I did not join in the fight. A strong dislike of violence had always kept me away from serious battles, and I stood instead by the side of the corridor. For some reason, the house itself appeared to be protecting me - not a single Shadow came close.
I leaned against the wall, and felt again that strange presence that I had begun to recognise as the Hideout.
What do you want? I asked it in my mind, wondering whether it was benign like the Healing Room or evil like the others.
Am I not protecting you? That should be enough to answer your question.
True, I replied, still finding it odd to think that I was talking to a house. But nothing was normal here, and I'd found I could hear my author's voice, too. This place was mutated.
Kathryn?!?! said a frantic voice. Now THAT was my author.
What? I replied. I'm trying to talk to the Hideout, here, so please don't interrupt.
Oh, is that why I couldn't reach you? she asked, and I mentally rolled my eyes.
Did you find out anything about the Mega-Author I told you might be around? I asked, resisting the strong urge to make a sarky comment.
Yes! she replied. I know who it is!