My mother had always told me that the Valley was safe to touch, but never for long, which was why we lived up in the Hills. She once told me, “Little darling, the crystal coldness would seep into you, and your heart would snap under the prolonged pressure.” Her eyes were sort of bent sideways, and they weren’t normally like that, and I didn’t know why. She then wrapped her arms around me and kissed me on the forehead. “The Valley isn’t for us, my darling,” she whispered, her voice frail as if she remembered something that happened in the Valley. Of course, nothing could have happened to my mother in the Valley. People in the Hills knew that the Valley was a place to touch but never for too long. My mother would never stay in the Valley for too long; she was smart like that. Everyone in the Hills was smart like that.
Each home in the Hills was equipped with a tool that the residing family was to use to guide their decisions. Our house had an old wooden container that had a small sparkly white rhombus that spun in the center, seemingly without anything causing it. There was a clear, hard film over the rhombus. When I was younger, I once threw the box to the ground as hard as I could to try to break the film. Like every child I had ever known, I wanted to know how the rhombus moved. The Hills Council didn’t take kindly to my destructive habits, and I was placed in a building called the Watchtower until it was deemed that I learned my lesson. I don’t know exactly why going to the Watchtower was a punishment though because it seemed just like my house only circular and with a much higher ceiling. Nothing seemed to change either. I continued to live my life, only returning to the Watchtower instead of my home at night.