AS THEY MADE THEIR WAY TO FOLKLORE, ALL THAT WILL, TAYNA AND ANDREL COULD TALK ABOUT WAS BOSROLD AND THE TWINS.
It was difficult for Will to understand what had just happened, meeting Bosrold, discovering the Twins' terrible act, it left him feeling disconcerted. He remembered Bosrold's curt, cold eyes glaring at him with incredible disdain and intolerance, and the way Marinia's mouth had curved up in a smile of satisfaction as she'd breezed past him.
'They're horrible,' Will seethed as they headed under the archway of the Whiteas building at the end of the courtyard. They took the side door up a narrow corridor, emerging in the brightly-lit and busy hallway.
'Jee, we never would have guessed,' Tayna said sarcastically, shutting the door behind her as they wove their way through the strands of students.
'I'm serious,' he persisted. 'I've seen bad people - too many for a lifetime. Where I come from they're...well, they're as bad as they get.' He travelled back to his memory on the hillside in Vincula, his bones seeming to record and reenact the pain, causing him to wince. 'But the Twins...they're different, almost...worse.' There was something about them that scared him much more than thieves and murderers, something he was desperate to pinpoint. Was it the fact that they were his age and capable of such cruelty, or maybe because they were royalty and still behaved in such a way?
'If we're talking about worse,' said Andrel, 'let's talk about Bosrold. I thought he was going to skin us all alive, slowly and painfully. I can see why Anala's so afraid of him.'
'But why?' Tayna asked, bemused. 'He's supposed to protect her, Hel, Paradam assigned him to her. How can he not know what's going on? He certainly can't condone it. I've never seen somebody so afraid.'
'The Twins...' said Will, 'have they always been...like that?'
'I don't know about always,' said Tayna, 'but according to the others, they were perfectly nice when we were children. And when I first met them, here, they were nothing like that. I don't know what changed.'
'When did you meet them?'
'When I arrived,' she explained, 'a couple months into first form. They were already there, the first of all the Elementals, right when Paradam began searching for us all. Believe it or not, the Twins and I, we were...friends,'
Andrel scoffed. 'What went wrong there then?'
Tayna looked down with sad remembrance, 'I'm not sure. In the beginning, we understood each other. We were all so scared, being told what we would become, coming to terms with our powers, being treated differently. And then, they went away for the summer to sort out...' she suddenly tensed, '...family matters. When they came back, they - they weren't the same. They didn't want to help people anymore, they wanted to rule them. And even though none of us were fond of humans, they wanted to obliterate them. It was terrifying, I don't know where they got all their rage from...maybe it had always been inside of them...'
There was silence between them, Tayna looked keen to change the subject. Will spoke up, 'and Bosrold?'
'Oh,' she said, sounding happier, 'he's always been the same. He came alongside Paradam and Anala, he was part of their household before they began the Sanctuary. He and Paradam were obviously close, close enough for him to be appointed vice-principal.'
Andrel clapped his hands together in mock prayer. 'And for that reason, I pray that Paradam remain in good health, and doesn't slip on a ginger snap anytime soon.' The others chuckled, putting their hands together and seconding the prayer.