Ten – 03

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

“Longfellow confirms that it’s just the six,” Carolyn murmured. “If they’ve got friends, they’re still a long way off.”

Matt nodded almost imperceptibly, watching as the riders cleared the gap and their mounts slowed. At first glance, the animals appeared to be in good shape, if tired, and their tack seemed in good repair, if worn. The same could be said of their riders.

His lips thinned and his eyes narrowed. Cloaks with hoods up, helmets on. Not sure I like the looks of this. Two of the horses were so close together that he was shocked that neither rider ended up with a leg crushed between them. He couldn’t quite tell at the distance they were at, but he thought that one of the two riders held the reins for both horses. At this distance he could tell they were armed, though it was difficult to gauge the quality and quantity of their weapons—there was never any telling what a cloak or jacket hid. They all seemed tired, but that could have easily been an act to lull them into a false sense of security.

The older I get, the more paranoia starts to settle in, I guess. It was a convenient lie. He’d gotten more paranoid ever since meteorfall had changed the world. It had nothing to do with age.

Phelan shifted his weight and cleared his throat. Matt glanced at him, brow quirking slightly.

“What is it?” he asked softly.

“Just a feeling,” Phelan said, shaking his head almost imperceptibly. “Not bad, not good. Just—something.”

“What kind of something?”

“I don’t know,” Phelan said. “But I think we’re about to find out.”

Matt frowned briefly, looking back toward the riders. They’d spread out slightly, three in front, the two riding close just behind them, the sixth of their number riding apparent rearguard. Matt held up his hand.

“Hold,” he called, letting his voice carry, amplified by old magic learned in ages past by another bearer of his soul. “Stand fast and state your business before you come any closer.”

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