Twenty-three – 05

[This post is from Matt’s point of view.]

               “So which part, exactly, are we voting on?” Jacqueline asked.  The question came quietly, no judgement or doubt in her tone—a simple, matter-of-fact question.  Her gaze was intent as she watched Matt, hugging her knee against her chest, a basket of fabric scraps near her foot.  “Whether or not we want to enact whatever plan we hammer out in the early hours of the morning, how we want to handle those staying behind, what?”

               “Both, I think,” Kellin said, a faint frown creasing her forehead.  “I mean, I think it should be both, though I have a gut feeling that I know what way at least one of those votes is going to go.”

               Matt’s stomach sank again and he hoped he was dead wrong about which vote she was talking about and what direction she suspected it would go in.  At the end of the day, though, how they handled the situation wasn’t solely his choice to make—it never had been.

               In some ways, he was silently grateful for that.

               “Both,” he said, his mouth dry, as if he’d suddenly swallowed a mouthful of sand.  “We vote on both and we do it now.”  As much as he dreaded the outcome, waiting seemed worse.  If they voted against his proposed plan, they’d need all the time they could muster to prepare for what was coming—or to evacuate and put as much distance between them and Orcus’s forces as possible.

               He wasn’t sure what he would do if they voted against his plan.

               His stomach roiled and he swallowed hard.

               Breathe.  Just breathe.

               “All right, then,” Kellin said softly.  “Then let’s do it so we can get to work.”

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