“I like night, Churkk. Don’ like day. Don’ like heat or light or pantin’ or th’ way groud puffs up dust atcha when ya run.”
Churkk’s scowl deepened. He liked the night as well, but it irritated him to agree with the creature skulking alongside him.
“Night is cool. Night is good. Wraps us up and lets us come out of the cracks and up to see things. What I think is the best is –”
Jek did, looking suitably cowed. He still walked alongside, however, and Churkk swore even Jak’s feet slapped on the ground different than everyone else’s. Everything about Jek was annoying.
The light from a house poked through the trees at them and rather than turning to go around it, Churkk took them in closer without explaining. Slowly, they crept up to the corner of the building, then along a wall to the lit window.
Jek started to whisper a question, but stopped short when Churkk smacked him in the middle of his forehead without even looking back.
Inside, Churkk could see a people-room with things to sit on. The Woman sat on one, but didn’t see his long, mud-caked face at the window or the light glinting off his beady eyes, because she was crying — great, shaking sobs that shook her bent shoulders and moved her whole chair.
Churkk watched this for some time. Eventually, his companion forgotten, he smiled.