It wasn’t until late afternoon when we and the crooked Mister Wilsom, who was dressed in his usual grey suit, left for the pharmacy. The streets were almost empty - except for a few carriages and passers-by. We were standing at an intersection, waiting for an ox-beast and its carter to cross the road. The beast moved slowly while it swung its black horns around and drooled on the paving stone. The carter shot us a quick glance, then spit in front of my feet. It wasn’t something we weren’t used to and it didn’t bother me as long as they didn’t go further, which they never did. Apparently though, this couldn’t be said about the other orphans. That’s why Miss Cera had assigned these errands to us - people always seemed to avoid Lory and me, including the other orphans. Mister Wilsom, who hasn’t said a word since the beginning of our little journey, suddenly stood still.
“We've arrived,” he muttered with his hoarse, strict voice - giving me chills. In front of us stood a tiny, two-storied building with milky windows that were embedded into the yellow brick facade. Lory and I were waiting in a dusty corridor, while Mister Wilsom talked to someone behind a closed door. After a couple seconds we were told to enter just so a man dressed in a white coat could quietly handle us some small bags filled with various medicine vials. The man looked annoyed, not once did his eyes meet ours and he didn’t say goodbye when we left.
The sun already started setting down, lighting up the streets to shine like rivers of gold. Without warning, Lory grabbed my wrist and started sprinting before we took a sharp turn to the left into a narrow alley. I could hear Mister Wilsom curse behind us as the thin old man had no chance of catching up.
“Hey, Lory! What are you doing?!” I asked, gasping for air. It was hard to keep up with her without falling over my own legs. A few moments of silence later, she dragged me up some stairs before we came to a halt. After my confusion wore off, I realised where Lory had dragged me. We stood on a small stoney watchtower whose base was embedded into the other buildings. The walls of the three-storied townhouses to our left and right were overgrown with green leaves. They filled the air with a herbaceous smell while birds chirped between the branches. My gaze turned to the horizon - the sun was halfway gone and the moon started to rise. Its pale surface was littered with large cracks. They emitted a purple glow which intertwined with the last beams of sunlight, drowning the fields surrounding the town in the resulting mixture of gold and purple. It was beautiful, yet Lory only spent a short moment observing the view, before her eyes met mine.
“You pulled me all the way up here but only looked for a few seconds?” I wondered out-loud.
“You aren’t looking either - just staring at me,” she noted with a blank expression. I turned my blushing face back to the horizon.
“What were you dreaming about this morning, Nate?” Lory’s question stabbed me in the back.
Letting out a sigh, I answered, “The same as before - just this time I actually entered the hut, then everything turned to dust.”
“That’s all?! You’re not going to ask more?”
“Do you want me to?” Lory’s eyes widened.
“No.” I responded quietly.
“Then I won’t. I just wanted to be up-to-date.”
That’s right, Lory had always been this way - she would always poke me gently whenever I tried to hide something but would never fuss too much about it.
It wasn’t until we went back down into the alley that Lory noticed my missing bag of medicine.
“Shoot, I must have dropped it when we were sprinting to this place, haha.” I replied in a mixture of panic and comedic make-relief. I’m doomed. Searching through every corner and larger crack in the overgrown walls, I emotionally prepared myself to get an ear full by the spooky old man. We were about to give up when all of a sudden a young woman approached us.
“This isn’t quite the best time to run around here. Who knows what sort of people lurk in these alleys during nighttime,” the woman spoke softly. Her bright red hair shimmered under the last rays of sunlight, but my attention focussed on the bag in her hand.
Maybe if I’m fast enough I could snatch it out of her hand?
“I guess this one is yours? And the cursing old man over there belongs to you too?” the young woman, whose flawless face wore a gleeful smile, pointed to the main road. Said old man stood right in the middle of the street, constantly turning and causing a little scene. Lory and I exchanged a few puzzled looks - this woman didn’t treat us like trash.
“Well then, you should probably head back.”
I thanked the woman before we joined Mister Wilsom again, who slowly regained his composure.
“Damn black-bloods! If it wasn’t for the director...,” he growled and clenched his old wrinkled fists as we walked back.