Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty

“Would you stop moving around!” Sheen hissed.

“Sorry,” Nora said meekly. They were standing in middle of a very cold night in front of Trish’s home. She was bound to be nervous. She chewed the inside of her cheek.

“Any sigh of him?” Trish’s uncle asked from the cave.

“Nope, not yet. He’ll show up,” Sheen said, eyes locked in the direction of the Irka’s new home. Nora had the distinct impression that she was being treated like a child. Just then Sheen perked up. “I heard something,” she whispered, “Trish? Is that you?”

“It’s me,” Trish said from the darkness. Nora realized she’d never heard her voice so unguarded. “Is she there?” Trish continued.

“I’m here,” Nora replied.

“Nora?” A voice said. Someone made a shushing noise. Then Trish and Cragg came within the shielded light at the cave entrance, and Nora stumbled forward. She wasn’t sure which of them she would rather avoid looking at. The last time she’d seen each of them had been under awkward circumstances.

“Let’s go inside,” Sheen suggested. They all retreated to the cave and stood around the fire. Erreth, Kyri, and Hesh moved aside to give them room. The other children were supposedly sleeping, but if Nora looked long enough she could see eyes blinking open.

When they had arranged themselves there was a moment of quiet, as they all breathed in the warmth of the fire, and then Cragg spoke.

“Nora.”

Damn the awkwardness, it was so good to hear his voice. “Hi, Cragg,” she said, “I heard you had a message for me?”

“Yes, I did. I do. I’m glad you decided to meet with me.”

“Me too.”

“Kesle said that you left the colony?”

Somehow it sounded much, much worse coming from him. “I did. I just couldn’t take it anymore, and I’m sorry for being so hypocritical but I just couldn’t,” she said, all in a rush.

Cragg looked around. “Could you all give us some space, please?”

The circle members all took a couple steps back. “I think that’s all we get,” Nora said. They looked at each other across the fire. If Cragg could have taken a step forward when he next spoke, he would have.

“This is my message for you,” he began, “and I’m sorry I have to say it here, but so it is. Atkin worries me. I think Rouk has too much influence over him. We are a following people, which is alright, but only when there is someone worthy of the following. I look at the way Atkin is and I see the makings of a king. That is not who we are.

“Things were not right in the colony. You know that. But things are not right where we are now and I don’t like where they are going. I don’t know what the whole answer is. That is for your council, your complete, restored council, to decide. Whatever the answer is, what we have now is not it, and I want it to stop. I want you to help me stop it.”

“Is that all?” she asked.

“There were some other things, but I can say them some other time,” he said, glancing at their audience. Nora walked around the fire to stand next to him. “Cragg, I trust you the most of anyone,” she said slowly, “and if you say it isn’t right, then I will help you fix it.”

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Of Fires and Fleeting Chapters « bookyworm

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