Chapter II: The Fish and Spear [9]Mature

         “Wilmina does magick, but that’s it. I took her favourite grimoire once but she burnt it to stop me looking,”

         “The only reason the sensors have not picked up Wilmina’s activity is because of you,”

         “Me? What’s that mean?”

      “The Court, Willow. They are the ones in control of every kingdom across Maegard now, and they control every villain and vagabond that each kingdom sends to this place. But their hand has always shadowed you more than anybody else. They put you here so they could watch you, control you, make you afraid, but they never dismissed what you are, what you can do. When the sensors detected magick from your home, they watched you more closely, but never apprehended you or Wilmina for it.”

Dizziness spread through Willow’s body as he listened, glancing at Anala occasionally and seeing her seriousness as her uncle spoke. They both believed it; ‘they’re both mad.’

         “The Court didn’t put me here,” he said. “I was born here, I’m –,”

        “Chainborn,” interrupted Percival. “Yes, quite a morbid title, and a false one. Answer this for me: why does Wilmina care for you and not your parents?”

         “Because they’re dead,” he said bluntly, his voice and expression frighteningly vacant,

         “Wait,” said Anala, her curiosity piqued, “you know Wilmina’s not related to you?”

Willow cocked an eyebrow at her. “Obviously. Wilmina’s a troll: a Jotunn inbred. Her blood poisons her, it reacts to the sun and turns her to stone.” It was satisfying to talk down to her. “That doesn’t happen to me. I’ve always known that. She told me the truth, anyway. My dad’s a run-off, my mum died in a bar fight in Bantaren, and the thugs that did it clobbered me for my troubles. After that, Wilmina took me in.” He reached to the back of his head and located the five raised scars from what Wilmina had always told him was from a broken bottle. “That’s why I can’t – that’s why I don’t remember.”

The End

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