“Let me see if I have this straight.” My supervisor, Sharon Hart, sighed and straightened the papers on her desk before adjusting her glasses, an unconscious ritual to help her process information she didn’t like. “You observed the sign and activated the beacon, but it was destroyed before any of the other stations could respond.”
“And when you surfaced in the lake, the Dragon Lord was gone and the fire was out.”
“He almost ha-ha-HACHOO!” Bridget sniffled from her spot beside me and pulled her blanket over her drenched curls.
I nodded in agreement. “I really don’t know how we escaped.”
“Think he wasn’t really trying to kill us?” Bridget snagged a tissue and blew her nose with a loud honk.
Sharon removed her glasses and rubbed her temple. “We’ll leave the theorizing to someone that actually gets paid to do it. For now, you two get yourselves dried off and get some sleep while you can. We’ll be sorting out this mess for a good long while.”
Sleep did sound appealing, but after a couple hours of reliving giant teeth, fire, and shouted alien gibberish, I gave up on the idea and stumbled into the kitchen for coffee. Bridget showed up not long after, bags under her eyes and her curls even more untamed than usual. After watching her grope around eyes half closed for several moments I scooted the coffee pot into the path of her blind search. Her uncharacteristic silence stretched through two full cups and well into the third.
“Oh, good, you’re awake.” Sharon rushed in, a half crazed light in her eyes. “The Emissaries are coming.”
“They’re what? Here?” Bridget’s hand flew to her head to assess her hair’s current state.
“They want to hear your account for themselves.”
The Emissaries, La and Ohn. Actually, now that I thought about it, the dragon had said something that might have been their names. “Are they sure it’s safe? This could be a trick.”
“I’m sure they’d know that better than we would. They’re the ones with the experience.” Sharon grabbed a broom from the closet and started sweeping the common room’s already clean floor. “They’ll be here in less than an hour, please tell me you two have dress clothes.”
“Of course we do.” At least I think I do.
“Ohmygosh, ohmygosh, ohmygosh.” Bridget ran out of the room. “I need to straighten my hair!”
“That’s a beautiful dress, but do you think it might be a little flashy for business formal?” Sharon’s voice drifted down the hallway coming closer.
“It was this or the prom dress that’s been living in the back of my closet for three years.”
“This will be fine.” Sharon and Bridget entered, Bridget in a black dress with splashes of magenta that was styled to have only one sleeve, Sharon in a smart dress and blazer. She made a beeline for me to straighten my jacket and pluck a few pills from the sleeve. Something told me we’d be sent clothes shopping after this.
The doors opened and two entities entered side by side, dipping their heads to avoid striking them on a frame made for we much shorter humans. A hush fell over the room as we watched. Something about them, be it their pale, luminescent forms clad in flowing garments of the same shade, the way their movements mirrored each other, or the depth of knowledge within eyes like emerald orbs was mesmerizing and made all the fuss and anxious preparations seem silly. After all, these beings were far above such trivial human concerns.
A day late. Oopsie. I blame it on a couple late shifts, a holiday, and unexpected company. I definitely wasn’t overthinking pointless details, writing, and my entire existence. Not at all.