Don't Eat The Foliage - Part Six
Believe. The word rolled around Megan's brain, trying to find the right button to push. It succeeded. All the information she'd been listening to just seemed to click inside of her without any doubt. As she sat there, on the bench in front of the fire, she finally found herself accepting all the strange and bizarre things that had been happening in the past couple of days. The realization must have become apparent on her face; Adara offered her a faint nod before turning her attention back to Brand. He wouldn't be as accepting.
But instead of speaking any longer, Adara simply dipped her hooded head. "I must go now. We shall talk more later." Now that Megan believed, the battle to break through Brand's resistance had acquired a new warrior.
"What a freak," Brand said as Adara walked away.
Adara lowered her hood and smiled at One-eye. "I told you this wouldn't be easy." She moved over to the table where One-eye was standing on a chair. A large map was rolled out, covering the entire surface of the table. "Brandon is very..."
"Perhaps," Adara agreed. "It is Benjamin we'll need to watch though. He is the danger of the group. His mind can most easily be manipulated. Megan already knew everything that was happening as really happening. She just needed someone else to verify this for her. Brandon might not ever truly accept the situation but he will come to see it our way." She paused, considering the conversation that had ended just moments before. "Yes. These three are the ones written about. I'm sure of that now. They fit too perfectly into the equation not to be."
One-eye rested his hip against the side of the table. "Tell me something, Adara. How many of the others have you said that very thing about? How many times will you continue to say it? It sounds to me like you are trying to convince yourself of something you aren't even sure about."
"I was doing just that, in the past. Now though, now I have no doubt in my mind."
"How can you be so sure?"
It was a valid question, but Adara was prepared to answer it. "Nothing is missing with these three. I was willing to overlook one or two discrepancies in the others before and hope that something had been written wrong in the book. Now, however, everything that was written about the chosen three has been flawless when compared to Brandon, Megan, and Benjamin."
Once inside their tent, Megan and Brand found Buba sitting on a cot. His clothes were uncharacteristically disordered while his face was worn and sleepy. From what they could tell, he'd been sleeping not too long ago.
"Bad dream, old man?" Brand asked.
Buba just looked at them without blinking. How could he tell them about the nightmare he'd just had? He couldn't even bring himself to think about it, much less tell these two of the monstrosity that had just played inside his head. Instead, he did something that he rarely did. He lied. "No."
As Brand dropped onto the cot next to Buba, he smirked. "You might be able to convince midget man or ghost chick that, but get real Buba. You look like you've just seen the devil and he was making googily eyes at you. What'd you dream about?"
For her part, Megan just settled into the last remaining cot and stayed quiet. She was paying attention to the conversation at hand, but at the same time she was sorting through everything Adara had said along with her own realizations of the facts. For all the oddities and strangeness that had occurred, it wasn't a surprise Megan had been able to accept them. While she wasn't one to readily believe in unexplainable things, all Adara had to say just seemed to make perfect sense to her. Part of her wanted to believe Adara had somehow brainwashed her, but she knew deep down that that just wasn't what happened.
"Leave me alone, Brand." Buba lied back down and closed his eyes. Of course, that wasn't what he'd wanted to do and he was faced with the reason why as soon as he did it. In the darkness that followed, he saw the images that had haunted his dreams mere minutes ago. A girl, no older than eighteen, with long stringy hair hung over her pale face like a cage, and cold steel eyes that watched him from afar. Though her eyes were clearly directed at him, they seemed dim, almost as if she were staring through him. This alone sent a shiver down his spine but then, then he saw Megan and Brand, both on the ground at the girl's feet. Blood pooled underneath them and it took everything Buba had to try to look away even though he couldn't. He opened his eyes again, unable to bare it any longer.
"What is it Buba?" Brand asked again; this time though, his voice was gentler. One might even say he came across as concerned.
"I just got a bad feeling," Buba replied. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a chocolate bar. For a moment, he debated eating it. He wouldn't be able to go around the corner and buy more once his current supply was gone. This was a first for him. The need was too overwhelming for him, though. He removed the wrapper from the chocolate and bit into it with satisfaction.
"Let it go for now," Megan said so low that Brand could barely hear it, much less Buba. She could tell, just as well as Brand, that something spooked Buba. But she also knew Buba wasn't going to spill at the moment and there was no sense in trying. Too many times in the past Buba had been confronting with things he wanted to talk about but they'd had to wait until he was ready to talk about them. Brand never did seem to be able to grasp waiting, so Megan had to keep him from pushing.
To Megan's surprise, Brand gave it and settled back on the cot. "I think we should all try and get some sleep. I really don't know what we are going to do, but, I think we'll all feel better if we actually rest for a while." He glanced at Buba, who was continuing to munch on the chocolate bar. Then, he closed his eyes and before he knew it he was deep asleep. He'd been more tired than he thought.
Somewhere far away, the girl of Buba's dreams sat stiffly on a wooden stool in an empty room. She did nothing but stare at the rough, cement bricks that made up the wall directly across from her. Only she didn't see the wall nor did she see the bricks. All she saw was Buba as he chewed on some kind of food she didn't even recognize. Slowly, a smile spread across her haunted face and she nodded. "Perfect," she murmured under her breath.
Back at the camp, Buba felt a cold shiver run involuntarily down his spine and he was scared. More scared than he'd ever been in his entire fifty plus years of living.To be continued...