Spell Blind – Snippet 29

This book should be available now, so this is the last snippet.

Spell Blind – Snippet 29

“No,” he said again. “I do not think so. Not now. I sense much anger in you. Restlessness. This is not a good time for you to conjure.”

It only helped a little that I’d known he would say something like this. “Yeah, all right,” I said. “I’m sorry I called for you.”

He inclined his head and began to vanish.

“Tell me about my father,” I said, on impulse.

Namid grew more substantial again. “What do you want to know?”

“Anything.”

“You know much about him already.”

“Maybe. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know him at all.”

“You are much like him. The good and the bad.”

“Will I end up like him?”

“That has yet to be scried.”

“But I’m headed in that direction. Isn’t that right?”

The runemyste seemed to weigh this. Then he sat down on the floor right where he’d been standing. I sat as well.

“Magic exacts a price. You know this. And still you have chosen to conjure rather than block your power with Abri.”

“Right. Like Dad did. And now he’s nuts.”

“He made his choice. He lives with the consequences of that.”

“You make it sound so . . . simple,” I said, anger creeping into my voice. “This is my sanity we’re talking about, Namid. It’s my life. I don’t want to wind up like my dad.”

The runemyste gazed back at me, still glasslike. “Then take the Abri. Block your magic, and you will be free of the moon’s pull. You will not have to worry about going . . . nuts.” The word sounded strange coming from him.

“You know I can’t do that.”

He widened his eyes. “You cannot? Why is this?”

I started to answer, then stopped myself and chuckled. “All right,” I said. “I get it. I’ve made my choice. That’s what you’re telling me. So I should stop complaining, right?”

“You have made your choice for today, Ohanko. As you did yesterday. You can change your mind whenever you wish. The Abri will always be there, waiting for you.”

“I’m not sure I could give up being a sorcerer.”

“That is your decision to make.”

“I almost died today,” I told him. “I was face to face with this weremyste we’re after. He killed a woman with some kind of spell, and then used his magic to make me put my weapon in my mouth. He would have made me pull the trigger.”

The runemyste’s appearance clouded, his waters becoming turbulent. “He made you do this,” he repeated. “What do you mean?”

I shrugged. “Just what I said. He made me. He didn’t say anything that I could hear, but suddenly I had no control over my body. I wanted to run. I wanted to shoot him. But I couldn’t do anything at all. None of my wardings worked against him.”

Namid was scowling. “He controlled you.”

“Yes.”

“How is it you are still alive?”

I grinned. “I defended myself, like you told me to. I couldn’t attack him, so I cracked the sidewalk beneath his feet. It wasn’t enough to hurt him, but it broke his hold on me.”

The runemyste nodded. “That is good. You will be a runecrafter yet.” He eyed me again. “What else can you tell me about this man?”

“He can change his appearance. He’s bald and clean-shaven, and then he has long hair and a beard. His eyes are pale though. Almost white. And I have a feeling that they don’t change at all.” I thought for a moment. “He speaks with an accent. I’m not sure what kind. European, I think. Maybe French? And I heard the woman call him Cower.”

“Cower,” Namid said, with an intensity I’d never heard from him before. “Could it have been Cahors? A French name?”

“Maybe,” I said. “Do you know him?”

“There is much I need to learn,” he said. “I must go.” He began to fade.

“Namid, wait!”

He solidified once more, though I sensed his reluctance. “Do you still think I can protect myself from this guy?”

“I think you have no choice.”

I exhaled. “Right.”

“I must go now.”

“Of course,” I said. “Thank you.”

He frowned. “For what?”

“Being honest with me.”

“You expected less?”

I smiled at that. “Not really, no.” I stood. “I’m sorry I called for you that way. I won’t do it again.”

“Be well, Ohanko.” He faded from view.

I stared for a moment at where he’d been and then considered the pile of papers and unopened envelopes on my desk; most of them were unpaid bills. They could wait. As Namid might have said, I had a big date tonight, and I had enough time to get home, eat a little dinner, and change before I had to start back toward Tempe to pick up Billie. I started toward the door, but before I reached it the phone rang.

I strode back to the desk and picked up the receiver. “Fearsson.”

Silence.

“Hello?” I said.

“Yeah, this is um . . . this is ‘Toine Mirdoux.”

He kind of mumbled it, and at first I had no idea what he’d said.

“Who?”

“Antoine? Remember, dog? You blew up the door to my house?”

“Right,” I said. “How’s it going, Antoine? You calling for that chat you were going on about?”

“What?” he said. Then he allowed himself a half-hearted laugh. “Oh, yeah. That’s right. I wanna chat.”

Something was bothering him. I found myself wondering if whatever business he’d had with the red sorcerer had gone sour. There was a good deal of noise in the background and I had the feeling he was calling from a cell or maybe even a pay phone, if you could still find one in this city. Wherever he was, he definitely wasn’t home.

“Great,” I said. “Let’s chat.”

“Not on the phone, man. I need . . . I need some help. I’m in some trouble here.”

“What kind of trouble, Antoine?”

“Not on the phone.”

I checked my watch again. I didn’t have time enough to get to the Mountain View precinct and back, and still make it to Tempe by eight, not if my talk with the kid was going to take any time at all.

“I can’t now, Antoine. How about later tonight?”

“How much later?”

God, he sounded scared, like a little boy left alone in a dark house.

“Tonight. Eleven, at your place.”

“My place?”

“You still have it warded, right?”

There was a long silence, and after a while I started wondering if the connection had gone bad.

“Antoine?”

“Yeah, man. All right. My place. Eleven.”

“Keep your head down until then, all right?”

“No shit, man.”

The line went dead. I returned the phone to its cradle and shook my head. Mountain View’s seven thirty-three at eleven p.m. Not even close to the way I had hoped to end my evening. But it seemed that now I had two dates. One with Billie, and the other with ‘Toine Mirdoux.

 

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