Chapter Three – A Familiar Glow

Tiny stones that made up the path stuck into Arbie’s feet. They poked through the thin material of her socks and caught between her toes. Every few steps she found herself stopping to try and nudge one free that had lodged in an uncomfortable place.

The distant lights seemed far away enough as it was, but this made the journey almost unbearable. She huffed out low bouts of air that swirled in her throat like a brewing storm, the place where her anger and frustration was to meet.

“How much longer?” she asked, not unlike a child in the back seat, the same drawn out whine at the end.

“You can see it,” Ratch replied, not turning back. He had a number of times already to poke fun at the prodding rocks, but was now bored of the complaining and was eager to find out what lay within the building with the golden windows.

“I don’t mean until we get there,” said Arbie, a slight note of irritation to her voice, “I mean until we wake up.”

“I’m not asleep,” Ratch said, his arm waving out to the side, palm up, as though to say it was an obvious statement and hers a stupid question.

“I’m beginning to think none of us are,” Sokwurf muttered into Arbie’s ear.

He was as miserable as she sounded. Although he was having an easier ride, being that he was literally riding on Arbie’s shoulder, he was still damp from the river. The threatening grumble of the clouds overhead didn’t ease his mind, either. Instead he was waiting for another load of water to be dumped on his head.

“In that case I’ll be glad to sleep.”

Arbie’s shoulders slouched, causing Sokwurf to stumble slightly and tug on her hair to keep himself in position. She walked slowly, and he suspected this wasn’t only because her feet were sore. He felt small sighs with a rise and fall of her body.

The Sun set somewhere in the distance, its rays reaching over the trees and casting their trunks in an orange glow, their leaves glittered with the reds and purples of the storm above. The warmth of day was beginning to be sapped from dusk along with its light.

In only a t shirt, shorts and socks Arbie was soon beginning to shiver and looking at Ratch’s cloak enviably.

“No,” he said, without her asking the question, and without even turning to see her eyes were upon him.

“No, what?” she asked, despite having an idea she knew what he was referring to.

He said nothing, only picked up his pace as the inn, and now they could see that it was an inn, came more clearly into view.

It was long, but not tall. It’s roof of tiles, and walls of timber and brick. The bottom floor had eight windows that ran across it, the four to the right of the door a heartier glow than that of the left. No voices could be heard from inside but soon one was addressing them from nearby.

“Coats,” it said, a slender arm reaching out towards them.

Standing beside the building Arbie recognised the man, if you could call him that, immediately.

“Philip?” she all but exclaimed, realizing that what they had thought was a lamppost set to the back of the inn was in fact the long and stretchy limbed, coat and scarf adoring gentleman, Phillip.

“You have a ticket?” he asked, sinking his head low but stretching his neck until his eyes bobbed in front of hers, glancing to the sock on her shoulder and then back again. “You need a ticket for that.”

Arbie brought her hand up to Sokwurf and wrapped her fingers around his waist before Phillip could pluck him away. “No, he is alive, like us. He stays. Ratch has a nice cloak though, he’ll need a ticket for that.”

Without questioning this, Phillip pulled the cloak from around Ratch, loosening the clasp at his neck with an eerie and nimble dexterity. The whereabouts of where the clothing would go once taken was soon answered when Ratch’s cloak found its place amongst others of its kind, all hanging from the branches of trees.

“In,” Phillip said, leaning back until he was standing in his straight and upright position, and posing as a lamppost once again.

“I’m not sure if he’s directing us, or telling us what it is,” Sokwurf said.

Ratch pulled open the door and without hesitation stepped inside, holding it open for Arbie and Sokwurf to enter after him.

No sooner had they done this, than a cry of “Out!” was being called back at them.

10 thoughts on “Chapter Three – A Familiar Glow”

    1. Hey! Me too! Haha, we keep reappearing like this and people are gonna start talking! 😛 I’m alright. How are you? Missed you too, my Ravenclaw friend! (considered coming over to the darkside yet?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love, listen. Remember when we were talking about invasive thoughts and our brains latching onto them and dwelling there without usb wing able to detach them? I had this thought that you were annoyed/angry/ not wanting to know me because of certain events concerning two people we both know. If you don’t know what I am taking about then in a way that’s good! But, I want you to know something because I feel we have always connected on a deeper level than I have with some others here. If you haven’t read the posts I have written which have the title “insert…..here” ( three different posts) then I would really like you to read them and know that they were about two bloggers we were (possibly you still are) close with. When you’ve read them I will tell you who they were or perhaps you will work it out. I want you to know all of that because it you are, in this odd virtual world, my friend. A close friend. A kindred spirit. If after reading them and knowing exactly who they are about you don’t want to have anything to do with them so be it. i say this because someone who knew them both, who I thought I was becoming close with just ghosted me after she found our and I still dont know why. I can guess but she just literally pretended I don’t exist. I could easily have not gone into all this with you but something is compelling me and I am going with my instincts lately which are becoming very finely honed since I have been listening to them carefully. So oekae when you have time, read those posts and the one called “I hate what I am about to write’ and I hope you will know me a little more and then whatever my instinct is telling me will be the result of it, will happen.
        I adore you and thank you for showing me that I am not alone in my strange mind’s behaviour that has plagued me since as far back as I remember. You helped me so much. I wanted you to know that.

        Love,
        M

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oooh Lordie, annoyed or angry at you? No! Never! I’m sorry you felt like this. Even if you did write something about someone who we both know, I tend to keep out of other people’s difficulties with one another so it wouldn’t be a reason for me to dislike anyone if I weren’t personally attacked by it. Unless they kicked a kitten, then you know, who could like someone like that?! I’ll read the posts though. You know my email right? You’re free to message me there if anything is too personal to post on here or if you just need to chat (it sounds like you’ve had a lot going on lately). Feel free to tell me if you want me to delete any comments too and the world is your oyster! Will have a read of your posts now. I’ve not been reading anyone’s blogs (I’ve only been posting) so I’ll hop on over!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Don’t worry, I won’t email you unless you email me first! I had read the first insert posts, I recalled some of them. I’m not up to much of the task with reading (or writing) lately because my brain is a bit fried. But, for a while I’ve had an idea who the two people were but only because of how I used to see you interact with a couple of other bloggers. I’m not sure why the other person ghosted on you but I’m not about to ghost on someone who has been hurt and is just speaking of their experience. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I thought you would. It was a weird ocd need to send if you would still want to talk to me..
        You are dear to me. Even in this odd world we interact in. You are making dear dear friend.
        Loving you and thanking you

        ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

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