Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 5, part 3.7

Posted by harmony0stars on March 1, 2010

Dinner was uneventful. With Edgar under the table, it was too tight in the kitchen for three people to eat comfortably, especially with Robert too shy of the ghoul to put his feet and legs near the other child. Once Robert dusted and set the table, they ate in the seldom used dining room.

Glory ate sparingly for the sake of appearances. She wasn’t quite ready to discuss Phoenix with anyone or explain why she didn‘t need food. When he complained about how much she was eating, as she’d been sure he would at some point, she told him he could put the excess nutrients into growing her hair and nails if necessary.

Much to Robert’s dismay, Edgar crept from the kitchen to sit under the table at Glory’s feet where he happily gnawed on the bones of the two steaks she’d prepared for dinner as well as the tidbits she dropped for him to mollify Phoenix. He absolutely would not touch a vegetable though. She was beginning to wonder if maybe Edgar just ate because she offered him meat. Not that he didn’t enjoy it; he quite obviously did. It just wasn’t possible that all ghouls ate like he did. Otherwise they really would be the killers Scott insisted they were. And when Edgar wasn’t eating, he was sleeping. Was he really that tired or was he simply assimilating the excess protein?

Despite Edgar’s seeming indifference to everyone but Glory, he obviously made Robert nervous. Robert hid it well, concentrating on clearing his plate as quickly as possible before very politely asking to be excused. It was odd since Edgar had met Cindy and Glory at the same time, but would only grudgingly approach Cindy when she bravely held out a bit of meat for him. He didn’t eat it until he had safely returned to his spot at Glory‘s feet, as if afraid someone would wrestle it from him. The more she watched him, the more she thought Robert’s comparison to an ape might be very apropos. Edgar seemed to have decided Glory was the matriarch of their little tribe and everyone else was a rival.

“Homework before video games,” she said as Robert darted towards the living room. “And take your plate to the kitchen please.” He rolled his eyes, but obeyed without complaint, simply glad to be away from the table.

“Can you stay with Robert while I try to find Edgar’s people?” she asked Cindy when Robert had gone. “He’s old enough to be on his own at night, but I know you’re tired. You‘d be better off resting here anyway, and I just don’t want to leave him alone in the house two nights running. I think he’s been neglected a lot.”

“Don’t worry. We’ll be fine.” Cindy smiled wearily as she picked up her plate and headed towards the kitchen. Glory felt bad that she couldn’t immediately start looking for Chelsea, but Edgar was already there. The problem of returning him to his people could hopefully be dealt with before the night was over.

Glory waited until the sky began to darken before throwing the tarnkappe back over Edgar and leading him out of the house. He seemed delighted to be sitting in the front seat where he had more of a view of their surroundings. His nose would occasionally poke out from the folds of the fabric as he leaned forward, attempting to smell something through the glass as they passed. It got dark fast as clouds rolled in, so she didn‘t bother tugging the hood over his face. There would probably be rain later in the night, and the temperature was already dropping. The few people still on the streets were hurrying home without paying any mind to passing cars unless they happened to be cabs or buses.

It seemed to her that the best way to find the ghouls would be to return to the warehouse laboratory where she’d last met one and search from there. Hopefully Edgar would pick up the scent, if any remained, and lead her to them. The chances were slim though, unless they‘d been visiting the place for leftovers since then. The only other idea she had was to follow up on an urban legend that had been around longer than she’d been alive, mainly that there were ‘mole people’ living in the paved over canals of lower Sybar City or Low Sybaris as the people there called it.

She parked well away from the building, unsure if anyone had come to claim it while she was away. The last thing she wanted was to meet any of the people responsible for the experiments on the shapeshifters. She still had no idea who they were aside from that they’d had some connection to Lori. Essentially this meant that in addition to watching out for Scott’s brainwashed xenophobes, she also had to worry about some group that might or might not have military connections since all the guards around the place had been heavily armed and armored. They’d worn no insignia, but the thought that Lori might have allied herself either with the government or worse, with terrorists of some kind, would have deprived her of sleep, if Phoenix hadn’t already done so months ago.

Guiding Edgar into the woods, she began to lead him in circles, slowly spiraling in towards the facility. Though she watched him carefully, the only interest he showed was in the flora and fauna of the area, eagerly scampering up trees after small woodland creatures she couldn‘t see and snuffling at the tiniest holes, pawing at them until she told him to stop. It surprised her very much when he did. He obviously understood English, even if he wouldn’t speak. Or perhaps he’d simply picked up a few words while he was a prisoner.

By the time she led him back to the car, it was getting close to midnight, and she was no closer to finding his kin. Ushering Edgar back into the car, she drove back into the city. Glory wished she’d thought to look up where exactly most of the rumors came from, but she would just have to rely on luck and common sense. Looking for the mole people was a long shot anyway. At most, she expected she’d find homeless people using the sewers as a warm haven in the cooler months.

to Book 5, part 3, page 8

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2 Responses to “Tattoo Book 5, part 3.7”

  1. Alderin said

    Extra ‘it’ in paragraph 10 (the knights of ni would be mortified)
    “unsure if it anyone had come to claim it”

    *HUGS*

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