Friday, January 13, 2012

Aftershock 15/16

Nothing to see with physical eyes now. Donovan wasn’t seeing with them at the moment, anyway.

Tentacles of mud burst through the windows of the buried car. He felt the movement fighting the rising mud. People attempted to swim in the quicksand. Magic fluttered against the mud like the wings of moths, but nothing hindered the flow.

No wizard left alive. Donovan knew that directive. Believed it. A single wizard would slay hundreds of fey in their lifetime. Mercy shown a wizard was a death sentence to all the fey they would encounter. The reign of terror for at least these few magic-stealers ended today.

He ignored those who struggled against the soil. Only when the magic-laced mud twined against something cold and ceased to respond to his will did Donovan close his eyes. His focus wrapped around that spot. The sediment retreated, following the shape of the body attached to that coldness and forming a bubble around it. Donovan brought forth the body. The soft mud pillowed around the form and coaxed its unresponsive shape through a window and up to the surface, where the bubble rose like a bud of a flower and then burst open and disintegrated.

Donovan crossed the ground to the person lying there. The earth below them solidified into solid rock once more. No one else would escape the car. No one else below the surface now lived.

Donovan knelt next to the mud-caked young woman. The mud ran from her in streams until she was completely free of it. She was curled on her side. Wrists bound behind her back. Unconscious.

With a tender stroke of fingertips, he brushed her hair from her face. A beautiful face. A face with fine, sculpted features few but the fey possessed. His fingers drew her hair back further, tucking her brunette tresses behind her ear.

A rounded ear.

Like a human’s ear.

Donovan traced the shape of it. Very unlike the Sidhe’s slightly pointed ears. Feeling the smoothness of a scar, he bent had for a closer examination.

“Is this what the Sidhe have come to? Self-mutilation? To pass for a human?”

Of course, the unconscious Sidhe didn’t answer. He examined the bonds on her wrists and ankles. Just heavy-gauge zip ties. Easy enough to cut loose.

The silver the wizards used to bind her magic took the form of a collar. Donovan cupped the woman’s head, careful not to brush the silver directly with his skin. He lifted her enough to examine the device. He removed a handkerchief from his pocket and used it to release the simple catch. The collar dropped from her. The beginning of a silver burn ringed her neck with an irritated redness. Two distinct points blistered beneath her jaw. Donovan turned the device, ever careful of not touching it. “Silver shock collar.”

Wrapping it completely in the handkerchief, he ensured no silver remained exposed, then tucked the end into his back pocket. He scooped the girl into his arms and stood. The humans from the rest of the train finally drew close. He could hear their startled shouts of horror at the bizarre landslide. Paying them no mind, Donovan teleported away with the unconscious Sidhe in his embrace.

Part 16/16 of "Aftershock" coming on 1/17/12!

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