Safehouse – chapter 18

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The moment I got to the other side, the gate closed and I heard Mya shouting over the house with her bright loud voice: “Check out this girl here! She’s planning a revolution!”

My squared shoulders slumped. That wasn’t quite the introduction I wanted, but then again, I might meet the folks, who actually lived here?

Not a revolution…” I trailed off, looking around.

The whole place was like a living room with one large entry straight across the gate, sofa with chairs on my right with small kitchen corner on the left – although hardly it could be called small as, yes, on where the counters were and the table, which formed one side of the kitchen designated area, were smaller kind, there were huge shelves and drawers climbing all the way up to the ceiling and I could see poles with hooks lined up in the corner to get things down from the higher levels. As if agreed, everything on higher levels were in baskets or equipped with handles or holes you could hook the poles in.

Next to the kitchen was door, which, as I learned later, would lead in a small corridor with stairs next to the kitchen wall to upstairs bedrooms. The corridor itself led in a shower room with small water fall diverted away from the large one for water and to toilet.

Besides the kitchen and the modern sofa assemble on the other side the room was pretty much empty. Plus few books here and there.

As if called, two other administrators appeared from the two doors leading in the side rooms. There was both the blond and the tall one with short haircut and skimpy limbs.

I was baffled. “You all work at the dorm?”

They nodded.

But we don’t usually have guests.” The blond pointed out to Mya.

I didn’t appreciate the roaring laughter Mya responded with.

I’m here too…” I pointed out, but she changed into their Latin mix and the whole punch was laughing. So I used their mingling time to set my bag on the sofa.

Why are you dressed like that?” the dark haired Helena asked, poking my jacket.

Habit.” I blushed. I didn’t know nor bothered to ask Mya, what I really needed and now, eying their skimpy outfits I really felt out of place with my autumn jacket and jeans.

Well, get it off – you’ll drown in your own sweat if you go around in this.”

I nodded and lost the jacket. Mya continued explaining them in their language and I listened without recognizing even one word from their talk. Over time their faces lost their smiles and both girls crossed their arms on their chest.

They really looked different from us. At first glance both of them wore modern tops, but instead they were leathered, with small shoulder covers. They both had old jeans cut open from the sides and added wedges of leather. The blond, Lisanne, had thin lace run around her knee while Helena sported no such decorations around hers.

Curses that man!” Lisanne’s words startled me. It was the first thing in long time they’d said in English and it caught my attention. “I knew the summons were not a trick!”

Mya heaved hard, suddenly alert and upset.

One came in today with morning’s post.” Helena explained.

What’s a summon?”

Like flayers.”

We thought it was a joke. It had to be! Miloard was in the safe house – who else would send them?”

A copycat?” Lisanne offered, but we knew better.

No, it was Miloard, he sent the invitations.” I said and Mya nodded.

I don’t get it.” Helena said.

It was his way to pay for the escape.”

Chills ran down Lisanne’s back, so visible on the small frame it was horrifying.

May I see it?” I asked and they pointed at the table next to the sofa.

While they went back on arguing in Latin, I walked over to the table and picked up a small, hardly letter size up-call for revenge. I was bothered that it said it straight on top of everything else. The paper was similar to the contract I had signed, but was much rougher on touch. The edge decorations still smudged the fingers, but the ink was heavy, as if printed with something meant for posters outside.

The content of it was just as disturbing. It carried a lot of small text in what seemed dates and descriptions of things they supposedly had done. On top of the timetable was a rough image of a gargoyle and on the below the text was time and address.

Mya took the flayer from my hands and headed for the door.

I have to let Celik know! You two settle her in! And clean the place up! Celik will probably want to talk to her!”

Who is Celik?” I asked from Lisanne, who was already busy picking up books from the table next to me.

He is the Bishop clan’s nest bird, if you know what I mean.”

The elder of the Bishop clan?”

Mm, not exactly.– too old to work for the clan, so they put him in charge for the younger ones.” She eyed me for a long moment, like trying to figure out something, the books topped on her small hands. “You see – the clan leader is the most capable of the males. The nest bird is sort of like a clerk, who deals with the trainings, food distribution, organizes the exchanges of males – that sort of man!”

And it is always male?”

She snorted. “No, but in their case – it’s the eldest male.”

Are there many like him?”

I hoped she didn’t notice, whom I meant under him, but out of the four admins, she always seemed to have the ability to notice everything and after a long pause she smiled, knowingly.

There used to be many by numbers, but now there are only eight clans left in our part of the world.” Her cheerful voice trailed away. “They fought on the wrong side and lost.”

My stomach clenched and suddenly my fingers allured my eyes from her.

Come on, I’ll show you the attic room.”

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