Tarts

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Chapter Seven

Chapter Seven


Sully had surprised me with his excitement and sudden hug. I didn't get hugs often and wasn't one for being touched.

Sully stopped hugging me and stood back, admiring the dark and glinting scales. He gently asked me to tip my head down and I felt weight drag my head down. Horns! I had acquired horns. At least, I think I did.

After he was done… admiring what my form was he smiled widely at me. Griffin looked at me, his eyes also showing surprise. Sully took moment to stare at the blood around my nose but did not comment.

“Well, that’s.... something.” He said, grinning with wolfish teeth. I didn’t smile at that and J gave him a dirty glare. I could see the stress in their eyes though, and body language but they seemed to be calming down, even if I seemed different.

J gave me a long hug and smiled softly at me. “Good to see you back, Nat. You’re gonna tell us what happened and then explain this,” She stated, moving a finger up and down while looking at me with an eyebrow raised, most likely at the red that was still around my nose.

Tell them what happened? Tell them? I didn’t… I couldn’t. Not yet. “No.” I whispered as I leaned on the balls of my feet, straining my muscles. J looked at me but didn’t utter a single word.

J’s eyes widened then, when she saw Ace and Blitz. I didn’t say anything to her about it and she said nothing to me, as she knew it wasn't our place.

Then I saw Griffin’s eye turn to Ace and Blitz. He cocked his head and looked at me. “Who are they?” He asked me, curious. I could he knew something about them was familiar, but he just didn’t know what.

Ace moved closer, slowly but he moved. He reached a hand forward nevertheless pulling it back. He smiled at Griffin softly and I could see his eyes brimming with tears again. Oh, how I hoped he wouldn’t cry.

Then Griffin almost recoiled at first, scared. He looked at me as if I had put knives in his back but said nothing. He seemed panicked almost at the sight of his parents, in realizing who they were.

“Hey, Claric. Um, we’re, we’re Ace and Blitz.” Ace said as Griffin just stared at them. He looked at me with eyes that pleaded for help.

“Maybe we should let these three go somewhere to talk in private?” I said and I could see Griffin silently strangling me.

Ace and Blitz didn’t say anything to me and walked off, telling Griffin where we were going. He was nervous, that much anyone could tell and soon it was just me, Sully and J.

Sully’s hair was almost completely blue now and J was smiling again, sighing so heavily that she seemed to let go of any stress she had.

I lead them through the tents and managed, after some help, to find Ace and Blitz’s tent and we huddled in there. I sat on the floor, since it was dry and a small fire was crackling in a makeshift stone hearth. It felt wonderful against my skin and I was glad to be warm again.

J and Sully both awkward sat down in two other chairs, looking around to gain some sort of setting. J seemed very nervous and Sully was almost jumping up and down in his chair, eager about something.

My guess is that he wanted to draw in that book again from the look on his face and how he seemed to be slowly inching his hands toward the book itself that was nestled in the pack.

J was getting too antsy and she kept looking at me, that kind that tells someone another is getting impatient. Or that they want something, need something.

But I wasn’t going to tell them. How could I? I needed time to think. To breathe and relax. I needed to try and clear my head before I explained what happened.

She did show me what my horns looked like though when I asked her and I was rather intrigued by it all. They curled back like a wave, extremely sharp at the end. A light silvery glow traced the bottom of the horn and sailed off, following the ridges. No cracks were in my horns, unlike Mark who’s looked like a volcanic cavern.

I sighed as a weight filled my chest and I could feel a wave of utter exhaustion wash over me as I yawned. I rubbed my eyes and smiled at the two people in front of me.

What were we going to do? I knew something was off in this world, not just with Red, of course but how was that going to even be solved or figured out?

Lightly tapping my foot to try to keep my eyes open, I noticed J was looking down the slight hill that the tent was on top of. She wasn’t smiling, just watching with a surprisingly deadpan face.

I looked down and could see Griffin looking rather heated while Ace was trying to calm him down. I could hear the softness in his voice, how he wanted to try and defuse the situation without too much trouble. Blitz wasn’t doing much but she seemed a little frustrated at Griffin.

Griffin said something about why they had to leave him with the humans. With the humans. Oh. That… that didn’t sound right.

Neither of them said anything, only that at the time, the war was raging and now it had just boiled down to a war of words with small battles and many raids. It was an odd mix of modern and old together. I didn’t know how to feel about that.

We looked away, not wanting to be intruding on the situation. It felt wrong to do so, as it should. Somethings were best left private, like secrets.

The sun had almost completely set now, dimming over the horizon. It was a beautiful sight as the pinks and purples cascaded around, a pastel painting against a dark backdrop of twinkling stars and wispy clouds.

J soon explained that Sully was the first to wake up and noticed that I wasn’t there. He said he didn’t panic at first but soon realized that the fire had died a long while ago and he woke the other two up.

It apparently didn’t take them long to start trying to find me but no avail. J said she had no inkling that I would have been taken to Ripper, as I had only just got here a few days ago. Maybe it was a week, I was losing track of time, honestly.

But news traveled fast when people needed it so there wasn’t really a reason that it couldn’t of been a possibility. In the very least, it could have been the truth, if you thought about it.

Griffin was the one that said maybe if they went to the plains that maybe they could get some help and they decided it was the best bet, even if something felt off about the whole situation.

I listened as she said that nothing to interesting happened while they head over to here. They heard word that something had happened at Ripper but few knew where it actually was. And no one had actually escaped before so even more people were spreading it like wildfire to a dry brush.

We all knew that it would take longer than an hour for Griffin to catch up with his parents and maybe work out some issues so we asked someone that looked like they were an authority figure because, honestly, none of us were too sure about anything at the moment and they lead us to a large, empty tent.

All that was in it was a few rolled out sleeping bags, pillows and an electric lantern that cast a dim glow across the rather large space. I took the sleeping bag to the right, Sully in the middle and J to the right. Before I knew it, J was snoring loudly but Sully had bumped her so that she could fix her sleeping position.

I just stared up at the tents ceiling, wishing I could see the stars. The crickets were chirping loudly but it was soft enough that it made me smile. No sound of loud cars, the pollution to block out the beautiful stars. That is, if I could see them.

I got up, my legs straining from the past few days. I had my wings curled around me to keep them from you know, being a nuisance. I really needed to ask how to retract my form because it was kinda getting annoying.

The grass was soft here, in the plains. Long and wispy almost. It reminded me of cotton. I saw a little cricket jump by, the underside of its legs looking like the bow of a violin. It stopped and stared at me, soon rubbing its legs together and it made the sound of a cricket only longer and soulful. Huh, neat. Good job evolution?

A light wind brushed by and made me shiver. I wrapped my wings around, gingerly as to not harm them. I didn’t want to know how much it would hurt to have them damaged in any way. I feel like that would be worse than most other pain.

And I was right. The stars were magnificent. They twinkled brightly against the pane of clouds and atmosphere here, the moon even brighter as well. I could hear the slow breathing of men and women all around me and I wondered how they managed to live this lifestyle for more then two years. It baffled me, really. How could they handle that mental and physical strain?

I knew my mother would be worried but I couldn’t really get myself to care about her. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, I just couldn’t go make sure someone was ok if they had hurt me in some way. That’s not how I function and even though it’s my own mother, no. I’m not going to go near her for a long while.

I heard soft, deliberately quiet footsteps coming toward me and I smiled to myself as Sully sat down beside me, the blue in his hair glowing a bit and was almost completely the color as well.

He was staring at the stars too now, a slight smile on his face. I liked how his eyes had this blue tint to them in that sea of brown. He looked so peaceful, if I was being honest.

“Just relax. Our forms rely heavily on emotion input so the calmer you are, the more control you have.” He said, picking at the grass.

I looked at him and smiled slightly. They did seem very emotional based, considering when I panicked and got as scared as a toddler being confronted for stealing it hurt like all hell. I supposed it would take a bit for me to calm down, as I still hadn’t changed back yet so I just waited.

Sully sighed, stopped picking at the grass and rested his head on his knees and hands after curling into a little ball. He looked at me in a side view and squinted slightly but soon stopped and just sighed heavily again.

“I know how difficult it can be to sleep. Or just not want to.” He blurted out suddenly and I looked at him, surprised. He didn’t seem to talk much and it was always a welcome gift when he did.

I wrapped my wings around me and took a deep breath. “Yeah, it’s not fun.” I replied as I heard J start to snore again and what sounded like Griffin moving around like a wiggly worm.

Sully looked like he wanted to say something else but didn’t and he looked back up at the stars again, tapping one of his fingers against his kneecaps. “The war is spreading and it’s getting closer to Neo, the forest and plains region of this Earth. There’s not a lot of large land masses other than the one you’re on now.

“But it might be best to learn about it first, before we try to do anything. We aren’t allowed to enlist in the Army, Navy, anything of the sort until at least twenty-one. They don’t want us dying too young.” Sully said as he looked at me with wide eyes.

I smiled slightly and nodded at his ranting. I didn’t know what to say but it was helpful information to know. So I guess that was good.

“Thanks, Sully.” I told him as a few stars twinkled at me.

He smiled brightly at me and the blue in his hair spread again, glowing a little bit brighter. “What’s with your hair?” I asked him. I was practically dying to know at that point and I needed a distraction.

He looked at me, surprised and ran a hand through his hair. “It, um, the blue spreads if I’m really happy or nervous about something. You’re not dead so that’s a plus. It normally shrinks if I’m scared or freaked out about something. The glowing? It just does that. We think it’s a mutation in my form but we aren’t really sure.” He replied, continuously running a hand through his hair.

“Well, I like it.” I promptly stated with the tension in my muscles slowly leaving. I felt the weight on my back disappear quietly and I realized my form was gone - so I could relax after all.

Sully smiled at me having figured out how to relax enough and stopped running a hand through his hair. It was completely dark now and you could see the moon smiling down at everyone.

Sighing deeply, I got up and stretched. Everything still hurt like hell but the nurse did a pretty good job, I must admit. Blood was cleaned up, things were bandaged well.

“Sleep?” He asked me and cocked his head.

“Sleep.” I replied back and crawled into the tent, staying awake a little while longer. I knew things were soon going to go to batshit but how? How were things going to change like that?

I fell asleep right as Sully came back into the tent and I swore I heard him chuckle softly to himself, about something unknown.

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