Afflictions: Part Forty Three

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Arte and Ashley sat in their room after an exhausting day. After last night’s events, they didn’t get any sleep, then had to do a full day of work like normal. Ashley wasn’t sure how people who worked two jobs were able to do it. This was nearly killing her. Not to mention they couldn’t go home yet either, because Webb left a note saying to stay after school. She supposed it was fair enough since he knew that they had done an investigation, but still a good nights sleep would be nice.

“Hope he comes soon…” Ashley muttered, as she felt her head droop down to the desk. Hearing no response, she looked over to see Arte was already asleep, and prodded her. “Hey, I’m awake, you’re awake.”

“Fiiiine,” Arte groaned. “I still have to do the silencing thing.” She got to her feet, pulled out her book, and began to trace the room with a thin blue laser.

“It’s been like 15 minutes. Is he coming?” On the one hand she knew that was a perfectly reasonable length of time to covertly finish up and come over here, but on the other, she wanted to go home.

“What was it, if your teacher doesn’t show up in 15 minutes, you’re legally allowed to leave? Does that apply here?” She connected the edges and slumped back into her chair.

“Hmmmm…” Ashley thought about it harder than she felt she should’ve, when she heard a knock on the doorframe. “Come in.”

“Hello.” Webb answered, closing the door behind him. He spared one last glance out the door’s window, before moving out of view. “So what did you find?”

Having something to do, Ashley felt more awake now. “Well we found there was some dude living here. He looked like the devil, and tried to make deals.”

“He said his name was Caveat.” She showed Webb his business card. “He seemed to know a good bit about us.” Arte added. “He knew about my relationship with my parents, but he didn’t know everything. He was definitely weird. I’d say Kriska’s read of him being powerful is right.”

“That’s concerning…” Webb muttered. “What did he seem to want? Did he have something to do with the girl?”

“Well for me he didn’t ask for anything. He offered a couple of things, but didn’t ask for anything.” She looked to Arte. “What about you?”

“He seemed to want my necklace, so I’d say it’s safe to assume he was at least passingly interested in your glasses, Webb.”

“Concerning…” Webb thought for a moment. “What kinds of things did he offer?”

“Nothing important… Nothing that I wanted from him at least…” Ashley mumbled. She didn’t really want to talk about their fight in front of Webb. They still hadn’t talked about this themselves, and this wasn’t really the time.

“So would you say his offerings were magical? Did he offer you money or things?” Webb pressed.

“I guess it would have to be magic.” Ashley thought. “What about you, Arte?”

“Yeah, I’d definitely say everything he mentioned would have to be magic.” Arte nodded in agreement.

“I don’t think he has anything to do with the missing girl, though.” Ashley said. “At least that’s what he said…”

“Assuming his ‘deal’ thing isn’t a lie, he swore that he didn’t, and that she wasn’t abducted at the school.” Arte confirmed. “I had him captured, but he just disappeared. Either way, between being caged and shot, I think we’re done with him for now.”

“Alright, well that’s good enough…” Webb nodded. “I suppose that settles that for now. That leaves pretty much one suspect.”

“Who’s that?” Arte asked.

“With me, you two, and the ‘devil’ ruled out, for now at least,” he held up 4 fingers, lowering one for each suspect that’s been resolved, leaving one. “That leaves just whoever has been following me.”

“So you’re being followed by people that aren’t us or Caveat?” Ashley asked.

“Yes, since I detect ‘Caveat’ in ways that differ from the ways I detect normal people, you two are no longer following me, and I am still being followed.”

“I guess that’s true.” Ashley nodded.

“So I guess we’ll just have to stalk the stalkers.” Arte said.

“That was exactly my line of thinking, Mrs. Collins.” Webb grinned. “I propose that tomorrow, you two place another tracker on my car, and follow at a greater distance behind me. Once you see the stalkers, you follow them until they stop following me, and figure out what they’re up to.”

“And what if it’s not the stalkers that kidnapped Jessica?” Ashley asked. This sounded like a solid plan, but it sounded like this was all they had.

“Then we are out of usable leads, unless you can manage to find another from said stalkers.” Webb replied. “Considering that this is the last lead that we have, and the general unlikeliness that there is one that completely escaped my view, I would say this lead should be the one.”

“I guess that’s true…”

“We’ll save worrying about what happens if it doesn’t work for after we get this done.” Arte rested a hand on Ashley’s shoulder.

“Then we’re resolved?”

“Yeah, I’d say that sounds like a plan.” Arte looked to Ashley for confirmation.

Ashley was fine with pretty much any plan that happened after a full night of sleep, so she nodded in confirmation.

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Hello traveler! You’ve happened upon my serial, or maybe found it intentionally. If you like what you see, be sure to check out the reading guide and read the rest of the series! This may be season 3, but there’s pretty comprehensive recaps, so it’s not as if there’s an enormous backlog.

I’m somehow still alive if you’re curious. All things considered, I’m doing pretty decent this week! Been playing skyrim lately. You guys play any video games? Suppose not, since nobody reads these, but i have to write them dammit, so I’m writing them how I so please.

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