Two moons over, p.25
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       Two Moons Over, p.25

           Levi Shipley
 
over the horizon, Cecil remembered. Not everything came back. The month of darkness was still hidden, but his life back on Earth before Ectoplas rose forth. He remembered going to school and how he had learned to read and perform math. He remembered reading books, playing games. And his friends and family. The werewolf remembered the good times and the bad, and never wanted to let go of either ever again. He even remembered meeting Salina in the woods by his house, but what she did to him he still could not remember.

  The noise box was turned on, but he never even looked at it. He gazed past it into his past. He relished every moment he had to think about the past he’d forgotten. It brought a wonderful sensation to him to think of the first time he’d fallen off a bicycle and scraped his arms and hands. He could remember the pain, how bitter it was but always reminding him that he was alive. He remembered those he cared for and how some of them had died. Though their deaths brought forth a feeling of sorrow, it was fleeting before the long memories of the joy they brought in life. And before Cecil knew it, the hours began to slip away from him.

  Reunion

  One

  Now Cecil had been lost in his past for a few hours now, but he was still aware and snapped out of his daydreams when he heard the keycard go into his door. He shut off the television that he hadn’t even been watching but had been the room’s only light source. He stood up against a wall where no one entering would see him unless they already knew he was standing there. All this he did within the time frame of a second. His heart would be racing, but of course it stopped beating two years ago. And he waited for the stranger to come in and make a move, for it was the darkest hour of night now and surely not housekeeping.

  The handle turned after approving the master keycard, and the door swung open. Cecil heard the stepping of a single foot. The stranger stopped just one step in and then began to speak in a tone barely over a whisper, “Cecil? Cecil Fauden? I hope I have the right room.” The voice was a man’s, a tired one at that. He took a few more steps in, closing the door behind him. He walked past the corner Cecil was standing behind while Cecil snuck up behind the man, barring the intruder from the door. The man turned a switch on the wall he found by prodding blindly at it. The lights in the room came on at once and showed no one in the bed or in the chair next to it. He decided it must be an empty room and turned around only to come face to face with Cecil. “Holy!” He screamed and would’ve added more, but the shock only let him spew out that single word. He went backwards onto the floor but kept his head from striking anything.

  Cecil was shorter than the man but only by a few inches and twice as broad. He stood looking down at the interloper for a moment almost wanting to laugh, before he reached out his right hand to help the elf up.

  Partheus took Cecil’s hand and regained some of his composure, “You know, I’m old and full of stress. I could have had a heart lockup.” He smiled and shook his head then continued, “Well, good to have finally found you, Cecil. You’re taller than the last time we saw each other, but that only further distinguishes you from novians.”

  The elf’s scent was familiar, of that Cecil was certain. But he couldn’t say that they met, but he could not deny it either. “Partheus Sallow?” He asked. In truth, he had nothing to go off of. The elf was disguised by the haircut, shave, and dying. But Cecil felt it was his name, not because of the reports and pictures but because of that scent.

  “Yes, glad to hear that you remember me.” He walked over to the bed and sat down, which would be the most use the bed received so far while Cecil was the room’s occupant. “This is going to sound forward, and I know it’s been some time.” A frown creased his face, “But I . . . no we, need your help.”

  Cecil didn’t want to tell the elf that he didn’t remember him, not really that is. But he went along with it, “Help? You’d have to elaborate.”

  “Of course.” The elf echoed nodding, “But could it wait? I’m more than tired right now, and I need to rest badly.” The bruised looking skin under the elf’s eyes seemed to grow deeper as if to agree with this. “I’d ask that you put a sign on the door, so that we aren’t disturbed. I’ll drop the master card tomorrow where no one can see me but where it will be found. I’m not technically supposed to be here, more like I’m supposed to be about fifty trots away and in a cell. As I’m sure you know. But if you let me rest and keep anyone from finding me, I’ll explain everything in the morning.”

  Cecil didn’t speak but nodded in agreement. He thought that if the elf kept talking, he would die of exhaustion. As Partheus got off the bed to sleep on the floor, Cecil shook his head, “Take the bed. I’m not using it.” Cecil watched the elf’s eyes lighten as he smiled gratefully and passed out on top of the blankets. Cecil opened up the nightstand and pulled out the DO NOT DISTURB doorknob hanger. He opened his room door, looking left and right as if even this was covert, and hung the sign on the cold metal handle which acted like a knob.

  Two

  He spent more of that night thereafter looking out the window than he’d planned to. He half expected to see patrols get dropped off from carriers, a dozen or two soldiers ready to storm the hotel and take the elf back, but none came. He remembered from the screen earlier that he failed to look at that the authorities believed the elf was headed to Hurlinge. And so all was fine for now, but the elf was a fugitive and so was Cecil now. He knew there was still time to save himself from the ensuing chaos. All Cecil needed to do was use the phone in his room to call the Leviathans, but that wouldn’t be right and he knew it.

  Every now and again Cecil would turn and look at his guest to see if he stirred any more than before. It was always the same. The fugitive just laid there unmoving. He seemed almost dead, and Cecil thought that described Partheus very well. Almost dead.

  No new memories surfaced for Cecil while he waited for dawn to come and his guest to awaken. The man would wake up and ask Cecil for aid, and he knew that he’d help even if the favor asked was radical. For this man was his kin in a way. He was a brother and an ally Cecil knew was hidden from his memory for now. He would ask Cecil to help The Order of the Wolf, and Cecil would comply.

  No guilt came over Cecil, although his nerves were set on edge but not yet tipping. This made him even more certain that he was doing what he was meant to do, though he had yet done anything. The plans, the readiness, they were straight and true.

  Three

  At last Partheus came into consciousness. It was but minutes from noon, and another few hours would help him even more but now was the time. He sat up from the bed, shedding his death like state in the process. His eyes were still heavy, but the red veins in them seemed quieter and less apt to burst. He sighed and coughed like a man nearing his hundredth year might do in a struggle, but Cecil did not know that his hundredth was almost a century past.

  Cecil sat in the chair across from the bed. He’d been looking out the window, lost in his thoughts. Hearing the elf stir to life made his thought break, but otherwise he stayed still.

  “Good morning.” Partheus said in a dry and tired voice.

  “Yeah.”

  Partheus set his feet on the floor and walked to the bathroom. Despite how little he’d drank the day before, he still had to use the facility after waking. He washed his face in the sink, relishing how cold the water from it was, and picked bits of gunk out his eyes that he often woke up with. Once he felt more aware of his consciousness, he turned off the light and walked back into the main room. “I bet you think my mortal routines are laughable.” He said as he sat on the side of the bed facing Cecil’s chair.

  “You’d bust a gut if you knew mine.” Replied the werewolf, “So, how did you find me?”

  “The people of Redora know you well,” The elf rubbed his eyes as he said this, “And thankfully the people here took fast notice to the giant novian that was visiting.”

  “I just hope no one will get their necks stretched bec
ause they helped you.” Cecil turned from the window and looked Partheus in the eyes.

  Partheus never thought of the danger he was putting on others and so hesitated a moment before responding, “Well, they didn’t know who I was. And it’s not like any of them gave more than words.”

  “So what is it that you and The Order need? I’m in hot water too now, just for letting you sleep. I hope that whatever you people want . . .” He paused to bring out a grin, opened his mouth to finish, and shook his head.

  Partheus sighed and scratched the back of his head where a rogue hair had decided to curl into his scalp. “Oh, just overthrowing the government, releasing the Chrissenian prisoners bound for execution, and maybe taking out Dahzir in the process and freeing Hodge.”

  Cecil didn’t know who Hodge was but assumed freeing him would be no easier than the rest of the help he was being roped into. He twirled his right hand in a gesture that sarcastically meant “no big deal.” Then he said, “Oh good, thought you were going to ask me to help with something difficult.” The smile on his face dropped, “Why would The Order try to recruit me? Have they been keeping an eye on me, seeing that I’m different from everyone else?”

  A puzzled expression came over
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