Find previous chapters here.


            Trevor the sage did not often receive visitors to his cottage near the border of Clachan and Poldar.  When knocking on his door besieged his peaceful reading, he muttered to his old grey dog, “I wonder who that is?”

The dog raised an eyelid, blinked, and fell back asleep.

“I’m coming,” Trevor called to stay the pounding.  It paused long enough for him to reach and open the door in peace.

What he saw then took him by surprise.  Such strong bloodlines the girl and the boy before him had, and such an intriguing history.  Trevor momentarily forgot himself, blinking at them and reading their stories.  The girl’s voice eventually managed to pull him out of his stupor.  With a second look at them, this time studiously ignoring the tales of their bloodlines, Trevor realized the girl was supporting the boy, who was covered in uneven purple blotches and seemed unconscious.

“Oh, you poor things,” he exclaimed.  “Come in at once.  Let me help you with him, my girl.”

She shifted her grip on the boy and helped drag him over to Trevor’s bed.  “My name’s Annette,” her sweet young voice said.

“Indeed.  Pleased to meet you, Annette.  I’m Trevor the Sage.”  He picked up the boy’s legs to lay them on the bed with the rest of his body.  “What happened to him?”

She bit her lip and looked at the sleeping boy.  “I don’t…when we first set food in Clachan, I don’t think the trees liked him.”

Trevor nodded.  “I can see why.”

She edged between him and the bed, eyes narrowing.  “You can?”

“I mean you no harm,” he assured her.  “I’m a sage—well, my great-grandmother was a sage and could read a person’s whole life, past and future, in their presence.  I can only see vague sketches of people’s pasts.  But my Clachan wouldn’t take kindly to anyone who grew up in Poldar, would they, boy?”

The dog heaved a sigh.

“Can you help him?” Annette accepted his explanation and redirected his focus.

“I’ll certainly try,” he promised.  “I read something about this once, I think.  Oh, yes, I remember.  I need some lavender and a bit of—what was it called?”  Talking aloud from habit, he padded around his cabin, gathering ingredients and concocting a treatment.

When everything was mixed and simmered together in an earthenware pot, he enlisted the girl’s help to raise the boy up and pour the compound down his throat.  “You’re sure this will heal him?” Annette asked, standing back to watch their patient.

“Fairly certain.  Although that might have been a drought to ease toothache,” Trevor admitted.  “Do you know if he had a toothache?”

She shrugged.  “I don’t think so.”

“Hm.  Then we’ll have to wait and watch.”  Meanwhile, there were far more interesting topics of conversation.  “Now tell me, how did you two find each other?”
“What?”  Her wide brown eyes left the bed for a rare moment to look at him.

“I’m a sage,” he reminded her.  “Well, one-sixteenth sage.  I can read your bloodlines and a bit of your history.  Yours is intriguing.  How did you find him?  Or did he find you?”

“I don’t understand.  We didn’t find each other.  I don’t even know him, really,” Annette protested.

Understanding washed over Trevor.  “Oh, my dear.  You don’t know yet, do you?”

“There’s a lot I don’t know,” she said.  “May you be more specific?”

He had never told such momentous news, but he supposed the best way was to just say it.  “That boy,” he gestured at the prone figure, whose purple splotches were beginning to fade, “is your brother.”


Let me know what you think!!  Chapter 9 will be up on Monday :)

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