If one door slams…

 

I gripped the letter with such force it split down the middle. The paper fluttered autumnally to the ground. I was as discarded as the carpet of leaves outside.

Watching the raindrops roll down the glass I allowed the heavens to do my crying for me. I was too angry to acknowledge the sadness pulsing behind my eyes. The years felt brittle as yesterday. When did I start pinning my dreams on Richard? I had always been fiercely independent. My Father had predicted that I would be an old maid if I kept it up. Men wanted to feel needed. Nothing good could come from an independent woman. And I thought I could cheat destiny even if I had to contort myself to avoid it.

Richard hypnotised me with his azure eyes and his toothpaste commercial smile. He was everything I had avoided for years. Popular, beautiful and irreverent, he radiated confidence and had a following reminiscent of a messiah. I prided myself a loner, following anyone or anything except a story, was not a possibility.

The night we met I was sipping a cocktail surrounded by the journalists of the newspaper I served but immersed in my own thoughts. My colleagues had learnt to give me a wide berth. The war had made it starkly evident that all was not equal and I was still bristling from the meeting with Doug.

“Too dangerous!” Douglas, our editor had bellowed, his handlebar moustache trembling with indignation. “God, woman, look around. Men are getting blown to bits and you want to join them? Bring me the fashion piece I asked you for days ago. Women will never make war correspondent on my paper.” And he dismissed me with a flick of his wrist.

I was peevish with disappointment and observed this man in uniform strut like a pigeon. My face must have been as dark as my thoughts because he broke from his adoring disciples and marched over to me.

“Hello beautiful lady, why so serious?” His face crinkled into a lopsided smile. I struggled to maintain my scowl. “Point out the rascal and I will sort him out.” He said smacking his fist into his palm.

His gaze never wavered that night. It was a light shining onto my face. I felt seen for the first time. We spent stolen moments from his military engagements intertwined like vines. I resented his easy comings and goings. I felt rooted, earth bound by him. No man had ever entered my soul as he did. I was trapped as surely as a gazelle in the jaws of a lion.

Years of screaming sirens and distant explosions muffled the waiting, nights of passion amongst the bleeding and the pain. I never realised how much I waited. How could I put my life on hold for something so prosaic?

“Colette, God sake, woman where are you? Dreaming into space. That’s why women would make God awful soldiers.” I had been miles away dreaming of languishing in Richard’s arms. I resolved to put him from my mind until his jaunty rat-a-tat on my door but he remained on the periphery of my thoughts always.

Now he has put me outside his life. The letter informing me of his impending marriage was sour with memories of his kisses. I turned back to the window. The rain had stopped and a shaft of sunlight lit up my desk. I shifted my chair and sought the heat on my face.

I read once ‘It is better to have loved and lost than to never to have loved at all.’ One day I may feel that way but for now I needed to erase the smell of him. I closed my eyes and breathed slowly as if breathing in the rays of the sun.

“Colette!” I opened my eyes with a start. “You still want to be a war correspondent?” Douglas’s protuberant eyes bored into me.

“Ye…Yes.” I stammered.

“Stupidest idea ever but the board want a woman on the front. Woman’s perspective my arse…! Apologies, Colette but you want the job, it’s yours.”

Abruptly the gloom of moments before was bleached by sunlight. This was my destiny. The one I had always longed for. One door closed as another opened. The invitation was to step through this open door.

I didn’t hesitate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nolavia’s Shadow Chapter Sixteen

 

 As we strolled back home a shower of stars swept across the darkness. A blood red moon rose from the horizon and hovered over Nolavia like a fiery sentinel. Davalast gripped my hand tighter and we ran into the town square. Everyone was outdoors staring in wonder at the sky.

“This isn’t good” Muttered Davalast as we joined the crowd.

“It’s great. Maybe Mundanim is tired of keeping us in the dark.” Said Assennav. He shook his head.

“You don’t understand. It is 11.30 in the morning. If he had revealed the sun I wouldn’t be so worried. How has he managed to switch them? Anaira said he was only obscuring them but now I’m not so sure.” I squeezed his hand reassuringly.

“Perhaps we are mistaken. It’s been so long…” Davalast interrupted.

“No I’ve kept a constant record. There is no mistake.” If what Davalast said was true then it was worrying. Could Mundanim really switch night and day? I looked around for Anaira but couldn’t see her anywhere. I felt a bit disorientated too. I could hardly believe it was only 11.30am when so much had happened in so little time. I needed to speak to Ruatnac and tell him of my conversation with my father but first I would feel a lot safe knowing Anaira’s whereabouts. Nobody seemed to know or care where she was. They were all mesmerised by the moon’s welcome presence and turned away from Davalast’s bad-omen speech too. The constant darkness had taken its toll and they wanted to believe it was over. I was longing to believe as well but I knew too much to allow myself that delusion.

I left the crowd and walked into my house startled when something flashed across my vision and disappeared. Was it the illusive Silky? I sniffed the air and smelt the distinctive sulphuric smell of a grosslin. I shivered with revulsion. Grosslins are disgusting creatures that lurk about in alleyways eating decaying matter. Having one in the house was sickening. I hated to admit it but I’ve been terrified of them ever since one got into my crib when I was a toddler. I was loath to attempt catching the thing.

“You’re back?” Anaira said coldly crossing the room towards me.

“Oh hello Anaira I was looking for you.” I said ignoring her tone. “Did you see that revolting grosslin? It scuttled under the sofa. Help me get it out of the house.” Anaira pointed her finger at the couch.

“Eradicate!” She said and the couch leapt aside and the grosslin inflated like a balloon and burst, splattering against the side of the retreating sofa. I looked up at Anaira in horror. The couch shook itself and bits of grosslin flew against the wall.

“Stop!” I yelled. “Clean up this minute.” A cloth and dustpan sailed out of the cupboard and wiped and cleaned until there were no more signs of carnage.

“You said get rid of it.” Anaira said with a smile. I shook my head and walked down to my laboratory.

“Where have you been?” She said complaint in her husky voice. I ignored her question.

“What do you make of this new turn of events?” I said lighting numerous candles with an irritated flick of my wrist.

“Mundanim raising the bar as usual.” She said. “You will struggle to bring him down.” Her dismissive attitude annoyed me. I’ve been bending over backwards to see things from her side but she did nothing to make it possible.

“I see you’ve dropped the ‘we’ already Anaira. Does this mean you are no longer our ally?” I was angry and wanted to lash out at her. I restrained myself but could not stop the violet sparks escaping from my eyes. They looked like fireflies briefly before fading. Anaira couldn’t help but notice.

“I’ve upset you? I am sorry I must have misunderstood. I thought you wanted the grosslin gone…?”

“It has nothing to do with the grosslin and you know it. Are you working with Mundanim?” We glared at each other for moments. The violet sparks circled my head again popping like soap bubbles. I hated losing control but Anaira was pushing all my buttons. She finally broke away from my gaze and flopped down on the sofa.

“You know I’d never do that? You don’t include me in anything. You go off with Davalast and I’m left here all alone most of the time. I keep hoping you will notice me but you never do. “ Her eyes shimmered in the candlelight. I sat down next to her and she turned to face me. “I need you to want me.” She said flinging her arms around my neck and burst into noisy sobs.

A series of sharp explosions came from outside and we ran up the stairs in time to see the moon explode with a bang that rattled the windows and shook the walls. Sparks flew across the sky once more before we were plunged into darkness. A theatrical laugh reminiscent of the wicked witch of the west rang out ricocheting off the buildings. Mundanim was definitely upping the ante and it seemed he was attempting a sense of humour, albeit it maniacal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nolavia’s Shadow Chapter Eleven

 

 

Somebody was calling out to me, a voice both urgent and timeless but I was wrestling with a swirling maelstrom of kelp that trapped me underwater. The ocean was turquoise and so clear I could see the bubbles escaping from my gaping mouth. I gasped for breath and sat up. I was in bed surrounded by the ubiquitous darkness once more. Davalast was still sleeping his breathing rhythmical and comforting. The voice called again. It was Ruatnac and he sounded out of breath.

 

“Esereht!”

 

“I’m here. I’m sorry I was fast asleep.”

 

“I apologise but I didn’t know where else to turn.”

 

“What is it?” My heart started to thrum. Ruatnac was slow and ponderous and this restrained panic did not bode well.

 

“The situation here is deteriorating fast. War is inevitable. Esereht you are the only one who can help us.” I squawked with disbelief and Davalast grunted, turning over. I crept out of bed and into the bathroom closing the door.
“Me? What can I do? I don’t even swim very well.” I said.

 

“Your mother saved countless lives during the last war. You need to find her documents. She wrote it all down. She and your father changed the course of history.”

 

“My father? What are you talking about?” My father never left his laboratory. He was the most selfish self-absorbed person alive. Probably still is. Not that I would know. He couldn’t even be bothered to spend a minute with me let alone talk to me.

 

“Esereht find your mother’s papers, please! You will understand more once you have read them. We will speak again in the morning.” He disconnected and I sat on the edge of the bath trying to make sense of everything. I knew sleep was out of the question and tip toed down to my laboratory.

 

When my mother died my father packed most of her effects away into a large steel safe and put it into the attic. When he left he gave me the key but I only opened it a few weeks ago to look for the scrolls. I never forgot it was up there but it had been unthinkable to rifle through her belongings. As long as they were undisturbed some part of me believed she would return. It was the only thing of my mothers that survived the fire. I now keep it in a locked cupboard I conjured specially for it in my new laboratory. There were hundreds of papers inside. Did Ruatnac expect me to read everything tonight? I reached for the keys, which I kept taped to the underside of my desk drawer and opened the safe.

 

Ruatnac’s voice woke me again but this time I lifted my head from my desk and peeled wrinkled parchment from my cheek.

 

“Good morning Ruatnac.” I said groggily.

 

“I cannot in good conscience call this a good morning, Esereht. Have you news for me?”

 

“I have been up half the night. My mother has thousands of papers. It would help if I knew what I was looking for? I did find some leather bound notebooks talking of grids and portals. Most of it is diagrams and equations but I don’t know what they mean.” I yawned.

 

“Your parents developed a network of grids which transcended the worlds’ restrictions of time and space. Those concepts are relatively recent anyway, only about ten thousand years really. We have unfortunately forgotten far more than we remember.” He said. I stretched and yawned again. I needed a shower to wake me up because this conversation succeeded only in confusing me further.

 

“Maybe I’m not the person for this mission Ruatnac. I’ve never been an intellectual. Perhaps Tolenal…”

 

“No! You are the only person. We trust you and perhaps that fellow of yours, Davalost…?”

 

“Davalast.” I said with a smile.

 

“Davalast yes, but only the two of you and of course your father. Study those grids Esereht they contain all the information needed for reactivation of knowledge that is within you. You were born knowing this but life on Nolavia with its history of forgetting has confused you. Those grids are a blueprint that will enable you to be many places at one time, to transcend dimensions and time restraints…but it is not for me to tell you. You need to find the connection yourself. Do you understand?” Ruatnac said.

 

“Not really but I promise to try. You need to give me some time to understand.”

 

“We have no time, besides it is in letting go of thought and allowing the grids to rearrange themselves that will unlock the secrets of your soul and its cosmic understanding. Speak to your father Esereht. He will help you understand the mission you were born to undertake. Don’t let us down we need you?” He disconnected.

 

Speak to my father? Is he crazy? I haven’t spoken to him for over fifty years. I looked down at the notebook lying open on my desk. My mother’s expressive but neat handwriting made the ache of loss throb once more. I picked up the book and a folded piece of paper fell to the floor. I picked it up, unfolded it and read the first line. I dropped to the floor and burst into tears.

 

 

The Nolavia Curse Part Thirty-two

 

As Christmas approaches I’d like to thank everyone who has followed my blog and particularly The Nolavia Curse. I will be taking a break until New Year and then will start Part two of The Nolavia Chronicles, Nolavia’s Shadow. May you all have a blessed Christmas and that Joy and Love flows abundantly into your lives.

 

With twenty minutes to spare I walked out of my front door. Anaira was draped over the back of the white unicorn. The sun shone brightly as though it were just another day not the defining moment that my heart said it was. Anaira slid off the unicorn’s back and it moved away. She glided snake-like towards me, unsmiling. The Dragons and Snilboglins were still squatting on top of the roofs and charred bodies of snoobabs and humans littered the ground. I waited for her to come to me without moving.

 

Davalast and the others were to await my signal but I could feel the shield pulsing around me. She stopped about two feet from me. A light breeze blew her hair over her face and she brushed it away.

 

“You’ve tied your hair back. I liked it loose.” She said. I said nothing keeping my eyes on her face. “I thought you were dead.” Her voice was flat.

 

“It will take more than that to kill me, Anaira.” I said.

 

“Yes.” She bit her bottom lip distractedly. Something was different. The bravado was gone and she looked fragile. “Well I suppose we should continue, you’ve kept me waiting long enough. Are you alone again?”

 

“No, not this time.” I said and raised my hand. Doors opened immediately and people filed quietly out of their houses. Anaira backed away and flicked her hand. Dragons and Snilboglins stood to attention. Vulcanas pawed the ground and snorted. Snoobabs chattered in shrill agitation. Two circles formed while Anaira stared. She seemed undecided and it gave us valuable time to settle. Yroyve slipped his hand into mine and I bent to kiss his forehead. Anaira gave a strangled cry and flicked her hand. Everything moved at once and the cacophony was deafening.

 

“Close your eyes if you need to but remain firm in your resolve to Love, only Love!” I yelled above the noise. The shield surrounded us all and it pulsed in the rhythm of our breath. Yroyve started to chant and we all fell in with him. “Love, Love, Love” we muttered and the chanting grew louder until it drowned out the flapping of wings and the thudding footfalls.

 

The winds twirled and twisted at our cloaks. I held onto Yroyve on the one side and Davalast on the other. Black clouds converged in the sky dousing the sun until we were enveloped by darkness more profound than any night. The wind whistled and whipped about us but we kept chanting. It felt like we were the wind itself buffeting and adding to the energy of the shield. Time expanded limitlessly and I could have continued forever. I was no longer an individual, the collective breath moved through me filling me with indescribable joy. We were one.

 

Then the wind died abruptly. Still swathed in blackness we could see nothing but we continued to chant and breath in unison. Gradually the darkness lifted and the sun poured down its buttery light. We kept our shield up but our chanting slowed and stopped.

 

Anaira was alone except for the Unicorn who stood untethered by her side. The other creatures had fled. She lay on the ground her shoulders heaving. I walked out of the circle and through the shield and knelt on the ground next to her. I stroked her hair. It was no longer white but golden as though the sun had touched her with its light. She was weeping the tears of a child, great gulping sobs. I gathered her into my arms and she clung to me burying her damp face into my neck.

 

 

End of Part One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nolavia Curse Part Thirty-One

 

On the periphery of my mind I felt something dragging me along the ground. Hushed voices and manic laughter was the soundtrack of an obscure dream or was it a nightmare? Like fog lifting vision seeped back and Davalast’s concerned face came into view.

“She’s back! Esereht can you hear me?”

“Yes. What happened? How did I…?” I said sitting up. My body ached as though I’d been beaten with a cricket bat.

“We managed to throw a magical net over you and drag you to safety.” Davalast said pulling me up against his chest. “I was so worried. Why didn’t you call? You promised to call out.”

“I tried but I couldn’t. It just wouldn’t…the snoobabs…?” I was so exhausted it hurt to talk.

“We blew them up. The bastards were ripping you apart. We …”

“No! No!” I screamed. “You were not to harm anything! Why didn’t you listen?” It was all lost. We were lost. Everything I had wanted was splintered by violence and death.

“Esereht you were dying. They were all over you. What were we supposed to do?” Davalast said his throat thick with tears.

“Where is Anaira?” I stood holding Davalast’s arm to steady my wobbly legs. Loracas, Maya and Tolenal stepped towards me. They were pale and subdued.

“She says we have two hours or she will destroy Nolavia.” Said Maya. “We tried to fight her and her beasts Esereht. She rebounded all our efforts and we lost many people.” Her voice shook and tears slid murky streaks down her cheeks.

I sat at the kitchen table my body trembling. I had to regroup somehow. There had to be a way to pull this back. “Where is everyone?”

“The survivors scattered back into their homes.” Said Loracas.

“We revert back to my plan but this time supporters in the outer circle and doubters in the inner. Do you understand?” They nodded. “How many people do we have left?” I said wearily.

“About two hundred and fifty I think, twenty-five witches and wizards and about one hundred men. The rest women and children.” Said Davalast as the others nodded in agreement. I sighed in dismay.

“We need to communicate with them and get some idea of their support. Maya you’ve always been good with telepathy, would you do it? I need to garner my strength. How much time do we have left?”

“One hour and twenty minutes.” Tolenal said with a grunt.

“Well put it to good use. I will meet downstairs in half an hour.” I said dragging myself up the stairs. I needed to gauge the condition of the coating. “Don’t forget to see that everyone is properly coated. It saved my life.” I called down and flopped face first onto the bed. I sobbed for a few minutes into my pillow, wiped my eyes and rolled off the bed. Enough weeping over the past, I had a job to do. I removed my clothes in front of the standing mirror in the corner of the bedroom. Blue-black bruises covered my body but the coating had held firm. All the blood was internal. I stepped into the shower turning it on full blast so that the pelting water could purify me from the despair I felt.

Davalast stood at the bathroom door. I felt his presence and looked up.

“I’m sorry.” He said miserably. I beckoned him to join me and he flung his clothes on the floor and stepped into the shower.

“Hold me.” I said and my voice was a child’s. He wrapped me in his arms and we rocked each other until the water was cold. Davalast wrapped me in a towel and we sat on the bed. “It held. The coating, it held.” I smiled at him.

“Yes.” He did not smile back. “It didn’t protect the others though. Why do you think that is?” He said.

“I don’t know.” I said feeling wretched again.

“We must get back. There is so much to do.” He said and he sounded so dejected I pulled him to me and cradled his head against my breasts. He started to cry and I held him tightly, tears sliding down my cheeks too.

 

To be continued…

The Nolavia Curse Part Thirty

 

 

Anaira turned to face me as I walked towards her. Her eyes glowed like heated metal in the moonlight. She shrugged off her cape and it slipped onto the grass. Her white hair and skin were luminescent against the black of her dress. Her lips were strawberry red and parted and she looked breathtakingly beautiful. I had never noticed before how striking she was.

 

“Well, well Esereht is this a party of one? Is everyone hiding in the shadows? How dreadfully disappointing for you. You always fancied yourself a leader, didn’t you?” Anaira smiled.

 

“It is just me.” I said.

 

“Oh dear and I was so looking forward to a grand finale. And you noticed I brought all my friends? They will not be satisfied with such a paltry offering. Whether they like it or not Esereht, everyone in Nolavia is invited to the party.” She said.

 

“Anaira it is me and only me with whom you have a fight. Let it be.” My voice was steady and I felt no fear whatsoever. If this was to be my last hour I was ready. My shield was in place and Davalast; my dear Davalast was holding it firmly. I could feel the sensation of his energy around me.

 

“Esereht you are mistaken.” She spat. “I want the whole of Nolavia to quake with what I have in store for them. Not one man, woman or child will remain standing when I have completed my mission.” She stalked towards me until I could smell her breath. The scent of lemon zest and juniper was so distinctive memories licked at the edges of my mind and I shivered involuntarily.

 

“Oh dear, have I scared you?” She smiled again.

 

“Not at all. You first have to get past me Anaira.” She laughed a cold and mirthless chuckle.

 

“Oh Esereht you do make me laugh. I have three hundred Snilboglins, fifty dragons, eighty snoobabs and two hundred Vulcanas aimed at you at this very moment. I could crush you with a wave of my hand. Where is the sport in that?” She said.

 

“It has never been about sport for you Anaira. It is always about winning. I want nothing from you but it seems you want everything from me. I will not fight you. So you have to do what you will.” Her eyes darkened to gunmetal grey and she twisted my hair in her fingers. She drew my head to her and kissed me on the lips. I was so taken aback I froze. She took my bottom lip between her teeth and bit hard. I pulled away with a cry and put my hand up to my mouth. It was sticky with blood. Davalast must have kissed the coating away.

 

“You are so sweet Esereht but you see we are doomed you and I. In another world or another time, who knows we could have had something special. But you chose not to.” Regret flickered in her eyes for a millisecond and they became steely once more. “Your sacrifice will do no good, my dear. They will all die. I will personally see to it.” She stepped back and flicked her wrist.

 

The earth beneath my feet trembled as Vulcanas galloped towards me. I braced myself but when they hit all thought left me as I was flung up into the air. I hovered for what felt like minutes before plunging to the ground. I lay winded and gasping hearing their thudding feet once more. Three times they flung me into the air and three times I landed with a thud. The ground stilled as they snorted their foul breath on my face. My own breathing was rasping and my chest screamed. Flicking my hand weakly my lungs cleared and air rushed in unimpeded. I stumbled upright and shook myself like a dog.

 

Anaira gaped at me slack jawed. Fear flickered in her eyes and I felt overwhelming sadness that she was so tormented with hurt and anger.

 

“I Am Love Anaira. You cannot hurt me and I have no wish to hurt you.” I said. She shrieked and ran at me stopping inches from my face. Her beautiful features were twisted with rage. I did not avert my eyes from hers. She broke our gaze and stepped back flicking her wrist again.

 

The whoosh of dragon wings cut the air and panic made my legs heavy. ‘I Am Love, I Am Love’ I chanted under my breath. Massive talons seized my shoulders and I was lifted high into the sky. ‘I Am Love, I Am Love!” I shouted louder as the talons opened and I plummeted. I flicked my wrist and soared with less effort than usual. Flying has always been complicated for me but now I flew strongly weaving away from the dragon’s talons. I landed unharmed onto my feet on the grass.

 

A second later I was gasping for breath again as snoobabs hung on every inch of me snapping their sharp teeth into my flesh. Although they had not broken through the coating yet the pain was unbearable. My clothes ripped as I swung around and around faster and faster but I could not dislodge these fearsome creatures. My eyes rolled back in my head and my vision blurred. I tried to call out to Davalast but darkness was blotting out all sense of me.

 

To be continued…

Drop me a Line 42! The Nolavia Curse Part Twenty-Nine

 

The underground hall fell eerily quiet. I raised my head from Davalast’s chest and gazed around at the people of Nolavia. Most looked discomfited and unhappy. A few like Loracas and Babarab stood tight lipped and belligerent with crossed arms. Tolenal’s face sagged and he staggered to his chair clutching his chest. At the same time chairs started to shake and clods of soil fell from the earth covering. I rushed over to Tolenal.

“Are you alright?”

“I have pains in my chest. Nothing to worry about, it’s probably indigestion. What’s happening?” Said Tolenal grimacing. The soil continued to fall. Something was happening above and we needed to get out of here.

“Don’t panic! Go back to your homes and stay there. The magical coating over your houses will withstand these tremors. We need to find out what’s happening. Go quickly but be aware and considerate of others.” I said. People ran in all directions screaming in panic. “Stop running!” I yelled and flicked my hand to force their legs to a walk. Yelps of surprise and frustration soon died as they all filed into the tunnels and made their way back.

Davalast and I helped Tolenal to his feet. Clumps of soil pelted down on our heads. As we entered the tunnel part of the hall caved in. Davalast and I closed it immediately not wanting our passageways to be compromised but they was useless to us now. We would have to fill in all the channels otherwise they could endanger us further. All our work of the last few days had come to naught and we were more divided than ever.

We entered our living room past midnight. Tolenal was feeling better and we felt it was safe to leave him. From his bedroom window we had seen the vulcanas storming in by the hundreds. Vulcanas only know how to run full tilt at something. Possibly the stupidest animals still alive they have formidable strength and numerous sharp horns. There is no getting up again once they’ve run over you. I was bored with Anaira’s strategy and frankly disappointed by her lack of imagination. When the snoobabs arrived the battle would begin. They were by far the most cunning of Anaira’s beasts. Perhaps it was urban legend but people swore that snoobabs could open doors and had been seen peering in fridges for something good to eat.

I was drained and exhausted but sleep was elusive. It was around three that I heard a strange noise. I crept out of bed and edged to the window careful to keep out of sight. Anaira was here. It was her cloak flapping in the wind that I had heard because the white unicorn tethered to the jungle gym next door was quiet. His pearlescent horn shimmered in the moonlight. I was surprised at his involvement. Unicorns are very discerning and will seldom assist in causes they don’t support. How had Anaira convinced this creature to join her? Then I saw the magical manacles around his hooves and the resistance in his demeanour. The dark shapes surrounding Anaira were most certainly snoobabs.

I shook Davalast awake.

“It’s time.” I said.

“Anaira’s here?” He was instantly awake. I nodded.

“Snoobabs in tow. Also a reluctant Unicorn.” I said. Davalast raised his eyebrows and shifted to the window.

“What now?” He said turning to me.

“I need to recoat myself. I’m not sure if it’s still effective.” I said shrugging off my nightdress. It cascaded to the floor. My hair hung freely down my back and Davalast came up behind me.

“I love the way your hair shimmers. Don’t put it up. It might distract Anaira.” Davalast put his fingers into my hair muttering the coating spell. I shivered as his hands slowly moved down my body.” When we both were thoroughly recoated I turned back to him.

“I’m going out there.” I said.

“Then I am too.” He said his eyes gleaming in the dark.

“Not yet. Promise me that you will give me some time. Help me with my shield but don’t show yourself yet. Promise me?” I seized his hands in mine.

“I don’t like this Esereht but I promise. If I think you are in danger I’m coming out.”

“No I will call out to you if I think I’m in danger. Promise me you will wait for my call? Promise!” I insisted. He nodded hugging me hard. I pulled away reluctantly and walked to the door.

 

To be continued…