Where foundlings hide, p.32
Where Foundlings Hide, p.32KL Mitchelson
When I open my eyes we’re back in Trafalgar Square, the fountain tinkling serenely behind us. The sky is darker now, the clouds a thick, steel grey and I can feel the cool patter of rain on my face. Both the homeless man and the truck are gone, the square once again deserted.
I round on Haydn. “What happened?”
“We teleported.” He says, avoiding my gaze.
“What? How is that even possible? I can’t-”
“No, but I can,” he says, softly. “I’m a Wanderer, Casey. I’m not a Smith. You aren’t the only one who has a secret.”
My head starts to spin. “You’re a Wanderer?”
Haydn nods, his mouth tight, his eyes filled with shame.
“Why did you bring me here?” I ask, fear suddenly gripping my insides as I think of the Wanderers I met in the woods. I start to back away from him.
“I was following orders.”
“What do you mean you were following orders? Whose orders?”
“The Household leaders,” he says. “The reason Nicholas kept me so close to you was so I could help you disappear if you were ever in danger.”
“What are you talking about?” I can feel my hands shaking at my sides.
“Nicholas believes in you; he believes that the Foundlings can help stop the war with the Shadows. He wanted to protect you at any cost.”
“But I’m not a Foundling, I’m a fraud, if Nicholas knew-”
“You are not a fraud, Casey. You are powerful; you may be the most powerful being we’ve ever seen. You’re part-human, and yet what you did in the training room-”
“That was nothing, Haydn, less than nothing,” tears start to pour over my cheeks. “We left them there, we just left them to die.” My voice has risen to a high-pitched wail. “We didn’t find Ivy; I might never see her again.”
Haydn looks away from me. “If we’d stayed, we’d be dead too. There were too many of them and they had guns. We’re not bulletproof.”
“Neither are they,” I squeeze my fists against my cheek to stop myself from screaming. “Take me back to them, there might be something I can do.”
“You take me back, Haydn,” I grab his arms, feeling his shame burn under my touch. “Take me back.”
“My orders are to return you to Displacia,” he says. “I have to take you to Roma.”
“I can’t go back to Displacia; I can’t tell Roma that they are…that Ivy is….”
“You’re not going back.” A familiar, deep voice calls.
I feel Haydn react under my grip, and when I turn I find Morox standing knee-deep in the fountain, two Morgana’s behind him, his crossbow aimed at my heart. Haydn tries to shift around me.
“Stay where you are, Wanderer.” Morox spits. He steps out of the fountain, as more Morgana’s rise from the water behind him.
“You were behind all this?” Haydn asks.
“The Shadows were behind the attack,” Morox says, smiling dangerously. “Morgana’s do not have the power to control minds.”
“No, but you do have the power to start an earthquake.”
Morox grins, showing his rotten teeth. “That’s true. Members of my Household have been defecting to the Shadows for years. I’ve remained somewhat neutral to their cause, but I switched my allegiance after the last council meeting.”
“You don’t switch allegiance to a terror organisation because of an argument with another Household leader.” Haydn says.
Morox curls his lip. “It was the last straw, the Vedmak’s can’t be trusted. Displacia will be a better place in the hands of the Shadows. They’ll cloak our world in darkness once again, they’ll bring control, order.”
“They’ll bring chaos, just like before.” Haydn says.
Morox shrugs his shoulders. “Maybe, but I’ll be on the right side. After I hand this one over, I’ll be revered by the Shadows.” He dips his head in my direction.
It’s just like Sarah said. ‘He’s coming for you.’ She told me to run. Whoever was controlling her was trying to warn me.
I have to do something. I try to gather my strength; I try to find the power to deal with Morox, to blast him back off his feet, just like I did with Caleb and Haydn in the training room, but my whole body is shaking with nerves.
“If you want her, you’ll have to go through me.” Haydn says.
The Morgana’s shift closer, but Morox just smiles. “What’s one less Wanderer?” He presses the butt of his crossbow more securely against his shoulder.
“No,” I say, my heart pounding furiously in my chest. “I’ll go with you.”
Haydn puts a hand on my wrist, his fingers tingling with fear. “You’re not going anywhere.”
“Enough of this.” Morox yells.
I hear the clunk of the crossbow, as he releases his arrow.
“NO.” I throw my hands up and Morox is knocked off his feet, slamming into the Morgana’s assembled behind him. I whirl around, throwing myself at Haydn, but the arrow finds its mark.
Everything slows down. I think I hear the distant rumble of motorbikes, but I can’t be sure, because everything around me is melting away.
Haydn and I fall to the ground, my fingers are closed around his forearm, but I can’t feel him. If this is it, if this is the last time I will see Haydn, I should be memorising every curve of his face, every fleck of gold in those dark eyes, but all I can see is his mouth forming my name and the spread of blood across his chest.
Where Foundlings Hide by KL Mitchelson / Fantasy have rating 3.2 out of 5 / Based on19 votes