On strange strangers


Sneaking sneaking, ever creeping, creeping through the Row, Lylah kept to the shadows, making her way along the familiar strip, careful to be quiet, making her way to where she had spent many nights before this one. She hadn’t been there in a while though, not where she’d slept on an old musty bedroll next to Ceran Ceran. It made her sad, and sad … was bad. She should have noticed Mister Muggles run off much quicker than she actually did, but by the time she realized he was no longer by her feet, it was too late. He was headed for someone nearby, and there would go her cover. Stupid, fat mouse.

She watched almost as if in slow motion, as the overweight creature ran at the man’s boot, to do .. what, she had no idea, but she wouldn’t wait to find out. Whistling sharply, she scolded the creature.

“Get .. back here, ya stupid fat thing an’ leave that man alone!”

Cartwheeling with her back side facing the wall, Lylah moved quickly towards the man and the mouse, stopping a few feet from him, whom she couldn’t even see moments before, only his boots, her primary focus, more concerned with Mister Muggles getting himself stepped on were the man drunk, or bad tempered or just plain crazy. It wouldn’t be the first time somebody tried to kill the creature.

She blinked at the man in front of her, tilting her head on a sharp angle to the side, pursing her lips.

“Sorry t’ bother ya, Mister. He’s half crazed ya know. Got somethin’ wrong with his digestives or somethin’. Can’t stop eatin’. Maybe he smelled somethin’ funny ‘bout ya., or on ya… “

” …Not unusual.”

She crinkled her nose when he actually spoke, finally, and in fact, her entire face screwed up in distaste and surprise. He sounded all kinds of wrong, and it weren’t that she had never run into ‘wrong’ people before, but this one, she wouldn’t or couldn’t put a finger on why he was different. She glanced at the ground for a moment, the mouse sniffing at the man’s boot and she half nudged, half kicked the rodent aside, narrowing her eyes and giving him ‘the look’ before turning her attention back to the elf in front of her.

“Ya okay, Mister? Ya don’t sound good .. “she tilted her head to the side, and then the other, shrugged and then giggled, but it wasn’t a happy, fun sound, it was more of a an odd, sharp sounding vocal tic if one had to describe it, “Come t’ think of it. Ya don’t look all that good, either. Didja go an’ get ya self on some bad botanicals or somethin’?”

“Not your concern.” Another set of words half rasped out.

“I done seen an’ heard some funny elveses in this place Mister Strange, but I never did hear nobody like youu before.” She frowns then, and subconsciously takes a half step backwards. Where was that man, Mister Ceran, when she needed him? Logic told her she needed to just move along, but curiosity was sometimes stronger than logic. And out of the corner of her eye, she saw that the mouse had come back, peering up at the strange man and she bent over and scooped him up quickly, bringing him up close to her face, peering at him.

She would talk to him then, as if the elf in front of her were not there at all for a minute.

“Say somethin’, ya fat thing. What’s so interestin’ ‘bout this one, hmm?” And then she lifted the mouse to her ear and raised an eyebrow, waiting for something, anything, but he wouldn’t say a word. She scowled at the creature and stuffed him in the bag hanging at her side and then turned to peer at the elf in front of her curiously. “So what’s wrong with ya, then? Since he won’t tell me nothin’.”

But he was gone.  Just gone, disappeared.  She shivered.



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