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Modern Magick 7 by Charlotte E. English

Modern Magick 7 by Charlotte E. English

Author:Charlotte E. English [English, Charlotte E.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2018-12-13T23:00:00+00:00


11

In the end, we passed through five henge complexes. Jay, of course, went through each set twice in order to ferry the lot of us across. By the time Wyr stopped and said, ‘Well, here we are,’ Jay was reduced to a legless mess.

I gathered this from his recumbent posture upon the floor, limbs akimbo, his face bathed in sweat. He was breathing far too fast, and — to my mingled amusement and concern — laughing.

Wyr stood over him with his hands in the pockets of his long coat, and slowly shook his head. ‘So many reasons to use tokens like a normal person.’

‘I’m using the Ways like a normal person,’ said Jay, laughing, and then he began to cough.

‘Oops.’ I ran to help him sit up. ‘Jay, we’re going to take a little break right here. All right?’

‘I’m fine.’ He beamed sunnily up at me, and sagged in my arms like a sack of potatoes.

I let him slither back to the ground.

‘Well.’ I looked around. ‘Let’s use this time for a little reconnaissance, hm? Is this… Vale?’

I said it doubtfully, because to my admittedly inexperienced eye, there wasn’t much about the place to suggest that we had arrived anywhere significant. We had emerged at a small complex comprising only three henges, none of them large. The trio of stone circles sat atop a grassy hill in the midst of a rolling, airy plain. In one direction I could see, distantly, the edge of an evergreen forest; everywhere else was simply more grass. A desultory drizzle of rain fell from a grey sky.

‘Vale’s that way.’ Wyr pointed out at some of the grass.

‘It’s a ways off, by the looks of it,’ I said.

‘They gave up trying to put a henge complex in there,’ said Wyr. ‘Never worked.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because it’s… well, you’ll see.’ Wyr set off down the hill, hands in his pockets, whistling a jaunty tune.

I made to follow him.

And stopped, because down there in the grass, over towards the forest, I saw a string of what looked like wild horses racing by. They weren’t, of course. Even from this distance, I could see the far-off glint of the graceful horn each bore upon their forehead.

Adeline had stopped, too, and stood staring in their direction, her head high.

‘Unicorns,’ I said.

Miranda breathed something unintelligible but no doubt awed, and started down the hill at once.

‘No, wait!’ I said, cursing myself for an idiot. ‘Mir, hang on a second. We shouldn’t just blindly follow Wyr. Em, will you take care of Jay and pup for a bit while I check things out?’ And keep an eye on Miranda, I wanted to add, but didn’t.

Emellana nodded. ‘I think it wise.’

Jay had stopped laughing or coughing. He lay silent, ostensibly dazed, though his eyes opened at my words and he looked intently at me. ‘I should go with you,’ he said.

‘Nope.’

‘But—’

‘If you can prove you can stand up straight for more than twenty seconds, then you can come with me.’

It took Jay about ten to demonstrate his total incapacity for vertical posture.



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