Sixteen – 05

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

Hecate’s fingers dug hard into the flesh of his arm, so hard that he made a noise in protest.  She didn’t seem to hear, her eyes wide and staring out into the mists.

“Did—did you—?” the question came as a bare, reedy whisper, almost too quiet to hear even as her fingers tightened even more in the fabric of his sleeve.  The keening grew louder and the chill in the air deepened, accompanied by the scent of freshly turned earth.  Matt tensed.

Has something been digging out here?  Is that why this is happening?

“I heard it,” Carolyn said, her voice just barely louder than Hecate’s.  “Who is it?  Do—do we know?”

“It’s Persephone,” Hecate said weakly.  “I would know her voice anywhere.  But—but I don’t understand.  If he’s got her, how is she here?”

“If who’s got her?”  Carolyn asked in confusion.  Thordin just cursed softly under his breath.

“Does it matter?  She’s asking for our help.  Where the hell is she out in this damn fog?”

“Breathe, mo chroí,” Matt whispered to her.  “Focus.”

The keening grew louder.  They didn’t hear the voice again—if Persephone was still out there, she either hadn’t spoken again or the wails drowned out her voice.  It was hard to tell which was more likely, harder still to tell if there actually anyone or anything else physically out there with them or if it was just magic being flung from afar.

She was trembling against him, her fingers gripping tight enough to bruise.  Matt didn’t care about that part—not about the bruises—but the look in her eye left him cold.

“Hecate.”

She blinked and finally looked at him, some of the panic leaving her gaze as she focused.  “I—sorry.  Sorry.”  She swallowed hard.  “I just—I was—I can’t—”

“Focus,” he said again.  “Please.  Is she here?  Can you tell?”

Hecate stared up at him, chest heaving as she sucked in air like someone drowning.  She was at least trying to calm down, which he hoped boded well.  “I don’t know,” she whispered.  “I can’t think.  I can’t—I can’t focus enough to tell.”

Matt swallowed hard, then gently disengaged her fingers from his arm.  “Stay with Carolyn.”

“What?” Hecate blinked at him.  “What are you doing?”

“Stay with Carolyn,” Matt said again, unslinging his hammer.  “Something’s wailing out there, and she might be trapped nearby if she’s calling for help.  Thordin and I will just have to find out.”

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