Chapter 27 - Suspicion
Rhett sat at the cluttered table in his kitchen. Piles of letters splayed out that he had to respond to. Things hadn’t changed much between each update that he sent Shelpo. All he had been doing was providing insight about the people he surrounded himself with.
He walked to his freezer and grabbed an ice cube tray, cracking the plastic and dropping two cubes into a cup. He reached for a can of cola and poured it into a giant cup with still a couple inches remaining empty on the top. Scratching his chin, he scavenged around his impressive alcohol collection and grabbed a bottle of cherry vodka bringing the cup full to the rim.
After mixing the liquid with a spoon, he took a big gulp, and glanced back towards the table, eyeing a specific document. One he had left sitting there for quite some time, but procrastinated on. They were going to want to hear from him soon, so tonight had to be the night, despite the odd air the evening brought. Although, it was particularly for that reason Rhett felt it best to not put it off any longer.
He ran his fingers through his long braided hair, and clicked the pen. This report wasn’t just a regular update, it had to be more than that. It felt like a high school essay. They needed Rhett to write why they should allow him to stay in Lyros any longer. He hadn’t found anything relating to the incident in which he requested for his stay here yet, and soon he would be revoked of his temporary visa.
He didn’t give up hope. He knew there was still a way to keep himself here. He at least needed to provide himself enough time to participate in the festivities coming up, he felt that was his biggest shot at any clues.
They should come soon. Ambri mentioned it two weeks ago now, yet she hadn’t said anymore than that. Rhett explained that to them when she brought it up, but perhaps they forgot. He wasn’t their only client after all. Or maybe they just thought the festival idea sounded silly.
Rhett took a few more gulps. He could not leave. He was not going to let that happen. Sure, there were no leads to anything he was looking for, but the more time he spent in Lyros, the more he felt he was enjoying the company here, even if he battled with himself over that. There was no evidence any of the people he was spending time with did it, but if he did end up finding a clue to the mystery that brought him here, he wasn’t sure what he would do. He didn’t want to have to hate his new found friends. Or if they really were behind all that happened, he didn’t want to have to hurt them.
In that sense, perhaps it was best for Rhett to return to Kandorr. Either way his trip wouldn’t end well. Separated from new good friends, or face to face with an enemy that was once a friend that betrayed him. How long had it been since he actually investigated the people here? Even with the small evidence back home, could he really just not bear the thought of one of his fellow villagers betraying him?
He smashed his glass against the table, causing the drink to splotch the document. He knew he had been getting too close with everyone. His mind rejected the thought of even accusing any of them anymore. How could they be involved with anything so heinous? The people who he spent all his time with.
Even with all the conflict in his mind, he had to stay, at least until the festival was over. He fabricated a bit of his story, making it seem that it was essential he stayed for the event, that it could lead to a major discovery.
After that was over, if there was nothing, he would have to say goodbye to everyone.
Saraiya sat at the edge of her bed looking out into the night. Her chest felt heavy, and visions of that white beast flashed through her mind. How was there anyway she could sleep? Especially after that exchange with Ambri. The power that resided beyond her eyes tormented her. Her roundabout way of speaking to her.
Saraiya knew that she knew. How was that even possible? Did Kale follow her?
Kale would never leave the village though. Everyone knows he likes spending the daytime feeding and playing with the cats. At least, Saraiya had never seen him leave the village on his own. Were there times he went out on his own?
Saraiya searched her yard, looking for her night companion, but that white cat was nowhere to be seen. Her eyes dropped towards the floor. Who knew she would feel so alone when he didn’t show up?
She opened her notebook and began writing, she hadn’t yet recorded her journey from the day.
Grant picked up the claw that was connected to the rock he found weeks ago. Was this really a lion’s claw? And why was it connected to this rock? He hadn’t paid it any mind for a while, but after today’s events with the lion cages being set up, and Ambri’s outburst, he really examined it.
He peeled the claw off of the rock as it left residue of glue. Knocking the rock against the island in his kitchen, it made a sound as if something rested within. His eyebrows elevated. He smacked it against it again. There was definitely something in there.
He thought about throwing it against the floor, but didn’t want to damage anything. Pacing up and down the hallway, he had an idea.
The drawer opened and he pulled out a knife. If it wasn’t a normal rock, maybe a knife could cut through it. He sawed back and forth as a thin powder dusted off with each stroke. There was no significant progress cutting through it however.
It had been a long day, and he figured he could try again another time. He needed sleep, especially after a grueling day that this day was.