Image: Scene break ornament. End Description.

The scent of blood clung to the air as Phoebe walked into the kitchen. She spied Julia standing at the counter, cutting up raw meat and livestock organs.

“Hey… Feeling better?” Julia said.

Image: Julia is at the counter, her back partially turned. In front of her is a cutting board with chunks of meat on it, along with a bucket which has some blood dripping down the side. She is wearing a green and yellow apron with frills on the sides. Some of the kitchen is visible including the oven, the sink, cabinets, a potted plant, and more counter space. Afternoon sunlight streams in through two windows. End description.

“Tired.” Phoebe replied. “Sorry about last night. I like your apron.”

“Thanks! Think you’re up for a reading? Or, we can eat first if you want.” She plopped the meat bits into a bucket. Phoebe did want to eat, but she wanted to get this reading--whatever that meant--over with even more. She needed answers. At her insistence Julia left, returning shortly after with a coil of thin rope. When Phoebe got a closer look, she realized that it was made of braided grass.

“So, at the lake. What were you doing?” Julia asked as she began unraveling the cordage around her.

“Dunno. I drank too much. I must have blacked out or something,” Phoebe lied.

“But you remember what happened, so you didn’t black out.”

She groaned. “I know! I don’t want to talk about it.”

Image: Phoebe, back in her blue two-piece outfit, holds her hands up defensively with a surprised expression. Julia stands in front of her and smiles, holding the grass cordage. End description.

Julia’s gaze was prying, but her beak was graced with an apologetic, knowing smile. “It’s true that I should’ve done the reading earlier. Thing is, I think the Consumption might be acting like a Rise ‘cause of your wish. That- Silver, right? He wore out fast when Yuli was chasing him in the marsh. And you,” she finished laying out the hoop, “I haven’t been that hungry since I was bound to Yuli. Rises create a new flow of energy; you both need time to adjust. You get hungrier, achier, more tired, as the flow evens out. That’s what we’re gonna look at.”



Man Julia called Phoebe right out, huh.

I’ve been gearing up for spring over here. The weather has been really nice; I’ve had my window open all day today (which my cat appreciates very much.)