Book Three of Blue Moon Rising Trilogy
(c) 2012 Bonnie Watson
Chapter 5 (unfinished)
Twilight flexed his fingers, then slowly turned his wrist to be sure it was properly healed. Nature was scarce between the buildings of Lexington’s alleys. The few plant life Katherine had found for him had been a mix of weeds, from dandelions thinly stretched in between street cracks to scraggly vines climbing the side of buildings. With daylight draining faster than the process of healing, it took nearly all day to acquire the right number of greenery needed.
Withered, curled leaves of those Twilight had needed to heal lay piled in small heaps around his feet. Their life-given energy spent, the young Healer finally called upon his shifting ability to see if he was able.
“Finally!” he announced, shifting back. He flexed his wrist again.
“I would have gone outside the city to collect more,” Katherine replied, “but with Jangus so close….”
“Rather take him on than those humans.” Twilight grimaced.
“And you had wanted to meet one so badly,” Katherine lightly teased.
‘“I wanted to meet what Keith saw, not these!”
A sound from a side alley, and Delexi came padding along the side of a building. You may have to deal with them yet, the two heard. Looks like your friend has stirred up the town guards. They’re hot on anyone’s trail resembling or mentioning ‘magic-user’.
The black wolf gave a low growl at nearing footsteps. Quickly, the three hid behind some empty wooden crates. Happy to shift again, Twilight mimicked Katherine’s form as a ferret and kept to the shadows. Beside him, Delexi crouched low to peer between the wooden slats.
The golden glow of torchlight slid across the buildings as a passing patrol drew close to their hiding spot. Long swords at their sides were held ready to pull at the slightest find.
The three held their breaths while one seemed to take interest in their hiding place; however, a command from one of the others pulled him back to the current search. Losing interest, they soon made off to a more promising destination.
Delexi took a long whiff, then snorted in protest. He shook his mane of neck fur before proceeding out from hiding.
They’d rather not discover the true cause, he growled. Guards know the risks of dealing with magic-users, if there be one. He glanced at the Healers. Then again, some of them will be more agitated, due to our earlier ordeal.
“No thanks to Jangus.” Katherine sighed, taking a seat on one of the barrels. “I can still smell him.”
“Smell him?” Twilight examined a bird dropping on the ground. “His doings are everywhere! How can you tell whether he’s still here or not?”
Likely, he’s probably gone by now, Delexi snorted in reply.
“You’re probably right,” Katherine agreed. “I can’t see him tangling with those people. He’s had his fun, so we should get moving as well.”
“How are you going to get out without getting noticed?” Twilight eyed the wolf. “Even your human form’s a bit…suspicious.”
The three hushed a moment while listening to voices drawing near, then faded down another alley.
“They’re everywhere!” Katherine kept her voice low. “Chronicles should have given you a bird form as well.
Delexi grunted, nostrils enlarging to smell the air. This way! he commanded and made down a side passage.
“Maybe I should have kept that traveling crystal.” Twilight felt around his neck where the necklace he had given Keith used to hang. “Would have come in handy right about now. Just stuff you inside and we’d do all the rest!”
“Twilight, hush!” Katherine warned when the wolf abruptly halted. They pressed their backs to the wall to avoid a brief group of passing guards.
You two should shift! Delexi snarled. I can handle myself.
“Sure about that—” Twilight started to ask when the wolf darted across the path behind the passing men and into the next alley.
“He’s right,” Katherine coaxed. “We should go. All three of us here is silly. He got in. He’ll get out.” Without waiting for his consent, she shifted into a sparrow and flew to the rooftop. We can track him from up here, she thought back to him. Hurry!
Twilight did not hesitate, for the next band of troops was already assembling down the way they had come. After joining her on the roof, they began to scout out Delexi’s location.
What if Jangus hasn’t left yet? Twilight pondered. He might catch us up here.
No, I think he’s gone by now, Katherine answered, keeping low to the roof tiles. Below, they could just make out the shadow of the wolf slinking between buildings.
These alleys are a maze, and guards are everywhere! Twilight exclaimed.
Then let’s guide him! Katherine agreed, and sent a mental message to the wolf. We’ll guide you out! It’s not too far from the gates. Then we’ll make a run for it!