My name is Crawl.

That's all you need to know...

For now-at least.

"Do you hear me, Crawl?" Carl glowers at me sullenly, until I deign to respond.

"No." I reply softly.

A lighting flashes outside; a storm is raging.

I look at him sideways; his face is partly obscure by my layers of long hair, and I grimace as if face with a difficult decision.

He frowns and twists Stivvy's paw until it almost pops; until I turn around to glare at him. Stivvy's my giant, stuff teddy bear. Oh, it was a gift from my 12th birthday, from Steven, an old crush. Long story.

The thunder comes about 2 seconds later. Storm's around 2 miles away...

Not a comfortable distance.

"Direct your anger at someone else. Stivvy hasn't done anything to you, has she?"

Carl smiles, and reveals teeth so white, I thought for a moment that lighting has flash again.

"No." He replies just as softly. Then he cocks his head to one side gently as he listens to the sounds of the elements splashing against the bare windows. "But you have, and since Stivvy's your possession, she'll have to suffer for your insolence."

"For my what?"

"For your insolence." He repeats.

"That doesn't even mean anything." I flicks my tongue at him, and brush some hair out of my eye.

"For your disrespect. For your insulting demeanor toward me, and everything I've said. For-"

"I know what 'insolence' means!" I assert, mildly annoy.

Carl immediately change tactics.

"Did you not hear any of the tales I've spun for the past half hour?"

"I hear you. I just haven't hear you yet. Let me think on it for a minute." I wrench Stivvy away from him, and holds her in my arms, thinking upon the implifications of what just occur between what is real, and what should have stay in people's dark imaginations.


That one word change my whole life.

Carl let out a deep pent up breath, and picks up some papper wrappers from the trash-strew floor.

He looks at me solemnly "Any girl of your age would have been broken by now. And not just on the inside."

"Any boy your age would've been hiding under a bed by now." I retort with a sickly grin.

"I highly doubt that, but perhaps some are already in hiding."

We grow serious again.

After a thoughtful pause Carl picks up the conversation again.

"So, what do you think we should do, as of now?" He waves aside my protestations. "No, I would like to hear your thoughts."

I pause for a long minute before saying anything.

When I did, it is not for a long time before I stop to catch my breath.

"We should-" I clear my throat loudly, then continue as if nothing have happen. "We should consult with our different alliances before making any decision. Remember, we cannot speak for all of our members. If if one or two disagrees, conflict shall arise, and then, it will only get worse from there. For what more do the undeads wishes for more than our polarizing? For our separation? It is their sole wish."

"Without any means to support themselves, the polarizing teams will break apart from our alliance, and seeks shelter with another alliance. We cannot affort for that to happen. We need to band together if we wish to survive in a world run by the undeads. Especially with the death of Cothar and Valor, plus commandeers of twenty-six of their former mates. We cannot risk alienating any of our remaining members."

"Therefore, I suggest that we don't make any concrete decisions beforehand."

Carl raises one eyebrow, and looks at me until I flinch violently.

Half a minute passes before he regains his calm demeanor.

"You're avoiding the issue at hand." He finally says.

"I'm avoiding nothing." I reply.

"The zombies marches south from Galinatoth. They will reach here in less than 4 days march. 3 if the weather abates. And you're telling me to go discuss this with my alliances? I need to discuss this with you, Crawl! And through you, your alliance!"


I left the issue at hand, and walk downstair to dine.