Chapter XXI: The Nightmare Man (13/13)Mature

Morning came, and to Will's surprise, he'd been able to sleep for a few more hours before the orange of sunrise woke him up. Andrel was still fast asleep but he didn't wake him, Will changed into his clothes as quietly as he could, gathered his little possessions and brought his satchel with him through to the main room.

'Hey, Will,' smiled Tayna, happily handing him a plate of toast and sitting down in a beanbag next to Sayara and Anala. 'Good night?'

'Yeah, pretty good,' he answered - they wouldn't show any signs to the others of their conversation. He sat down in a beanbag with his breakfast next to Sayara, but was confused when she shuffled away from him slightly, then resolved to stare at him as he bit into his toast. After a minute or so, he smiled at her awkwardly, hoping for her to say whatever seemed to be bothering her. Instead, she stood up and left the tent, swiping away the curtains at the entrance with an irked flourish.

'What's up with her?' he asked the girls,

'I bet it's that time of the month,' Anala said matter-of-factly. They heard a sudden spluttering - the sound of Tayna choking on her goblet of tea.

'Anala...' she chastised, far more embarrassed than Anala, who smiled back mischievously,

'Honestly, Tayna, grow up,' she said playfully, and Tayna continued to eat and drink silently, her face bright red.

Outside the tents, the teachers had gathered together all of the student's bags, and had opened a long-term tear in the air for bags to be passed through, sent back to the Sanctuary ahead of the students. The Spéir harpies swooped down from the trees, plucking bags by the straps in their talons, then letting go and catapulting the bags through the tear. Anala joined Bosrold, Madame Aquila and her uncle in the centre of the campsite, and Will remembered the Blinking pendant for his group of friends. The Raidoclan stood in a huddle on the hillside, waving to them and welcoming them to return again, as Tayna pressed down on the pendant, the landscape fizzled out before Will's eyes, replaced with whiteness and nihility. He held his breath and gritted his teeth through the pain of being seemingly ripped apart.

The familiar feeling of the ground dropping from under him returned, he felt himself falling towards the slowly-colouring ground, to the safety of the Sanctuary; the place he called home.

The End

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