I don’t think I’ve ever been so frightened in all of my life. The night we saw that specter, the one that looked like Craig, I lay awake in my bed, staring at the ceiling, questioning everything I’d ever seen. It had to be the light playing tricks on all three of us, it had to be – Craig was in his room, half-asleep, when we’d called after we’d gotten back, just to make sure he was all right. He’d seemed a little worried about the three of us – I knew that we sounded panicked – but said he was fine. I believed him.
I closed my eyes and listened to the few cars and the people that passed my building, extremely audible through my open window. Across the room, Jude was fast asleep. The sounds of cars gradually faded into the sound of hoof beats, and when I opened my eyes I found myself lying inside a wattle and daub hut with no door, just a blanket rippling in the cool night breeze. I levered myself out of the bed – I was fully clothed, complete with boots – and stepped outside into the night. A young man stopped me, wearing long pants and a simple tunic. A belt encircled his waist, and he carried no weapons save for a dagger – I assumed it was for eating due to its size. He looked at me and spoke. “Commander, the magi in blue said that I should send you to Lord Malcolm’s cot once you were awake.”
She wants me to go to his...bed? Wait a second... “Of course,” I said to the young man. “Thank you...”
“Sean, Commander, it’s Sean. The blue magi said you should hurry.”
I nodded and started off toward the other side of camp, only to stop at hearing Sean clear his throat. “Yes, what is it?”
“Commander, Lord Malcolm’s cot is that way.” He pointed off toward a wattle and daub cot that stood away from the rest of them – mine was the closest to it by far.
Of course, not his cot in sense of bed, cot in sense of house. It all makes sense now. I nodded. “Yes, thank you, Sean.”
The young man nodded, looking warily at me. I took a deep breath and walked away from him, in the direction that he indicated. Like mine, the hut didn’t have a door, only a blanket over the doorway. I slipped inside to see people that looked like Jude, Mira, Lance, and Kitty. The girl who looked like Jude, dressed in blue, looked up at me. “Thank goodness you’re here. Get over the initial shock?”
Something isn’t right here. “What initial shock?”
“Shai, Lord Malcolm is gone. We don’t know where he is.”
“WHAT?!” I quickly sat down in a chair that the guy who looked like Lance had positioned behind me. “What happened? Did he just disappear into thin air?”
The four looked at each other, then at me. Kitty spoke. “He left this morning to scout something. We found his weapons and his armor on the far side of the Divide this afternoon. We were under the impression that he told you what he’d been planning.”
What a time not to remember any of this. The last thing I remember was going to sleep with him there. When he told me I’d been gone too long. Something wasn’t right with this picture. Why couldn’t I figure out what it was?
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