Rhatak waited until she could hear the smooth, even breathing that meant Rhani had managed to fall asleep before she silently stood and exited the room into the atrium. From there, she set out into the street—pausing at the entrance of their shared home to make sure none of the festival-goers were paying her too close of mind—and began walking West.
It did not take long before she reached a small courtyard in the lower quarter where a large oak tree had been growing since Rhatak had been a child. She remembered the day it was planted, remembered the unrest in the quarter, and the way her mother had made her stay back from the crowd as they clamored about, shouting and frothing. At the time, Rhatak had not understood what there was to be angry about; now, she understood all too well.
When the Magisterras came down from the upper quarter, planted the oak, and used their Gift to make it bloom into a healthy young tree, the anger had ebbed some. It was an appeasement, and they all knew it. But no matter what else the Magisterras might have done, might still do, there was still an awe those without the Gift felt when they watched life brought into being. And so they accepted their appeasement and went about their lives.
Now the oak was a good eighteen feet tall with broad limbs and leafy green foliage. In the intervening years, the citizens of the lower quarter had built a kind of park around the tree, using the area as a gathering place for the wider community. Some fools even claimed the oak was a sign of victory on behalf of the Ungifted.
(Chapter Four of The Wastes is up on ChapterBuzz! Check it out!)