Chapter 22, Part A: The Tolling of Bells


Sova watched the dust eddy in his room. He knew the strange pattern was one sign that fairies were close by.

He had suspected their presence for some time. This castle, after all, had proven to have its fill of golems and gnomes –many who were quite friendly ones at that. Add unicorns and, of course, it would only be natural that even the fairies must come and investigate such a place.

Why they lingered he did not quite yet understand. Sova attempted to entice the gnomes with food in order to find out what they might know. But they turned up their large noses at the offer of his plate. They all knew that the food brought to him held a concoction brewed by the master of the house that was designed to slow down whoever ate it.

Sova knew its blend of contents had been carefully mixed to weaken his ability to transform. The Count meant him no harm. It was carefully explained to Sova that the lord had done so in hope of preventing some accident whereby the owl halfling would rebreak his own healing bones.

His only consolation for eating such a thing was that usually someone pretty was sent to make sure he ate it. At first, the girl Elanore had been his regular nurse. However, yesterday, she had inexplicably disappeared and left behind a grumpy wolf lady in her place.

Sova sighed in his bed as that same severe-looking wolf entered his room. “Good morning,” he said loudly.

She nodded as she put his tray down and looked about the room. She would likely tidy up first before attempting to feed him.

“Any news?” He tried to ask.

The wolf halfling shook her head. Sova leaned back in the bed knowing that the frustrating wench would not reveal anything of use. And he was dying for information. He had heard the whispers of the children born to the lady of the estate.

Both the wolves and fae were in high spirits. He could hear the wolves running back and forth outside and inside the house. And then he heard the wildfolk at night, running about in the walls and singing their little songs.

“Good morning, Sova!”

A friendly face appeared in the doorway. The girl Elanore nodded at the other female in the room before she approached the bed. “I heard you were mending very well.”

Without prompting, she brought him a bowl to drink from. She held it for him while he sipped from it, waiting patiently until he appeared satisfied.

It was a perfectly normal act. Sova, however, noted that Miss Redley had slipped a piece of candy into the bowl.

He grinned as it fell into his mouth. That wolf nurse would never know!

Elanore placed the bowl back on the table by his bed and sat on the edge of his bed.

Sova could see the happiness etched upon her rosy face. He blushed and averted his gaze. “So where is your shadow?”

Her eyes sparkled in turn. “I don’t know. I wasn’t supposed to go look for Edmund this morning.”

And yet she was in a terribly good mood. Sova offered her a cheeky smile. “And why is that?”

She clasped her hands together, unable to contain her excitement. “Today we are getting married!”



Chapter 22, Part A: The Tolling of Bells — 4 Comments