His phone was ringing. Gerry didn’t mind calls, especially on a Friday night at home, but Fjorik’s nostrils flared, and it was best not to challenge Fjorik. Bjornhard and Thuumbrig were more agreeable, but Gerry doubted he would challenge them either.
The phone rang again. Somehow it sounded more urgent this time. Gerry picked it up and looked at the display. Holding his breath, he accepted the call. Fjorik rolled over onto his knee.
“Hey, Nancy. What’s going on?” She had nothing prepared. She had called just to talk. He had nothing prepared either, but now they were talking.
“How’s your mother? Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Lots of people go through worse though, so I wouldn’t worry too much.” Bjornhard lifted an eyebrow. Thuumbrig turned his head. “Yeah, I’m great. I couldn’t complain if I tried, not that I’m going to try.”
Fjorik was squinting. Every word Gerry said irritated him more.
Gerry wanted to end the conversation, but it hadn’t really begun. He couldn’t well hang up until the call had been justified.
“So do you have any plans tonight?” he heard himself say. He couldn’t believe he said it. The three ancient beasts lifted their eyes and stared Gerry straight in the throat. Thuumbrig sharpened his claws against the scales on his opposite forearms. Fjorik spit a tiny flame that Gerry swatted out with his free hand. He swallowed. “That sounds nice. I’d love to come, I really would. But I’m afraid I have other plans tonight.”
Some other time.
Together, the wyrms closed their eyes, and curled their necks downward, at peace. Gerry reached out to pet them, but they didn’t like to be touched.
He crossed his arms and held himself close.