Thursday, November 5, 2015

Tilt (Cecil, 3)

Cecil's tune came to an end when he reached the nexus of his territory: an old abandoned cabin in the woods, stripped down to the barest necessities, and scrubbed clean with his ambitious plans and one very cold and boring winter.

He tapped the front step delicately with his toe, and two small forms stirred themselves out from underneath it, recognized him, and trotted around him, brushing against Cecil's legs and those of Rama and Sita.

"Good to see you too, Zal and Rudabeh." He squatted down, gave their ears and leisurely scratch, before resuming and heading inside.

They were his door alarm. If anybody came stomping up the front stoop without their welcome, the pair of foxes would make sure Cecil knew about it, but everything was quiet on the home front. Of all his pairs, they were the most different, despite loving nothing more than curling up in each others fur and sleeping away the day. Zal was an Arctic Fox, and Rudabeh was a Fennec, but they saw each other as family, and the rest didn't matter.

Huginn and Muninn abandoned Cecil's shoulders before he crossed the threshold, winging for any of their favored perches built just for them on the window sills. They were mildly claustrophobic, but served as their own alerts when Cecil was home and nestled up with Zal and Rudabeh.

The boar went down into the root cellar, and Cecil assembled a long due dinner for himself and plentiful rewards for his companions. During the meal, his comm-set rang, it's silent tone vibrating on its stand by the door, the one electoric luxury he owned. The five of them frowned at it, and Cecil let it go, finishing up his quality time at a sedate pace; if it were important, whomever it was would leave a message or have come in person and disturbed the foxes.

When Rama and Sita had finished licking his fingers, Cecil approached the comm and was greeted by his father's face. "Cec, we need to talk. Johnson is going to be in the area at the end of the week, and has some information that concerns you. Your mother... she... it would be good to see you. Stay safe."

He turned from the displays to find four heads, tilted up at him at the same angle, listening and waiting, two of their tails wagging slightly and hopefully. Cecil rolled his eyes at them and sighed loudly. "No. We're not going. Not tongiht, and not later."

The ears drooped and tails stilled.

Cecil rubbed his head. "Alright, maybe. You two," pointing at Rama and Sita, "you just want to see Charlie, not anyone else, don't you?"

At the mention of the companion, they grew excited again, stopped guilt tripping him, and led Cecil to bed.

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