‘What happened to you?’ she said, wringing water from her hair.
‘We found a tunnel,’ said Normal.
‘Yea, and humans!’ said Tiberius. ‘They were well scary.’
‘Where?’ it was Ararnia, she was standing on the water, hands on her hips. She was the only one of the four not wet.
‘We found a tunnel,’ Normal said again.
‘It led us to a load of humans and they were massive!’ said Tiberius. ‘They had huge goggly eyes and claws like… really big, sharp.. claw type things.’
He made claw shapes with his hands. Ararnia laughed.
‘You don’t know what you’re talking about,’ she said.
‘What about you?’ said Normal. ‘Did you see the thundercloud monster?’
‘No yet,’ said Ocacia, ‘it’s still coming. You;ve only been gone a few seconds.’
‘What? But…’ Normal’s mouth kept moving but he wasn’t sure what to say. ‘It felt like half an hour,’ he said eventually.
‘Well it wasn’t,’ said Ararnia, ‘and look. See?’
She pointed past them. They turned to look.
It looked as if a storm was on the way, a massive cloud flashed with lightning and the streaks cut jagged lines across the night sky.
‘The thundercloud monster,’ said Tiberius.
‘My mum said that if you see one you die,’ said Ararnia.
‘I doubt it, we saw one the other night,’ said Normal.
As they watched four figures elbowed their way out of the rumbling cloud, shining like polished bronze.
‘Seraphim!’ said Tiberius.
‘Cherubim,’ said Ocacia, correcting him.
‘Wow!’ said Ararnia, ‘they’ve got eagle’s faces! Ooh, and lion’s faces too… eeyew… they’ve got four faces each! That’s not fair!’
‘I think we should get outa here,’ said Tiberius, ‘before their lion faces decide to eat us.’
There was the sound of beating wings and the four creatures rose up into the air and turned their human faces towards the youngsters. Ararnia put on a big false smile and waved. Tiberius gulped and swallowed a bit of stray food that had been rattling round his mouth. Ocacia backed away a little. Normal just stared.
‘I think we’re in trouble,’ said Ocacia.
‘D’you think they’ll eat us?’ said Ararnia.
‘They ate one of the big guards before,’ said Tiberius.
‘They don’t eat new cadets,’ said a rasping voice.
They spun round and saw old Rafe standing there.
‘You two rascals again!’ he muttered. ‘I caught you before. And now I see you’ve got these two girls sneaking about with you. Don’t you like sleeping at night?’
‘We er… we just wanted to try walking on water,’ said Normal.