Episode Twenty-Four: Flowers: Scene 27

I still felt I needed to get to Oregon. And it was spring break, so I finally could.

Kanesha found us both flights to Portland. Nonstop. Six hours on a plane, but I was sure we could kill it fine. She took her laptop with a DVD player and a couple of movies we’d both been wanting to see.

We pretended it really was a vacation, but we felt as if we were in a race. Against something we didn’t know, as the plane streaked west.

Everyone else was going to the beach. We claimed we were going to see mountains and there might even still be skiing.

The plane touched down, and I heaved a bit of a sigh of relief. Something about flying didn’t feel quite safe.

Or maybe it was my overall worries about the situation and being so far from backup. It was in the fifties as we stepped out of the terminal and flagged down a taxi. Not unpleasant. Not the beach, but not unpleasant.

I hadn’t managed to find Belinda Marrick’s address, but I knew I could track her down. If needed I could summon the fyrhund. For now the taxi took us to a cheap hotel. Just like two students on spring break. Looking for things to do.

I felt a certain tension in the air. Something was here. Something which I didn’t think liked me much. The room had no balcony, so I slipped back out and went out into the hotel garden.

Rain was threatening, but it was the Pacific Northwest, where it rained all the time. Or so I’d heard.

It wasn’t raining now, though, but I sensed something. We’d been noticed, and whatever had noticed us wasn’t on our side.

Did that mean it was our enemy? I had to find out, so I walked further away from the building, not wanting to attract it to so many civilians.

“Who are you?” I whispered.

I got no verbal answer, but the sense of being watched increased, then subsided. Most likely I’d caught the attention of some kind of landwight or similar.

Most likely. I wasn’t about to get into a fight with it, or anything else that wasn’t directly threatening me. I was going to stay on track and stick to the plan. Get to Belinda Marrick before something else did.

A cold feeling came through me. The fear that it was already too late.

Then Kanesha was texting me. “Get back in here. Quick.”

I ran.

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