Before her, bound and laying in bedclothes against a rough carpet, lay her father. His panicked eyes glanced up and down between Julia and the young woman standing over him.
Crackling sounds came before the words, but Julia knew the girl without taking a breath.
“Tara,” she whispered, but it came out like almost like a breathless question.
The tall girl stared solemnly back at the dainty princess. “Julia,” she responded. Tara pulled at a long tendril of flickering hair. In the brightness of the room, it glistened with a ferocity reserved for thunderstorms. The crackling Julia had heard was coming from the power that surrounded Tara’s cloud of hair. Tiny spikes of light arched like lightning, linking light energy around her head, making the young sorceress look threatening and much older than her twelve years of age.
Julia stared in disbelief. Her feet seemed to have adhered to the ground. From her father to Tara, Julia’s eyes flitted. In her head she could feel a force pushing at the reservoir of her power that lay in the door behind her. Someone was pushing to get in, while all she wanted to do was get out.
“You traitor,” she squeaked.
Clearing her throat, she tried again, summoning a line of text in her mind to scrawl hastily, You were supposed to be my friend. She spoke the words at the same time as the thought formed within her mind. It was as if there were fireworks erupting in her head, as she sought to figure out the reality of the situation.
Julia took a deep breath and shook her head to clear her mind. The command and words were only forceful enough, in her condition, to make Tara shiver as the magic hit her. Julia knew her power was quickly becoming consumed by fear.
About to take a brave step forward, and peel her slipper from the ground where she remained rooted, Julia felt the magic in the door crumble and a watched a black sleeved arm reach through the widening gap.
Oh great, she thought, more company. She stared into her father’s wide eyes as the boy entered the room.
“Liam,” stated Tara. “Welcome,” she continued, drily.
Julia closed her eyes. Not him too, she thought sadly.