Chapter XXI: The Nightmare Man (12/13)Mature

'So...the curse seems to let them know where we are,' Will continued, 'except when we're here, they can't seem to find us, that's why the woman wanted to know so desperately. We also know that looking at the Evil Eye is painful, what did you call the gaze -,'

'Invidia,' she answered, 'in legend, it's a look of hatred and ill-wishing, so intense that it was said to make people ill.'

'That's true, but the symbol only affects those that are cursed.'

'Do you think - do you think it could be a way to identify us?' Will looked at her questioningly, urging her to continue. 'Imagine if they wanted to find one person, they didn't know who they were, just that they were in...a crowd of people. They gather those people together, and show them the Evil Eye. The only person who would react to it -,'

'- would be the person they wanted to find,' he said, cottoning on,

'That's it!' she exclaimed, suddenly hushing herself. They both froze in place as Sayara stirred, twisting around in her hammock, making a few choice noises before settling down again. Tayna continued, this time at a whisper, 'do you think Paradam knows about this?'

'I think so,' he said quietly, 'I think Mrs Calibrase told him, she stormed off after telling me to specifically stay away from these people.'

'Maybe we should pay her another visit -,'

'I don't think she's going to help us,' he shook his head, 'she wouldn't listen to me, she just kept saying it was suicide to investigate them, and that my duty,' he airquoted mockingly, 'is to stay alive for the sake of Maegard,'

'Bollocks,' Tayna said, so unexpectedly that Will laughed loudly, earning a 'shush' from Tayna, though she herself was giggling. 'Alright, we won't talk to her. But if this woman was serious and she wasn't just an illusion, that means we're in danger. Not just us, the Sanctuary could be in danger because of us. Mrs Calibrase said that we need to stay away from them for the sake of others, but in actuality, it's in their best interest that we investigate them. I'm not letting anyone else suffer.

'Me neither,' said Will, 'I'll help you in whatever way I can.'

She took his hand and squeezed it, 'thank you, I'm glad I can always count on you.' She reached across the hammock and checked a pocket watch hanging from her bag, 'it's still early in the night, I'm going to try and get some shut-eye in, you should too.'

'Alright,' Will stood, sending the hammock bouncing upwards with Tayna inside. She pulled herself under her blankets and led down, 'I'll see you in the morning.'

'Will...' she said, stopping him just as he ducked under the curtains, 'you're a good friend.'

'The best, right?' he smiled,

'The best,' she nodded, adjusting herself into comfort and closing her eyes.

The End

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