Two moons over, p.18
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       Two Moons Over, p.18

           Levi Shipley
there that could see them. These tunnels were beyond useful for transit, but there were creatures that lurked in the dark and in caverns that split away from the rails. No one knew what these creatures looked like, and those that did couldn’t tell anyone else. If the train were to derail, they would all find themselves victims to these monsters of darkness. Perhaps they would be killed outright, or maybe the things in hiding were hungry. And there was always the chance that they would be held captive. That is except for one of course. Cecil wondered if he would help his fellow riders in such an event and thought that he might not. The thought chilled him.

  He sat in solitude, though he was surrounded by people. None sat next to him, but their presence was all about him. Most were asleep. Some were reading. And one or two were also gazing out their windows, though they didn’t share a cab with Cecil. He sat there and thought.

  The prison break had been a success, more or less. They had been spotted by three guards, but Salina and Arthur were able to incapacitate them before they raised alarm. No need to kill them. They were just doing their job. Nelrene unlocked Partheus’s cell, and they were off. With Marianna driving an unassuming little four door beater car that contained a new set of clothes for Partheus, everything was well enough.

  When they had him off the grid, Arthur gave him a haircut (once being a barber himself), a shave, and some brown hair dye to further cover up his wheat blonde mane. Partheus could’ve been any normal, head buried in sand elf.


  They needed him to find the last and youngest of their order, and Partheus was happy to oblige. He had been caged up for over a year and a half now and knew that the public execution was scheduled in a few weeks. Not that he was worried about his own death very much, but there were others. And he wanted to save them. To top that, he had become restless relaying messages in his cell, and the fresh air was a warm welcome although it was a crisp autumn breeze that first met his newly shaven face.

  The youngest had been lost on their way to Fraushein. Surprisingly, it seemed that Dahzir and the Leviathans had lost him as well. If he’d been captured they’d have done to him what they did to Hodge, or at the very least kept him locked up to study. Neither of these were the case, and that was good. If he had found a way to stay under the radar, then he could help them in their final push to free the Chrissenians. Dahzir would be expecting an assault to come soon, and they knew it. But the boy, Cecil had been his name, could be the only real trick to hide up their sleeve.

  It had occurred to them, or at least to Arthur, that Cecil might be under the radar to stay away from THEM. It wasn’t so unbelievable to imagine. In the short amount of time that Cecil had been with them, he experienced much. Not that any of it would break him. But they also knew that that kind of stress could be problematic to a fresh werewolf. His mind didn’t have time to attune to his new body, and having to cope with the circumstances around him as well could very well have made him unstable. If so then Cecil would be of little use to them or to himself.

  But worries would only hinder, and they needed to press on with their plans. He’d never been to Harkem, of that they were sure. They supposed that if he’d kept on heading east from the mine, he could’ve found Redora or its sister town Bluefort. Those were the places which Partheus was to search. He’d need to be careful and stay away from public transit and “routine” road stops. But otherwise it would be a simple trek. He’d have no trouble traveling, but time was against them all. If he couldn’t find Cecil and furthermore convince him to come to their aid by the end of the month in just three weeks, chances stood that they would fail. And even with him, success was slim.


  They bid Partheus farewell and left to attend to their own machinations. Salina was the last to return to the “Speedster” as Arthur had come to call it. There was a tug to come with Partheus, to meet up with Cecil and see his young, hopeful face once again. In truth, she loved the boy though she did not know it. Her heart went out to him, as he was akin to her though she knew not why. But duty comes first, and she returned to the rusty little vehicle.

  Partheus kicked up some dirt and watched it glow red in the taillights until his getaway car rounded a corner out of his sight. He let out a sigh and rubbed his smooth face. It hadn’t been that smooth since the night he first met the werewolves. And now, two years later he felt that same face and watched the same werewolves move along their way, except one. And it was that one that he would find. By all the powers that be, he promised he would not allow his comrades to fall to execution blades while he still breathed. And for the time being he did breathe, and walk, and breathe some more. His journey had begun.

  The aemon female across from Cecil had woken up and developed a liking for Cecil it seemed. She got up from her seat, waking her companion, and sat back down next to Cecil. Cecil all the while continued to stare out his window. Though he knew she’d decided to sit next to him, he couldn’t care less.

  Not that his indifference phased her. In fact, she didn’t even seem to notice that he wasn’t paying attention. She began to go on about how familiar he looked, something about the beach, and a few derogatory statements about her husband who was sitting across the way and not very happy. She put a hand on Cecil’s shoulder, which he shook off from reflexes. After this she began to go on again about the beach, though this time Cecil was more aware of her. If what she said this time was just a copy of her last little dialogue, then she was telling Cecil about a fantastic nude beach that was just her absolute favorite. She told him that they could go there together after getting to Mirwa, as it was just a brisk walk away. Again she put her hand on Cecil’s shoulder, but this time she began to rub his neck.

  Cecil had seen a few odd happenings in his time (that he remembered), but this was somewhere in his top twenty. This time instead of shaking her hand off, he grabbed both her hands that were on his shoulder and, as gently as he could, and removed them. He wasn’t expecting her to lean in and kiss him during his attempt to push her away, which he owed her success to. Her lips were soft and warm and had he not closed his teeth, Cecil would’ve known what her tongue felt like too.

  Now it was too much. He pushed her back, spilling her into the isle. His voice was shaky as he found himself not entirely loath to her touch, but he managed to speak. “I don’t know what you want.” Though he thought he did, “Just leave me be, please.” The final courtesy came out a higher pitch than the rest, but she seemed to get the point and moved back over next to her husband. Although she did smile and wink at him as she sat down again.

  A few other people also had awoken from this little stir and turned their attention to the male aemon. After hearing a few admonishing words from people he didn’t care about he decided to make a show. He stood up, puffed up his chest, and stood over the last chair on Cecil’s side. And in a voice that was louder and deeper than his real voice he said, “Hey pal, you best stay away from my wife, or I’ll make you regret it!” He balled up his right fist and began punching his left palm to show that he meant it, or perhaps because he was a child. Cecil was unsure which.

  Not answering the aemon worked this time. Cecil heard the man say something to the degree of “that’s what I thought” and sit back down next to his wife. When Cecil looked over, hoping he made no eye contact and warranted no more attention, he saw that the woman continued to push the man away when he tried to put a hand on her shoulder or on her hand. Cecil supposed their relationship wasn’t going too well, but was content that they would probably keep that to themselves for the rest of the trip.


  When the tunnel opened back up, almost everyone woke up who hadn’t already. The train picked up its pace, and they were now racing through a valley surrounded by small, dwarfish mountains. The red sun was halfway back over the sky. Cecil could have asked someone with a phone or watch what the time was, but it was no more to him than a casual observati
on. And so was everything else. Again he lost himself in thought.

  Partheus hadn’t set off very far when he found a patch of wild pumpkins growing by the edge of the woods. He was hungry and hadn’t really eaten since his imprisonment. Besides, pumpkin seeds were nostalgic to him, and it had been ages since the last time he’d eaten any.


  It must have been a century and a half ago he thought. He saw himself, though younger and a bit higher strung. He was standing over a patch much like this one, though he supposed they were all just about the same. He watched himself cut them open, eat the seeds, and roast the guts for a later meal. And as it was then, he did so again. He remembered that time with a feeling that seemed to lift up his insides and make him laugh.

  It had been a few days after he stood up for a convicted man, one that was innocent. But the governor of Farburg, which lay on the opposite side of the world, did not like to see his guillotine go dry. Partheus had pleaded with the officials to let the man go. He was accused of nothing more than failing to return a book to the town library. The very idea of executing a man for such a thing was ludicrous. And Partheus
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