Chapter 13: No Rest for the Weary
Written by Whitney Emeigh
Patches of her dress began to smolder. At first, the spots on the back of her hands began to itch, then the itching turned into burning. Adette took a few calming breaths. Her right hand shook as she lifted it and held it over the left hand. She took in a ragged breath, exhaled once, and then dragged another breath in through her lips.
Warm, radiant light blossomed from beneath her fingertips. Its spread was agonizingly slow. The light crawled across the angry, red burns dotting the back of Adette’s hands. While she healed one hand, the other burns continued to eat into her skin. Only when the skin was completely clear of any of the liquid did Adette lower her shaking right hand.
The spots had grown angry and had begun to bleed. Sweat glistened across Adette’s brow. She took one calming but still shaky breath and spread the fingers of her left hand, concentrating as best she could. This time the light grew slowly. It sputtered and threatened to go away completely until she was able to control her reaction to the pain. Adette took her bottom lip firmly between her teeth and forced herself to be still. The light spread more quickly and the angry spots began to fade.
Her breathing became more comfortable as the pain began to subside. She released her bottom lip and took in a full gulp of air. When all of the marks had disappeared, Adette fell backward into the pine needles in exhaustion.
“Well that was fun.” Karl rustled his way across the forest floor. Adette glared at him purely for his ability to get away fast enough.
“I’m not sure that fun is the word I would have chosen,” Adette grunted. She began to work her way back onto her feet.
“Apparently we have some magical company around here.”
“Yes that would explain the trouble I’ve already run into. It also explains why I’ve been sent here. I wonder that they couldn’t have given me more information. Everyone seemed to say, back at school at least, that we’d get quite a bit of information about our tasks. All they’ve managed to tell me, begrudgingly might I add, is that I can’t be seen using my powers. How do you think I should face a magician’s construct bubble in the town square?”
“I guess we can face that problem when we get to it?” Karl offered.
“I really hope we don’t have to ever face that particular problem. It’s not just me who’d have gotten splashed and then where would we be. Well, at least now we know that this person is strictly up to no good. This does make me think we need to take care of whatever that other creature was quickly.”
Karl nodded and panted in agreement.“Did you see about where the boy lived?”
“I think I could figure it out. I’m just not sure what excuse I have for being there that won’t make me look extremely suspicious.”
“Maybe you just decided to have a wander and see what else was in town. You haven’t spent that much time there yet.”
“I think that will have to do. Do you mind heading back to the cottage without me. It’s already strange enough that I brought you to the bakery.”
Karl’s doggy eyebrows knitted together. “I suppose I can do that, but let it be known that I don’t like the idea.”
“Aww Karl, I wasn’t sure you liked me.”
“Just hurry up and come back before dark. I’ll be hungry by then.”
Adette scowled, but knew an excuse when she heard it. I’ll make sure that I’m back for dinner.”
Karl nodded, hesitated, but then bounded off into the woods. Adette thought that a run would do him some good.