Bookworm was passing by the front door when she heard a scratching at it. Only one person, of course, would do that, and so she opened it up to Beryl, inviting him in.
They went into the library, where Beryl took his accustomed perch on the mantel of the fireplace. Looking down at her, he asked, “Are you ready for a chaotic August?”
Bookworm sighed. “Do I have a choice?”
“Do you ever?” was the wry reply.
“I suppose not. What’s up?”
“Oh, nothing. I’ve just been having a few dreams lately.”
Frowning, Bookworm recalled other dreams of Beryl’s – dreams which had, more or less, come true. “What sort of dreams?”
“ I see a Bear with spreading fire around him,” he replied, sounding almost like a carnival soothsayer. “I see you and a rabbit cornering off as the weapons you choose get more deadly. I see a cat hanging a canary, and I see a raving man with a skin disease. I’ve also seen a few wolves in my dreams.” He paused. “And then, of course, the Kraken. But that’s the expected chaos.”
Bookworm nodded, mulling it all over. “The bear… that’s likely Prometheus.”
“I’m… familiar with him.”
“ I believe he’s behind many of the fires we’ve had over the past year.”
“And the destruction of Bunny tower.” Bookworm raised an eyebrow a bit at that information from Beryl, but somehow, she wasn’t surprised. “Would have, if…” Beryl trailed off.
“If,” he replied guardedly. “If someone hadn’t already been there that day, and simply hadn’t wanted to talk about with you, as a Militia member. Someone who knew Lilith was innocent the entire time.”
Bookworm knew what that meant, but decided to let it pass. “Rabbit… Miss Solano, you think? I did rather doubt our truce would last.”
Beryl shrugged. “I wasn’t going to come out and say it. I have no problem with Miss Solano. Besides, such dreams are… often metaphorical.”
“Well, yours have been prescient in the past.” She chewed her lip, wondering about the cat and canary. Something about that sounded familiar…
“Yes, they have been,” Beryl replied. “There’s more, but I doubt you would know what to do with them.”
Bookworm shrugged. “From the sounds of it, everything’s going to come to a head. I may as well prepare for everyone I can think of.”
“Including PJ. And Professor Parx.” Beryl stretched. “I didn’t dream of them. I would just say that would include everyone.”
“He–” She swallowed the curse. “I may as well prepare for Cavendish while I’m at it.
As he jumped down off the fireplace mantel, Beryl asked, “Who was that again?”
“That villain I encountered in America a few years ago.”
“Ahh, yes. You told me you’d tell me that story another day.”
She smiled wryly. “I’d probably better do it soon.”
Beryl paused on his way out of the library, looking up at her. “I don’t suppose he’s got goggle brain?”
“Goggle brain?” Bookworm was perplexed by this.
“I couldn’t think of a better way to say it. Suppose I’ll try again later.” As Bookworm opened the front door for him, he added, “I hate the Fall. My dreams always turn sour.”
“Pity. Fall’s always been my favorite time of year.”
“Good night, Miss Hienrichs,” said Beryl gravely, and trotted off into the lambent evening light.
“Good night,” she replied, closing the door after him. Deciding to take him at his word, she headed upstairs to her bedroom to make an early night of it while she could.
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