“We’ll we could put it off until yerr comfortable, but people’d only ask ya the saame quairstions over and over. I suggest ya get it oot the waay, sooner tharn lairter.”
Brad nodded at the logic. I made sense to do it once, and soon… to get it over with.
“I’ll do it tonight,” he said unenthusiastically.
“Good; I’ll set it up. Why doon’t you go ta sleep in my room? It woon’t be for a couple of hours yet.”
Brad retired to the bedroom and closed the door. In the quiet of the room, he heard the clutter of plates in the kitchen sink. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he partly sank into the handmade mattress. At first he feared the effect, reminding him of quicksand. As his fears subsided, he closed his eyes, almost instantly slipping into dreamless slumber…
A knock on the door roused him. His eyes snapped open.
“Braard,” came Pastor’s voice from the other side of the door.
Rolling into a seated position on the side of the bed, Brad looked down, reminded that he wore different clothing.
“Yeah?” he called.
“Ya huv a visitor.”
Who knows me here?
He opened the door and stepped through to find Pastor and a woman seated around the table.
“Is this your wife?” Brad asked.
“Noo, boy. This is Doorcter. When I told herr of ya injuries, she insisted she came… after ya slept of course.”
“Hello, Brad,” said Doctor with extended hand.
Her smile and introduction seemed a little formal; not unpleasant, merely unpracticed. She looked mid 40s, with long snowy hair tied neatly in a ponytail. Deep blue eyes sharply contrasted against the backdrop of her hair. Doctor had features so delicate as if to suggest she had a porcelain mask for a face. When she stood, she exuded grace, giving Brad a view of her perfectly buxom form. Although older than his mother, he would have felt something stir in his being, had his mind not still been on Teyata.
“Please take off your shirt,” Doctor asked.
He pulled it from his body and dropped it on the table.
“Oh dearr Lord,” said Pastor.
“What happened to you?” asked Doctor.
Brad knew they referred to his many accumulated scars.
He shrugged. “Just training accidents and hunting, that sort of thing. I’ve lived outside for nearly a year.”
“What about this and…”
Doctor trailed off as she dabbed her fingers at Brad’s slashes on his body still, healing.
“That shoulder too gives me some concern.”
Brad hunched his arm and worked it in a semi-circle. It seemed a lot less painful than the day before.
“It’s getting better,” he said.
“When did you get those injuries?”
“Yesterday,” Brad said. “I was fighting a manine.”
“Yesterday?” said Doctor. “But the wounds look clean and they’re healing.”
“Noo one lives through a maniine encounter. Did ya shoot it?”
Brad held up his hand. His claws sprang free and retracted.
“I see. Well if your gooing ta staay, we huv a policae of not being armed. We’ll put thaat arnd the rest of your weapons in storage.”
“You can throw my weapons away,” said Brad. “I don’t want to live like a feral anymore. But unfortunately, the claws don’t come off.”