I’m shaken awake by Martha. “It’s time we go.”
My eyes sting from the afternoon sun. “What time is it?”
“Two.” She goes to my drawers, saying, “We take only the basics. Too much, will slow us down. I suggest you layer up.”
“Where are we to go?”
“My sister’s place, for now.”
“I didn’t know you had a sister.”
“Neither does your mother.” She smiles. “Now, hurry and get dressed.”
My mind rushes to the past events and I wonder if Geneviève is still hiding in that shack behind the hidden rose bushes and ivy vined brush. “Martha, what if I told you, Mother didn’t kill all the wolves last night?”
“Of course, she didn’t, the alpha is downstairs caged and weak, as of last night.”
“What if I said there was another?”
She stops and turns. “What?”
“Last night when Mother had me clean her mess, among the bodies, one survived her blast of death.”
I can tell, Martha is surprised. “Well, where is the wolf? It’s in danger.”
“Hidden.” I pause. “Why do you say that?”
“My dear, do you not know?”
My heart speeds up, afraid of what Martha will say.
“Once one is hit from a blast of her power, they are marked for life. That wolf you saved will always be running until death calls.”
“It’s best we leave that wolf alone, for your mother will surely find it.”
“We can’t just leave her. Can’t you do something? She’s alone. Mother killed her entire pack.”
Martha shakes her head slowly. I know that look. It’s a look that says I’m going to regret this.
“Is the alpha still alive?” I ask.
“I don’t know. He wasn’t in the prison chamber.” Martha rushes around my room throwing items into a bag.
“The prison chamber.” I gasp. “What about the people in the jail cells. We have to let them go.”
“It’s already done my child. Which is why we need to leave now. With the prisoners escaping in droves, it will distract the crows allowing us to escape.” She pulls at me to get out of bed. “Hurry up, get dressed. She sets a bottle down on my dresser. “Drink this before you come down, but not the whole elixir, there is enough there to last a few more times. One swig will do.”
“What is it?”
“An invisibility potion. If something happens to me, run. We haven’t much time. The crows will warn Sonjah soon. I’ll meet you downstairs.”
I hadn’t heard my mother’s name out loud for so long, I’d almost forgotten it. Doesn’t matter though, deep inside my mother’s vessel, lives Sarmira the wraith that escaped the darkness of the mirror.
Martha leaves and I get dressed, doubling up on dresses. I also put on leggings and a second pair of slacks. Keeping in mind Geneviève, I select something that she might fit into. I need to warn her about what Martha said, too. If she’s marked, then she must get as far away from here as possible.
The crows don’t waste any time, because I cross the threshold of my bedroom door and hear, “Where is she?” My mother’s voice is enraged.
She’s back. My heart races and I feel a lump in my throat. The potion Martha gave me still sets on my dresser. How could I have forgotten something so important. I wait until my mother starts screaming at Martha again before stepping back into my bedroom.
I overhear, “How could you let her get away? I put my trust in you, and you failed me. It’s time to change that, I think.”
Taking my chances, I step backward into my bedroom, quietly, grab the elixir, take a swig, and open the window. It’s a two-story drop.
I hear Martha scream, and so I jump.