Hounds At Their Heels

Part 6

Despite him being Silvia’s dad, they weren’t all that physically similar. While they had the same bright green eyes and lanky build, Silvia had a mop of curly, brown hair sitting on top of her head that barely reached her shoulders, a round face that hadn’t lost all of its baby fat, and a short stature. Her dad on the other hand had combed back, bleach blonde hair with a long, sharp face, and was giant like in his height.

“Uh… You see we were being chased by these dogs, big dogs, and we got away from them. They were really fast, and we outran them before they chewed our faces off,” she tried to explain.

Silvia’s muddled brain and the pressure from her dad’s disapproving gaze made it hard for her to create sentences. At least what she had said was true―despite sounding crazy.

“We?” he asked, as his eyes narrowed. “Did you go out again? Are you drunk?”

She crossed her arms. “I’m not drunk! I’m telling the truth!”

“Then why are you getting home so late?”

Silvia opened her mouth to speak, but she realized her dad would never believe her anyway. Instead, she pursed her lips and stomped up to her room—the boy following close behind her. She slammed the door shut, not caring if she woke up the entire house and flopped onto her bed. She was a twenty-year-old woman, yet here she was throwing a tantrum like a stupid toddler.

As the moon shone through the window, Silvia and the boy stared at each other in silence. He stood there, not sure what to do as she gave him suspicious looks. She was wary because throughout the entire conversation with her dad he didn’t address the boy, not even once.

“What?” he asked, tiring of the staring contest.

Silvia reached over to her nightstand to turn on the lamp.

“How come my dad couldn’t see you?” she asked, leaning back on her hands.

The boy shrugged his shoulders. “Beats me, that’s the first time I’ve ever been that close to a gatekeeper.”

“What’s a gatekeeper?” she asked, walking over to her dresser to fetch her pyjamas.

She pulled out a plain t-shirt and shorts and walked into the bathroom connected to her bedroom.

“You’re full of questions, aren’t you?” the boy chirped, as he sat down on Silvia’s bed.

“I’m a curious person,” she yelled from the other room.

“My papa was planning on explaining it to me after my ceremony, but that was until he….” the boy trailed off.

Silvia reemerged in her pyjamas and tossed the other clothes in the hamper hung on her bedroom door.

“Until he what?” She froze when he saw his eyes filled with tears.

“Why do you need to know?” he snapped in hostility.

“It was just a question,” she said, holding her hands up in defense.

She didn’t press him for an answer, but she could guess what had happened to his dad from his reaction and the suicidal tendencies he had shown earlier with the barghests.

Now that Silvia could see the boy in proper lighting, she noticed how run down he looked. His shirt was ripped near his underarms and his eyes were puffy and red. Upon closer inspection, she realized in horror that the bottoms of his feet were bleeding

“What the hell? Your feet!” Silvia said, pointing at them.

“What about them?” he asked, before lifting one up and seeing the glass shards imbedded in them. “Oh….”

“Oh, is right!” she screeched. “Sit on the bed, I’ll get a cloth.”

<<Part 5 Part 7>>

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