Notes: This story was written for school in about 2002 or so. I basically have left it unedited from when I finished writing it for class. I may consider revising it, especially if people have some ideas on how to improve it,though.:)

The Highest Hill

"So, why are we going up here again?" said the golden-haired boy in front to my left.

"I told you, Pikelo, we're going up to see a good view of the village. Wasn't that why you were agreeing with me before?"

There go Monor and Pikelo again, ahead of me. Monor's the one with brown hair and light skin, and Pikelo's the one with golden hair and tan skin. Those two always like to go head to head and argue. From what I remember of this morning, I'm pretty sure that Pikelo suggested it off of the top of his head, and then Monor decided it was a good idea. They're arguing about it all the same. I guess that's just how they are. It might be the fact that they're both pretty loud, and have strong opinions, and they usually like to disagree (even if their opinions are the same, strangely).

"What about the fact that I'm leading this so-called expedition? And just about everywhere we go?"

"Oh, and how about the fact that I'm walking an inch ahead of you?" Pikelo replied.

Kind of pointless, but it's kind of in fun, isn't it? Monor, of course, started walking forward faster after that remark. He likes to bring up a serious demeanor, being a person who is usually in charge, but as you can see, he's still prone to arguments like the one he's participating in right now. Pikelo; well, he's more of the comedian and clown of the group. He likes to talk, too, and even though he's not much of the leader-type like Monor is, he can, in almost every situation imaginable, talk lots.

And about me, the only one with black hair, dark brown skin, and brown eyes? Well, if you noticed, I haven't said anything aloud to either of my two friends. Firstly, they seem pretty busy arguing right now. And then…there's the fact that I really don't have much to say. Even just thinking to myself – my thoughts don't really seem worth saying aloud…? Oh well.

I finally took in a better surveillance of the path we walked. The soft auburn soil path felt pretty comfortable to walk on, and the leafy grass intermingled with the verges of the path, with trees about our height to the left every so often. There were no clouds today, but the sky was not as blue as it could be, for some high mist hung on the horizons and mid-sky.

But I bet you're wondering why we're walking and what Pikelo suggested. Well, he suggested that we come up here, around the skirts of our village, and climb up to the highest hill there. It's not really dangerous at all, since the slopes are pretty mild and even if we fell, there aren't any dagger-sharp rocks or anything. But there aren't exactly tours going there, so it would be an adventure of a sort to go up there.

"Well, Pikelo, we're up at the top. You can stop quarrelling now."

We had. The small highland of the peak was seemingly a miniature wood, with roomy spaces in-between trees (which were about three meters high each), but around the edges there was good standing room to look out over.

"Whatever. And ole Samey here seems to be nice and quiet so far. What's up?" His blue-aqua eyes looked at me.

"You two looked busy to me," I said blamelessly.

"What? No comments whatsoever?"

"Was there ones necessary?"

As he paused for an answer, I looked beyond Pikelo's noticed Monor gazing out over the view over the village. I walked out over to him as Pikelo was finishing his response.

"Well, there were a lot of things that you could have done, like even stopping the argu – wha?"

"What's wrong, Monor?"

"Nothing's wrong, but – look at the view."

I observed, and I could appreciate why he had halted like that. The view was…peaceful. It was a lot greater than I can describe it. The houses, the buildings, the shops, and all others seemed to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. The communication towers, a little much away, were about as tall as the hill we were standing on, if not just a little taller. And the bright sunlight illuminating it all – it was hard to feel scared of anything at that moment.

"Gosh…it looks so different from up here. You know," Monor took a breath and sighed serenely as his hazel eyes hazed slightly, "it makes me think that the village up here doesn't look so big and tall, and it seems like…well, I don't know…I can manage things."

Pikelo (who until now had been silent, for a change, looking at the vista as well) retorted, "Now hey, Mono, I would be thinking you were getting soft. C'mon, you're always the boss of things. Not that I really like that all the time, but…"

"I don't really feel like that though. Everybody seemed to expect that from me, even at the beginning. Just because my father's the head director and all."

"Well, if that's the case – you don't need to feel like that if you really don't. Just do how you think, and if everybody's stupid or not, they'll just see whether or not you are the head honcho or whatever." Pikelo shrugged. "Why did that come up all of a sudden?"

"Like I said – it kind of was the landscape." Monor shook his head.

"I mean, me – I just talk a lot. Chatterbox, that's me." The sunlight through the trees behind us reflected off of his light golden hair in a special way.

Monor blinked, puzzled.

"I mean, well, I have to do something in the gang, right? If I don't speak like a blabbermouth, then what am I? Fried oats?"

"You don't need to say anything. If you're just doing that 'cause you think you have to, then stop. In fact," Monor laughed, "I might like you better if you did it less!"

"Ha! Tough luck!" Suddenly, his head whipped toward me. "Well, silent Samey! Do you think I talk too much at times? You haven't said much!"

I wasn't sure what to say. I wondered if I should have said something while they talked. "Well…"

As I feared, they had immediately got hushed up to hear what I was going to say.

"Well," I said again, "I guess that's why I don't talk much."

"What?" Then, after a moment, Pikelo added, "Oh…well, since you don't talk a lot, you can go ahead and, um…say what you want!" He thought he had made a good comeback.

"I…don't have much to say." I shrugged.

"Well, if you do," Monor spoke, "you go ahead and say it, you hear?"

"Sure."

We all stood kind of dumbly for a moment, and then Monor said, "Well, I guess it's time to go. Not much else to do, I guess."

Pikelo nodded, and they set off in the path that we came by.

Why wasn't I going with them?

"I really don't have much to say because…"

They wobbled a moment slightly, and then turned around to face me.

"…because you guys seem to do all of the clever talking."

Pikelo's brow furrowed. "What do you mean?"

I frowned. "I don't mean to keep silent, because I do know how stupid I sound just standing there not saying anything, and keeping mum and all that. I can say stuff if you want, but I hope it's all right if I don't say anything good or…"

I sighed. I was already saying stupid things, so it wasn't any good warning them, was it?

"Whoa, whoa," Monor said, holding up his hands. "You can say anything whenever or however you want to, Seim man."

"I mean, hey, you don't not talk," Pikelo added. "You argue with me all the time!"

I lifted an eyebrow. "Reeeeally…"

"No, you do! You were when I commented on, uh, you not talking," Pikelo shrugged sheepishly. Then, he perked up and put in, "Yeah, and you quarreled to prove me wrong! See, that's it!"

Before I could say anything, he interjected, "And your arguments are just as fun as Mono's, if you know what I, uh, mean…" He elbowed Monor.

"It's perfectly fine, Seim, if you don't want to say stuff," he hastily added, "and besides, I bet you spot a lot more stuff that way."

"And we need someone to keep us motor-mouths under control," Pikelo nodded, slapping his thumbs onto his fingers like scissors, illustrating his point.

I smiled. If I had ever any doubt that they were my comrades, they would be happily put to rest by now.

"C'mon, Seim, join the set," Monor called, waving his hand.

Nodding, I went over to them and we strolled back down the hill.

After a moment, Monor took a last peek at the peak. "You know…I'd love to go back up there sometime."

"Yeah-huh!" Pikelo blurted. "You know, it could be our special top-secret hideout, or a lair, and set up a fort, or –"

He cut himself off abruptly. They both looked at me. In a moment, I remembered that it was because they wanted to hear what I would say. I really didn't have much, but if they wanted to know…

"Yeah. It was real nice, and we said some cool stuff to each other there."

Monor and Pikelo looked at each other, and then all of us looked ahead at the path downward back to the village from the summit of the highest hill. Pondering what had been said that day so far, we kept walking. I think everyone noticed that it was easier than the ascent.