The Hold slept in the embrace of the dark. Shadows sank deep as velvet in the hallways and draped across doors. Here and there glows were put out for the unlucky drudges and sleepwalkers, but at this candlemark, all was still.
A shadow crossed the hall to the Infirmary, indistinctly a man. It hovered at the door, indecisive, before slipping in. The man kept to the shadows as he peered into rooms in search of something-- someone. He stopped when he found Humari and hesitated by the door. Then, resolved, he stepped inside, picked up a pillow, and held it down over her face.
Humari woke at the pressure, attempted to breathe, and jerked in immediate panic when she could not. Turning her head, she screamed into the pillow, but could barely hear her own muffled cry. Her feet kicked frantically, and her unbroken arm flung out striking at anything she could reach. She felt her hand hit something, then in terror, she curled her fingers, scraping along the flesh of the arm she found.
Her terror woke the little bronze who never left her side. WIth a shriek of rage, the young firelizard flew at the attacker's head. With shrill desperate cries, he flung himself at the man, talons flashing.
His grip on the pillow slipped as he batted at the flit. His flailing hands connected and swatted the flit down onto Humari's bedclothes, and her attacker took the opportunity to flee.
When the pressure of the pillow eased, Humari let out a ear-shattering scream of terror, flinging it away with all of her strength. Jib tumbled, righted himself and burst into the air again, lunging at the man and striking out with teeth and talons until he was away. Humari sat up, sobbing hoarsely only to back herself as far against the headboard as she could.
"What's the matter?!" A healer burst into the room, his eyes still bleary from sleep. He rushed to his patient's side and held gentle
hands out toward her. "Humari-- it was a nightmare, you're all right!"
Dodger appeared from /between/ over the bed, his eyes blazing red as he followed after Jib. The flit flew hissing at the healer, who ducked, and then landed on the bed near Humari's feet.
Nearing hysteria, Humari fell off of the bed trying to get away from the healer who had suddenly rushed into the room. She cried out, cradling her still healing arm, but dragged herself into a corner, eyes wide with panic. Instinctive from long years of dodging her eldest brother's blows, she did her best to curl up into as ball and covered her head with her good arm. "Leave me alone!"
Jib creeled, scrambling over to her on the floor, then spun to face the Healer with a small puffed out chest and a vicious hiss of protective fury. He gave a young but imperious chittering order to Dodger to drive everyone approaching away, the mental images he had seen being broadcast with frantic anger. ~~Bad man! Bad man!~~
The Healer fell back with his arms up to protect himself as the commotion caused others in the Infirmary to wake. The door darkened again, but this time it was Taril who limped in, past the Healer on the floor and the screaming flits to ease down onto the floor in front of his wife. His hair was wet and his oilskin coat was dark with rain. "Humari. Humari, you're all right. You're safe. You're all right."
"Taril!" At his arrival, there was an immediate sense of safety, but not enough to soothe her. She lunged at him, wrapping her uninjured arm around his neck in a tight grip as she sobbed. She buried her face in his neck, trying to catch her breath as her chest heaved. "He tried to kill me! He tried to kill me!" Her arm burned with pain, but her husband, her safety was there. "Take me home!"
Taril tightened his arms around Humari. "What do you mean, he tried to kill you?!"
In words broken by sobs and trembling, she described waking to a pillow pushed over her face, being unable to breathe, hearing Jib shriek and falling off of the bed to try to get away. Jib creeled, sending images to Dodger along with emotions of rage and confusion. He hopped over to Humari, favoring one foreleg, and tried to curl up on her lap to comfort her. "Take me home, please, Taril. Take me home! I can't stay here!"
His arms tightened around her. This had to be his fault-- the missing ledger, the attack on himself, and now on Humari... this was his fault. He pressed a kiss into her hair. She was right. She wasn't safe here and his troubles could work their dark influence into the safety of the Hold. "Let's go," he said. "We're going home."
Last updated on the October 26th 2019