by CSyphrett and Martin Maenza
Abby Cable drifted in and out of sleep for three days. Of all those infected, she had been hit the hardest by the deadly spores’ virus.
Finally, she awoke in the infirmary on Grimoire Island to find Headmaster Gallowglass standing at the window, looking out at the perfect stillness. She sat up slowly in her bed and said, “I thought you didn’t care.” Her voice was rough and cracked, no doubt from all the screaming and howling. She swallowed slowly, trying to ease the strain on her throat.
“I don’t,” said Gallowglass, turning slightly. The light shining through the window cast the black crystal in his empty left eye socket in shadow, while showing his normal blue right eye in fiery brilliance.
“You don’t lie very well, either,” said Abby. “You care too much, I think. I didn’t see it before, because you shut off any chance of empathic contact. While I was asleep, I could feel you watching out for me, and Josh and Patsy, even when you weren’t here in the room in person, like you are now.”
Gallowglass handed her a cup of water to soothe her throat. “You think you have me figured out, do you?”
“I don’t know how you got to be the way you are, but I do know you care, even when you say you don’t,” said Abby. “Especially when you say you don’t.”
Gallowglass said nothing, turning back to the window. He stared out for a long time. “You could be wrong,” said Gallowglass, finally.
“But I am not,” said Abby.
“I spoke with Belmont upon my return,” Gallowglass said. “He told me you had left for a brief visit, but I saw that your things were gone. I take it you were planning to be gone for good?”
“I was,” Abby admitted. “Maybe it was the fever in its initial stages, but I was so angry with you yesterday. I could only see everything that’s happened on the island since I arrived through distorted lenses.” She shook her head and added, “I’m sorry that I accused you of murder and lies. I didn’t realize how distorted my thoughts had become until now. Anyway, I begged Belmont to send me home. Please don’t be angry with him.”
“I will do with him as I must,” Gallowglass said. “For now, it’s you I am concerned with. I can’t have disenchanted staff members. It’s not good for student morale. When you are well again, you will have to make some difficult decisions about your future here.”
“I suppose,” Abby sighed. She closed her eyes and slipped away to sleep again.