Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#WerewolfWeds The Hag - Chapter 20 Part 3

Please check my #WerewolfWeds page for an overview of this. Thanks.

Peter snapped the whip, it cut across TJ's back ripping flesh off. He hit TJ with two more lashes. Robert took the lid off a metal bowl, sitting next to the table. Inside were smouldering yellow coals. Robert placed the knife blade on top of them.

A movement caught Teodor's eye. Steopa had found a way in and stalked his way past the old crates. He drew his sword.

Peter snapped the whip. Each lash came down, TJ screamed. Robert lifted the knife out of the coals. It's blade glowed red.

Teodor waited until Robert turned his back to the door. Teodor opened it, pushing the door a little at a time, so he would not make a sound. Steopa caught Teodor's eye, he lifted his sword. Teodor bared his teeth.

The string of Lithuanian swear words that Steopa yelled, made Peter turn around in surprise. Robert raised his knife. Teodor ran across the floor and tackled Peter, knocking the knife out of his hand.

Peter used the whip on Steopa. Steopa grabbed the barbed end of the whip with his free hand and wrapped it around his wrist pulling Peter closer. Robert punched Teodor. Teodor clamped his jaw around Robert's shoulder, near his neck.

The rusted chain fell to the concrete floor with a loud crash and clanking noise. Teodor rolled Robert over. He saw Amanda bound over to TJ, who laid on the floor next to chain. Peter screamed. Most of Steopa's sword stuck through his back. Steopa twisted it and drew it back out.

Robert grabbed Teodor's mouth. One hand on his upper muzzle, his other on his lower. Teodor tried to shake him off. Robert dug his fingernails into the soft part of his mouth.

“Just like a rabid dog,” Robert said.

Teodor hit Robert across his nose. He let go of Teodor's upper muzzle. Teodor closed his moth, burying his teeth into Robert's other hand. Robert grunted. His mouth clamped shut. Peter's body crumpled to the floor. Steopa stepped over his body and rushed over to Teodor. He raised his sword and swung it.

Robert turned, taking Teodor with him. The sword cut through Teodor's upper arm. Steopa grabbed Robert by the back of his head and brought the point of the sword to his neck.

“You think you are a mage?” Steopa asked.

Robert coughed, because of the sword point. “'course I am. I should have had some steaks.”

Steopa growled.

“You're too late,” Robert said. “She's coming. I'm the only one that can put her back.”

“The Hag?” Teodor asked.

“She's beautiful isn't she?”

Amanda ran over to him. She clawed at Robert. Teodor had to pull her back.

“Why?” She screamed. “She's killing children.”

“Like I am going to tell you,” Robert said. He chuckled. “There she is.”

Amanda turned her head and raised the corners of her mouth, growling. Steopa threw Robert behind him. Teodor turned.

The shadows darkened along the far wall. They pulled together and started to take a shape of a woman in a black dress. The woman stood taller than Steopa. The Hag opened her mouth and screamed. The sound hurt Teodor's ears.

“I think you have to worry about her now,” Robert said.

Peter rolled over and stood up. His wounds healed. Peter grinned. “She is one mad woman.”

The Hag flew. She screamed and reached for Steopa. He raised his sword up to block her attack. The Hag stopped and changed the direction of her attack. Amanda ran back over to TJ, who had not moved. The Hag swiped her claws at Steopa. He blocked her attack with the sword. Sparks flew off her nails.

Peter walked over to Robert. Teodor watched them, when he could take his eyes of the Hag.

Amanda ran back with the chain in her hands. She swung end around like a flail. She struck the Hag with the end of the chain. The Hag dispersed and reappeared behind Teodor.

She clawed at him. The tips of her fingers ripped his back. Teodor leaped. He landed closer to Peter and Robert. The Hag flew across the concrete.

“There is no child here!” The Hag screamed.

She flowed over Teodor sending a chill down his back. The Hag stood in front of Peter and Robert. “I want my child!”

“After you kill those three,” Peter said.

The Hag glanced over her shoulder. She did not have eyes, but Teodor could feel her studied him. Steopa rushed over.

Teodor stopped him. “Something's up.”

The Hag turned her attention back to Peter and Robert. “They are not my problem. They are yours.”

“You have to do it,” Robert said. “They hunt children too.”

“That's a lie!” Amanda yelled.

The Hag glanced over to Amanda. Her orb-less eyes glanced at TJ's body then Amanda.

“We never hunt children,” Steopa said. “Those two torture them to bring you here, did you know that?”

The Hag hissed.

“Yeah, typical men,” Teodor said.

Amanda shot him a strange look. The Hag screamed. She flung her nails out, they lengthened until they reminded Teodor of sickles. She raised her hand.

Peter dove. Robert did not move fast enough, she split him into four pieces.

Steopa stepped aside to let Peter run pass him. The Hag flew. She caught him and enveloped him in her shadows. The shadows ebbed and flowed. Peter's hand thrust out of them, then he was swallowed again.

The Hag disappeared. Peter's body laid on the floor. His skin turned dark and leathery, like a mummy.

Amanda dropped the chain. “It's over.”

“I hope so,” Steopa said.

“Is TJ...?” Teodor asked.

“He was breathing,” Amanda said.

Steopa closed his eyes. “Very faint heartbeat.”

Amanda changed back to her human form. “Go call someone, I'll try to help.”

Teodor turned to leave. Steopa caught up with him. “The police?”

“No, they are looking for me,” Teodor said. “I'll call Bilge.”

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

#WerewolfWeds The Hag - Chapter 20 Part 2

Please check my #WerewolfWeds page for an overview of this. Thanks.

A young girl had been trussed up inside the wall. She was barely alive. Her arms stretched out, her mouth bound, and she had been stripped of any clothes. She could not have been older than twelve.

Steopa turned his head. Teodor reached up to the girl's wrist. She had been bound up with barbed wire. Amanda stifled a cry behind him.

“She is very close to death,” Steopa said in a very low voice.

The girl's eyes were vacant. She did not even know they were there.

“Amanda, check the outer door,” Teodor said.

“Teodor?”

“Just do it.”

Amanda walked away. Teodor nodded. Steopa slit the girl's throat with his claws.

“Can you do anything for her?” Amanda asked, across the room.

“She's gone,” Teodor said.

He glanced at Steopa. Steopa wiped the blood off his fingers before Amanda saw.

“They harm children.” Steopa said, his eyes turned red.

Teodor nodded.

“Death will come fast for them.”

Teodor heard Amanda take in a shuddering breath. He turned around. “It had to be done.”

Amanda nodded.

“They know we are here,” Steopa said.

“No need to sneak in,” Teodor said.

Amanda howled. She ran out the door. Teodor caught up with her on the street. Amanda had her nose down on the street, following a scent.

Teodor caught the scent as well, TJ's scent. The scent was old, but strong enough to follow. The path went straight to the old cider warehouse. Shadows darkened along the sides of the street. Teodor glanced up, Steopa had not gone to the roof. Teodor glanced around and saw Steopa between two buildings.

Amanda nipped Teodor's back leg. He spun around. Amanda nudged him. Teodor saw the shadows creep over the ground and come closer to them. Teodor yipped and ran. Amanda took off with him. She pressed on ahead. The icy chill of the shadows hit the back of Teodor's leg. Teodor ran forward. He shook off the shadow's grip. Amanda yipped again. The shadows flowed over her.

Steopa appeared in the shadows, he roared. He flung his arms around. The shadows moved away.

“Go!” he shouted.

Teodor ran. Amanda stumbled and righted herself. The cider warehouse loomed a few yards ahead. Teodor jumped. He hit a wall.

He could not see the wall. Teodor skidded on the street and picked himself up. Amanda stopped herself in time. She was sniffed the ground. Hitting the invisible barrier with her shoulders. Steopa came up to the barrier. He slammed his fist against it.

“Cowards!” he yelled.

Teodor looked around, there were no trees around. “What could we throw?”

The shadows bubbled up behind them. Amanda turned around and growled. Steopa felt along the invisible wall, glancing over his shoulder at the shadows. Teodor growled. The shadows were becoming solid.

He saw a concrete formed garbage can along the street. He ran up to it and tried to lifted it on his shoulder. Steopa grabbed it out of Teodor's hand and threw it into the barrier. The can sailed through. Steopa jumped after it. Amanda bounded inside. Teodor jumped and hit the barrier. It hadn't closed all the way. He had to scramble through the closing hole. The tip of his foot got caught. Steopa yanked him into the barrier.

The shadows hit the barrier and could not enter. Teodor smiled. “Let's find them.”

He heard breathing and heartbeats on the inside of the cider warehouse. Amanda sniffed around the ground, as the shadows pressed themselves against the barrier and flowed upwards.

TJ's scent became stronger and sharper. Fear. Teodor followed the scent until he found a door.

Steopa joined him. “I might not be able to enter,” he said.

“I'll make someone invite you in,” Teodor said.

Steopa struck the door. It broke the door frame and crashed inwards. Steopa stepped inside and nodded to Teodor. Amanda followed a few feet behind.

“They got the hammer,” the voice belonged to the man that had attacked them by the blood store.

“Hurry! They got through that other barrier,” another man said. This voice had a slight southern twang to it.

Amanda patted off down a side hallway. Steopa motioned to Teodor to take another. Teodor sniffed the floor.

They were in the office part of the warehouse. Down the main hall, would be the entrance to the cider floor. The place reeked of apples and vinegar. Teodor sniffed, keeping his ear trained to he conversation.

“TJ,” the southerner said. “You should have kept your mouth shut.”

“That vampire killed my girl in front of me!” TJ screamed. “I was scared.”

“You weren't scared. You will be.”

Teodor found a window at the top of a doorway. In his hybrid form it wasn't hard for him to look through the broken glass. The scene on the main store floor, could have chilled Teodor, but he had seen his brothers 'playing' the same way.

TJ had been bound in the center of the room. His hand tied to a hook that hung from the ceiling on a rusted chain. His naked body already shown signs of some torture. Fresh burn marks on his chest. The skin on his back had been lacerated by a whip.

A slender man, not much larger than Teodor when he was in his human form, uncoiled a whip. The barbs were tinged with blood. “I seem to remember, Bobby, that we told his one not to speak to anyone,” the slender man said. He had the southern accent.

Peter? Teodor thought.

The large dark haired man, the same one that had attacked them in the other building, grinned and laid down a large ornate knife on a table. “I remember that too.”

“You told them,” Peter said. “You get to stop them.”

TJ gasped, then cried out. “How?”

Peter chuckled and snapped the whip. “A little more blood from you, boy, and we can call her here.”

“NO!” TJ screamed.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#WerewolfWeds The Hag - Chapter 20 Part 1

Please check my #WerewolfWeds page for an overview of this. Thanks.

After the sun went down, they left the base. Amanda stopped at a small corner store and bought all the salt she could find. Steopa raised his eyebrow when he saw the bag.

“Salt?” he asked.

“It seems to be the only thing that works,” Amanda said.

Steopa shrugged.

The only lead they had was the old Vaness Cider warehouse. The cider warehouse was one of the larger buildings in the dock area. Half of the building sat over the river. That part was falling into the river.

As they turned onto the street that lead straight to the warehouse, Steopa paused.

“Something is strange here,” Steopa said.

Teodor sniffed. He couldn't smell anything unusual. Steopa has never been wrong before, he thought.

“What?” Teodor asked.

“We are being watched,” Steopa said. He faded into the shadows.

Teodor glanced at Amanda. She changed into the hybrid. Teodor did the same. The people they were looking for knew what they were, there was no reason to hide now.

Steopa took off and on to the top of the nearby buildings. Teodor stayed in the middle of the street, but Amanda stayed along the side. He could feel it now. There was the feeling of being watched. Teodor glanced around, nothing could be seen.

He sniffed the air. There were people nearby. Teodor could not tell how many. The human smells were strong, stronger than they were in the city. That was strange.

The snow blew along the street in swirling eddies. The smell of the crisp, clean snow wiped the smell of the humans from Teodor's nose for a moment. When the wind died down, the human smell came back.

There was blood, sweat, urine, shit, vomit, and sex, all mixed up. Teodor's stomach turned. Hospitals did not smell this bad. Amanda whined.

Teodor turned his head to look. She scratched at a door. Teodor joined her. The smell was the strongest here. He glanced up at the roofs. Steopa was still above them, a faint silhouette in the dark night. Teodor motioned with his head, that he was going in. Steopa nodded.

This building was not the cider warehouse. That was still looming down at the end of the street. This looked like a nondescript storage warehouse. The windows were boarded up. The boards heldt in place with shiny screws. These buildings had been abandoned for years, but the wood on the windows was new.

Teodor hooked his claw on the door handle and twisted it. The door creaked open. The smell hit him like a wall. The room on the other side of the door was empty, but the stench was strong. A human could smell this, Teodor thought.

The room was large. There were winches and pulleys, that ran along tracks, on the ceiling. One of the ropes hung down near the door, a large hook was attached to the end of it. The hook was stained, a rusty brown color, but it was not rust. Teodor ran his claw along the hook.

Steopa landed in front of them, his feet hit the ground without a sound. He pointed to a room that was off to the side. Teodor walked over to it. The smell of blood made him drool. Steopa opened the door.

It was a storage room, full of old metal milk pails. The tall ones that the farmers had used to send their milk to the diary, ages ago. Steopa opened one and grimaced. Teodor could smell it. Blood, very old blood, almost rancid.

“Who needs this much?” Steopa asked.

Amanda stood at the entrance of the room, not coming any closer. “It's human, right?” She asked.

Both Steopa and Teodor nodded.

“Mainly human,” Teodor said, “But I smell dog and cat as well.”

“This is a waste,” Steopa said.

Amanda glared at him.

“Bilge said they were dark mages,” Teodor said.

“Human sacrifice?” Steopa asked.

“Then they must have a place they do the killing,” Navaroo said.

Amanda shook. “I don't think I can go on.”

Steopa scoffed. Teodor turned to her. “Think about Trucker, do you want him to end up here?”

“You are a real bitch,” Steopa said.

Amanda growled.

“He's right,” Teodor said.

Amanda shook her head and turned around. She yelped.

Teodor spun around. Amanda laid on the ground, trying to get back up. A large man was standing over her. He had a silver hammer in his hand. Teodor and Steopa both took a step towards him.

“Don't you dare,” the man said, “I'll hit her again.”

Steopa moved forward. Teodor held his arm out to stop Steopa. The large man smiled. His shaggy black hair covered most of his face. “That was too easy."

Steopa nodded. “You are correct.”

Teodor dropped his hand. Steopa blurred and stood behind the man, before the large man could turn his head. Steopa struck the man in the back of the head. It should have crushed the man's skull. It should have killed the man instantly. But the man's head jerked forward from the impact, but he did not fall.

Amanda bit the man's leg. She pulled her mouth away and howled. The man raised the hammer again. Steopa grabbed the hammer out of the man's hand and struck the man with it.

What the hell? Teodor thought. This man is not going down. Teodor ran and tackled the man. When he wrapped his arms around the man, he could feel why. The man was not really there. Teodor fell through the man, and knocked Steopa over.

The man disappeared.

Teodor jumped up. “I am sick of these ghosts!”

Amanda rolled over, blood flowed down the back of her head. The wound from the silver hammer healed, but not as fast as a wound should. She growled. “I am too.”

“They are cowards,” Steopa said.

Teodor nodded.

“Is that why they need the blood?” Amanda asked, now sitting back on her haunches.

One of the milk pails fell to the floor and bounced. A small amount of blood remained inside it. A few moments before it had been full. Teodor ran back to the door.

“Their using the blood, storing it,” Teodor said. “Like batteries?”

Amanda shook her head, “No, they need the emotions, for their magic, remember?”

“Then why the blood?” Teodor asked.

“Rancid,” Steopa said.

“Rancid blood,” Teodor shook his head. He reached down and helped Amanda up.

“Necromancy,” Steopa said.

Magic that uses the dead, Teodor thought. Dead like a woman that died tragically, or horribly. The kind that would come back and become a story that was told to scare bad kids?

“Then you should be careful,” Teodor said.

Steopa was not listening. He turned his head and stared across the floor. Teodor turned his ears to the room. There was faint breathing inside. The breathing was labored and shallow. Teodor fallowed Steopa across the floor.

There were no doors here. Just a wall. Teodor sniffed the wall. He could smell them now. Someone was on the other side. Steopa slammed himself against the wall. The old wood cracked. Steopa and Teodor pulled the wood away. Amanda drew in a breath.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

#WerewolfWeds The Hag - Chapter 19 Part 1

Please check my #WerewolfWeds page for an overview of this. Thanks.

The next morning. Teodor woke up later than usual. In the next room he could hear Amanda and Trucker talking. Teodor rolled over and groped for his pants. After dressing, he walking into the kitchen. Amanda had a box opened from a bakery.

“Hey,” She said, flashing Teodor a large smile, “I got donuts and coffee.”

“You must of slaved over the stove all morning,” Teodor said. He kissed Amanda on the cheek.

Trucker giggled.

“What's so funny?” Teodor asked.

Trucker tore into another donut.

“Teodor! Amanda!” Bilge yelled from the other side of the door.

Amanda opened it.

Bilge hurried inside, “Do you two have a place you can go to? Right now.”

“What's going on?” Teodor asked.

“I just saw the news.” Bilge said, “The police are looking for someone, the sketch sort of looked like you.”

Teodor stood up, “Are you sure?”

Bilge nodded.

“Who saw you?” Amanda asked.

“This hooker and her john,” Teodor said, “And TJ.”

“This is about the workhouse,” Bilge said.

“No one saw me at the workhouse,” Teodor said, “I was in my wolf form most of the time.”

“Except when you left with Steopa to get help,” Amanda said.

“Yeah, but I was with Steopa,” Teodor said. “His picture should be up there too.”

“Nah, just yours,” Bilge said.

“What the hell?” Teodor asked.

“Is there anywhere you can stay?” Bilge asked again.

Teodor nodded.

“Then get your butts there,” Bilge said.

“The cops would have already been here,” Amanda said.

“It's not the cops.” Bilge said. “Albrecht called me, he had one of his dreams, you don't ignore.”

Amanda hugged Trucker. “Take care of him.” She told Bilge.

“Don't worry about it,” Bilge said. “Just lay low for a couple of hours.”

“When are we going to know the coast is clear?” Teodor asked.

“I'll get you,” Trucker said.

“What?” Amanda asked, “No, Trucker, it's too dangerous.”

“Don't worry,” Trucker said. “I think I know where you are going. It's my favorite place to get scrap metal.”

Teodor ruffled Trucker's hair. He was a smart kid. “You're right.”

“Come on, run,” Bilge said.

Teodor finished dressing. He grabbed Amanda's hand and ran for the door. They got to the hallway and stopped. Teodor could smell something was not right. He glanced at Amanda, the hair on the back of her neck was starting to rise. The shadows were wrong in the hallway. They were too dark, for this time of day. Amanda released his hand. She started to sniff the air. Teodor saw one of the shadows creep along the floor. It was spreading out over the carpet towards them.

Teodor stepped back. Another shadow moved down the walls towards them. The one on the floor crept up to Teodor's foot. It touched the tip of his shoes. His foot felt like ice. He pulled his foot back.

Amanda whimpered. She grabbed Teodor's shoulder. The shadows flowed into each other. They turned darker and rose up off the floor. It was like watching water well up in a geyser.

“Bilge!” Amanda screamed.

The shadow quickly formed into a long, thick, arm and reached for them. Teodor pushed Amanda further down the hall. The shadow slammed into Teodor. It felt like he had been struck by a sheet of ice.

Bilge opened their door, “Shit,” He said, slamming the door shut.

The shadow moved through Teodor. He tried to grab it, but his hands went through the icy grayness. Amanda screamed.

Teodor turned, twisting the shadows with him. A shadow had Amanda as well. The one that grabbed her had taken on a more solid shape. It looked human. Amanda growled and barked. Her hair was longer and covering more of her body.

Bilge opened the door again, he threw a handful of white powder into the shadow that had Amanda. The shadow let her go. It screamed. The shadow's scream sounded like a rabbit, when it was being killed.

Amanda ran towards Teodor. Bilge threw another handful towards the shadow that was surrounding and in Teodor. The shadow screamed the high pitched wail. Teodor grabbed his ears and fell to his knees. The shadows were retreating down the hallway.

“You guys okay?” Bilge asked.

Teodor nodded. Amanda shook herself. She pulled up her ripped shirt up and tied it off over the shoulder.

“What the hell were those?” Teodor asked.

“Scouts,” Bilge said. “Compliments of Bob and Peter. You two better get out of here.”

“What did you throw at them?” Amanda asked.

“Salt,” Bilge said. “It works wonders.”

“Those things will come back here,” Teodor said.

“Yeah, but if they can't find you, they will leave,” Bilge said.

Bilge motioned with his hands for them to leave. Teodor took Amanda's hand again, and they left.

It was the middle of the day, but Teodor knew that vampires could still hear everything around them. Teodor banged on the vault door.

“Steopa,” Teodor yelled.

He banged on the door again. Amanda sighed.

“Do you think he can hear us through all that steel?” She asked.

Teodor shrugged. He banged his fist against the vault door. The handle turned. The door opened. Steopa stood on the other side of the door, only in his pants. His long hair snaked around his shoulders.

“This better be good,” he said, his voice slurred.

“Turns out we pissed off some mages,” Teodor said. “This is the safest place I know.”

Steopa grunted and stood aside. Teodor wrapped his arm around Amanda and then went inside.

“Mages?” Steopa asked.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

#WerewolfWeds The Hag - Chapter 18

Please check my #WerewolfWeds page for an overview of this. Thanks.

“I cannot believe you went out and that!” Amanda's face turned red. She threw her right arm out, pointing in the direction of the slaughter.

“I didn't kill anyone,” Teodor said.

“You could have stopped Steopa,” Amanda said.

Teodor laughed. “Have you seen him?”

“You know what I mean.”

“I had to find out how TJ knew I was a werewolf,” Teodor said.

“Why!”

“Because, it means someone knows about us,” Teodor said.

Glasses clinked nearby. Teodor glanced over to the bar. Bilge washed the dishes, acting as if he was not hearing the argument.

Teodor sighed. “I wanted to protect you.”

Bilge coughed. Teodor turned.

“Was it worth it?” He asked.

“Yeah,” Teodor said, “I found out who the River Rats work for.”

“Yeah?”

“Robert Braid and Peter, something.”

Bilge dropped the glass he was holding. “Are you sure?”

Teodor nodded.

Bilge pulled up a bar stool and sat down on it. “You just stirred up a hornets nest.”

“See!” Amanda said.

“Amanda,” Bilge said, holding up his hand. “This is far worst than what you think.”

“What?” Amanda asked.

“Peter Gephart and Robert used to be friends of mine,” Bilge said, “They were part of our ghost hunting group. After the explosion, things got tense.” Bilge lit a cigar. “Bob and Peter stopped being satisfied with just exploring, they wanted more power. Bob was jealous of Albrecht, for instance. Peter left first, after an argument with me. Then Bob did. Rumors about them dabbling in dark magic.”

“Were they?” Teodor asked.

Bilge nodded, “Yeah, Albrecht and me checked them out one time. Nasty stuff they were doing. Albrecht does not shy away from the nastier spells, but what Bob and Peter were doing was beyond that.”

“What sort of things?” Teodor asked.

“It's hard to describe.” Bilge said, pausing to puff on his cigar. “The main thing is that they gathered power by hurting others.”

“What do you mean? Hurting others?” Amanda asked.

“They used to harm themselves. Every time they would hurt themselves, power would build. But they could only do so much, so they started to harm others.”

“Killing?” Teodor asked.

“Not at first. You can't get much power off a corpse,” Bilge said. “Control, fear, and pain, that is what they need.”

Teodor felt Amanda place her hand on his shoulder. “Sounds horrible,” she said.

Bilge nodded. “It's like a drug, they always want more.”

“You said Albrecht dabbles,” Teodor said.

“No, he knows that there always has to be a balance,” Bilge said, “Bob and Peter don't care.”

“So I take it they are going to be after me now,” Teodor said.

Bilge nodded.

Teodor spun around on the seat. “I am sorry Amanda,” he said.

“No, you were right, you had to find out who knew,” Amanda said.

“Yeah, but now we got two nuts on our tails, and we are no closer to getting rid of the Hag.”

Bilge put out his cigar. “Tell you what, you two worry about the Hag. Albrecht and I can watch out for Bob and Peter.”

“Alright,” Teodor said.

Amanda gave Teodor a hug, “Trucker is staying in our apartment right now,” she said.

“Where?” Teodor asked, “We are sleeping on the floor.”

Bilge shrugged, “I got you two a couch.”

“Thanks again,” Teodor said.

Amanda and Teodor went up the stairs to their apartment. In the bare living room, Trucker snored softly on the only piece of furniture. They went to their sparse bedroom and tried to get some sleep.