“There’s a window at the back of the barn,” Phoenix whispered. Lyssa didn’t ask how he knew. They crept around the wall and heard a man’s voice whispering.

“I know I’ve only known you for a day, Crystal, but… I know you’re innocent. You couldn’t have made that barrel explode any more than I could! I swear I’ll get you out. Because…I…when I first saw you, I felt something.”

“I did too,” They heard a whisper. It was a girl and not Jasmine’s, so it was Crystal.

There was a shaky laugh. “Are you sure I haven’t cast a love spell?”

“I believe in love at first sight. At least I do now. I know there’s three years between us and I’m just your piano tutor, but…I think…”

Phoenix leapt round the wall and grabbed the man. He held up a finger and a flame danced on the tip to illuminate his face. Lyssa recognised him - she had thought he was Crystal’s brother, but he was her piano tutor!

“Let me go!” he cried. He managed to keep his voice down though it was obvious he wanted to yell. “You warlock!”

Crystal had retreated from the window in shock. Phoenix let his flame light up the barn. The floor was littered with straw and the occasional horse dropping which caused the smell. Jasmine was curled on the ground, crying in her sleep.

“I’m not a warlock,” Phoenix said grimly, releasing the piano tutor. “I’m here to help.”

“That’s what I was here for,” the man hissed. “Crystal doesn’t need you.”

“Oh, I could see that,” Phoenix said with a grin. “While you were whispering your sweet-nothings you were really saving them.”

Lyssa stepped up to the small, dirty square window and peered in. Crystal saw her and smiled as she recognised her.

“Will, it’s alright. I’ve seen her before.”

Jasmine had woken up and was sat in the straw, squinting at the window in the poor light.

“So have I. And him too. He was there when Mr Twiggard got me.”

Jasmine scrambled to her feet and the girls came back to the window.

“Will, they are here to help us!” Crystal explained. Will looked angry.

“I’ll leave them to help you then,” he said. “You don’t need me.”

“Will!” Crystal called after him as he crept away into the darkness. She sniffed and wiped her eyes with the edge of her cloak. “I thought he was going to tell me he loved me.”

“Yeah, yeah, from what I’ve heard you barely know each other!” Phoenix muttered as he examined the window. The window was too small for them to climb through, and anyway it only opened outwards a few inches. Lyssa smiled as comfortingly as she could to reassure them.

“I’m Lyssa and that’s Phoenix,” she introduced them. “We know who you are. You’re like us. I’ve only just met him but he’s told me things you wouldn’t believe.”

“Oh, try me,” Crystal mumbled miserably. “I’ve found out I’ve got powers.”

“Over water, to be precise,” Lyssa explained. “Phoenix says we’re Elementals. We’ve got the power of Elements!”

“You don’t seem too shocked about this,” Jasmine said darkly. “I think it’s madness. I’m no more a witch than that lump of manure.”

“I know. It’s strange…but I know it’s true. We’ve all got the necklaces.”

She held out her chain and opened the heart. The diamond glowed, a spark of white light in the darkness.

“Wow!” Jasmine said, taken by surprise. She fumbled with her own locket. The emerald was glowing too, bathing her face with an eerie green glow.

Crystal opened her own. She had always thought it was empty. But inside nestled a sapphire, glowing softly but brightly. The colour of her eyes. It was true that Jasmine’s eyes were bright green, and Lyssa’s were a pale grey to match their stones. She squinted at Phoenix, who was scraping at the mortar around the window. His eyes were an amber brown. They were lit up by the flames dancing on his fingertips, like a live Hand of Glory.

“He’s got two stones in his,” Jasmine declared, pointing at the silver chain under his shirt. “A ruby and amber. Well, half of each. But still.”

“That’s because I’m a boy. And I’m more powerful, because I’ve explored my powers and know what I’m doing. This is new to you all. Even you, Crystal. Now be quiet, else he’ll hear us and I’ll never get you out of here.”


There was a minute of silence while the girls all looked at their shining lockets.

“What are they for? Why do they glow like that? They don’t in the day.”

Phoenix tutted impatiently, giving up on the window.

“They channel our powers through them, to make them stronger. They glow because they are our own personal lights, when all other lights go out. When you die, they stop glowing.”

“Are we the only people who have Elemental powers?”

“Yes. There are only four people from each generation in the whole world.”

“And most of us were in Caingold! Small world.”

“Shush!” Phoenix said. “Why are you all girls? They talk too much. Now I can’t do anything with this window. What about the -”

He put out his finger-flames at once. “Shut your lockets! Shut them!”

The girls, scared, fumbled to hide them under their dresses. “There’s someone at the back door.”

Jasmine and Crystal closed the window and latched it, sitting on the straw-strewn ground in silence, wrapped in their cloaks.

On the other side of the barn, the bolt grated open. Lyssa and Phoenix ducked down as a lantern light swept the room.

“Still here, my lovelies? I thought I heard you talking. Be quiet or I won’t get my sleep.”

“I thought you wouldn’t rest ‘til you proved us guilty,” Jasmine said bravely and defiantly. She was trembling inside her woollen cloak.

“I lied,” Twiggard gave his sinister grin and turned to leave. “They’ll believe me when I say you’re witches indeed.”

Phoenix screwed his face up as if in pain beside Lyssa. The barn was plunged into darkness.

“Run!” he shouted. Lyssa got up and shrugged off Phoenix’s grabbing arm as she ran to the front of the barn. Crystal and Jasmine were trapped in. The Witch-hunter had immediately stepped back into the doorway.

He grabbed Lyssa by the back of the neck with a white-gloved hand. “Another one of you, is there? I’m going to be rich when I leave this town.”

He threw Lyssa down onto the barn floor. “There girls, a friend. And in the morning, you’re all going to burn at the stake for your devilry.”

He laughed to himself as he locked the barn from the outside and walked back into his house.

Lyssa scrambled to her feet and unlatched the window.

“Phoenix! Phoenix! Help!” she hissed into the darkness.

But it was no use. Phoenix had gone.

The End

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