Chapter three. Enjoooy!
Thysa opened her eyes, punctual as a clock, when there was only an hour left to sunset. The awaking to contemplate the dusk, and dawn, was already an involuntary habit. They were two key moments in which the spiritual and material worlds mingled together. When she was a child, her grandmother and master told her that when the sun raised upon the east horizon, the spirits sang welcoming it and celebrating a new day of the long life of the world, saying it goodbye when it disappeared behind the west line. She stated that if a person heard atentive, he could listen to their voices: beautiful and crystal clear, impregnated with such endless sadness and hapiness impossible to understand for a mortal. Perhaps the reason for what she detested Ath so much was because he had never to make an effort to hear the spirits: he wasn’t just born and grown up being rocked by their songs, but he could be able to see them as well.
She freed herself carefully from his bed companion’s arm, which was surrounding her waist. She observerd him for a few minutes, thinking that he looked almost nice to her while he was sleeping. Some months ago, she could have gone directly to the bathtub to wet her hands with cold water and splash it over him in order to awake him. Or maybe she could have pushed him out of the bed. But in that moment the only thing she did was to pat him in his cheek, perhaps with more strength than needed.
- Ath, get up, it’s time.
He opened his eyes and stretched himself yawning at the same time. Thysa smiled maliciously.
- Do you want some cold water to have your head clear?
- No...no, thank you, I’m fine.
- Are you sure?
- Sure..., but if that makes you happy, Thys...
Thysa frowned and pressed her lips. She left the bed, turned her back on him and began dressing herself. Ath sighed: he messed it up again.
When she was dressed she approached the window. The horizon wasn’t visible from there, but the sky above the green leaves of the fruit trees in the garden was orangish. A bird suddenly alighted on the windowsill. It wasn’t a seagull or a sparrow, but a robin, with small and bright black eyes and a breast of the same color as the twilight sky.
- What are you doing so far from home, uh?- she whispered, caressing its feathers tenderly. The bird went over her hand, staring at her.- I see.
The robin tweeted softly, jumped and flied away into the growging darkness.
- We should go to the cliffs, Ath.- she said, facing him.- We’ll find something there.
- Good, it’s always helpful to know where to start.
Ath also approached the window and after take a glimpse, his face darkened.
- What happen?- Thysa asked.
- I can’t see nor hear anything. What is threatening this city is poweful enough to frighten the rest of the banished souls of this place.
- I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle this, Thysa.
Thysa could read a sincere fear in the eyes of her partner. That was the first time she saw Ath doubting and it seemed disconcerting and inappropriate. He was always confident of himself, proud of his habilities, aware of his control of the situation. That was what made her annoyed and being in a bad mood most of the time, but now that Ath was hesitating about his determination, she found herself feeling panick.
- Of course you will.- she said abruptly.- If you won’t do it, who will? And you count with my help. You’re not alone in this, Ath.
He nodded slowly. She felt relieved to see him smiling again.
- Yes, you’re right. I have you.
- Go downstairs... they should be waiting for us.
She moved away from him and went out of the room without alone.
Down in the courtyard of the Governor’s house there were many people. Ruar was surrounded by a group of soldiers fitting their swords in their scabbards, servants going and coming, and by his own sons, who were also armed and prepared. When he saw them approaching, he raised his hands welcomingly.
- Here you are! I was about to send someone to call you...
- Sir, what are this people...?
- Oh, don’t worry, they won’t come with us. It’s the normal procedure of every night. I send my soldiers in pairs to keep guard in all the houses in the city, as a way of prevention.
After receiving an order from Ruar’s mouth, the soldiers formed a line and went out of the house with the sunset light reflected in their armors. Only the own Governor, his two sons, Thysa and Ath remained in the courtyard. Ruar patted Ath’s shoulder with a familiar gesture. He didn’t seem worried but the opposite, in an unbeatable good mood.
- Good! We’re ready. Should we take someone more with us?
- No. The less people, the better.- Ath said.
- Perfect. Where will we go? We can take you to the place were the last victim was killed...
- No, we’ll go the cliffs.
- To the cliffs?- repeated Ruar, a bit puzzled.- Why?
- Thysa has been tipped-off.
Thysa remembered the little robin with affect. A little valiant that had dared to fly there in such a dangerous moment.
Ifher and Ellem observed her interested, but she didn’t want to give any explanations. Ruar shrugged and leaded the way out of the mansion, to the stables. Thysa raised her head when she was leaving the building and saw Duna, the Governor’s wife, in a window and holding a handkerchief by the corner of her eye. She hoped that Ath’s fear was unfounded.
In their way to the beach and cliffs, the city looked more alive than during the day. There were lights behind the windows and as Ruar had said, two guarding soldiers in the houses’ doors. The key moment had passed and there was barely a trace of crimson clouds upon the horizon. Stars began to shine in the sky, but they did it very weakly and sickly. Thysa could sense, as when she saw Dhara for the first time, the exhalations of darkness emanating from the very earth. No soul was heard, literally.
Ath and she leaded the way. He was paler than usual, but he tried to remain erect and to look confident. As many other times, Thysa asked herself how it would be to perceive the world in his skin, having his senses. But at the opposite as then, she thought that if she could see it like him, she would be more scared.
- The air is trembling and shuddering.- she said to him.- The sea is very quiet this night, without waves, because the water goes back.
- I don’t see nor hear anything.- he repeated, with cracked voice.- It’s... very weird. The world seems so lonely and empty...
- Now you know how we, the rest of mortals, see things.- she murmured.
He gave her a strange look that Thysa didn’t know how to interpret. The shaman tried to feel and gather the energy around her in case it was necessary, but it was a weak and shady energy, corrupt. All the signals pointed to something that, although she didn’t like, should be considering seriously. Perhaps the problem might have started with a tormented spirit but it had reached diabolical dimensions.
She found herself thinking about her own death and that made her shiver. What about her life? If she had to die now... could she consider that she would be dying in peace? She was very young and had so many things still to live. She didn’t want to turn herself into a tied spirit to the material world, lost and without knowing how to reach the afterlife. Thysa shook her head and scolded herself for those thoughts. That wasn’t the first time she was in danger and she wasn’t alone. She should concentrate in thinking a strategy, but before she could draw up any plan, she noticed Ath’s hand over hers. When she looked at him she thought that the same ill-fated ideas had crossed his mind too.
- Thysa... if we don’t manage to...
- Please!- she hissed, furious.- Stop acting like a scared child! Don’t dramatize...
- No, let me talk...
- No, I don’t want to hear it! Shut up!
- If we don’t survive this time, I want you to know that I’m so sorry, Thys... I’m sorry for marrying you and making you unhappy.
- Shut up your mouth.- she threatened.- If you say another single word I will hate you for eternity, do yo hear me?
Ath obeyed and Thysa sighed, relieved.
- Just think a solution for the worst situation so we can save our necks, okay? After that, I’ll consider if I accept your apologise or not... though you gave it to me so late.
- Fine. Do you think you could carry out an invocation?
- I could try... but I don’t know if it would work here.
They didn’t say anything else.
They passed the detour to the port and took the path out of the city, going through the walls to the beach. Afortunately, that night has a moon. The nocturnal star didn’t shine with all its strength but it still illuminated faintly the sky with a silver halo, reflected in the plain surface of the sea, as dark as the vault of heaven. The black cliffs were shaped against the firmament, high and menacing. Even the breeze had stopped.
The horses neighed, scared. Thysa caressed the front of the animal tenderly, inspiring him calm. The path went down abruptly to the coast and branched to the east, turning into a paved road that leaded to a stone house with a window with a dying light beating behind. Thysa’s heart jumped in her chest. Despite the so numerous times facing the sobrenatural she hadn’t become accustome to it yet.
Ath stopped and turned himself to look at Ruar and his sons.
- You’ll go first. Try to... cut it off some limb. If it’s a leg, better. We have to immobilize it.