Unexpected Adventures, Part Three
The orb darkened, and a white dot in the center contracted. “Surprise. Can you get off of me?”
Regis held the dagger to Darius’ solar plexus. The cyborg seemed to gulp.
“Unless you want your AI to taste steel, I suggest telling me why you’re here.”
“Shelter.” The human-looking half of Darius’ face drew together in a scowl. “I have no wish to freeze. Release me, or I holler.”
Regis slowly backed away, still holding his knife out. He tossed the half torn mask onto the floor between them. “Who are you working for?”
Darius replaced the mask, pressing together the tears. They melded, and his expression became blank. He began straightening his jacket. “No one.”
“Your kind always works for someone.”
“You’re disturbing me.” Darius sat on the bed.
Regis scowled. “You’re not going to hurt anybody.”
“I have no intention of doing so tonight. Leave now.”
Cloudwillow’s high-pitched voice rattled up from downstairs. “Hey, is everything alright?”
“Fine,” Regis called out. “We’re talking.”
Cloudwillow came up the stairs and stood in the doorway. “Some talking. Since when have knives been used for that?”
Regis sheathed the blade. “Since when have innkeepers meddled in customers’ business?”
“Oh, always. We just don’t always make it obvious.” She winked. “Everything okay, Mister Darius?”
The cyborg nodded. “Fine.”
“If you say so…” Cloudwillow tugged on Regis’ sleeve. “May I have a word with you, Mister Regis?”
Regis sidled past her. “No.” As he went to his room, he heard the elf follow. He blocked the doorway, and waited.
Cloudwillow cocked her head. “You’re not like I expected.”
“You were expecting me?”
Cloudwillow smiled strangely. “Yeah, of course.”
A chill crept up Regis’ spine. “How?”
The girl’s smile became smug. In sing-song, she said, “Books.” When Regis didn’t respond, she threw her hands in the air. “Nothing at all like I expected. Well, I’ll leave you now.”
Regis went into his room feeling very disoriented.
It didn’t help matters when the elf opened the door just enough for Regis to see her eyes. “Oh, I almost forgot. I want to show you something tomorrow. Can you read? At all?”
Regis slowly shook his head. “No. Nothing except status reports.”
“Okay, that’s fine. Have a good rest, Mister Regis.” She smiled, then closed the door.
Regis lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling. What did she know about him?