So Tom knocked on Sally’s door, that is, after spending what seemed to be day on the television.

“Goodness, dear brother.”

The last time Tom had earnestly talked to her, she who seemed very distant now, was the time their clothes had been soaked. Tom was still unprepared to talk about their mother in case she asked. He decided then to postpone it. Same as now.

She might’ve been reclined, but she was evidently uptight, and not at all healthy. “I want to talk to you. Perhaps tomorrow.”

“That’s in order.”

“Golly, Tom. You really shouldn’t talk to strangers like you talk to me. Speaking of which, is that why that old man spoke to us so rudely? Reflexive behavior?”

“I thought you were going to talk to me later.”

So another sleepless night passed. Sally thought, more of the same. Even when it’s close to something new, she could not escape it. She remembered a dream. She was underwater, breathing, in some sort of pool. It seemed very fun, even though she wasn’t doing much. Right after, she was still doing nothing, and will continue doing nothing for at least a few days, but she was not having much fun.

She had to decide what she was going to do, and the inactivity made her anxious, unfocused, and physically sore.
She knew this feeling. It was like being hungry. She should’ve been fulfilled with her wish and dream of becoming a knight, and finally her hope and despair became one. Not caring, knowing it was most likely anxiety related to being so close to darklings, her mood changed to one of sympathy and even wonder; her subject would be Tom particularly.
Curiously, Sally waited after breakfast, or meal to that effect anyway, and nauseatingly everyone was acting the same as the days before only that Luna was finally not monochromatic; she and Ella were in clothes they could work out in.
Three thousand seconds later, Stein said, “Sally. You seem a little preoccupied.”

“That’s right. There’s something I have to do. Tom, would you help me fix something with the house?”

When they were alone together Sally confessed first with the many things she had been unsure about. Although her mental clearness had diminished, and regretfully she felt like she had temporarily receded to a state before her college days, she could parse through the dozens of things she had wanted to tie up then.

“I want to send something to Dad,” She said.

“I don’t know how you feel about him, Sal. I certainly felt a little disappointed,” He understated; Tom had never talked about him in detail with her.

“The way he treated us was not very kind. It was like we weren’t even people. But, I would like to believe it was not his fault, but in his grief he had fallen so away from things,” She wavered, “So I need to help him.”

“I will not stop you. I will not join you, but if you ask me, don’t send a physical letter. You’ll have to get Ella or Nick to arrange something and he’s not worth other people’s time,” as Tom said this Sally understood immediately.

“That’s enough about that, Tom. Tell me, since I feel anxious, I suspect it is just a part of becoming a knight. You know any?”

“I’ve been feeling horrible too. That memoir, oh I should have showed you more, talked about the exact same thing. However, if I remember correctly the author was also a combat medic during a skirmish between Elodia and Discordia. Then that despair and heaviness would be attributed to PTSD.”

“Despair, sure, but mine is over having to see whether I can really be a knight. Nothing worse. Could it be that you have it too,” She retreated.

“I do not think so. It is what naturally follows meeting with a darkling, as you say.”

“I’m sorry for not considering your feelings. I’ve been selfish, only asking for my benefit.”

“Huh, I do not think you said anything wrong,” He failed to mention the ice over his heart from before, forgetting how much he had told her.

“Thanks, It was nice to talk openly,” she said but it was not very open or even two-sided. “I don’t have anything else to worry about.”

She hoped to meet a good end, just like the two countries, separate but almost the same. She felt split to, to the bone. As soon as reunification gained ground, most magically the presence of darklings waned. Truly, negativity was actually nightmare fuel.

When they returned to the living room Nick reminded them that tonight they would go hunting for the hunters. He added, “So did you take care of your errands?”

Sally answered, “Yes, family matters mostly, it was boring.”

The sparkling prince bubbly said, “Speaking of which, you haven’t met my brother yet.”

Stein and Sally asked in unison, “Crown prince?”

Ella added, “He’s pretty impressive. He doesn’t look it but he actually had credentials as a knight.”

Then Luna spoke, leaving only Tom and Lawrence out of the conversation, astutely disliking him, Prince Samuel, a sibling of who seemed to be her idol. “I don’t know why myself, but something is very unnatural about the whole deal,” she did not care to explain.

Soon after a late afternoon lunch everyone was dismissed, and Tom, Sally and Stein were told not to eat dinner yet and instead to try for some sleep. They knew it was the time of reckoning, and at this time my design or otherwise he nor Stein got no chance to see an umbra’s mercurial form.

When they woke up they were pleasant to find fitted armor waiting for them, and during the brief reprisal given to them by their waking grogginess, they could be said to be glad to have plenty of time. There was no room to think about anything else, and rather being comforting, the fact that they may not have to ever deal with those problems again hung above.


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