Unexpected Adventure, Part Two
A man, slim and doubled over, stumbled through the door. He was young, with dark brown hair and unfocused eyes. He wore thick pants, thin jacket, tall boots, and a rumpled cap that pulled down to his chin.
The man mumbled.
Cloudwillow greeted him much the same way she had Regis.
He mumbled again, and Cloudwillow pointed upstairs. The man stumbled up, clutching the side rails.
Something was off about him.
Regis finished his stew.
Cloudwillow bounded up. “Is there anything else I can get you?”
“No, thank you.”
“Alright. Holler if you need anything, otherwise I won’t hear you.”
Regis frowned. “Why’s that?”
“I’ll be reading.”
Regis made a sound of disgust and stood. “I’ll go to my room.”
Cloudwillow crossed her arms and pouted. “What do you have against reading?”
“It’s pointless.” So saying, he went upstairs and ignored whatever the small elf retorted. He’d heard it all before. His opinion wasn’t changing.
At the top of the stairs, he paused. One of the doors was ajar. The stranger’s. Now, to see what had made him wary.
He crept forward and slowly unsheathed his dagger. When he came to the room, he paused. There was no noise. Not even breathing.
But he saw the man, standing at the foot of the bed, his back to the door. He was like a statue.
Regis kept his dagger ready to throw. He went inside, letting the door creak.
The man whirled around. While his voice was calm, his stance wasn’t. Feet apart, arms tense. “Hello. Nice weather we’re having.”
A fresh gale banged against the shuttered window behind the man.
Regis narrowed his eyes. “Take it off.”
The man blinked. “I’m sorry, what?”
“Your face. Take it off.”
The man raised his arms. “My name’s Darius. How are you?”
“Take. It. Off.”
“I can’t.” The man gripped his cheek with his fingertips and gave a small tug. “What’s your name?”
“Fine.” In a rush, he charged the man. They grappled. Regis smacked the side of the other’s head, and the man fell onto the bed. Regis pinned the man’s arms down, dug his fingers into the other’s cheekbones, and pulled.
There was the sound of tearing. Shining, intricate bits of metal, a single red orb, and a facsimile smile stared at him.
“Cyborg,” he growled.