in Mostevan.

Due to the fact that none of these traits had the slightest to do with maths, he found it completely and entirely, irrelevant.

It was a shame really. Quinn was indeed, superbly intelligent...Just not book smart. He was hands on smart and would much prefer learning about the world by exploring and tinkering; not taking the word of someone's writing from long ago. These people could have gathered incorrect data and slopped it down on a piece of paper. All they would have to do was write their names down, and it was taken as gospel.

But Quinn dare not say such to his teacher. She would throw him out of the window herself, before debating whether his logic was correct.

This factor highly discouraged Quinn. The fact that the entire population of a village could be so closed minded, astounded him.

All 127 of the town's people believed in the same deity and had the same beliefs. You believed in Ozark, the god of night; you believed in Feffierin, the goddess of Day. You dedicated your soul to Zacira, the ruler of time itself. If you did not believe, you were outcast...If you survived the cleansing that is.

At this point Quinn had lost all interest. He sat the book down on his desk and pretended to be highly engaged with whatever was talking about. But in truth his mind was racing.

He was thinking about the snow. It was late autumn and would surly fall anytime now. The sun was blocked by the clouds and not a single ray touched the earth. But foggy light still shone through. T'was dim and cold light. Not the kind that would be found in the summer, were it scorched the earth and fed the trees.

This was a winter sun.

The boy looked at the clock, above the doorway. It read; 3:18.

How could the Elders possibly expect him to sit for another two, whole, minutes? It was excruciatingly painful, both mentally and physically.

He had noting of interest to occupy his thoughts. This resulted in a severe case of boredom.

He had nothing to occupy his hands, either, and Quinn was not the type to often sit still. He had to twist a lock of his Burnt Siena colored hair, between his fingers. Another solution was to tap his pencil repetitively on his desk.

Soon there was but 30 seconds till the ringing of the bell. At ten second he began counting down. Only the faintest trace of words touched his lips.

3... 2...1...

The church bells began to ring, announcing his freedom.

Quinn violently stood, sending his chair backwards. He was quick to gather his things, and was out the door before his teacher had a chance to tell him to restrain himself.

Once he was outside of the repulsive building, he ran. He sprinted as fast as humanly possible. The goal was put himself as far away from Jasten Weldon as he could. Let's just say Jasten wasn't the friendliest of his classmates.

Not that he considered any of them his 'mates'.

In fact most of them completely repelled him. The only effort that they ever gave was when they went through one of their 'teen romance stages'.

Topics of actual, life altering, importance, simply meant nothing.

At least Quinn had the common sense to think about those things to some degree.

Because of his distaste for those around his age, he simply avoided them. He would sit through class day-dreaming of far off lands across the endless water. Meanwhile, all the other 16 year olds, spent their last year of schooling jabbering on about what they had for breakfast and who was courting who.

Apparently Jasten found this to be a perfectly logical reason to hunt him down after school. He would then proceed to sniff out weaklings with his little gang of morons. The bully would then dangle his victims over a bridge, behind the school. This bridge was known to the many students of the Mostevan school district, as the Bridge of Truth be Told.

Why was it named this, you may ask? Because if you did not give a secret to Jasten the great, you and your belongings were thrown into the raging water below. Quinn had given all his secrets but one. He had spent them all on his lack of tactfulness on getting away from the area. He only had one more chance. But this was a secret he would guard with his life. This was a secret that would get him put through the cleansing, before being outcast...If he survived the cleansing that is.

So he ran. He ran through the crowds. Autumn wind blew in his face; winter sun shone down on his skin. He weaved through a group of people with their hushed-toned voices. He dodged the people and food carts and stores along the Main Street of the village.

Quinn soon came to the end of the brick pathway. It turned into gravel, rocks and stone.

Once realizing his safety, he padded down this road with far less caution.

After about ten more minutes of trending through the forest, he arrived home.

Home, to Quinn, was a two story cottage with a chimney protruding out of the roof. It had a very lonely feel to all those who came upon it. The brush and thistle around it had become overgrown. The paint had begun to peel and the nails, to rust. It blended in well with the brownish green background of the forest. If you didn't know what to look for it would be rather difficult to find.

But Quinn had lived here all his life. He knew this forest like the back of his hand. Every root stub and bird nest was engraved in his memory. It was memorize with exceptional accuracy.

He walked down, the now dirt path, and entered his home. The boy pulled open the heavy, wooden door to a small room with a fire place, and a two person table. The floor was wooden, and so were the walls.

In the far wall was the hearth will only cinders left burning. Over the low fire sat a cauldron occupying a rich, frothy, soup. It was an extraordinarily easy soup to be made for how delectable the dish was. It could also be made in large quantities so it could be rationed over the days ahead.

The lanky boy stepped inside and set the door back to its original position. Quietly, not to wake his sleeping father.

He climbed the stairs one by one and flinched as each step caused the wood to creek underfoot. He stopped at the top step and listened. If his father awoke it would bring nothing good. That was for certain.

It wasn't that Quinn's father didn't love him, but you see, his father was the town drunk. He was typically a friendly drunk, but the after affects were what caused Quinn grief. He had become quite skilled at not waking his father. And for good reason. His hangovers clouded his judgment almost as much as the alcohol. This resulted in a physically, abused childhood.

Because of this Quinn was forced to tread silently though his own home.

He didn't have a mother. According to his father, Nichole had died when he was around the age of 2, during a great famine. He told himself he believed the man. But in his heart he somehow knew, that wasn't how his mother died.

So the boy made his way to his room. Dropping his heavy bag on the floor was quite a relief. A huge sigh was released from him before laying down.

Thank Zacira today was Thursenday and tomorrow was Feffierinday. Oh wait, he didn't believe in the gods. Not that anyone could ever know.

He would be banished...If he survived the cleansing that is.

For now his thoughts were only of sleep, and the hot soup his father had made.

At least had the civility to consider what they would eat that night. Then he even had the genius to create such provision!

Ahh, the joys of being Quinn.

But now was not the time to be eating. He had collected a ghastly amount of homework the evening. Shuffling his priorities in order, Quinn sat down to his desk and looked down upon his work. Damn.

His nose twitched in distain.

He simply would not do it. The entire sheet was irrelevant to his future. So he scribbled on the side of his desk. He sat there for what seemed like hours. The candle he had lit for his purposes had dimmed.

After couple of minutes he had fallen asleep, face down, on his desk.

Song for this chapter: Open Season by High Highs

I would simply like to note that back in the day, children only went to school till about the eighth grade. It was typical and not that unusual. I just thought I would need to add that to explain why Quinn is 16 in his last year of school. If my knowledge of this has been contaminated by my elders feel free to correct me and I will change it later.

Then again it's my story and I'll do what I want with it so. Yeah. :)

thankyou all for reading!

-Tbird