Stop! What’s that sound?

Sherriel came and stood behind Michael. She was listening with the intensity of a cat, licking her paw, every muscle ready to attack. “If the troubles come back scurrying, you would know, after the number of times YOU were in trouble.” Michael’s head jerked up to see Sherriel, a slow, long smile changing all the sparks into embers and steam.

“You SHOULD know know as many candle nighterswhich you were assigned.” Sherriel blinked and cupped her hands around his chin locking his ears in. “Micha-! quit it!!” The sharpness and anger in her voice made me back up.
“I said she is under MY FLOCK!” Her fingers tightening and pinching his mouth into a tight line.

Michael’s elbows struck backwards, hitting the slats of the chair. He turned his chin and glared, obviously I was not worth the fight. Chuckling, Sherriel sat down and faced him. Michael rubbed his chin and let out a sigh. “We don’t have to light.” and moved the hair from his ears.
” They are too MANY out of sync with the plans.” Michael growled at me. Obviously, I was included.
Sherriel nibbled on a handful of fries, and finished the fish Sam had left behind. .
She offered a piece to Michael, when she said ” Don’t be too quick to throw ash. IF IT ignites, you are fighting two conflagrations.”
Michael ate some fries and pushed the rest to me.
“Ignorance, that’s all we have. NonBloosh.” He leaned forward brushing my cup.”Is that what you want?” He nodded at me, waiting with the same thin lips.

Sam came running up the stairs, with pink papers in his hands.”It has happened again!,another one!” Sherriel read the back of the paper. “I thought we were clear of those.” She stared at Michael. “Conflagrations!”

Michael’s face curious and anger still steaming. “Let me go, talk around.” He threw his pack over the rail and flew down the stairs.

Sam took a swig from my blue bottle and rolled the blue knobby bottle in his hands.

I felt like I was in a closet, eavesdropping on bits of conversation going on, out in the room.
“Hey, I’m going to get some drinks- Cap?” Sam ruffled my hair. I nodded, as he cocked an eye at Sherriel. I reached and squeezed Sherriel’s hand .
“I’m sorry that I caused you more trouble.”
“You didn’t — we work and settle things down.” Stretching her shoulders,she reached and dropped her sack by the table, then pulled out her tables, charts and the boat bag which held her pens, pencils and tools. Sam walked back and into the table, almost throwing the cups over the top. I rescued one of the precarious ones.
” you okay?” I whispered.
He winced, blinked, setting the cups down. “NO, I’m not!.” he snapped “all the crickety!!” He stared at the spilled Kafir on the top.
All my strength seemed to have seeped out of me. “I’m tired, I’m going to go home.” I picked up my backpack, drank the rest of my community bottle. “Ya”ll look like you need to as well.” I rubbed Sam’s shoulder. “Thanks for protecting me this afternoon.”
“Retreating to your safety place.” Sherriel quipped, but there wasn’t too much energy in it..
Sam nodded. “you need to go home. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

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