A bit from THE NIGHTWARD again, because I just wrote a nice section with Viyella and Dagen and thought you should all be introduced to each other. Most words of the week so far on the one day I really didn’t want to do anything. Woot for me!
He checked the rest of the balcony swiftly, but to no avail. The Princess was not there. He stood frowning at the top of the stairs, wondering if she’d somehow slipped past him. No, that’s impossible. The stairway is too narrow. But where else could she be? In his mind’s eye, for an endless, stomach twisting second, he saw a tiny body falling off the balcony. He darted back to the stone ledge, warped with the cool, slick stems and slightly furry leaves of vines. But only the faded abstract pattern of the courtyard cobbles looked up at him, red and yellow in the gathering dusk.
If she did not fall, then…
Behind him, he heard a tiny sound–the silvery jangle of bracelets. The little beast. He turned, held out his right palm to the top of the stairway and circled it clockwise, muttering the counterspell Erwyn had taught him under his breath. A thin mist filled the opening, pearl and coral strands wrapping around itself, coalescing into the tip-toeing form of the Princess. Dagen grabbed her by the back of her vest and yanked her back, ignoring her gasp of shock.
“The Princess will refrain from using her concealment spells in my vicinity from now on, or I will talk to the Dowager Mother about several unpleasant alternatives to her magic lessons.”
Viyella made a little screech of disgust as he started down the stairs and clawed at his hand, kicking desperately. “I only wanted to see the caravan!”
“Be that as it may, you have inconvenienced the entire household, and using magic to evade your responsibilities is not something the Queen would look upon lightly. Also, if you want to be put down any time soon, you had better stop kicking my legs.”
And now I’m off to dinner.
Stay thirsty, my friends!