Chapter 52 - Journey to the Concert
Grant’s nail hadn’t extended since last night, and despite the constant checking of his finger, everything seemed to be normal. But he couldn’t get the terrifying image out of his head. What if it happened again?
Grant and the others were on their way to the concert, and the idea of the transformation happening there frightened him more than anything else.
“You’re falling behind, Grant!” Saraiya shouted as everyone walked ahead of Grant on the side of the highway. They strided on the incline of the ditch, feeling the wind of each passing car.
“Is something wrong? You seem a bit out of it today,” Rhett said, walking backwards, facing Grant.
“Nah, I’m fine.” He couldn’t just say his nail turned into a blade. There wouldn’t even be any way to prove it. And on top of that, it wasn’t like he wanted to tell anyone, at least right now.
“I know you’re a bit anxious about the concert, but it’ll be fine. I’ll even order you my favorite drink.” Rhett smiled and slowed his pace to let Grant catch up to him.
“Thanks… Sorry, yeah I don’t know what’s up. I’m sure I’ll feel better once we get there.” Grant’s hand went up to itch his face, but he froze and just stared at it, bringing it back down to his side. The shine of an extended nail wasn’t there, but he did want to risk another wound. He still had no idea why it happened the first time.
The top of his head still rested a crusty scab, but his hair covered it up. He made sure he got all the blood out of his blonde hair after he woke up.
Grant looked out at the surroundings with the orange tinted sky glowing across the land. Tall grass swayed like an ocean of green beside them.
“Cheer up Grant!” Ambri said at the front of the group, leading the charge. “I’ll make sure tonight will be great for all of us. After all, because I work there, I can get us all sweet discounts.”
Could Ambri tell something was wrong with Grant? She seemed rather chipper today compared to normal. Maybe it was just due to the concert. She did mention the amount of tips she gets skyrockets when a special occasion happens at the bar, and anyone would be happy with a sudden influx of money.
Maybe that was all Grant needed, a few drinks to completely forget about his problems. Part of him was beginning to think that perhaps he was slightly insane yesterday, but if that was the case, the scar on his head wouldn’t be there. Still, the idea of a blade for a nail baffled him.
They walked a bit further down the highway and Grant and Rhett reduced their distance from the rest of the group.
Grant looked over at Kale, still wearing his mask and gloves. Why did he wear gloves if he was already wearing a mask? Wasn’t the mask protection from germs enough? Wearing gloves as double protection couldn’t hurt though. Kale seemed to be the type to take precaution about things, so it made sense.
There was something Grant couldn’t stop thinking about however. If his nail were to come back, the only way to hide it was by wearing gloves. Was Kale really sick? Or was he hiding something too?
“I hope I can make some friends tonight!” Kale’s voice diminished as the wind attacked them. “I usually have an easier time making friends with drunk people.”
It was no wonder why that was the case, he was awful with first impressions. Drunk people usually don’t judge much though. Animals don’t judge much either, which could be another reason he was always trying to make friends with them. Grant couldn’t help but feel bad for him.
Grant pat Kale on the back. “I’m sure you’ll make a lot of friends tonight, man.”
Kale looked over at Grant and his mask rose upwards, as well as his eyes. “Thanks. I think I will too.”
Saraiya was looking out into the fields of flat grasslands as insects buzzed and hummed. She seemed to be deep in thought.
“You ever wonder how many bugs are in this amount of grass?” Saraiya asked.
“No.” Rhett looked over at her with a deadpan expression.
“No… Rhett, just imagine it though. It’s like a whole ’nother world. If you take just this field, it’s like the size of a country for some of those bugs. Most probably haven’t even seen humans. It just got me thinking, what if there are a lot of things out there we haven’t seen either, and not only the vulthos. There has to be a ton more things right?” She scratched her chin. “And why stop there… What about ghosts, spirits, aliens, alternate dimensions, the universe… There are so many unsolved mysteries.”
“Saraiya, I’ve gotta be honest. I’m not drunk enough for this conversation right now. Although I do think it’s likely there are ,more species out there to be discovered. I mean, we did all witness the vulthos last night.” Rhett laughed.
There had to be more mysterious species out there. Grant felt like one himself right now. His nail was as sharp as a blade last night. It wasn’t human. At least, he had never heard of anyone having something like that happen to them. Maybe there are others like that though, hiding like he was trying to now.
“Yeah, we only have what we have seen or experienced to base our lives on. Who’s to say that we aren’t bugs to some superior species.” Grant said. “We could just be like those bugs, but instead of living outside of the advanced species’ reach, maybe they have just learned to blend within as one of the insects.”
Grant definitely didn’t think of himself as being superior with that nail, but he thought of himself as a monster that could hurt a living being even by accident. In that aspect, perhaps he was advanced. Or, at the least, more dangerous.
Kale looked at Grant and turned his head, eyes looking perplexed. “That’s an… interesting way of looking at things.”
Saraiya nodded her head, smiling. “I like that answer! I’m glad there is someone else here who I can have these kinds of conversations with!”
Ambri said nothing, as she snuck a glance at Grant.