A Surprise Arrival

[Author’s note: still working on Chapter 6, but am changing my approach to titling my posts. No more numbering — titles will now be thematic.]

The northern lights flickered again over the lake, Rune this time only acknowledging their appearance. Focused on stepping forward, along the frozen shore, in the direction of the mechanical hum. And the memory of Double-J’s party.

“Who’s this friend you picked up?” Double-J’s question had penetrated the hallway before he’d fully opened the weathered door to his apartment. The guy he’d met twenty minutes ago (Rune couldn’t remember his name now) stepped aside gracefully, like he was inviting Rune and Double-J to dance.

Rune smiled, raised his eyebrows on making contact. He enjoyed the fleeting moment of surprised hesitation he saw in the older teen’s eyes.

The thin black wires of Double-J’s hair and moustache seemed to bristle. “Since when’d the two of you become buddies?”

The guy removed his baseball cap, his long flowing hair somehow seeming to grow in the action, and as he pressed past the burly teen in the doorway, told him about seeing Rune at the Pizza Place, how’d they recognized each other from a fencing tournament last spring, that there was a party at Double-J’s that night and he should come, did you really think he bothered with invitations?

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