Forty-two – 05

[This post is from Phelan’s point of view.]

The drums sounded again once, twice. A horn echoed in the distance. Bile crept up into Phelan’s throat again and he rose slightly, leaning forward again and reaching for Marin’s arm.

“I think you need to get under cover,” he said, his voice hoarse and his heart beating too fast, mouth dry and stomach going sour.

Another explosion rocked the ground, centered somewhere in the mists, but despite that, there was another sound, barely more than a whisper but unmistakable to those who had survived warfare centuries ago.

“Cover!” Seamus roared, twisting toward Marin, Phelan, Matt, and Hecate, throwing himself across them as arrows blotted what little light was visible through the storm Thordin had called. There was almost no time to react, no time to quite register what he’d shouted before it was almost too late. Arrows fell like lethal rain, many falling short of their goal, thudding harmlessly into the ground beneath the wall or shattering against the concrete and stone.

But not all.

Cries of pain began on the wall and Phelan cursed under his breath, feeling sick to his stomach.

Then Seamus gave a little jerk and grunted, squeezing his eyes shut.

Oh, shit. Oh no.

“Where?” Phelan asked.

“Don’t worry about it,” Seamus said through clenched teeth. “Turn them back.”

Another explosion echoed off the walls. Phelan heard the drumbeats again and cursed softly, then carefully slid out from his cousin’s protective cover. Through the dim and the pouring rain he could see two arrows, both lodged in Seamus’s back, and knew they were deep enough that it wasn’t good, that it wouldn’t end well.

Trust him. That’s all you can do. Phelan’s lips thinned as he wrapped both hands around the haft of his staff. Energy crackled in the air, not just from the storm, not just what Matt was drawing.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths. Focus. Do it like you did the day that firbolg came—but bigger.

Despite everything, a faint smile curved his lips and the Taliesin began to sing.

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