A tale from the world of the Cursed Eight
Accipiter G. Goshawk
The story continues from where The escape: I left off.
First, they had to get rid of the chains.
Given Sora’s eagerness, Tara decided – to avoid any exuberant explosions -, that it was best she take care of this delicate task. For the rest of the day, she worked on the sturdy iron surrounding their wrists, while Sora conjured the hay into animated straw people.
By the time the guard had come with their evening meal, she had skilfully managed to cut the shackles away. She’d used a variation on the light spell mother had taught her. She’d concentrated it into a thin beam and had patiently let it melt the iron.
They enacted the same ritual they had followed that morning: placing the stool in the middle of the room and passing the spoon half-way through the meal.
Only this time, no chains impeded their movements.
The moon had set when Tara stirred and woke her sister.
“Ready?” she asked as her sibling’s two purple pupils flared in the darkness.
“Ready!” she answered happily. She moved to the door and humming quietly to herself, reached out towards the sturdy wooden surface.
Tara was uncertain about this part of the plan.
Logically, Sora was their only option: she was by far the more powerful of the two and should have no trouble disposing of the door. Although skilful, Tara could not hope to match her sister’s raw talent. However, Sora was impetuous and unpredictable…
The purple-scaled child yawned and passed her hand over the door, which immediately turned to strawberry jam and squelched silently to the floor. Sora stuck her finger into the scarlet mass, brought it to her mouth and crooned happily.
Tara stared at her.
“I was hungry,” said her sister as if the whole occurrence was perfectly normal. She quickly clamped a hand over her mouth as Tara brought her finger to her lips.
The two sisters slowly crept out of their cell and moved further into the dungeon. They had decided earlier that this was probably where father was being held.
“Father?” murmured Tara next to a shadowy iron-lined door.
No noise came within, so she pressed on, following her younger sister.
Suddenly, Sora stopped in front of a large metal door. She was glaring at it fiercely.
“He’s here, but I can’t…,” she murmured, stretching her hand out tentatively.
The surface of the bronze-tinted door was cool to the touch, and proved to be impervious to magic.
Sora’s spell made a sad little peep and the sputtered out of existence.
“How are we supposed to get him out?” she hissed, kicking the door angrily.
Within the cell, someone stirred.
“Girls?” came a hesitant question.
They crowded around the door while on the other side, their father staggered up from his cot and moved as close to the door as his chains would allow.
“My darlings! You…you escaped! My brave, brave girls!”
“We are going to get you out!” declared Sora, so loudly that Tara flinched and turned to look at the other end of the corridor.
“Where is your mother?” their father whispered.
“They…they said she left. That she disappeared.”
There was a moment of silence from the other side of the door.
“Good. She was always the clever one. You must do the same! Go my loves. Follow the corridor down to the cellar and then out through the sewers. Leave Ra’Thelas as quickly as possible and go to Star’s Breath. Your mother will find you there.”
“We won’t leave you,” growled Sora stubbornly, as her form began to glow with wild magic.
“Sora, dearest, you will. I am trapped here for the moment, but if you are free, then I no longer have anything to fear. Find your mother: she will come to free me.”
“Someone’s coming!” hissed Tara. She quickly grabbed her younger sister’s hand and fled, moving deeper into the dungeons of the Imperial Palace.
“I love you father!” cried Sora. Her words turned to flaming butterflies, which flew at the door, smashing into it and vanishing immediately.
Their father’s answer was drowned in a sea of tramping feet and yells, as five guards came charging down the corridor, hot on the two sister’s trail.-