~ The Puppeteer ~ pg 5

“Civyl attacked Fiora,” Alex stated calmly, still with his grip on her arm. At the confirmation of Chink’s assumption the other Birchwoods were livid throwing their verbal abuse at him. 

“What were you thinkin'!” 
“E’s gone mad!” 
“How could you?!” 
“You don’t deserve to live!” 

Civyl did not brook any argument, just stared at his hands. Nivia, though, was still staring impatiently at Alex. “Well, I can see that, man, but tell me what really happened.” Alex said nothing more, for he had no more to say. He had not taken the time to learn anything beyond what he had seen. Nivia sighed as she clucked her tongue and shook her head. “Typical stubborn man,” she hissed before gentling her voice. “Fiora, dear child, tell me what happened.” 

Finally! Someone would listen to her! “He was enchanted again, Nivia. He did not see me when he looked at me. I think he saw someone who wanted to hurt me.” 

Nivia was nodding in concentration, “Yes, yes, go on. What else?” 

“The words he said… he wasn’t saying them to me, he was saying them about me. He said ‘Release her.’ and shouted that he wouldn’t let me ‘kill the girl’.”

 Nivia’s eyes widened in recognition. “The same words surely means the same source,” she noted more for her own sake. “Who have you angered so that this sorcerer wants you dead?” 

“Wait,” Alex spoke up. “What sorcerer?” 

“The same one who caused Civyl to strangle me,” Fiora answered, hand rising to feel her neck where the bruises still faded and she winced at the new pain. Her finger came away sticky with new red blood. Suddenly Fiora felt very faint. As her knees started to buckle, Demil caught her elbow and Alex wrapped his arm around her waist to support her. Together, they led her to the bed. 

Nivia tisked and turned to Civyl’s pitiful form. In all this he had not spoken a word or moved or even looked away from his hands. “What say you, Chosen of the Flame,” Nivia demanded of him. “What of the event do you remember?” 

The End

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