Gray – Five

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Song Suggestion: A Celtic Lore by Adrian Von Ziegler

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Five

The slim boy that answered Angelica’s call was nearly as as pretty as a girl. He had the wide, gray eyes native to Iviradelle, black, curling hair, and a mouth that looked like it was smirking, even when it wasn’t. “Ty leads most of our raids into Blossom Town. He’ll know how to get you in,” Angelica said.

Maybe I don’t even need to go,” Gay said. He was suddenly hopeful; if her raiders were still saving children, then they might have the one he was looking for. “I’m looking for a boy. A weaver. Have you seen any?” Maybe brought them out?”

Angelica shook her head. “We wouldn’t be saving one of them, if we knew what they were. And if he’s using magic, the Enforcers will have taken his head already. They have a grudge against them and seem to think they need to eradicate them. Even when they’re children.”

Gray frowned at her. “Didn’t your father think taking weaver children was a good idea, at one point? Surely raising them to help you would be better than letting them die.”

“Papa thought that until it became clear that, if they can learn to use their powers, something in them eventually draws them to the weavers. If they can’t control their powers, they tend to self destruct in one way or another. And usually take anyone nearby with them. Fire weavers are the worst. They burn up inside then set everything nearby on fire.”

Gray sighed. “Well, so much for easy.”

Angelica narrowed her eyes at him. “It sounds like you are working for The Coven, Grayson Hafland.”

He shook his head. “I’m just doing this one thing. You could say they had a very… convincing argument.”

“Such as?” asked the boy. Gray looked at him. He could see Ty was about the same age he’d been when he’d begun his life as a thief – sixteen – but this boy still had ideals. He still believed things could be set in columns of good or evil, like a true division existed. Gray hadn’t believed that since the day the Enforcers had come for Jezzie.

“Get the kid or be paraded through the streets as a human torch,” Gray said calmly. The kid flinched. It was easy to judge others when you were young. Easy to believe the rumors weren’t true. But a kid that knew Blossom town, old enough to remember The Coven passing judgments in the castle, would know just how real those threats were. Even an idealist like Ty knew better than to think The Coven had limits. “Do you know any children in Blossom Town that might be the one I’m looking for?”

“There is this one kid,” Ty said, frowning. “His name is Leo. I’ve had him pegged as a weaver for a bit. He always smells of fire. He has these strange eyes. Him and his sister both. Almost… silver. I thought I might try to get them out of the city; the girl is only six, but she’s very beautiful. The Enforcers are already looking at her, if you know what I mean.”

“I do,” Gray said quietly. “But they never used to be interested in girls that young before.”

Ty shrugged. “But there are others in town that would find her quite to their tastes,” he said. Gray’s stomach turned. Once, he remembered his grandfather insisting, Iviradelle had been a good place. And now it seemed there was no end to the evil growing there, as though the rotten seed which had begun the fall was infecting all things. “I thought I might, you know, give ‘em a bit of copper. Send them away.” He shot a look at Angelica. “I know we aren’t supposed to, but they don’t care she’s just a child. They’re picking them up younger and younger. And she’s such a helpless little thing. She can’t even talk.”

“Pity will get you killed, Ty,” Angelica said sternly. “You cannot rescue weavers. They can’t be trusted.”

“Well I didn’t, did I?” Ty argued. “Leo’s quick. Almost inhuman quick. And clever; the Enforcers have seen his sister, but they never get close to either of them. I’ve never even been able to get close enough to ask them if they want help.”

“Still,” Angelica said. “Gods, Ty. I can’t lose you too.”

Gray narrowed his eyes, looking from one to the other. “Is this -”

“My son,” Angelica cut him off without looking away from Ty. “Sixteen and thinks he knows all there is to know.” She turned sharply into the forest. “Come on, both of you. There will be no sneaking anywhere until the sun has gone to bed. We’ll feed you and get you rested. If you’re going to be tracking weavers, you’ll need both.”

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