Unable to conceal her pride, Azzah retracted her arm and slid her spear to where she normally carried it, slung against her back. “Time to perfect techniques. The best gift this post has bestowed on us.”
Reem placed her own spear at her back as well. The wood of her spear was much darker than Azzah’s. It was slightly longer too, but only by a few finger widths. The same amount that she was shorter than Azzah by. Barely enough for most people to notice. “You had just complained about missing the rush of battle.”
“I do still. In a way. I miss flushing out the jackals. I miss the territory dispute with Ngagna. I miss using the spear.” Azzah shifted to her side of the house’s entrance, a brick archway of wall leading inside a place she had never seen. “Yet I am quite content to be better.”
“There’s no one better than us, Azz, but I’m glad you recognize that it takes continued effort to make sure we remain there.”
Azzah might have disputed that. The Emperor’s daughter, Masozi, was known to be the best spearwoman in the land. Yet could she take on the both of them? Azzah doubted it. The two of them together were the best. But Reem meant for them to be better, not only better than everyone else.
Tim followed him in, if just to make sure that the other man wouldn’t look out at the car the moment Irish moved in it and made him realize that she had indeed showed up. At least, not until Tim had prepared him for it. “You ran your last car off a bridge.”
“That wasn’t my fault!”
“And the one before that ended up a tree somehow. I’m more surprised that you still have a license. And a new car.”
Heherson was studying him now, something Tim wasn’t sure what to make of. Heherson never looked all that intently at anything, he was usually too all over the place. Except for Irish, of course.
“Did she break up with me for you?”
He didn’t sound angry, simply curious and a bit sad. Nevertheless, Tim was a bit annoyed. “Uh, no? She broke up with you because no matter how much you have in common, Irish can’t stand a messy house and you seem unable to stand an immaculate one. Which I think she told you when she broke up with you.”
Heherson frowned. “But you both have been friends forever.”
“And that means what?”
“You can’t tell me you’ve never thought about it.”
Reese told me to stop being so irrational
And I took a moment to reflect upon what
That actually meant.
I was being irrational because I reacted the
Only way I knew how, not because I reacted
Needless to say, the tone of Reese’s response
Actually told me more than the reflection
Leading with a scream doesn’t give one credence
Tim couldn’t help but smile at Heherson’s enthusiastic notice of the situation. Nonetheless, he really had to turn things around. “Well, sometimes you have to do things during times you would rather not. I’m not interrupting anything, am I?”
“No, no! Interrupting nothing!”
Tim doubted this. Even if the zombie apocalypse wasn’t being prepared for. Who else would be that ready to answer the door at this hour if they weren’t actually awake doing something?
However, before Tim could think about how to broach the subject, Heherson spoke up again. “Is that Irish’s car?”
Tim followed Heherson’s gaze, quickly determining if Irish could be seen still sitting in there. “Uh, yeah. I mean, I borrowed it for what all I had to do tonight. I’d prefer not to have to walk about as much as possible, thanks.”
At the very least, Heherson seemed to buy that. “She never let me drive her car.” He stepped back in the house, rubbing at his arms.
The house Azzah and Reem watched over was different than the thatched roofed houses in town. It was made of brick and wood, standing square. Its walls held up a roof with two sides to it. It was larger than the rounded walls and roofs of the other homes. Azzah imagined it required more supports on the inside to hold it up. It was an odd sight outside the town of Hirka. Yet it had stood here for years, longer than either Azzah or Reem had lived in this place. Azzah was used to it now, but she still thought it strange.
Reem shook her head. It was shorn free of hair, displaying the freckles which covered most of her face. “You can make a bit more distance without sacrificing your poise.”
Azzah shifted her hands on her spear’s shaft and struck forward again. Reem’s advice was almost always something Azzah already knew, but would forget about during the moment. Or the weapon would shift in her hand and she would forget to compensate. Reem didn’t have these problems.
“Better. Do it faster.”
Azzah smirked. She shared many physical characteristics with her spear-sister. Dark brown hair had also been cut away into nothing. They had the same dark brown eyes. Azzah didn’t have freckles, but the shape of her face carried the same strength. The two of them could have been blood-sisters, not just spear-sisters. Azzah returned back to a standing position. For a moment, the both of them stood there in silence, then Azzah lunged forward to bridge the distance between them. Her spearhead, still covered, passed right by Reem’s arm.
Reem knocked the shaft of her own spear against Azzah’s. “Better.”
Getting out of the car and back into the air, Tim held his hands tightly in his coat pockets as he crossed the street, trying to ignore the feeling of death that was trying to permeate all of his senses. As if he didn’t see the picture already. Staring at Heherson’s door, he brought his hand up and gave the wooden structure a few hard knocks.
It didn’t take Heherson as long to answer as it had Irish and it was obvious to Tim that Heherson hadn’t been to sleep yet. He was more of a night owl, if Tim remembered correctly. “Hey there, Heherson.”
“Timothy?” Heherson grinned, giving Tim a light punch in the shoulder. It didn’t hurt at all, but Tim couldn’t stop himself from wincing at the contact. “Hey there, man, how’s it going? I haven’t seen you in a bit.”
“Oh, well, you know. I tend to get to my parties a little earlier and leave them like that too.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. Too early and you burn yourself out, you know?”
“It’s not the burning out, I just don’t like being out at night.”
“Eh, could’ve fooled me!”
“A great attitude” unfortunately doesn’t equate with “an attitude”
To what ends have we come?
To think once has to specify greatness
Instead of bad
To say a “bad attitude” can equate more closely with “an attitude”
Under more than one way
Does anyone else feel it should be another way?
Exemplifying our desires by language
“It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. You don’t even have to go inside.”
Irish stared out the front windscreen, chewing mercilessly at her bottom lip. “Can you go first?”
“Can I go first?”
“Make sure that he won’t be weird when I come in?”
“Wait a moment. You want me to talk to him about you?”
She nodded, finally looking back at him. Tim was keenly aware that something about the set up was a little flipped. Who should be talking to him about a failed relationship and who should be talking to him about necromancy? Nevertheless, if Tim had to talk about anything with Heherson, he certainly would rather talk about Irish than about the dead. Much like how Irish would much rather talk about the dead than what all went wrong between her and Heherson.
He sighed. “All right. I’ll loosen him up for you.”
“Don’t phrase it like that.”
There was something inside of him that wanted out.
“Too much information,” his friend said.
“No, that’s not what I meant.” He placed a hand over his stomach. “I mean that there is something inside of me that shouldn’t be there.”
“Can you please take this seriously?”
“Gas can be serious. Seriously uncomfortable and it would definitely need to get out.”
But it was too late. The monsters burst out through his abdomen, coating his friend in his fluids. Not that his friend had much time to be startled, as the monsters then devoured him because why not, he was around.
Which was, of course, when the situation changed again.
Irish pulled up across the street, hands gripping tightly to the wheel. “Tim?”
“I don’t want to do this.”
Tim shook his head. “No one wants to do this, the situation sucks. Hopefully the trouble this has put us through will be enough to convince him not to do this again.”
“No.” Irish parked the car, turning the engine off. “I… I don’t want to talk to him yet.”
Tim rubbed at a shoulder. “It’ll be fine. You just have to get him to stop the raising. Tell him how it will ruin your meeting, your day. Or how it will ruin most people’s lives. That might be a good one.”
“You can do that!” Irish shot back.
At this point, Tim felt as though she was unreasonably upset, but wasn’t about to back off now.