Kaleigha sighed and waited for Kahrim to continue.
“That’s it,” he said, eyeing her. “That is the story told straight.”
“Be calm,” Kasim got to his feet. The fires around them were dying out and he seemed less impressive in the failing light. “You don’t understand the process.”
“Just end it!” the voice came from the woods again. “Release us, please.”
“What is that about?” Kaleigha asked as she peered into the darkening forest for the source of the voice.
“Finally,” Kasim gave a weak laugh. “A question.”
“The inhabitants of this forest bear the greatest burden in the new order of things,” Kahrim answered without hesitation. “The village is a small refuge for the dead and undead alike, but there is a fixed number of inhabitants.”
“So there is more to this lie?” Kaleigha scoffed.
“We are not lying!” Kahrim exclaimed, clearly frustrated by her disbelief.
“So how did that part get left out of your ‘straight story?’” Kaleigha raised her eyebrows.
“You did not ask that,” Kahrim growled.
“I didn’t ask that?” Kaleigha shouted. “I don’t know a damn thing about what is going on! How would I know to ask that?”
“You are you!” Kahrim shouted. “You are supposed to know what to ask. The answers do not exist until you ask!”
“This is not the way, fam,” Kasim got between them. “We must sit peacefully and reorder our minds.”
“You and this hippy shit,” Kaleigha ducked around her brothers and moved toward the figures shifting in the shadows. “Where are you?”