Miwa and Anahita were on the bus heading back to campus. They forewent the dessert plan… with a heavy heart and great reluctance on Miwa's part. Anahita was researching intently on her mobile phone ~they would try to find the location and drive there. The bus seemed stuffier than usual to Miwa and it wasn’t because it was full: it wasn't. The bus driver was even kind enough to blast the AC ~and she could recognize the feeling of cold but couldn’t exactly feel cold. She was hot… her brain was on fire, her blood was boiling –cooking her from the inside out. But she refused to succumb to unconsciousness.
"Found it!" Anahita gloated in a sing song voice. I set my GPS app, we'll get there!"
"How… far is it? [Anahita looked at Miwa, startled and gave her her water bottle. Miwa nods gratefully]"
"About 3 hours away if I speed… the highway isn't bad but I'm worried about traffic… but we should be able to get there without getting lost at least ~ pretty straightforward."
The ride felt agonizingly sluggish but they made it to campus ~broke into a run for Anahita's car and sped towards the ill-fated town.
… … …
It was an uneventful trip for the most part ~ she sped like a demon, rather she sped like the king of demons was on their tails… the other part of 'most part'…
Traffic was stopped for over an hour because some cows decided it was a great time to escape the confines of their ranch; enter the highway from a convenient break in the flimsy barbed wire fence; and have a powwow in the middle of what used to be oncoming now on stopped traffic. Barring racism and angry cow jokes they sat there until the situation was sorted out.
Miwa thunders, "Oh. My. Grief. I will eat your family and then you in the biggest barbecue bash on campus…"
"…" Anahita was wisely quiet on this.
"We need to get to… Dark Brown Hair, I think he's in trouble." Miwa interrupts her own rantings.
Anahita wonders, "It'll be night soon, do you really think it's a good idea to go guns blazin' with no guns?"
"Well ~ we won't go in all hungry. Look at this feast of beef for days! …Is there some convenience store near there? I need to acquire a flashlight… and a few other questionable items…" Miwa declares
"Because even if I simply said items you'd question what they were."
"Oh ~ for crying out loud." She laughed though she really wasn’t trying to: "I have a flashlight in the glove compartment…"
"Two of everything!!"
"…On a more serious note ~ midnight and 3 AM… those are dangerous times. We need to go in at dawn."
"So we could've essentially left the campus later… …"
"I didn’t want to run into the chance that we'd, well I'd see the messenger. Remember when there are prospective students they call me to give tours. If I'm not there, someone else will take up the slack but since I'm the first one they call ~if I were there and refused that would count against me. I had called in ahead of time to say I wouldn’t be on campus and if someone had seen me…"
At [certain] work study[ies] they have a point system. Getting so many points will increase your pay [a little or earn an extra day off] but getting demerits would dock your pay, *fire you, make it difficult to keep other merit based scholarships… [the system is seriously the first thing she should've mobilized to abolish [Miwa grumbles at herself].]
"Ah that's right…Ugh ~that system is the first thing we should've railed against." Miwa smiles at her exact thoughts being spoken aloud by someone other than herself. Most likely after this ~ they will continue to be movers and shakers but for now she must focus on the very real imminent threat.
"So the nearest hotel is an hour away from the town. We're good on hours of sleep and getting up early well rested… assuming we could sleep well…"
"Is it a chain hotel? Maybe we could park in the lot and sleep in the car if it's not…"
"…You didn’t bring extra money…"
"I don’t spend when I don't have to."
Shrugs, "Nah, it's not… not a motel either so that's a bit comforting…"
They drove into the parking lot of a convenience store –Anahita waited in the car ~engines running, lights on –while Miwa made questionable purchases. Miwa exited the store and they left for the hotel. It was decent looking…at least at night. Anahita drove around the parking lot ~ they didn't see any cameras –there was sufficient lighting and not many places for someone to hide so operation parking lot sleepover commenced.
"Oh! So you bought quite a few snacks…"
"Why are you so surprised?"
"I really don't know." They both laughed. She offered some, but Anahita declined. They talked about frivolous stuffs for awhile and tried up keeping a light atmosphere.
Anahita wanted so desperately to ask what 'the plan' was as though it were possible or even necessarily a good idea to have one…It seemed that Miwa acted on a 'when she received a premonition' basis so she'd have to learn how to wait. Miwa IS more of a roll with the punches kind of person ~ Anahita on the other hand would fall apart without so much as knowing SOMETHING about the situation even if there wasn’t a solution or plan forthcoming. It became amicably quiet, then Miwa asks,
"So what did you find while researching?"
She outlined the history of the inn filling in details whenever Miwa asked about something. Miwa became thoughtful ~ "Why would Feral Eyes want that inn or location though? Or is that the wrong question to ask…?"
"Are you sure Feral Eyes wasn’t an actual person and that's why that location is important?"
"I'm gradually beginning to think that someone at some point made a pact with Feral Eyes and that's why that location is so important to him, her or it…"
"Hmmm… Mmm… are we saving Dark Brown Hair or are we foiling Feral Eyes' plans?"
"[This is no action movie!] We need to get Dark Brown Hair out of there. We're not doing anything to Feral Eyes right now –we have no army… and no strength of conviction."
"Most importantly –if there's an encounter we can NOT answer Feral Eyes or ask him her it anything. Just don't do it!"
Anahita promised she wouldn’t. But they both knew of her need to know. "So, I bought duct tape."
"You are NOT running your mouth; I do NOT feel like saving two people! I also bought ear plugs. If you can't hear him you can't respond… I'll stick by that logic. Don't worry, it's for myself and Dark Brown Hair as well."
"How do you know Feral Eyes will speak?"
"Feral Eyes isn't there. But he can still speak… he descends upon weakness. That woman is there."
She yawns, "Well we have our defenses and a sort of plan; I'm pretty beat. Night, Anahita!"
Anahita turns off the engine and slightly cracks the windows. In another time she would be deathly afraid of sleeping in her own car… even with company but her fear of Feral Eyes overshadowed this. [Ha! One fear overriding another still prevents sleep. She [grumbles]]. She glances at Miwa jealously. It [at least] appeared as though she was sleeping so deeply ~ so peacefully. But she didn’t know, couldn’t have known Miwa was on the cusp of life and death, battling for her life.