‘That wasn’t a rabbit or something in the bushes just now?’ Hector asked.
‘No, it wasn’t,’ said Garovel privately. ‘Not on the roof, either. Nor in the grass, right now.’
Hector hadn’t even noticed that last one yet, but sure enough, he turned just in time to see a patch of tall grass by the patio stop shaking.
‘The next house over,’ said Garovel. ‘Hurry. Now the people in that one have the aura, instead.’
Hector launched himself over the stone wall one more time, but before he even landed, Garovel was already amending his statement.
‘And now it’s gone...’
He kinda figured that might happen. ‘The hell is going on here, Garovel?’
‘I don’t know. Just be ready.’
“This is getting boring,” came an unfamiliar voice.
Hector looked around but saw no one. ‘Garovel?’
‘No, there’s no--’ The reaper cut himself short at the sound of muted whispering.
“No, just do something bigger,” said the same voice.
“Oh, what does it matter now? You’ve hardly been subtle. They clearly know something’s going on already. If you’re going to play with them, you might as well really play with them.”
“But we’re not supposed to,” came a new voice.
“Ha, look at him!” said still another. “He’s so confused!”
Hector’s eyes kept telling him that there was no one around, but he was beginning to get the picture. Garovel said it before he could, though.
‘They’re invisible. Even to me.’
‘I don’t know.’
“Don’t worry, metal kid!” came yet another voice. “We’re not real! We’re all in your head! You’re going crazy, see?!”
“Pfft, he’ll never buy that now. Use your brain, you bloody idiot.”