[This post is from Thomas Merlin Ambrose’s point of view.]
The gates were already closed as I slipped into the shadow of one of the watchtowers and the movement upon the walls was ebbing—it seemed that everyone that was going to end up on the walls was there and in position. It was something I hadn’t seen in years, not like this, not since the last battle where my father—
I blinked back the sudden sting in my eyes of threatening tears and focused on the here and how—aching wounds, pounding head and all. I leaned against one of the support posts, temples throbbing with each beat of my heart.
They mean you no harm.
I shivered at the voice. It was cool and smooth, like sheets just laid on the bed after drying in the autumn wind. It was familiar but at the same time, I was sure I’d never heard it before.
I swallowed hard, closing my eyes for a moment.
If I can just reach far enough—
There were six of them, four men and two women. One of the men was hurt, sick—maybe both.
No. Definitely both.
Bile crept up in my throat and I swallowed it back down. They were looking for something—had been looking for something for a long time. Their quest had cost them dearly already and they were hoping—
—hoping that it wouldn’t cost them more than they’d already paid, though most of them, deep down, already knew that it would.
Uncle Matt was giving orders—I could hear him giving instructions to the archers, readying them for what he suspected was coming—what he wrongly suspected was coming.
These aren’t scouts for an army. They’re not raiders. They’re—
Pushing myself upright, I stumbled out of the shadows beneath the watchtower and toward the wall.
I had to stop this before it was too late.