The largest mole ever – has babies to consider.
It was apparent that Monte had listened to the discussions while he dug. It was a long time since he’d been to the surface. ‘Erm can I ask a question?’ asked Monte.
‘Of course you can,’ said Davina.
‘Is there something going on that I should know about? You see my wife has just had a litter and I am concerned something is about to break out on the surface,’ asked Monte.
‘How many children did she have?’ asked Davina curiously.
‘We did very well this time and had fifteen. We think that’s a record amongst the mole community. We understand that overseas there have been a few similar litters – but here, in this country, we are pretty high up on the scale.’
Davina smiled, it was so nice to have good news. ‘Have you named them all yet?’
Monte slowed his digging, ‘Do you know how hard it is to name fifteen children who have all been born at the same time?’
Davina shook her head. She had never considered it.
‘Well all the boys are named Monte and all the girls are named Melissa, after my wife. You can see how it makes it easier, especially when you can’t see them.’
Davina laughed, it was the first time she had laughed in ages.
‘Why is that so funny?’ asked Monte.
‘I’m laughing because I think it’s so lovely. You know I am in one of the worst situations I can remember and what you have just told me is lovely. Thank you so much.’
‘There’s always a bright side, you just have to remember to recognise it,’ said Monte.
Davina glanced at her father, the Shamaventus was lighting him. In her opinion, his skin was looking warmer, but maybe that was because he was lit by the red glow of the flame. Davina wondered about the Shamaventus flame, it was moving erratically and its glow was increasing. They must have been nearing the outskirts of Gargantuan.
‘What’s happening to him?’ asked Ghost.
‘What are you seeing Ghost?’
‘Well it is kind of hard to explain… but it’s like a whole load of tiny fire-flies are fluttering around him…’
‘That is the Gargantuan lifeforce. It is trying to find a way to bring him back – to revive him,’ she said.
Ghost was embarrassed by his vision. ‘I shouldn’t have said anything – I sound like one of those wacky people who sniff lettuce and dance around with daffodils.’
‘Ghost you should be proud of your talent,’ said Davina with a certain look.
Ghost slid to the edge of the hover-bed and looked back through the tunnel. Even though he didn’t want to admit it, his life had become more exciting since he had met Davina. So why was he constantly saying things that were annoying? ‘Davina, I really annoy you don’t I?’
‘Ghost you don’t actually annoy me, your pessimism does,’ she said shifting to kneeling. ‘You always seem to find problems, faults or reasons why you can’t do things. That’s before you’ve even tried. I just find it draining trying to constantly motivate you. What would you do if I wasn’t around? You would probably find reasons your whole life why you weren’t good enough. Oh I can’t do this or that because… That’s what annoys me. You are defeated before you have even started!’ Davina shook her head. ‘There are those that say they can and those that say they can’t and both are right!’
Ghost swallowed hard. He wasn’t going to cry; however, having more than two eyes made it difficult to hold back emotion. It was hard enough with two, now he had hundreds of eyes with plenty of tear ducts to release tears.
Davina watched Ghost struggling; each of his eyes had tears running from them. Davina didn’t mean to be nasty, but sometimes the truth had to be told. ‘Ghost I think it’s time I let you know my two weaknesses. The first is the need to tell the complete truth – no matter how harsh it is. I tell people how it is and do not spare their feelings. Most people don’t like to hear the truth and that is one of the main problems in my life. The truth is more important to me than anything else or anyone.’
Ghost didn’t respond, all his life his parents had criticised him. He understood that he learned the defeatist attitude from them. If he tried anything, they would tell him it would fail and he had believed what they said. Ghost shook his head; maybe the fact that he was dangerous was a blessing. It had released him from that cycle. He was now effectively free and the only person sabotaging him was himself. Ghost turned to Davina and smiled a weak, heart-felt smile. ‘And what is the second weakness?’
Davina blushed, ‘Well I don’t like doing everything alone. I can do what I want when I want… but what’s the point if I can’t share it with anyone?’ she said.
Ghost nodded, ‘I know how you feel… thank you.’
Davina frowned, what was Ghost thanking her for? ‘What did I do?’
‘You told me what I needed to hear. I am ready for this now and that’s thanks to you. This journey taught me that I can do this. Plus you actually dared to tell me how it is, how it really is and that makes you a real friend.’ Ghost did his best to wipe his multiple eyes, but missed a few.
‘I don’t understand – what did I say?’ asked Davina.
‘You told me the truth as it is. So Davina, suck it up princess and let’s do this thing,’ he said.
Johnny raised an eyebrow, the scene before him was sickly but sweet. Ghost’s mindset had shifted. Was it going to last? And how were they going to make it to Gargantuan when thousands of Grotes were now thundering through the tunnel?