Part 1489 – Digging And Escaping A Grave

LM dug the grave alone.

Antioch had helped him for as long as he could. Then, his hunger had pulled him away.

LM kept digging.

His lower back hurt.

His shoulders burned.

Dirt infiltrated his hair and filthed up the spaces between his feathers. He felt disgusting. Sweaty and disgusting.

But he thought about Capernaum and he didn’t stop.

He kept digging.

One, two feet.

Three, four feet.

Five, six feet.

Seven, eight feet.

Deep enough.

LM tossed the shovel out of the hole. He dug his fingers into the dirt and crawled up the side of the hole.

I wish I could teleport myself out.

Teleport…

He slid down, the dirt rippling through his fingers.

It’s something I’ve always longed for. The ability to teleport myself away.

Teleport myself to safety.

He clawed the dirt, trying to climb higher.

Teleport myself away from the circus.

Away from the circus master and the leering crowds.

Home.

Teleport myself back home.

Despite his best efforts, he slid all the way to the bottom. He crouched and looked up at the open sky.

Eight feet up.

He flopped onto his back and lay there.

Home.

If I could.

Would they want me to come home?

LM raised his hands above his face.

My hands…

No longer those of a child.

So, how long has it been? How many years?

Do they still think of me?

Do they remember me?

He stood and shook himself out.

Doesn’t matter.

I don’t belong with fey.

They never came for me. Never searched. Never tried.

They never cared.

LM pulled off his shoes and socks. He threw his tired, achy self at the wall and scaled it, burning bright with determination.

They never cared about me.

No one did.

His fingers sharpened into claws.

Just Capernaum.

Capernaum was my friend.

He dug deep with claws and toes, slowly climbing higher.

My one true friend.

The only one I fully trusted.

LM started to slip down. He clenched his teeth and kept climbing.

I will bury him and bury him properly.

He slipped again, but he kept his gaze on his destination and kept climbing.

I will bury him as soon as I get out of this hole.

I will get out of this hole.

He climbed higher and higher.

I will.

Dirt stained his face and embedded under his claws and toenails.

I WILL!

Dirt combined with the sweat on his neck and turned into muck.

He deserves it.

Capernaum deserves it.

The top of the hole was no longer eight feet away.

He was my friend.

My only friend.

It was quickly becoming closer.

LM dug deeper, climbed faster.

Until.

At last.

He reached the top.

And he started to slide back down.

“No!” He fumbled frantically.

And a strong hand grabbed his wrist.

LM looked up.

A man’s form knelt at the top, silhouetted against the sky.

LM didn’t question him, didn’t doubt him. He offered him his other hand.

The man grabbed it and pulled him out.

LM ruffled at least half of the dirt out of his hair. He bristled his feathers and shook himself out. Loose dirt flew every which way.

“Is there a reason why you were inside what appears to be a grave?” The man had a deliberately calm expression – the kind that revealed nothing about his thoughts and true feelings.

LM slowly dusted off his hands. “It is a grave. My friend…He…” His feathers bristled when he noticed the young woman near Capernaum’s corpse. Even though slouching felt good and his body ached, LM straightened his back. “Get away from there!”

She stood. The gold tips of her hair shimmered in the moonlight. “This was not an ordinary fire.”

“What?”

The man looked at her in admiration.

Daisies and tulips sprouted in the building’s wreckage.

She walked over to her companion and took his hand. “An extraordinary set this fire, but it wasn’t a dragon. It was something else. Something…unnatural.”

Something unnatural…Was it one of the XQs?

“Can you sense it, Samer? That feeling of wrong?”

He nodded. “I just don’t know what it is.”

LM stumbled over to Capernaum and knelt beside him.

It must have been one of them.

I wonder which XQ did it.

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