"The Builder's Guide"
by Zantie


I knew where Rakool lived, so it wasn't hard for me to find his place. The only trouble was that it was before dawn and I had a feeling he was still in bed. I had no desire to find a cheap place and go back to sleep, returning to those dreams. So I sat down by his front door, fiddling around with my bag, looking at the seams and testing the strap. I was bored and didn't know what to do to kill time.

Idly looking at the seams in my clothes I felt the outline of the papers I found at Clothilde's house. Taking them out I looked over the odd text again. I still had no idea what it said. It all looked like Greek to me. Heh. That is if I knew what Greek looked like.

I sighed and put the papers back in my shirt. Becoming restless I stood up and paced around a bit. Getting bored with that I figured I'd walk over to the Inn and see if it was still open at this early hour. I wanted to go to the Grieving Burrick Inn sooner than later because I didn't want to run into Penelope after I ditched her like that.

The Inn was about a half-hours walk from here. Even if it wasn't open, it gave me something to do.

Walking down the nearly empty streets of the City I had time to think about things. Though I didn't think about much. My mind just wandered on about the Builder's Guide. Wondering what it could possibly hold that was so important and what the deal was with my dreams.

Turning the corner I was brought back to reality. I was standing in front of the Grieving Burrick Inn. Sure enough, it closed an hour ago. Shrugging I turned back the way I came. I figured, if I walked slower I could get back to Rakool's place in an hour. He would probably be awake by then.

Taking the same route back, I strolled down the streets and admired the night sky. The edges around the buildings were turning pink and orange. Pastel in color as the sun slowly rose above the horizon. Its light not yet powerful enough to rid the streets of their shadows. I passed a few more homes and buildings. Seeing candles flicker in the window as people woke up to the new day.

Nearing Rakool's place I noticed that there was no candle lit in his window. He was still asleep. I sighed and walked up to his front door, loudly drumming my fingers on it to let him know it was I. A few seconds later Rakool opened the door. I had to stop myself from laughing.

"Dirk? What are you doing here? What time is it? God it's early…damn sun isn't even up…" Rakool went back inside, leaving the door open for me to follow. He had clearly just gotten out of bed. It was funny though, how his hair seemed to stick out in all directions.

Closing the door behind me I heard Rakool grunt.

"I'm out'a mead. Hope you don't mind."

"Naa, I'm alright." I walked around in his living room as Rakool got himself some water from the kitchen. I picked up something that looked like a shrunken head, then placed it back in disgust.

"So what are ya doing here anyway?"

"Huh? Oh, I just came by to see how you're doing, you know. How the letter with Karras is going and everything like that."

"That's nice. But what I was wondering, is why you are here so early?" Rakool walked back into the living room. He had combed his hair, but it still looked messy.

I sighed, no point in lying. "I just came from Pen's place. Was bored and felt like paying you a visit."

"Ah, that's cool." Rakool combed his fingers through his hair. "Say, I'm still not quite awake. Wanna take a walk around? Fresh air might do us good, as they say."

I shrugged, "Why not?" I had been walking around for an hour and a half just earlier, but I didn't mind. Rakool would keep me company.


Outside the sun was still hanging low, not quite above the buildings. It was chilly out and Rakool started complaining about not bringing his cloak.

"I thought it would be warmer out. God I hate it when it's cold. I'm built for the desert. You know how I know this? It's my nose. My nose is big. It's built for dry, hot air. Not this cold, wet crap we have here."

"You complain too much, Rakool. You know that?"

"Yeah, I know I complain too much. But it’s true about my nose!" Rakool started fiddling with his nose and goatee again. I slapped his hand away from his face.

"What'd you do that for?"

I smiled and shook my finger at him as we walked. "If you fuss with your nose too much, young man, you'll sneeze and catch a cold."

Rakool laughed. "What are you, my mother?" He shoved me. I started laughing and shoved him back, punching him in the arm. We started hitting each other. Socking punches and trying to wrestle as we walked. While Rakool grabbed my head, pulling me in a headlock I caught a glimpse of someone behind us.

"Hey, hey. Cut it out, there's a guard behind us."

Rakool let go of my head and we went back to walking casually. The guards on the street don't like it when people play around or loiter. To them, the streets were a place meant only for getting from one place to another, not strolling. I noticed that the guard was following us. I motioned to Rakool and we walked down a side street. It was early morning so practically no one but drunks were out on the street, so it was easy to tell when the extra pair of footsteps belonged to the person who was behind us earlier. His footsteps were too steady for him to be a drunk.

I stole a glance behind me. A short guy was following us, not a guard. I turned back to look in front of me and whispered to Rakool beside me.

"There's someone following us."

"Can you tell who it is?" Rakool looked at me, still messing with his nose.

I searched back in my memory, and made a connection. "You remember not too long ago when we were in the Grieving Burrick, that guy who you saw sitting behind me?"

"Yeah. What, you think it's him?"

"Yes." We turned a corner and I stopped, pulling Rakool next to me in the shadows. "Wait for him to turn the corner, then I'll grab him and see what he's up to."


Comments are welcome :) Look for chapters in monthly installments. - Zantie

Part 7 / Part 9

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