Village centre, Fire Moon 143.
"Out of the way, Caleb! Tegan has lousy aim!" Sivu yelled as his sister prepared to take her shot at the goal.
"I'll show you! You're never going to save this one!"
"Yeah, because it'll go nowhere near me!"
Caleb sensibly moved away from the makeshift goalposts without commenting on Tegan's skill or lack thereof. He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen either of the kids enjoying themselves as much... not since their dad's death in that fire a moon ago. He still missed Calvin, and knew the children did too, but they couldn't mourn forever.
"See, you were so wrong - I did save that!" Sivu gloated as he picked himself back up.
"OK, but you said it wouldn't go near you, so you were wrong too!"
Sivu made a little snorting noise. "Details."
Caleb spent some time testing his axe throwing skills against Prisa, one of the tribe's dedicated hunters. He was considering joining the hunting parties himself, as Sivu was nearly old enough now to take care of his younger siblings and Prisa would soon have a baby to care for.
It would take a lot of training, though - Caleb had spent his teen years in Moonlight Falls, and though he might have been one of the star players for his high school football team, Everglow Academy hadn't really covered how to spear a boar in gym class.
Meanwhile, the kids snoozed on the benches, having burned off all their energy. He let them sleep for a while before taking them home.
That night, with his almost-stepchildren again asleep, Caleb slipped out of his tent to visit the burial grounds.
"'I'm really sorry," he whispered to Calvin's grave. "I shouldn't have brought you here."
There was no sign that Calvin had heard. Only the wind through the trees, the distant howling of a wolf... just then, he felt a hand on his shoulder, and jerked around to find himself looking into the face of none other than...
"For Sena Yuleng's sake, son, let the poor boy have one night of peace!" Zita laughed.
"What was that for?" her son replied, also laughing. "You trying to scare me into the afterlife? Did you bring gold for the kora?" The great fire-bird spirits that carried the dead to the realm of the ancestors were not known to accept bribes, but Branch had once told him that other types of death journey required payment, and so Calvin's ashes had been buried with a lucky coin he'd kept from his student days.
Something else had just occurred to Caleb. "Wait... you know I've been visiting every night?"
Zita pulled her son into a squishy hug that might have actually been a wrestling move. "Calvin was an absolute gem, my son, and our family will miss him even if the rest of Kulo Seeri barely knew him. But I don't want you or the children to keep dwelling on the loss. I hope you'll find love again one day, and if that happens, I seriously doubt Calvin will send lightning bolts to strike you down."
"OK, OK! I promise I'll try to move on if you promise never to jump out at me in a boneyard again." Caleb said as he managed to break free of his mum's arms.
"Promise to get some sleep before you do anything else! You'll never be a hunter if you're always tired!"
Caleb smiled and turned to leave. He had to admit, Zita was right. No wonder he'd failed so badly with the axes.