Tainted Victory – Chapter 10, Part 3 (Page-a-Day)

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Hugh looked at Colt and followed his finger to Goblet and back. On the end of his finger he saw a thin indention. He looked up at Colt. Colt looked at him, then directed his attention back to Siguard. He pressed his thumb nail into his finger. It left the same indent. Hugh narrowed his eyes. “Okay,” Hugh said. 

“Yeah. I mean we got our own magic eyes around this place, right? Like bats in a cave or something. Right, Claudia?” Colt looked at Claudia. She was standing with her hands on her hips. “Your mirror-window thing.”

“That I do.” She removed her palm-sized mirror from her quiver and tapped it awake. She began scrolling on the device upward, and left to right until she got the image she wanted. She was silent for a moment. Air tense as a pulled back bow string tied around the other party members. Their eyes were fixed on her. She could feel their eyes readying the arrows to fire at her the moment she gave them any information at all. She stopped and got to when Colt and Hounder went to bed. She watched them open the door then close it. She moved ahead in time. The door did not so much as budge. She then saw herself and Goblet talking and approached the door. “He is clear.” She held the mirror out to the group. Colt sighed. Evelyn’s shoulders dropped. She swung her arms out for a second before she tightened them up and swung them to Claudia. 

“Is there an arrow around this room?”

“Yes!” Claudia said. She immediately got what Evelyn was asking her. “I will look at what my eyes saw around here.” Evelyn smiled. She actively swiped the mirror screen up more. Her finger began to grow numb and hit the golden rim of the mirror. She stopped and swiped left-to-right, going back in time to just before the four of them found Siguard’s body. She watched a figure in the same black cloak appear from out of the frame of her mirror, open the door and disappear into the room. She explained what she saw, sighed and closed the mirror. “Nothing.”

Hugh’s lips pursed into a thin line, and frowned. He stood up. “There is something we are missing.”

“What is that?” Goblet asked. 

“If it is something we are missing then I do not know.” He waved his hands and paced around the room. His eyes were transfixed on the floor. “There is just the absence of something.”

“Well, if I am cleared then can I go back to bed?” Colt asked. “Animals do have to sleep if you recall.”

“We do,” Evelyn sneered. She looked at Hugh. The rest of the party looked to him. 

Hugh wrinkled his brow, then snapped back to normal. “If you’re asking for my blessing for him to sleep that is fine. I would not recommend it if someone is out there killing us off, but if you would like to chance it you may.”

“All right.” Colt tried to fix his hair and stand up. He whistled to Hounder. Hounder just looked up from Goblet’s lap and then laid his head back down. “It is fine,” Colt said. “Just keep my boy there safe.”

“I will.” 

Colt adjusted his clothes. His sword slipped to his waist. He pulled it up, tightened his belt, dusted off his sleeves, and left the room. He closed the door with a slam on his way out. His steps slowly faded as he walked further and further down the hallway until they sounded more like memories than something that happened recently.

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