Writer’s note: Again, yes, I am a horrible person. I moved a couple of months ago and it’s taken me this long to get back on my game. Even then, it’s only half a page. Pitiful; but I have to keep reminding myself that the whole point of this exercise is to keep me writing. That said…. I better be out of this fricken brothel by Post 50!
Mari’s door cracked open to reveal one angry, sleep starved eye.
“Don’t look at me like that. It is morning, you know. We’ve probably only another hour or two before the esteemed madam kicks us out anyway.”
“Ogh, good.” She slammed the door shut.
“Oh, Bhaga! Mari, come on!”
Her voice came muffled through the door. “What? I ghave another hourgh or two I could be sleeping.”
“You and I both know this place could be a ticking time…” He dropped his voice as someone passed him in the hall, “bomb. We have to get going.”
Cael sighed and looked to Alberich who could only shrug.
“She’s your sister.”
“Wait, where’s…” Cael pounded on the door, “where’s Ilya? Is she in there? You may as well open this-”
The door opened and pulled away to reveal the room lit, and a large Moungren man struggling groggily into his coat has he stepped through the doorway. He mumbled a “Skize mwen,” and Cael and Alberich stepped aside to let him through.
“Yes, excuse me, sorry.” Cael mumbled back before pushing through into the room. “Is Ilya here?”
Mari was hunched over, turning on the lamp in the far corner.
“Calm down, she es right ghere.”
Mari gestured behind her and Cael recognized the crumpled wad of clothing in the chair as the curled form of the tiny woman. At the mention of her name, Ilya’s eyes popped open like an antique doll brought to life. It took her several long blinks to accept the vision of the room around her.
“Cael? Were you looking for me?”
“Oh… well, just now, yes.” Cael stumbled as a foot caught under the body of the other, still sleeping Moungren man. “Ooh! Sorry! …He is a heavy sleeper, isn’t he?” He stepped back an nudged the man more gently with a toe. “He… is just sleeping, yes?”
Mari shrugged and sat on the bed, “He snorghes too loud to be dead.”
“This is the one that works with Rayner, right?”
“I ghave no idea.”
Cael sighed to himself and squatted beside the man.
“Jhou said jhou had a plan?”
He looked back to Alberich who only shrugged again before he quietly closed the door to the hall and leaned against it. The sleeping Moungren man started to snore and Cael turned back to Mari.
“I said maybe; but I’m more than certain that Rayner has a plan.”
“Raynergh, Raynergh, who es thes Raynergh?”
“Hey there… Wake-y, wake-y,” Cael lightly tapped at the sleeping man’s cheeks. “Alberich and I saw Rayner when we first landed. He seems to run moon’s port and black market contracts, and he’s one of the few Novafolk to make it through the revolution unharmed. An old man like him doesn’t survive this long in this kind of environment without always having a plan or two. Hey! Wake up!”
“Aghh, zha gau,” Mari moaned, head in hands, “Please… no shouting.”