Moyra’s Tale, Part 9

Tiberion’s fists clench in anger at the sight of the empty bedroom and open window. How could he get away? He looks around the room, his frown deepening. This is no man’s room. He strides back into the living room, where his advanced apprentice is flipping through a book. “He’s gone. Stop wasting time with books, Alex.”

“Calm down. Look at this.” Alex holds the book up, displaying the title.

Tiberion takes the book from him and leafs through a few pages. This has to be The Destroyer’s home. He felt the awakening dark forces, and he’s certain the book is confirmation that he is on the right path. He picks up the purse beside the book and opens it. The ID inside belongs to a woman—a Moyra Black. He smirks. A fitting name for The Destroyer. Ironic that none had ever considered the Prophecy to be speaking of a girl. “This is our target,” he says, handing the license to Alex.

The younger man looks it over and swears under his breath. “We’re hunting a girl? But the Prophecy—”

“Never specified what the sex of The Destroyer was. All just assumed. But now we’ve got a bit of information that other factions don’t know, and that gives us the advantage.” Tiberion takes the ID back and slips it in his pocket as they leave the apartment. This girl has been alerted now, so she’ll be running…but with this item of hers, he’ll have an easier time tracking her. Now they just need to wear her down.

*****

The dark caster watches as her husband walks a large circle around the abandoned church, casting a protective shield. His defensive spells are some of the very best, and this one had been crafted to allow only those with their blood to enter the sanctified area. It will open for Moyra, but then any others will be blocked and repelled.

When he returns, it’s clear to her that he has taxed his strength. Much more so than it should have. He sits on a dusty pew wearily and offers an explanation before his wife can ask.

“I cast the shield larger than normal, to cover more ground and give her, I hope, a greater ease of escape from those pursuing her. Who knows what difference several less feet will make for her as she flees?”

His wife grips his arm. “Of course, Liam. I just wish we could do more.”

He covers her hand with his. “I know, my love. We both feel she’s close. She should be here within the day, I’d venture, and when she arrives we can begin to school her in her gifts. Until then, we should rest. Come.”

She shakes her head. “You go, regain your strength. I’ll stay watch for her.”

*****

Moyra has no idea how far she’s walked. She didn’t dare go back to her apartment for anything, so she’s been forced to go on as she is—alone with no money or ID. After the brief contact with her mother, she weighed her options and decided it was best to put the greatest distance she could between herself and her unknown hunters. If they found her apartment, surely they could follow her across town as well.

She can’t explain, even to herself, how she knows which way to go. Gut feeling? Magical GPS? Perhaps it’s instinctual, like the swallows flying to Capistrano. She continues past the edge of town, ducking between wire fences and trespassing across fields. She can’t shake the feeling that she needs to stay off the roads.

The sun beats down on her from it’s pinnacle as she weaves her way through a corn field. The height of the stalks gives her a sense of protection, although she knows it’s nothing more than concealment. Her feet and legs ache from being constantly on the move, and her mouth feels dry and parched. Where there are crops, there’s water, she reasons. The irrigation water generally used to water crops generally isn’t potable, but there should be a farmhouse, a well, a spigot.

Another ten minutes and she can see the edge of the corn field. She waits an extra minute, observing from her hiding place. Nearly identical to what she’d envisioned: a modest house, a red spigot in the yard, a small barn just beyond. When she felt she waited long enough, she runs to the spigot and pulls the handle up. Cold water rushes out, and she cups her hands under the stream. Over and over she lifts her hands to her mouth until she’s drank her fill. After splashing water on her face, she ends the flow.

Her skin begins to tingle. The hair on the back of her neck stands on end. Something is terribly wrong. She gauges the direction she needs to go and sprints for the shielding protection of the next corn field. They’re close. She can feel that those who are chasing her have nearly caught up. Trying to stay between the rows so as to not disturb the plants and reveal her position, she flees. Desperation renews her strength; determination gives her a second wind.

It shouldn’t be long now. Her every sense is telling her that she will be reaching the place of sanctuary soon. With a stitch in her side growing as she runs, she hopes her instincts are right.

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