Episode One: The Horn: Scene 17

By the next day I was wondering if I should be the one who disappeared. If it might be the only way to keep my friends safe.

Barry didn’t show up to school. And, rumor had it, wasn’t at home either. If anyone was going to skip school it wouldn’t be him. He was obsessed with his grades, he was trying to get a scholarship to somewhere good and as far away from DC as possible. I couldn’t really blame him.

As far away from DC as possible, in particular, appealed. At lunch, I sat on my own…Kanesha had her own friends. Or didn’t want to sit with the white girl. I was never quite sure which. Likely, it was a combination of both. The lines didn’t seem as important in the house. Out here, they were, and sometimes I felt very lonely. Yet another reason to leave.

Barry, though. He wouldn’t skip class. He wouldn’t run away. He was the closest thing I had to a friend, and as the day went on, the hair on the back of my neck pricked more and more. Mild concern turned into very real fear. If something had happened to him because of me, I’d kill the ones responsible.

I meant it. I meant it in a very real sense that frightened me, the knowledge I was capable of exactly that welling up within me. That I absolutely could do it and I would – not so much for Barry but because you didn’t mess with the people I cared about.

I thought of Tyr letting the wolf gnaw on his hand. And I skipped the last class of the day. Barry’s home – I knew where he lived. Nobody was there. His parents out looking for him, perhaps.

As I turned away, I saw the blonde woman again. She wasn’t in slut gear any more, she was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. She was looking at the empty house with distinct annoyance. She was dangerous, and this time I walked right over to her.

“He didn’t show up to school. Do you know anything about that?” Belligerent, but I couldn’t help it.

“Do you?” she countered right back, turning a sapphire gaze on me. A gaze meant to intimidate.

“If I did I’d be looking for him, not here.”

The gaze softened. “Ah. A friend.”

“Acquaintance. I don’t have any friends.”

“Good.” She turned to walk along the front of the property. I found myself following, uncertain, but not wanting to back down.

“He didn’t come to school. His parents said he wasn’t at home. I suspect they’re out looking for him.” It’s what I would do, it’s what I was doing, but this was the only place to start.

“Hopefully.” She turned towards me. “You up for this?”

“I don’t know.”

A snort. “Well, come on.”

“Do you work for Mr. Otter?”

She laughed brightly, stepping around the corner…where there was a motorcycle. And two helmets. She tossed one to me. “Never in a million years.” A pause. “Work with, on occasion. For, never.”

I caught the helmet. “Then let’s go.” Trusting a stranger with my life on her word, but it felt like the right thing to do.

To roar off into the evening behind her.

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