Strange day today. We passed more burrows, and birds’ nests are visible now high in the trees. Something followed us for a while earlier, something big. All I saw of it was a glimpse of its eyes staring out from beneath a clump of thorny bushes. It had big eyes, big and grey and it looked at me with such a mixture of curiosity and caution I knew immediately it was harmless. Judging by the size of those eyes I figure it was probably about the size of a large pig. And it moved like a wraith. When Armbranch slipped away to track it, he returned sorry faced and said it had disappeared.
At least that’s what he told me. Maybe he did discover what it was and doesn’t want to alarm me.
That notion triggered a wave of paranoia that I guess has been simmering away in my subconscious for a while. Though I’ve long since accepted this isn’t a nightmare I’ll wake from soon, I’ve never once considered Armbranch’s state of mind. Suppose he’s locked in some delusion that everything around him is some crazy dream. Is that why he’s helping me? It makes a twisted kind of sense. He should be baying for my blood. He’s not. He’s helping the one who helped destroy his environment, and it doesn’t make sense. Then again, not much does make sense in here.
It still worries me. If this is the case, what’s going to happen when everything ‘clicks’ and he accepts that this isn’t a dream but reality?
No matter what he thinks of me, or what he might have planned for the future, I’m starting to soften toward him. I won’t say I like him. I don’t. I’d much prefer I’d never met him. Now that we are working together, though, it seems like we’re functioning on some really basic level that could be described as a team. When I showed him some more photos of Killykeen last night his face softened into such a look of childlike glee I couldn’t spoil it by asking him questions.
As far as my ‘Armbranch nightmare’ theory goes, I guess I’m just getting paranoid. He’s not caught in some denial of reality dream. I’m sure he was telling the truth about what was following us today. So far, even if he is slow to tell me things, I’ve seen no evidence yet that he’s ever told me a lie.
Time to check on Maya again. Armbranch is keen to see more pictures, too. I haven’t let him see her on screen yet. I guess it’s some jealous, protective thing. Right now she’s mine and mine only. I’m not going to share her with anyone or anything. Besides, I’ve no idea what his reaction might be if he sees her sleeping there like that.
To be honest, I’m afraid of hearing what he might say about it.