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  • Home > Anne Bishop > Black Jewels > Tangled Webs (Chapter 76)      Page
  • Tangled Webs(Black Jewels,Book 6)(76) by Anne Bishop
  • “Girls,” he called. “Come to the doorway.”

    He handed Sage the pillowcases, then gave Dayle a box of tapered candles and a globed candleholder. The candleholder would be easier to carry and shield the flame.

    Stepping back into the room where the children waited, he set the lamp down near the poker. Taking the pillowcases from Sage, he shook them out to be sure there weren’t any surprises hidden in them. Then he stripped the metal gauntlets off Anax’s hands and took a good look at them before he dropped them into one of the pillowcases. Too small for his hand, but they weren’t made for a child, so they would probably fit Surreal or Kester.

    At this point, any weapon they could carry was a good weapon.

    He fitted one candle into the holder and created a steady flame of witchfire to burn on the wick—and tried not to wince when the gong sounded.

    “Bring that other candle over here,” he said.

    “It’s almost gone,” Henn said, handing him the candle in the cup.

    Rainier stared at the candle. Almost gone. The bottom of the cup was filled with softened wax.

    How long since they’d left the kitchen? Not long enough for a candle to burn down that much.

    “Mother Night,” he muttered. “Line up.” He moved his hand to indicate a line in front of him.

    When the children were lined up, he created a tight shield around each of them, leaving the openings for sustenance and waste.

    “What did you do?” Kester asked.

    “Created a shield around each of you,” Rainier replied, trying to ignore the sound of the gong echoing in his mind. He lit a candle from the old one, then replaced the old one with the new.

    “It won’t stop something from taking you, but it will keep you from being wounded or killed.”

    “Why didn’t you do that before?” Kester demanded.

    He put the box of candles and the second pillowcase in the one he was using for a sack. After closing his left fist around the top of the case, he hooked his finger into the loop on the candleholder. “Sage, you carry that other candle. Kester and Henn, you take the lamps.”

    He walked back to the storage room door and picked up the poker in his right hand.

    “Hey!” Kester shouted. “I’m asking you!”

    “It takes Craft to create those shields. One use of Craft for each shield. And every time Craft is used, a way out of this place is closed off.”

    The boy didn’t understand—or didn’t want to understand.

    “Why didn’t you make these shields before Trist and Ginger got killed?” Kester said.

    Because I thought we had a chance of getting out.

    Rainier didn’t answer. He just walked into the storage room.

    Daemon sat at a round table in Sylvia’s family parlor and stared at the piece of paper in front of him. He made hatch marks on the paper just to give himself time to…Not think, exactly. Just time to assure himself that he was maintaining the correct understanding-but-disapproving expression. Then he looked at Mikal, who sat opposite him. He didn’t dare look at Sylvia, who was standing a full step back and to the right of her son’s chair. He. Did not. Dare.

    “Are these all the suggestions you can remember giving Tersa?” Daemon asked. These were bad enough. Skeleton mice that would scurry across a room, their little bones tippy-tapping on the floor. Big spiders that might drop from the ceiling or be hiding in a drawer. And the mousie in the glass.

    “There was the eyeballs in the grapes,” Mikal said hesitantly.

    “The—” A quick glance at Sylvia. Oh, he should have insisted on talking to the boy alone. This was probably a lot more than a mother wanted to know about the workings of her male offspring’s mind.

    “The spell isn’t triggered until someone starts eating the grapes.” Mikal’s voice held an excited enthusiasm. Apparently, since he couldn’t see her, he’d forgotten about his mother being in the room. “Then some of the grape skins split and the illusion spell makes it look like there are eyes, all bloodshot and oozy.”

    Boyo, you may have just ruined your chances of ever seeing another grape in this house,Daemon thought.

    “Did yousee the mouse in the glass?” Mikal asked. “That one was—”

  • Romance | Fantasy | Vampire