Beneath the bed, they scarcely dared to breathe. Pressed against one another in the small space, Seymour with his arm about Seoc’s middle, they waited in silence, watching the three sets of feet hurry around them. Their ears were assaulted by a confused mess of voices, speaking over one another so frequently that hardly a word could be understood.
At some point, the feet of the guards departed, but several new pairs arrived, mostly female now, and the noise intensified. They bustled about, skirts swishing so close that Seymour could feel a breeze on his face. He hoped that they would finish up and leave soon; the hand pertaining to the arm he had wrapped around Seoc had gone quite numb from lack of circulation.
But they didn’t finish up and leave. The scene around them had continued with no change of characters for a good half an hour before Seoc’s face contorted in alarm.
“What is it, little fish?” he whispered as softly as he could.
“There’s a spider on me,” Seoc replied in a strained hiss, clutching Seymour’s arm, fingernails digging into his skin. “There’s a spider on me! I don’t like spiders, Sey! Get it off!”
“Where is it?”
“On my neck. Oh, fuck,” he swore in a voiceless sort of whimper. “It’s goin’ down the back o’ my tunic, Sey! Get it off!”
Seymour sighed. “Alright, alright. Hold on a moment!”
He peered down the back of Seoc’s tunic.
“I don’t see any spiders, little fish.”
“It’s there. I know it’s there!”
“Yeah, well, I can’t see it.”
The voices around them had begun to die down, and Seymour touched a finger to Seoc’s lips to stop him from retorting. “Shh.”
Within a few moments, only one pair of feet remained on the floor of the infirmary. “D’tharlink,” their owner asked, “you feel bet’ther now?”
“Much,” replied the voice of Alasdair MacQuarrie. “I could use something to drink, though.”
Her feet tapped over to the nightstand, and they heard the sound of water being poured from a pitcher into a goblet. “Here you are.”
“Thank you, Mia.” He paused, presumably to take a swig of water before speaking again. “Would you be so kind as to do me one more favor?”
“Of course I vill. Vhat can I d’tho?”
The bed creaked as he shifted positions. “Just see who’s hiding under my bed, will you?”