Viva VoceMature

I woke up that morning with my insides squirming uneasily. After having received my share of scolding from mother for not being on my best behavior last night, I’d headed off to bed to have been met by a nightmare.

Though none of us had a clue on how the council planned to check if the rumors were true, my mind hadn’t given itself a rest. In the dream, we’d all been tortured in the most gruesome of ways till one of the Durmans had submitted themselves. Those who were part of the revolution were given public death penalties – to be burned at stake.

A part of me was firm on the belief that the council wouldn’t dare do such a thing in reality. Or would they? The very thought of Durmans taking a stand seemed to have shaken them up, judging by the look on the ‘visitor’s’ face last night. Certainly though, with the magic they possessed, Selvites could easily contain the Durmans that run astray. However the way in which they planned on doing so today was something that had us all hanging on the edge.

After a quick breakfast, I left the house, letting my parents know that I’d be at the city hall on time. Right now, I needed to be with Sahara, who for sure would have some thoughts to share on what was happening. She had useful contacts that gave her juicy information whenever needed, and I really wanted to be in on this.

Sahara’s house was only a few minutes away from mine. Both our families owned cottages close to the edges of the forest, where the vegetation was fresher and conditions more favorable for maintaining the gardens. Her family did business with mine, selling all that they harvested at reasonable prices. 

Just as I made the way towards her house, the front door opened and out stepped a disgruntled Sahara. One look at her and I could tell that she’d started her day off on the wrong foot. Her usually neatly-combed black hair was ruffled up like she’d just gotten out of a physical spat. Muttering something incoherently to herself, she walked towards me.

“’morning,” Sahara grumbled.   

“Isn’t the weather great today?” I said in a sarcastic tone. She shot me a glare. “What’s wrong this time?”

“It’s my parents. They started arguing. Last night, a member of the council came over to our house to tell us about the meeting in the city hall.” I nodded and listened to her ramble on. “Mum thinks we should leave the town, head back to her hometown."

"And your father told her that your family should stay back?" I guessed. 

She nodded. "And somehow, I ended up getting tangled in that mess as well." With a sigh, she crossed her hands over her chest and said, "I'm not sure about the conclusion they came to as their still arguing. Anyways, you won't believe what I heard from Arabella." 

Cain, another close friend of ours had a sister who served a Selvite family as a common servant in their household. She ended up hearing things that no Durman should know, and happily informing us of the news. 

"She said that the Council is going completely nuts about this whole dilemma. Apparently, it's not only the rumors that got them suspecting us." 

"What else?"

"A number of Selvites have fallen sick over the past few days, food poisoning being the cause. Durmans have also been 'resigning' their positions as servants and maids in households, seeking jobs elsewhere rather than serving those higher to them." 

My eyes widened. "You think the Durmans involved intentionally tapped the meals of the Selvites." 

"don't think anything," Sahara shrugged. "But the Council certainly doesn't. And it's not only this." Taking a look around to see if anyone was close by, Sahara stopped walking and pulled me towards a dark alley. Hidden in the shadows, she whispered to me, her brown eyes lighting up. "You know the Pendragus family?"

I nodded. They were one of the classiest Selvite-families around.

"Arabella told me that she'd overheard something about a robbery. Some of the magical rolls and books, only meant to be possessed by those worthy of their class, have been stolen. And Claude Pendragus claims that the thief is one belonging to our class." 

A chill ran down my spine. Licking my lips nervously, I asked, "Was the thief found?"

Sahara shook her head slowly. "No. But they might be today." 

The End

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