“Uh…” I was speechless, unsure how I could have possibly ended up in the middle of the woods when only seconds ago I was walking down the busiest street in the city.
The man stared at me just as confused.
“Are yah…” He paused, looking around with quick glances to the shadows at the edge of the clearing before clearing his throat to continue. “Are yah a witch?”
“A what?” His question had caught me off guard. I had been called worse names than witch, but certainly not within the first few seconds of meeting someone. “That’s kinda rude to insult someone when you’ve just met them… and anyways no… I’m not a witch, are you?”
He shook his head with stiff jolts to indicate that in fact he was not a witch.
“If yah not a witch, then how did yah just appear from thin air?”
That there was a good question. Nothing was out of the ordinary moments before I ended up here. I hadn’t angered any old hags or bought a monkey paw from a sketchy shop keep. The weather had been typical for summer and I was following my usual routine when my phone decided it didn’t want to work anymore.
This forest didn’t look familiar to any of the parks in the city and from what I could tell the guy on the horse didn’t appear to be the LARPing type. So how the hell did I end up here?
“Can you tell me where we are exactly?” I looked down at my phone more out of habit than anything else, only to realize that there was still no signal and therefore no data.
When the door closed, he peered up at her with his arms crossed. Something told her he was going to lecture her. His brows twitched, as did his bushy mustache under his crinkled long nose. Those hazel eyes faded with age and poor vision stared at her. She wondered what she had possibly done to rile the old sage so.
“Foe has told me he talked to you about watching what you say,” Caldor began. Liora felt the pit of her stomach sink at hearing those words. “I want you to be careful. Words are powerful things, and can hurt people worse than any weapon.”
Child of the Light: Chapter 17
She peered through the bars that hummed soft in the silence of the damp, narrow hall. He sat there, legs crossed. His green eyes danced over her face and then to her shoulders. He was trying to read her; trying to figure out what she was going to say.
“I asked you for one thing – honesty – but now I know you were never capable of that.” The words escaped her lips like a quick breath. His face scrunched. He shook his head, bolting to his feet charging the bars.
“No, I’ve been nothing but honest with you. I wouldn’t lie ta you, Li… never.” He gripped the bars tighter when he noticed her take a step back.
“Then why are you in La’reen? Why did you come?” She spat, narrowing her eyes. “And don’t give me ‘I’m here to see you’ bull because I know that isn’t the whole truth.”
They stared at each other in silence. He gnawed the inside of his cheek, darting his eyes to the ground and then back up at her. He pushed away, running his hands through his hair, pacing back towards the wall. He muttered something to himself before looking back at her.
“Promise me…” He ground his teeth and cracked the knuckle of his left thumb before continuing, “promise me that you won’t hate me… that you’ll forgive me for what I’m about ta say.”
She forced a breath when her ribs tightened at hearing his words. Whatever he was going to say wasn’t going to be an innocent mistake; she knew that. What he was about to tell her was going to be worse then all the other horrible atrocities he had admitted to prior to his incarceration. Was she willing to forgive him? She could easily say she would but would she physically be capable of seeing him as the same man she cared for after whatever he was about to confess.
After a moment of silence her head nodded without her order. Somewhere inside her believed she was capable, or maybe she hoped it wouldn’t be as horrible as he was making her believe it to be.
“I promise… now what is it?”
“Saying sorry doesn’t mean anything if you keep doing it,” she glance up from her book to the man sitting at the edge of her bed. He growled, knowing all to well she was right. “The only way she’ll accept your apology is if you mean it this time.”
“I do!” He spat, punching the mattress.
“Do you?” She lifted a brow, recognizing the defeated look plastered across his freckled face.
His nostrils flared with each of his heavy breathed before he sucked in a long inhale to calm himself. He looked back over his shoulder at the young woman curled up like a little bird in her nest of pillows with the awkward sized text blanketing her lap. She was looking at him with her steel grey eyes waiting for his answer.
“I want it to…”