“Is that the last?” Magnolia turned her neck to scan the cave’s tiny entrance, her body already spread protectively before the group of tiny faces behind her. Blocking out the harsh torches and hateful eyes that rattled and clamored outside. If only she could silence the sounds of war by standing there.
“They’re all here,” I murmured.
A shout sounded outside, close, and Franja whimpered just beside me, and I slid my hand into her hair. “Hush,” I whispered.
Voices came closer, a hard edged woman ordering a trio of men to search harder.
“It’s time, Ama.” Magnolia’s words wavered in the damp cave air.
I took a deep breath. This was the moment. I would either hide us safe or light a beacon for our enemies.
Franja’s whimper spread and I filled my lungs again, deeper.
Song spilled from my lips, light swelling to press against the rock walls.
Cover. Hide. Conceal.
I closed my eyes, willing my song’s power to save these children. The light hurt my eyelids, so pure I thought the sun would seem darkness after this.
I would take blindness to shelter these gifted children from the blades that searched for them outside.
I felt the moment when my will shaped reality and the cave opening filled, the killers outside stumbling past without slowing.
I released the music to hover in the entrance, notes pinging off the wall as Magnolia collapsed beside me, clutching her children and weeping into my skirt. “May you be blessed forever, Amsinger.”
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