He was forgetting something important again. He was sure of it. Problem was, he had no idea what. A quick check revealed that he was indeed wearing pants, shoes, and his glasses. So it wasn’t that obvious. But it was driving him nuts.
Even so, his only way out was through, so he kept moving.
But as he went along, he remained certain he was missing something important.
That’s when it bit him.
He forgot his amulet. He wasn’t invisible. He wasn’t silenced. He wasn’t concealed from all senses.
And the grue knew that, and was watching from the shadows waiting for the right moment.
From the sounds around him, possibly more than one grue.
Still, bitten or not, the only way out was through so he went on.
The noises in the distance got louder and closer. Then his cat appeared, a satisfied grin on its face, and licking its chops. There was no further sign of the grue.
Together in the dimly lit cavern, they went onwards. Clearly his cat knew that this was the easiest way to find more delicious snacks, and stayed close.
The darkness closed in.
Then, there was nothing he could do but hunker down, and drop everything as the change swept through his body.
Now is a terrible time to discover you don’t like the great outdoors. I know we’re up to something big, and it involves spending a lot of time away from basic comforts of the city. You don’t really appreciate things like running water and reliable electricity until you don’t have them at hand.
And we don’t. The manifesto-writing shack we have here is bear-proof. But the only electricity we have comes from a portable generator. And don’t get me started on the network connection. A cell-phone acting as a hotspot hardly counts as network, after all. But it is barely enough to keep abreast of the rumors back home.
The big black bird that is hanging around is beginning to creep me out. I keep expecting it to croak at me and demand water. Or demand that I roll over and die. Something. It hangs around and stares. Phil doesn’t seem to mind, just goes on about it being inevitable that something would turn up to watch us. But it makes me feel like we’re puppets in the hands of some force greater than us. Not comforting.
And it should be.
If we were puppets, we would not be responsible for the decision we must make. A decision that drove us out into the middle of nowhere to work so that the consequences of an error would only cover ourselves.
There’s Phil. Hard working, hardly the evil genius type.
Then there’s me. Ursus Domsticus. Your common teddy bear.
Ok, not quite so common as all that. Phil isn’t quite aware of what I really am. And I aim to keep it that way.
The knocking was always at odd hours. I would be occupied, lost in thought, and the knocking would startle me out of my reverie and demand attention. At the door, nothing. This happened on and off over the course of a few days, and was beginning to become rather annoying.
This time I was lying in wait when the knocking came. I snatched the door open to find a large bird poised to knock again.