Chapter 35 - The Start of a Long Night
The mood of Lyros nestled back into its familiar atmosphere, but the whispering words that lingered from the lake left Grant with an ill feeling. He hadn’t mentioned it to anyone yet, and wasn’t sure if he should either. Did he really hear someone talk to him in the first place? Or was it his inner self warning him about how he had been feeling all along?
Obviously something inside Grant still felt unsettled, no matter how long he had lived here. He only grew more accustomed to the feelings, but they never cleared from his mind. Like kicking crumbs underneath furniture instead of cleaning it up, someday when you are caught up in changing things around you will have to deal with what you swept aside.
These miniscule issues didn’t bother Grant even close to how much his past bothered him, so he had no real reason to really think deep on them. This wasn’t the first time he felt himself going crazy either.
If there was one thing that proved he wasn’t as crazy as he thought though, it was witnessing the three vultho looking birds flying above the water. Lars still denied them, but Kale reacted in an unexpected manner. What was that about? Was he really warning Grant and Rhett as some kind of joke?
Grant stared deep into the burning bundles of bark, deep orange emitting within. A sudden change in wind direction blew a heavy amount of smoke in his face, causing him to cough.
“Wonder when everyone else is coming…” Rhett said as he leaned back in his fold-out chair across from Grant.
“Kale should be back soon, he has been gone already for ten minutes,” Grant said, rubbing his eyes.
“Yeah, but what about Saraiya, and even Ambri?”
The fire crackled and small bits of embers fluttered.
Grant hoped Ambri would stay away. She seemed better today than yesterday, but even still, her attitude had been shifting more and more. She still seemed to act the same way she had been when Grant arrived, only now it was accented, more to a point. She definitely knew more than what Grant and Rhett did, based on the way she always acted. Grant had no problem picking up on that, but what about Rhett?
“Yeah, I’m not sure. Maybe she is out tinkering with the cages again,” Grant said, then looked out towards the fields.
“Didn’t seem like she had any luck last night.”
“Yeah, I’m pretty glad for that.”
“Oh really? Why do you say that?”
Grant turned his head to the side in slight surprise. Although, up until yesterday Grant thought the cages were only a stupid idea, one too ridiculous to actively try to stop. However, upon slicing his finger, as well as many other materials with that claw, he thought it was an outright terrible idea. He opened his mouth to speak, but Rhett started first.
“It doesn’t seem like the best course of action to take, but if it makes her feel secure, what’s the harm? It’s not as if lions are actually going to attack us. They don’t purposely go out and hunt humans.” He looked up to the sky. “Back in Kandorr we all had to take a course on the Wildlands of Jurai, and study every major animal that roamed there. Of course they wouldn’t let us go there ourselves. Just getting a traveling visa to get into that country is a nightmare… Even for educational purposes.”
“Yeah, I do understand that Rhett, but, well, I’ll be right back, there is something I need to show you.” Grant took off from his chair and jogged to his trailer as two cars drove past. He paused for a moment and watched them pull into Saraiya’s driveway and continued into his house.
“Well, we’re here! I still can’t believe you have never visited Lyros even once,” Saraiya said and shut the door to her car.
“It’s uh, smaller than I expected,” Natch said as he got out of his car.
“What were you expecting? I thought I’ve told you before that it’s only one street. There isn’t much else that could exist with only one road.”
“I just figured there would be more, uh, trailers lined up I guess…” Natch looked around observing the area. “What are those? Are those… Cages?”
“Yeah, for the lions, Natch. Come on, stay on track here.”
“You’re joking right?”
“Why can’t you ever take anything I say seriously at work?” Saraiya frowned and headed towards the direction of Rhett’s trailer. “See, that should be proof enough already that this place isn’t completely sane.”
Natch scratched his head and proceeded following her. Saraiya hoped Ambri would not be present at the fire, but if she happened to be there maybe things would be okay with an outsider present. Perhaps her insane ramblings and thirst for power would calm down with someone who knows nothing of Lyros’s hierarchy around.
“I bet I know every single person in this village too…” Natch was mumbling to himself.
“Probably, most of us don’t really go out too much except for Nha-Stop. That’s why we are so important for working there,” she teased.
“Yeah… Real important…”
Saraiya knew Natch had hated working there, but always tried to cheer him up. Secretly, she wished he wouldn’t find a job in Montria, then there would be one less normal person to work with.
The illuminating light from the fire that warmed around Rhett’s home came into view and she pointed it out to Natch. Another figure appeared in front of them as they approached.
“Hey Grant!” Saraiya said, throwing her hand up to wave.
“Hey…” He answered, cupping his hands as if hiding something. He acted as if he was in a hurry.
“Oh, Grant. I’ve ran into you a few times,” Natch said.
“Yeah, I remember you. Are you guys coming to the fire?”
“Yup! I thought I would bring a friend this time.”
“Oh cool...” His voice trailed off as he walked ahead of them back to the fire. They followed.
“So, Grant what’d you want to show me?” Rhett’s voice echoed through the yard. “Wait what happened to your hand?!”